WRC Ladies are Essex Champions Wahooooo! Stebbing 10 Results & Another Club Record for Leo

12 November 2017 - By Anita Grainger


Well where to start now I’ve come down off the ceiling. If you haven’t heard the screams of excitement from Stebbing resonating across Witham and the vicinity today Witham Ladies won the Essex Road Running Championship today which is absolutely fabulous!

This may be a long post & pics to follow in the gallery………

Firstly thank you to each and everyone of you that has made this possible, this is not just the runners who scored. This would not have happened without EVERYONE coming together as a club, supporters offering encouragement, WRC as a whole supporting each along the route , drivers picking up team mates , those remembering to remind people to enter, admin in the background making sure all WRC entries are flagged as Essex and not forgetting Tracey who brings coffee and cake to every race without fail to mention just a few parts of the well-oiled WRC machine 😊

So where did it all start…….. back in March the Essex 20 was the first race of the series and the ladies came in 4th, onto April and we managed a 5th at Braintree 5 building up a few more points and ticking along nicely. Then came the first breakthrough in May when Becky Grimwood, Tracey Denby and Penny Clarke secured a team bronze at the Halstead Marathon moving the ladies into 1st place. As is typical of WRC we never make it easy for ourselves and injury season seemed to strike over the summer coinciding with holidays which meant we failed to score at Brentwood 10k in July although we did have WRC representation. This brought the race for 1st back into the clasps of a number of teams so lots of comms went out to ladies to actively encourage entering Pleshey and Stebbing. At Pleshey our new secret weapon in the form of Rachel Sweatt bounded onto the scene and Liz Stuckey stepped up her distance along with Angie O’shea to secure a silver team medal for Witham. This left all the excitement down to the last race at Stebbing with WRC level on points with Springfield Striders and whoever won at Stebbing would would win the series, not forgetting 3 other clubs who were also in the running …. No pressure then! Over the last 2 months I have become good friends with the race director for Stebbing sorting out numerous transfers for WRC making sure those who missed out were able to replace any injured runners.

So over to today, well on paper WRC ladies did not have the strongest team so we resigned ourselves to just enjoying the race which was as it turned out a great strategy. After a beautiful mini service and 2 minutes silence at the war memorial the runners lined up and set off in the cold crisp autumn sunshine. The course heads through Stebbing village for a mile loop before heading back through the village and then out past the church and round country lanes. The course heads ‘upwards’ for 5 miles which I hear some of it was straight into the wind. Then the course starts to go down before heading towards a farm track and round a farm building and ‘the hill’. At around 8 miles the course heads back onto the road and it’s a dash downhill back towards Stebbing to finish at the school.

We watched from the school in anticipation as the first runners started to come home, the first man missed the course record by 35 seconds finishing in 52.15, how on earth they manage to run that quickly is beyond me! The first lady, Liz Davies of Springfield striders stormed through smashing the ladies course record in 59.07. Our first man home was Heydon Mizon in a new PB of 1.00.40. Rachel Sweatt was our first lady home in a new PB of 1.02.30 and second lady overall. The next lady home was from Springfield Striders at which point we thought it was all over for the championship as they had 2 ladies home in the first 3 places….well, Saffromm Striders ladies then appeared in 4th, 5th and 7th and we waited. Then the familiar pony tail of Charlotte Elms appeared on the horizon with Nik Bainbridge and Liz Stuckey closely on her heels so we now had 3 WRC ladies scorers home in 2nd, 12th and 13th and so we waited for the 3rd Springfield strider , next Hayley Ellen appeared for WRC in 16th and still no sign of the 3rd Springfield Strider…… until 28th. So who had won? We didn’t know at this point and waited for all our runners to finish safely before investigating. As it turned out Saffromm Striders were not entered as Essex so WRC ladies claimed gold along with the series win which is absolutely amazing! This is the first time the ladies have won the Essex Championship and I’m am so proud of EVERYONE!

