Ilford members leg it all the way from Epping to Harwich at Essex Way 10-stage relay!

PUBLISHED: 16:00 06 September 2018

Ilford AC members at the end of the Essex Way Relay in Harwich

Ilford AC members at the end of the Essex Way Relay in Harwich


Ilford Athletics Club saw 13 hardy runners compete in the 30th annual running of The Essex Way 10-stage relay on Sunday.

Ilford's Gaye Young at the Essex Way RelayIlford's Gaye Young at the Essex Way Relay

A total of 74 teams from all over the county took part in the inspirational event, which covers ancient trails and footpaths over 82 miles from Epping to Harwich.

Martin Clarke and Peter Spelman set off on the first 7.5-mile leg, jointly organised by Ilford and East London Runners, before Rachel Halpin, Alison Sale and Freida Keane ran the 9.5 miles to High Easter.

Anthony Young covered another 9.5-mile leg to Little Leighs, before Gaye Young ran the 10.1 miles to Cressing Church on leg four.

Nicola Hopkinson covered the 9.4-mile leg to Great Tey, before Malcolm Muir produced the highlight of the day for Ilford.

Ilford's Gary Coombes at the Essex Way RelayIlford's Gary Coombes at the Essex Way Relay

Muir, who lives local to the end of leg four, had come along to cheer on the team, but when told Ilford’s leg six runner had pulled out he agreed, at 30 minutes notice, to run the 5.7 miles to West Bergholt and finished fifth – despite getting lost!

Carlie Qirem took on the longest leg of the day (11.2 miles) to Dedham, before Billy Green ran eight miles to Bradfield and Gary Coombes covered six miles to Ramsey, finishing in a very strong sixth place.

Senior stateswoman Pam Jones brought the team home on the 5.5-mile leg to Harwich lighthouse as Hopkinson and green also ran their second legs of the day.

Ilford’s A team finished in a creditable 24th place on the day, with the B team pipping the C team to 50th place.

Ilford's Rachel Halpin, Freida Keane and Alison Sale at the Essex Way RelayIlford's Rachel Halpin, Freida Keane and Alison Sale at the Essex Way Relay

The day ended with a few of the runners who completed the later legs having a traditional fish and chip supper, along with supporters Robin Davies, Catherine Green and Dennis Briggs.

*Ray Everingham took on the Takeley 10k in glorious sunshine on Sunday.

The route, almost all off-road, starts alongside an old unused railway track and takes runners through the Essex countryside before heading back to the village hall.

Everingham was determined to break the 60-minute mark for the distance and recorded a personal best of 58mins 54secs to finish 216th in a field of 428.

Ilford's Carlie Qirem at the Essex Way RelayIlford's Carlie Qirem at the Essex Way Relay

Having only joined the club last winter, with the primary aim of completing a parkrun without walking, it was a superb achievement for the newcomer, after lots of determination.

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