RUNNER OF THE MONTH FOR JANUARY
Another fairly quiet month but I suspect that it will be the last one for a while so I will make the most of it. Gloomy weather and cold temperatures have meant I have struggled to move myself from the warm some nights to get to sessions. However, everyone must be making an effort as numbers are probably the highest I have ever known them for a January.
February sees the start of a new training programme that has been introduced. The most noticeable change will be the introduction of a tempo run on Friday nights where you will be put into a group which runs at a set pace. There will be a number of pacers including Barbara, Marion, Steph, me and some of the boys so nothing to worry about – there will be a group for you. I may need to borrow a garmin that actually works as having run numerous races with mine, it is definitely not right!! On a Sunday, there will be some new off road routes introduced like Highwoods Country Park. A Monday and Wednesday session will remain the same as they normally do during the winter.
The training programme has mainly been brought in as it comes with some safety guidelines to deal with the increasing numbers and this may lead to some changes in the summer with group sizes on the road. You have all been great in the winter with wearing the correct gear and the only thing I probably need to mention is headphones will no longer be permitted at any of the sessions.
It has lovely to see some many women at the sessions and the increased confidence amongst you all – older members and newer members. Great to see Eileen and Theresa back from Injury and Sam H back from a while away from the club. Big noticeable improvements from Claire F, Jodie, both Rosies and Tonie/I had a lovely run with Sinead on Wednesday who surprised herself by running a second lap with us easily.
Now back to your running…… There is a hardcore of you who are doing a Park Run most Saturdays and have consistently been knocking down your 5k time. You must be chasing each other around as your times are all so close. Chusa, Claudia and Claire G all got new PBs and are now running 7 minute something miles so well done girls. Did the weather slow you down last weekend as all your times went down….?
Helene has been the most prolific runner during January (although Debs may be a close second) – as if doing the Flitch Way Marathon on NYE was not enough, she then went and done the Cross Country Championships in Woodford, went on to do Benfleet with me the following weekend and has fitted Parkruns in as well. She did have to fit in buying some new Cross County shoes before Benfleet although that didn’t stop her going over in the mud. Debs has not been far behind with the Battersea 10k, the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park 10k and a Parkrun. I don’t think she was feeling the best at the Olympic Park but the new PB and bronze standard from the Battersea 10k probably saw her through that.
Barbara showed what a class act she is by another Diamond Standard at Folksworth in a time of 2:31:43 and I suspect it will not be long until she has a full set.
Before I finish with our Cross Country, I just want to wish Helene, Pauline, Sophie, Tonie, Steph, Claire and Sue S the best of luck for next Sunday at the Bentley half. Lynsey is injured and has had to pull out so I wish her a speedy and full recovery. Remember to bring your voices to cheer everyone around the course. The cake and sandwich table needs to be filled up in the hall for the 800 plus runners, spectators and us lot so if you could all bring something along, Caroline and her gang will be very happy bunnies.
The last Cross Country was at Ipswich – fab turnout with 20 Bentley babes donning their blue vests. Some really strong performances from what I saw from running around and the results. I missed you all running in after Milly went flying off the trampoline! All recovered for tomorrow. I didn’t think it was the worst course although wasn’t impressed by the extra field I wasn’t expecting. Think you all did great but definitely noticed Marion putting in a really strong performance. The Juniors finished their highest position this season in 7th place – well done Katie, Milly, Hallie, Emily, Eve, Amie and especially Megan on her first run with GBRC.
Now to my Runner of the Month – I don’t normally give out runner of the month to relatively new starters as you improve so quickly when you join. However the improvement in her XC performance from her first outing at Harwich to her second outing at Ipswich was FAB-U-LOUS. She finished 70th at Harwich out of 86 women and finished 46th at Ipswich out of 108 women nearly making herself sick as she pushed herself around the course. I think Martin Owen bore the brunt of how hard she worked. Therefore, well done RACHEL GILES, you are the Runner of the Month for January.
Looking forward to seeing you all tomorrow at Cross Country for the last one of the season and would be lovely to see as many of you as possible on Saturday 21 February at the Kings Head in Frating.