COLCHESTER Harriers were left frustrated after being hampered by course signage problems at the Essex Cross Country Relays, at Gosfield School.

The huge amount of teams made marshalling difficult and many runners went off course, in the woodland areas.

Harriers were awarded bronze medals but were left disappointed as they were well clear, thanks to a sparking run by Ramadam Osman.

There was a large turnout of Junior and senior teams and the mixed teams were unlucky again.

There appeared to be a problem on the third leg, so Oscar Dawson, Heidi Steele, Rebecca Cooke and Colin Ridley were given fourth place with the Harriers B team of Andy Jobling, Andrea James, Helen Taczynski and Paul Rodgers placed fifth.

Harriers' ladies also just missed out on fourth place with great runs by Stacey Eyres, Sarah Stradling and Aiko Hennington.

The Green Vests' junior teams all did very well with the under-17 men unlucky to miss out on medals.

Harriers host the Colchester 15-mile road race for the first time since its cancellation in March because of the snowy weather and this time, runners were greeted by a warm sunny day.

Brentwood's Owen Cima set the standard with a winning time of one hour 24 minutes 18 seconds.

For the ladies, Nikki Brockbank of Springfield clocked a fast time of 1h 40m 30s.

Harriers' first runner home was Alex Sales in sixth spot after clocking 1h 37m 29s.

Other Harriers finishers: Barry Frost 1-39-11, Paul Rodgers 1-40-20, Colin Ridley 2nd over 50 1-40-40, Malcolm Statham 1-51-05, Craig Mitchell 1-51-11, Adam Garrish 1-51-23, Ryan Williams 1-51-43, Jerry Walder 1-52-49, Richard Millward 1-53-50, Graham Langford 1-55-37, Jackie MacLannan 2-03-14 2nd senior lady, Cheryl Appleby 2-09-59 3rd senior lady.

The race will return next March 17 with a 7.5 mile and 15-mile event.

Harriers' Clive Thomas won the over-55 category at the hilly Stowmarket half-marathon clocking a fine 1h 27m 31s.

The Inter Areas Masters Challenge 8km Cross Country event saw Paul Spowage (30m 50s), Bill Haining (35m 51s) and Simon Morgan (37m 21s) part of the winning Eastern Masters team.

The race incorporated the East of England Cross Country Championships where Bill Haining (over 60) and Paul Spowage (over 50) both won bronze medals in their age groups.

Wayne Cook ran a personal best (PB) of 1h 02m 09s at the Bure Valley ten-mile race in Norfolk and was first in the over-45 age group.