Runners brave the snow in the annual Benfleet 15-miler

Ashwin Shah

Ashwin Shah - Credit: Archant

EIGHT members of Grange Farm and Dunmow Runners (GFDR) were amongst the 373 intrepid athletes braving the snow on Sunday to take part in the annual Benfleet 15 mile race.

The event started and finished at Hadleigh Country Park, the venue for the Olympic mountain bike races. The multi-terrain course took runners passed Hadleigh Castle at three miles, along Canvey Sea Wall at seven miles, up a steep hill in Benfleet at 12 miles and ended with an uphill finish.

The race was won by Crispian Bloomfield of Billericay Striders in 1h 33min 50sec.

Fastest for GFDR was Kevin Marshall finishing 40th in 1h 51m 1s, closely followed by Simon Rawlings, 43rd in 1h 51m 21s.

Ashwin Shah finished in 1h 58m 56s just ahead of Stuart Warwick in 1h 59m 9s. David Spencer in 2h 12m was followed by Darren Thomas (2h 16m), Kath Birks (2h 32m) and Lee Prowse (2h 38m).

After the race runners were able to warm themselves around the fire in the replica Iron Age roundhouse, whilst enjoying well-earned tea and cakes.