Saffron Striders chairman shows medal-winning form at Essex 20

Saffron Striders chairman Nigel Coates was in medal-winning form at the popular Essex 20 race.

The 20-mile rural route, based around the village of Langham near Colchester, attracted a high-quality field of 452 runners.

Coates scooped the bronze medal in the male over 50s category with his finish time of 2hrs 22mins for 58th overall.

Also running the race were fellow club members Matt Billis, who finished in 2hrs 25mins for 73rd place and Baz Taylor, who finished the race in 2hrs 42mins for 148th.

Meanwhile in half marathon action were Simon Chambers, who completed the Naseby-based Battlefield Half Marathon in 1hr 53mins for 27th out of 51 runners, and Peter Cross, Andy Bryant and Lucy Stebbings, who all took part in the Roding Valley Half Marathon. All three finished in under two hours, with Cross coming 329th out of 672 finishers in 1hr 54mins, and Bryant and Stebbings crossing the line together in 1hr 59mins for 405th and 406th respectively.

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A further 10 Saffron Striders took part in the recent Cambridge Half Marathon, tackling the 13.1 mile course in warm conditions – a far cry from last year’s race which was beset with rain and sleet.

Ian Henley was the first Strider to finish in a superb 1hr 22mins for 53rd position out of 3,318 finishers. Rebecca White, the winner of the Striders’ 2013 marathon trophy, was second Strider and first female club member, coming 312th in a time of 1hr 33mins.

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Just one minute separated Howard Williams (1hr 38mins for 492nd) and Julia Hutchison (1hr 39mins for 550th). Tony Kelly’s strong 1hr 43mins time (806th) bodes well for his inaugural marathon next month in London.

Ian Rogers, Alistair Cooke and Strider of the Year James Hewlett all crossed the line in under two hours, with Ian recording a 1hr 49mins finish for 1,146th, Alistair running a 1hr 49mins race for 1,252nd and James coming in 1,635th in a time of 1hr 57mins.

Robert Shaw (2hrs 7mins, 2,284th) and Helen Hewlett (2hrs 8mins, 2,362nd) completed the Saffron Striders results.

• New members are always welcome at the Saffron Striders. Meet at the Lord Butler Leisure Centre on Tuesdays at 8pm for a group run. For more information visit

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