IT was the young guns who stole the show at the annual Boxing Day Crown to Crown 5km.
Westcliff teenager George Elliott, 14, won the race overall, edging out Basildon AC’s Jack Fitsall in the closing stages of an unsurprisingly muddy course around Westley Heights Country Park, in Langdon Hills.
While in the women’s event, Basildon AC’s rising teenage talent Alice Perkins took an impressive victory.
Elliott, who runs for Chelmsford AC, finished just a second ahead of 18-year-old Fitsall, claiming victory in 17m 16s.
Victoria Park’s Tom Heslop was third (17m 34s), while there was a very impressive run from professional cyclist Daniel Patten in fourth place.
Patten, who used to run for Thurrock Harriers, quit athletics for cycling and has made his living riding professionally in Belgium for the past number of years.
But he used the race as his winter training for cycling, finishing in 17m 45s.
Basildon AC’s Stephen Strange rounded out the top five (18m 1s).
Under-17 athlete Perkins claimed a notable scalp in the women’s race, finishing comfortably clear of Rayleigh’s Sophie Riches, the reigning UK School Games 1,500m champion.
Perkins finished in 12th overall in a time of 19m 5s, with Riches, who is also in the under-17 age group, crossing the line in 19m 28s.
Chelmsford AC’s Khai Mhlanga, an under-13 athlete, was third in 20m 20s with Havering Mayesbrook’s Lydia Hallam fourth and Sally Mhlanga fifth.
In total, 230 runners completed in the race, organised by Pitsea Running Club.
The next running of the race takes place on Good Friday (March 29). After that, it will run monthly throughout the summer.