Mel Batty 10k has an international feel as American Leak takes the victory

The race was won in memory of Mel Batty, seen here winning the English Cross Country Championship at Parliament Hill

The race was won in memory of Mel Batty, seen here winning the English Cross Country Championship at Parliament Hill

First published in Sport

THE third Mel Batty 10km had an international feel at the head of the race with American Colin Leak taking the victory.

Leak, who runs for Newham & Essex Beagles, clocked 32m 30s around the course which proved yet again to be a good one for personal and season’s bests.

The race, which was set up in memory of Mel Batty the former world 10-mile record holder, starts and finishes at Thurrock Harriers’ home at Blackshots.

Leak finished ahead of Gareth Cavell (Woodford Green) who clocked 35m 11s.

In third place was Grays’ Chris Wayman who picked off two rivals on the last lap of the track, finishing in 35m 57s.

Benfleet RC’s Neil Casey was one of those passed by Wayman but he had the comfort of setting a new PB of 35m 58s to finish fourth.

Casey’s team-mate Nick Rankin was seventh in a season’s best of 37m 57s.

Nick Trencher was the first member of home club Thurrock Harriers to finish, in eighth place, with a PB of 39m15s.

The women’s race was won by Cambridge Harriers’ Katie Sanders in a PB of 40m 21s with Southend AC athletes claiming second and third place on the podium.

Sarah Jeffrey was runner-up in 41m 8s with Anne Jenkinson third – and first V35 – with 41m 42s.

Jeffrey and Jenkinson also helped the Seasiders win the team prize with Kasai Kostyrka-Allchome (45m 03s).

Winning the women’s over-55 age group was Castle Point Joggers’ Sue Hickey – mum of Southend AC distance running star Adam – who finished in a PB of 65m 30s.

Another Castle Point Jogger to record a good run was Richard Bonham was 14th in 40m 36s.

Southend AC’s Alan Monte recorded a PB of 40m 47s ahead of super veteran Peter Binns (41m 57s).

Pitsea had three athletes competing, led by Jim Russell (48m 33s), followed by Andy Chaplin (52m29s) and Ian Hawthorn (58m 40s).

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