Very Sticky Wicket


We were invited to organise a race from the Cricketers last year and when Howard contacted them the then landlord had moved on, however the new management were still keen to see what it was all about and I think we have found another winner. A great pub with good beer and food, good parking and bang in the middle of some great running country we haven’t explored before.

We were up against the Great Bentley Half which attracted quite a few of our regular customers so were pleasantly surprised to attract over 70 runners to this unknown (to most of us) quiet corner of Essex.

James Bosher (GFDR) who, like many hadn’t been quick enough on the keyboard to get a Bentley place, came straight from his shift firefighting to race. I say came straight from work, but he actually came via the Cricketers at Clavering where after a few minutes he realised he might be at the wrong pub.

Winning the Cold Christmas 50Km last week seemed to have no effect on his legs as he stormed to victory by almost 10 minutes from Jon Byford (SS) and Peter de Koning, who cycled to and from the event from Saffron Walden. Gary Freear (Halstead) clocked the same time as Peter.

Also on the same time was the winning lady Lyn Higgs (MEC). I think the three of them might have joined forces possibly by the moving sheep pens that thwarted a few of you (ewe).

Second lady was Melissa Dowell (CHAC) and the MEC duo of Lucy Ferguson & Keely Jordan were third.

We thought the slippery decking test we set you to register would prepare you for the underfoot conditions. 

We again attracted a few newcomers and there was a fair bit of interest in the village about the goings on.

The pub liked you all and have invited us back in the summer some time when they will put on a BBQ. We will let you know as soon as the date is sorted. 

Next up is MEC’s night trail from Silver End next week and our own night trail is from The Roundbush, near Maldon the week after.


Possibly the worst diversion direction signed route of all time meant a few of you didn’t make it, but a huge thanks to those of you that did. When we arrived at the White Hart we were the first there: this is a first, there is always an early bird or flock waiting for us, so we were a bit worried we might just be having a quiet drink on our own in the pub for the evening. We really didn’t need to worry about spending the night drinking as the Bishop Nick Vision was an excellent pint.

Apart from a few people who didn’t TsharpR most of you got round without too much trouble, with only an extra caravan and the tall thin tree in the mist causing some confusion.

It is always an anxious wait for the first one to return, but we didn’t have to wait long as mostly smiling faces appeared at the back door.

Darren Coates (still Harlow) was first back and chuffed to bits to have completed a run without injury. He was leader in the clubhouse for a while until local resident Gerard Geurts (GFDR) flew in to take the lead. He in turn was knocked off his perch eventually by Adam Hunter (MEC).

Lyn Higgs (MEC) did better navigating the course than she did finding the pub and her driver John Carter (MEC) afterwards and took the bottle of wine for first lady. Melissa Dowell (CHAC) was second with Nichola Norman (Springfield) third.

Most people opted for the 6-ish including the three winners of the 4-ish who changed their collective mind before leaving the warmth of the pub. A good decision by the MEC trio of Rachel Abbott, Natalie Launder and Ian “one i, not one eye” Launder who claimed the two bottles of wine between them.

Bravo to the Harlow ladies who decided to do a night race for their first ever trail. They were still in the pub when we left. I think they may have discovered our secret.

Next up for us is Sticky Wicket on 2nd February followed by another night adventure from the Roundbush near Maldon on 19th February.


Even with double parkruns and the obvious morning after the night before excuses the Hair of the Dog attracted another large entry to the salubrious Good Easter sports pavilion. All profits raised will go to making it even more so. Yan always makes full use of the excellent highways and byways of the area and took us through the back gardens of the local landed gentry. 

54 took on the challenge of the 6.8 miler, 47 more did the 4.4 miler and a phalanx of cronies also made an appearance led round by Snig.

Melissa Dowell (CHAC) and Lyn Higgs (MEC) ran to victory in the long race with the race results showing Justine Ruggles (MEC) third. Justine however is Justin so Sarah Colbert (MEC) rightfully claimed third spot. Paul Broome (SS) had an excellent run winning by over four minutes from Matt Bainbridge (GFDR) and Miles Coulson (MEC).

Shannon Mason won the shorter race outright without dad’s help ahead of Donna Fisher (SS), Diane Knight (MEC) and Sue Aves (SS). Richard Rule (SS) who had double parkrunned and run between Billericay and Chelmsford to do it. Was the only man in the top six. Phil Jeffries (Halstead) and Dave Game (MEC) also made the podium.

A great way to start the new year.