DOMINIC King walked away with the top prize when Colchester Harriers held their annual awards night at the Garrison.

He scooped the athlete of the year award, fending off strong competition from Laura Shewbridge and Charlie Dobson.

King's top-class pedigree over many years swung the award in his favour.

This was in addition to the fact he made the World Championships in the 50km race walk in 2017, to add to his double Olympic performances at London and Rio and two Commonwealth Games appearances.

King also set a personal best for the mile walk in five minutes and 56 seconds - the same race when Tom Bosworth set the world record of 5m 31s.

He also walked in international races in Slovakia, Spain and the Czech Republic in the last 12 months, as well as winning the Isle of Man 20km Championships and the Essex 3,000m Track Championship in 12m 1s.

King also found time to run cross-country for a couple of races and proved he is a good runner as well as a top-class walker, finishing 14th in the 53-12 meeting at Writtle and second in the Colchester Castle Parkrun in 17m 59s.

A good crowd turned up to see who would be the club's track and road winners from the last 12 months.

Other award winners were Steve Garnham (outstanding contribution to coaching), Caroline Sutton (chairman's award for service), Dobson (male field athlete), Samantha Hart (the Jerry Everitt award for outstanding contribution), Rebecca Jeggo (female track athlete), Shewbridge (female road runner), Denise Morley (female cross-country), Andrea James (most improved female), Kevin Higgins (most improved male), Ged McMillan (male road runner), Colin Ridley (male cross-country) and Phillipa Davenhall (field athlete).

Club membership is fast growing, with an influx of track and field athletes and more coaches.

The hope is that this year will bring big success for Harriers in the Southern Track League and the Veterans' Track League, which the club have rejoined after many years.

The road and cross-country teams are always strong and, as normal, will push to bring many awards both locally and nationally.

A big thank you was extended to junior coach Karen Wheat, who made a big contribution to the club and sadly passed away recently.

She was instrumental in bringing many juniors through to high achievement.

She will be sadly missed by the club and all her family.

Harriers were among 800 runners in action at the Benfleet 15 - an extremely hard race over the Hadleigh Downs.

There were huge amounts of mud, freezing weather and snow showers to add to the mix.

The Harriers team ran well, with Gavin Scanlon 26th, leading the team home and clocking one hour, 44m 56s.

Next came Alex Sales, 28th in 1h 45m 29s, and Keith Marley, 45th in 1h 48m 32s.

Others to run were Richard Flutter (1h 48m 10s), Chris Manby (1h 54m 12s), Richard Millward (1h 57m 52s), Craig Mitchell (1h 58m 58s), Rebecca Cooke (1h 59m 18s) and Chris Panton and Lousie Yates.

Richard Flutter won the Gunpowder Parkrun at Waltham Abbey in 19m 2s.

Debbie Cattermole was first lady in 22m 5s.

The Colchester Parkrun saw Nath Filer finish fourth in 17m 33s, Rob Smith eighth in 19m 12s, Sean Ketteridge 11th in 19m 16s and Andy Raynor 12th in 19m 20s.

Andrea James was first lady in 20m 5s.