A HOST of Southend Athletics Club members braved the cold weather conditions to compete in a traditional festive contest.

The Southend Athletics Club Boxing Day Pier Handicap Race has been an annual event for more than 60 years.

And a large number of representatives of the club, which was founded in 1905, were keen to keep up the tradition by competing in the event.

There were three trophies on offer - fastest male, fastest female and first athlete home.

The first competitor home was 15-year-old new signing Elijah Brown, with an incredible time of 15 minutes and 17 seconds in his first ever club event.

Lee Taylor was forced to share the 2016 title of fastest male with Charlie Parker 12 months ago.

And Taylor shared the honours once again this time around, as he and Oliver Kyriakides crossed the finish line after 12 minutes and 12 seconds.

The winning time was 10 seconds slower than that recorded by Taylor and Parker last year.

Rhys Gillard completed the top three with a time of 12 minutes and 20 seconds.

Sarah Imbush now has two engravings on the fastest female trophy as she followed up last year’s success with another win.

Imbush was marginally off her pace of last year but was still able to come away triumphant after recording a time of 14 minutes and 20 seconds.

Under-17 competitor Grace Ralson was the second fastest female, with a time of 14 minutes and 58 seconds, while Holly Gillard was 14 seconds further back.