Now I hear you say what about everyone else……. So Mark Austin picked up silver in the M60 age group adding to his increasing collection of Essex medals. Over the championship series Leo Cole secured bronze in the V50 and Penny Clarke bronze in the F55 category. Tracey Denby secured 5th in the F45 and Mark Austin 5th overall in the M60 having gone up an age group mid series…. Watch this space for 2018! Well done to Penny Clarke. Tracey Denby and Leo Cole who have taken part in all 6 championship races, only 17 runners took part in 5 races & I’m not sure how many of the 17 made it to Stebbing today to race in all 6, what an incredible achievement.

Ok now for the rest……well we had some fabulous performances today and I’m not sure what everyone had for breakfast but it seemed to agree with WRC. Leo Cole added another club record to his collection finishing strongly in 1.04.05. Paul Thomas absolutely smashed his PB knocking an incredible 7 minutes, yes 7 minutes off his PB finishing in 1.10.39! A big thank you to David Hunt for pacing Paul round giving up his own race showing what a great supporting club we are. Our next PB smashing came from Sue Shippey and Karen Flowers who knocked 5 minutes and 20 seconds of their PB finishing in 1.33.15 absolutely amazing ladies well done!

It’s not always about getting a new PB as we’re not all after the same goals, as a whole WRC seemed to enjoy taking part in Stebbing 10 and the beautiful route it follows. Well done to each and every one and our fabulous supporters, full results below;


Heydon Mizon 01:00:40 PB
Rachel Sweatt 01:02:30 PB 1st Female Senior
Leo Cole 01:04:05  Club Record
Giles Sowerby 01:05:16
Mark Austin 01:09:23 2nd V60
David Hunt 01:10:38
Paul Thomas 01:10:39 PB
Paul English 01:10:55 PB/First 10 mile
Bill Smythe 01:13:00
Alex Stuckey 01:13:12
Charlotte Elms 01:14:01 PB/First 10 mile
Nik Bainbridge 01:14:00 PB
Elizabeth Stuckey 01:14:12 PB
Hayley Ellen 01:15:59
Mark Lynch 01:16:44
Steve Hennings 01:17:29 PB
Gerry Greenwold 01:17:27 PB
Danny Connor 01:18:00 PB
Lee Blake 01:19:06 PB
Tanya Nash 01:20:20 PB
Carina Taylor 01:22:01 PB
Rachel Pearsons 01:25:33
Adam Hocken 01:25:45
COLIN SHORT 01:28:59
Thomas Ashley 01:28:54
Ross Silverton 01:29:16
David Grainger 01:30:57 PB
Anthony Smith 01:31:03
Sue Shippey 01:33:15 PB
Karen Flowers 01:33:15 PB
Tracey Denby 01:34:06 PB
Martina Byrne 01:42:04
Penny Clarke 01:45:20


For the extra data hungry members  listed below are all the 26 ladies who took part in the Essex champs and were part of our winning team so thank you to each an every one of you for taking part  EVERYONE played an important part of our successful team. I’ve also listed the team points for each of the events;

Angie O’Shea, Anita Grainger, Ann Johnson, Becky Grimwood, Carina Taylor, Charlotte Elms, Emma Austin, Haydeh Safavi, Hayley Ellen, Jen Mayes, Karen Flowers, Kayleigh Carr, Kerry Townsend, Liz Stuckey, Louise Pascoe, Martina Byrne, Penny Clarke, Rachel Pearsons, Rachel Sweatt, Rebecca Booty, Ruth Mizon, Sasha Rush, Sue Shippey, Tanya Nash, Tracey Denby, Vicky Hunt


Essex 20 – Vicky Hunt, Hayley Ellen, Charlotte Elms  7 points

Braintree 5 – Vicky Hunt , Rebecca Booty, Anita Grainger  6 points

Halstead Marathon – Becky Grimwood, Tracey Denby, Penny Clarke 8 points

Pleshey ½ – Rachel, Sweatt, Angie O’Shea, Liz Stuckey  – 9points

Stebbing – Rachel Sweatt, Charlotte Elms, Liz Stuckey – 10 points

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