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Runners out in force in memory of Mel
12:22pm Wednesday 29th August 2012 in Sport
THE inaugural Mel Batty 10K proved a great success when it was held round the streets of North Grays and Orsett on Sunday.
The race was set up to remember Batty – the former Thurrock Harrier who broke the world 10-mile record and went on to coach London Marathon winner Eamonn Martin – who died almost a year ago.
A field of 120 finishers was led home by New Zealander Paul Martelletti (Victoria Park Harriers) who won in the excellent time of 30m40s.
In spite of his Club and his surname, Paul is from New Zealand and could make that country’s Commonweath Games team for the marathon. The runner-up, Southend AC’s Adam Hickey (30m 54s) also has Commonwealth Games aspirations and was coached by Batty when he died.
In third place was Thurrock Harriers’ Alex Houghton whose time of 34m12s time was very close to his best.
John Green was the next Harrier to finish in a time of 36m52s and he also took the first place in the M40 category. Dennis Cross ran to an excellent 10th place (36m53s) and completing Thurrock’s winning team was Don Lawless (38m10s).
David Johnson was just behind him in 16th place in 38m15s. In 17th and 18th place came Justin Renda and Anthony Tobin both of whom returned personal bests.
Renda’s was an excellent 39m32s while Tobin’s was an improvement of 54s down to 39m35s. Other good runs came from Jason Syrett (39m50s), Paul Bumstead (40m25s), Martyn Staines (40m44s), Nigel Instance (41m49s), John Russell (42m24s), Gary Bangs (43m43s), Liam Appleyard (43m51s) John Arthur (44m45s) and Pat Dobbs (49m43s).
The women’s race was won by Kerry Holland of Southend AC in 39m37s. Behind her came two Harriers, Tracy Swindell (41m02s) running in the Harriers colours for this race only for sentimental reasons as she is now first claim for Benfleet Runners.
Behind her and winning the V35 section was Toni Noble (41m17s). Winner of the V55 section was Corringham resident Linda Dutton, a former member of the Harriers. Dave Cox was the first Thurrock Nomad to finish in a time of 42m12s and Erica Ryder of the Nomads was an excellent sixth place in the ladies race and runner up in the V45 section.
The race organisers have declared the event a success and are already planning to run the event on the same weekend next year.
A club spokesperson said: “The club would like to thank the dozens of people who turned up to support the organisation of the event. The race needed more than 40 marshals, many from Mel’s family, and a further 20 people performing other functions to enable the race to run smoothly.”