IT was an incredibly busy weekend for Harwich Runners.

Most club members were seemingly involved in at least one race.

Harwich successfully hosted the Essex Road Relays, with a record entry of 95 teams from clubs across the county competing across the various categories.

The men’s open section was won by Havering, whose final runner in their team of four clocked the fastest time of all the 5km legs on the day in 16 minutes and one second.

Southend and Colchester had a good battle for second, with Southend clinching it on the final leg.

Harwich placed 15th in this category, with Rob Reason (16m 50s) and Graeme Knott (17m 19s) going well.

The Orion club from North Chingford won the MV40 group, with Harwich a decent fifth.

There were good legs here from Steve Cooper (17m 1s), Mark Lloyd (17m 44s) and Simon Day (18m 42s).

A second team comprising Alan Gardner, Robin Brookes and Matt Doran placed 11th in the same category.

The MV50 category was won by Colchester Harriers, with Harwich placed eighth.

The ladies did well, especially in the FV35 category, where Harwich placed third behind Colchester and Saffron Striders.

The reliable Claudine Benstead led off with a time of 20m 50s, followed by Madeline Lewis, in 21m 7s, and a strong final leg from Kate Hodgkiss, in 20m 28s.

Colchester also won the FV45 group with teams from Harwich placing sixth and ninth.

In the female open category, Chelmsford claimed first and second places.

There was also a non-Essex category for people not claiming residency in the county.

Harwich had a team here, brilliantly led out by Gary Parker with a new personal best of 17m 50s.

Elsewhere, Stuart Weaver continued his marathon preparation with a 20-mile race in Wymondham, Norfolk.

He posted a new best time for that distance of 2h 16m 49s and was fourth in his MV45 category.

Meanwhile, 30 club runners tackled the Colchester half-marathon, with many making their debuts over the distance.

One of those was Gavin Race, who was 31st overall in a field of 2,778 finishers and posted a terrific 1h 22m 2s on his debut.

Other notable first-time runs came from Charles Turner (1h 38m 57s) and James Olley.

Tom Blake and Andy Carter also ran under two hours in their first half-marathons for the club.

Claudine Benstead won the FV55 category, crossing the finish line in 1h 36m. Simon Day showed his marathon preparation is going well, placing 54th in 1h 24m 36s, while Simon Harrison completed his 50th half-marathon in 1h 25m 33s.

Michael Ball ran 2h 8m at Colchester last March but romped home in 1h 40m this time round.

At the local Parkrun on Saturday, club junior Michael Knowles was once again first in his age category and fifth overall of the 113 who took part.

It was also a new personal best time for him of 20m 51s.

On Sunday, at the London Landmarks half-marathon, there was an even bigger field of 9,683 runners and Stephen Peck posted 1h 16m to place a remarkable fifth.