SIX members of Harwich Runners took part in the Witham five-mile race on Boxing Day.

Steve Cooper continued his good form by posting his quickest time in several years.

His time of 28 minutes exactly proved enough to take 11th place overall and saw him win the MV45 age category.

Also victorious in their age group was Claudine Benstead, who claimed first place in the FV55 group, with a good time of 34m 47s.

It was a good day for personal best times.

Nicola Flatt has run three five-mile races in the last ten weeks at Wix, Chelmsford and now Witham and improved in each of them, lowering her best time to 39m 14s.

There was a ten-second personal best for Andrew Thorn (39m 38s) and a big improvement for Harry Young (38.25).

New recruit Alison Evans also recorded an impressive new best time of 40m 52s.

On Christmas Eve, Ian Cannons ran the Stutton and Holbrook fun run at Royal Hospital School, finishing 74th in a big field of 274 runners.

Back in the country for Christmas, Sally Gillam travelled to another of her old haunts, Ilford, for a ten-mile cross-country race.

She did well, finishing the challenging course in 98m 45s to take third in her age group (FV55). Unfortunately three other runners arrived too late to complete the full three-lap course.

Julian Cordwell, Elspeth and Roly Knott were the unlucky trio held up by closures on the A12.

At the Harwich Parkrun last weekend, there was the opportunity to run on two days.

Eighty people turned out on Saturday and 113 started 2018 with a Parkrun.

Robert Reason ran in both events and won on both occasions.

His win on New Year’s Day (17m 22s) was his 16th appearance and 16th win.

Fellow club member Mark Lloyd also ran both days.

On Saturday he finished second in 18m 36s and on Monday he was third in 18m 7s.

Those who ran both days found the conditions harder on Saturday.

The only Harwich Runner to achieve a PB over the two events was Lian Meachen, who improved by 33 seconds to record 30m 41s on Monday.

Harwich ladies filled the top three places on Saturday.

In first was Karen Stapleton, in 23m 16s, and she was followed by second-placed Benstead (23m 29s), who ran both days with one of her dogs.

In third was Alison Evans (24m 30s).

Nine-year-old Jamie Carter was once again the first junior to finish on Saturday in a very impressive 23m 12s.

On Monday there were 21 finishers who were running at Harwich for the first time and all the top lady finishers were visitors to the area.

As the Harwich event on Monday started at 8.30am, it meant it was possible to run at Harwich and then travel to Colchester and run there as that Parkrun started at 10.30am.

A number of those taking part at Harwich did that, including Harwich Runners' Alexander and Edward McCreadie, Jez Downs and Dennis Warner.

Warner ran 22m 32s at Harwich and then jumped on his bike and cycled to Colchester where he ran 23m 11s.

He then cycled home again - quite an unusual way to start the New Year.