Sunday’s sweltering heat was hardly conducive to running 13.2 miles, yet Benfleet Running Club’s indomitable spirit saw its members achieve excellent times at the Southend Half Marathon, winning the club a couple of accolades to boot.
The collective might of Lee Baynton, Andy Low and Paul Ruffy earned Benfleet the men’s first team prize, whilst Nikki Leigh, Melanie Anthony and Georgia Bath banded together and clinched BRC the ladies third team prize.
The first runner to finish was Lee Baynton, qualifying in 8th place with a time of 1:18:45. Also securing a spot in the top 10 was Andy Low, trailing just behind in 1:19:35. Paul Ruffy finished in 1:22:17, shaving four seconds off his previous personal best. Terry Spooner crossed the line in a time of 1:23:14, Jack Hodges earned himself a four-minute PB of 1:32:17, followed by Tim Tomlins in 1:32:47. Lee Grumbell achieved an eight-minute personal best of 1:40:05. Next in was Graham Douglas in 1:46:44, followed by Barry Key in 1:48:15 and Nikki Leigh in 1:49:34.
Other competitors included Ian Banthorpe (1:52:30), Duncan Holland (1:54:46), Melanie Anthony (1:55:59), Mark Cowan (1:58:57), Georgia Bath (2:01:35), Steve Wise (2:05:47), Kevin Judge (2:12:48), Lee Allen (2:16:10), Paul Reed (2:16:10), Amy Howell (2:26:59).
A special mention to Simon Davis, Tommi Gillingwater and Tom Byrne, who completed the course despite conquering the gruelling Seven Summits challenge in the Swiss Alps the day before. All in aid of the Indee Rose Trust. A massive thank you to Bobby Oliver and her army of marshalls for providing a vital pillar of support.
Isla Sinclair was 13th lady home at Felsted 10k. Sinclair crossed the line in 49:29.