COLCHESTER Harriers' over-50 men give the club their first-ever Southern Road relays team medals after success at Crystal Palace.

Thanks to coach Richard Pickering, the Green Vests had teams in each of the three men’s categories and came up trumps in the over-50 competition.

The Southern Road Relays are a very high-class affair with most of the south's top runners competing over the 6.5 kilometre course.

With no medals ever won at this event by Harriers, the club's Veteran men finished runners-up to take silver behind Aldershot Farnham and District, with South London Harriers third.

Great runs came from all four of the Harriers team with anchorman Allen Smalls running a fine leg of 21 minutes 05 seconds to hold second spot as South London and other clubs pressed the green vests to the finish.

Joining Smalls in Harriers' history-breaking team were Paul Spowage (21-10), Colin Ridley (21-00) and Pete West (22-03).

The over-40 men were a fine 11th, with the team consisting of Ged McMillan (20-01), Paul Preston (22-19), James Waterson (22-15) and Paul Rodgers (20-58).

Harriers' senior men were hampered by an injury to talisman Adrian Mussett (21-43) on the last leg.

But they were still a respectable 47th with Ramadam Osman the fastest Harrier in 18-06.

The rest of the team were Nathan Filer (19-45), Chris Sellens (20-15), Ed Mitchell (18-50) and Gavin Scanlon (21-56).

The Ingatestone five-mile road race is extremely hilly and was subject to heavy rain but a handful of Harriers still came good.

Sarah Stradling was second lady in 31-05 and first veteran and was helped to the second team prize thanks to Rebecca Cooke (34-20) and Fran Norris (38-05), who also took the first lady over-55 trophy.

For the men, Charlies Holohan ran a good personal best (PB) of 31-30, beating team-mate David Wright (31-41).

The Burnham on Crouch park run saw a good run by Paul Rodgers who was runner-up in 17-51.

Chris Manby was fourth (19-32), with Charlie Holohan sixth (20-12), Alex Sales jogged it for seventh in 20-16 and David Wright was eighth in a new over-60 Burnham record of 20-50.

Fran Norris just missed the over-55 record by a few seconds, in 22-58.

The Mersea Island Cudmore Grove park run saw a personal best (PB) by Chris Smith who was third in 19-26.

Heidi Steele won the Maldon Park run in 20-13 and at Colchester Castle, Ian Haw was fourth in 18-14.

He was followed by Thomas Palmer fifth (18-28), Victor Steinward sixth (18-32), Cameron Humphries seventh (18-42) and Jon Nears eighth (18-43).