Not much fun without the sun

Weather wise it was a gloomy start to the racing weekend. However that did nothing to deter the three teams representing Great Bentley as Harwich RC hosted the 2015 Essex Championship 5k Road Relay. Bentley babes Lesley Fuller, Tricia Stacey and Debs Cubberley produced a fine trio of times, 25.15, 25.02 and 28.07 respectively, Stacey earning herself a silver standard. The boys of Bentley fielded two teams. Rodger Alexander 20.02,Paul Carlisle 21.20 and Clive Thomas 19.22 came storming home narrowly missing out on 3rd place in the male 50 category. Malcolm Jarvis, Andy Fuller and Des Bishop were 6th overall in a collective time of 1.06:57 
Clearly forgetting to pack it’s sunglasses, British summer time arrived on the morning of Colchester’s 5th half marathon. Wet and windy conditions made the going tough on what is generally considered a challenging course. Plenty of blue, PB’s and standards were to be had.  
Men’s captain Chris Warren led the gents home in a time of 1.19:48, giving him twelfth place overall in a field of over 1900 runners. Paul Hollidge just missed out on a silver with a new PB of 1.36:45. Mike Belton 1.39:46 bronze standard, Scott Young 1.47:58 PB. Despite suffering cramp, Kevin James bagged a gold standard in 1.41:58.
The ladies outnumbered the men today with Anna Mills leading the way. Picking up a silver club standard and a PB in 1.41:05 knocking a huge chunk off her previous time. Next home was Alison Day 1.44:30 which too gave her a PB and silver standard. Michelle Parry running alongside ladies captain Vicky Presland narrowly missed a gold standard but gained a PB of 1.48:03. Ladies also achieving PB’s and standards were Emma Goodman 1.48:48, Emma Town 1.51:57, Natalie Stewart 1.53:59, Chusa Batis 1.55:11, Claire Fathers 2.01:37, Sinead Burgoyne 2.02:16 and Lindsey Wilson 2.03:15. Almost ten minutes faster than last year was Bee Palmer Barnes in 2.13:56, just missing out on her silver standard. 
Making her debut at this distance and paced by Darren Horner was Rachel Giles who came away with an impressive 1.49:35 just shy of a gold standard. Claudia Keitch also ran her first half in 1.58:47 
Still recovering from the Essex 20 and training for their marathons were Luke Groves 2.15:18 and Linzi Liddon 2.28:19 
Other runners were Claire Groves, Lesley Fuller, Debs Cubberley, Lex and Willow Carlisle, Janine Simpson, Charlie Keitch, Jamie Neill, Scott Crawley, Barry Jarvis, Gary Hill, Graham “Dusty” Miller, Marc Crittenden, John Bush and John McKay. 
Both Caroline Searle and Helene Tyler travelled away to compete in the Liverpool and Port of Dover half marathons. Helene battled against atrocious rain and wind to finish in 2.26, Caroline gaining a new PB of 2.01:10. 
Andy Horlock and Michael Sommerlad stayed closer to home competing in the Braintree 5 mile with times of 45.47 and 1.10:20 respectively.