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It’s snow joke as local rivals battle for supremacy at the ‘brutal and evil’ Benfleet 15!

PUBLISHED: 11:00 25 January 2018

Barking Road Runners at Benfleet

Barking Road Runners at Benfleet

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Local athletes from Barking Road Runners and Dagenham 88 Runners defied snow and slippery conditions at the annual Benfleet 15.

Dagenham 88 Runners at Benfleet Dagenham 88 Runners at Benfleet

The challenging multi-terrain course covers the undulating Hadleigh Downs and sections of the Canvey Island sea wall and this year’s cross-country race was described as ‘brutal’ by Barking’s Andrew Gwilliam.

Club captain Robert Courtier called it ‘evil’ but beat his personal best by 17 minutes 52 seconds as he clocked 2:56.16 behind Barking old boy Stuart Henderson (1:46.08), Diarmuid Mac Donnell (1:55.14) and Paul Ward (1:55.23) and Gwilliam (2:17.23).

Paul Prior led Dagenham 88s home in 2:02.27, in the first race of their summer series, as Rahana Islam (2:26.50) and Hannah Sheikh (2:29.51) were next club members to finish.

Barking’s Daniel Plawiak (2:33.58) pipped Dagenham’s Danny Allen (2:34.54), as Shaun Holder (2:42.42) slid round without trail shoes to beat Emma Dudman (2:43.35).

Leigh Moring (2:55.15) beat the three-hour mark as clubmates Sharon Robinson (3:01.18), Beverley Eagles (3:35.09) and Jane Swanson-Sprent (3:35.52) also completed the course ahead of Barking’s Ken Summerfield (3:40.20), as Dagenham’s Kelly Drake-Tapscott covered 11 miles in 3:00.04.

n Dagenham’s Trevor Robinson got among the medals at the British Masters Athletic Federation vets cross-country match on Wimbledon Common after covering 4.5 miles in 34.16.

And Gary Coombes was a guest runner at the Orion Mob Match against South London Harriers, covering 7.5 miles of a wet and muddy Epping Forest course in 56.36 for 15th place out of 82.

Caroline Tuck was first woman to finish at the Bury St Edmunds parkrun, in 22.34, while Steve Whitfield (41.46) ran at the Eden Project in Cornwall and Kerstin Costa (25.38) tackled Oxford’s Harcourt Hall.

Bill Metcalfe (44.01) was in action at Hockley Woods, as Peter Salmon (20.43) and Paul Prior (23.56) ran Raphael parkrun with Barking’s Gary Harford (27.21) and Ray Taylor (38.19).

Barking’s Rory Burr (22.53), Martin Page (23.46) and Paul Ward (21.46) took on the Wanstead Flats, Brentwood and Westmill events respectively, as others ran on home turf and at the Valentines parkruns.

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