Essex Way Relay 2022
A team of 10 Stragglers took on the challenge of Essex Way Relay for a third time improving their overall position yet again with some notable performances
Essex Stragglers are becoming regular entrants in the annual Essex Way relay run on the first Sunday in September. The 82 mile long distance footpath runs from Epping to Harwich and for the relay is divided into 10 legs using trail run instructions to follow the route (an advance recce is advised). There is a mass start for each stage so no hanging around for your incoming runner. Timing is such that the lead runners are usually home before the mass start of the next leg. Each runner scores the number of points for his finish place - 1,2,3 for 1st, 2nd, 3rd etc. More about the event can be found here.
So Tim, Colin & Lyn had an early start rendezvousing at the start of Stage 2 in Ongar for Tim to leave his car and get a lift to Epping station for his 8am start. Entry numbers were back to pre pandemic levels this year with 72 teams entered. Not all teams had runners on all legs. 100 points are awarded for a non-runner. Lyn reminded herself of this as she plodded her way along the 9.5 mile stretch to Good Easter. 62 points was her reward (there were 3 teams behind her). Colin took on Leg 3 to Little Leighs and then it was over to Steven and Adam on Legs 4 & 5 respectively. Special mention to Adam who came in 19th on this 9.4 mile stage into Great Tey. The majority of the team finished in the 40s and Chris was no exception to this on his short 5.7 mile leg to West Bergholt.
Newcomer Rachel bravely took on the longest leg of 11.2 miles running
into Dedham very strongly in 43rd position. David was then off to
Bradfield; with Oliver, our youngest team member, taking the penultimate
leg and John completing the route to Harwich, arriving at 7.02pm. Oliver proved to be the star of the day running into Ramsay in first place after a head to head race with a runner from Southend AC. The day was rounded off with fish and chips and pint of beer in the Alma before we went home for a well deserved sleep.
And the final results? Stragglers finished 42nd out of 72 overall with 410 points 3 places higher than last year but as there were only 52 teams in 2021, it marks a big improvement. In the Open category we were 30th out of 55 teams (there are also classes for Ladies and Veterans teams). This is up from 32nd from 39 teams in 2021.
Congratulations to Southend AC who won both Open and Ladies, and Leigh on Sea for being first Vets team home. Full results are available here.
And well done to all the Stragglers who took part and to supporting drivers/cheer leaders/photographers.