An unusual start to the race report this week, as Tuesday started things off. A healthy twenty six members of the Bentley crew crossed the border to take part in the Harwich 5k series. After a dismal start to the day weather wise, the sun broke through to accompany some very windy conditions for all runners to contend with. Lots of good times were laid down for the first race. Some of the runners who wish to be named were: Ade Cherry, Brian Telford, Scott Young, Andy Fuller, Charlie Keitch, Gary Hill, Claire Groves, Lesley Fuller, Vicky Law, Luke Groves, Debs Cubberley, Sandra James and Michael Sommerlad. A special mention goes to James Blacker, who made Vicky Law a very proud Mum as he won the junior one mile event, congratulations James!
GBRC prepared themselves for a very busy weekend of racing, competing in several events across the region. Colchester 10k, Alton Water 10k and The Halstead & Essex Marathon which were all staged on Sunday.
Much of the club turned out for this years Colchester 10k. This recently renamed charity event mainly supports The Army Benevolent Fund and is always very popular. First home for the lads was Mike Belton, gaining a bronze standard in 43 minutes 34 seconds. Eileen Shadford who has recently returned to running after a long term injury finished in 49m 15s. Marion Simmons, being expertly paced by her husband Michael to a PB and gold standard time of 50m 8s. Both Gary Hill and Caroline Searle produced new personal best times of 49m 38s and 53m 46s respectively. Collecting another club standard, this time silver in colour with a fine time of 56m 43s was Bee Palmer Barnes. Claudia Keitch who was racing this distance for the very first time claimed a sub hour with 57m 23s. Other runners were Mark Ross, Graham Clarke, Kevin Stevens ,Anna Mills, Des Bishop, Frank Gardiner, Debs Cubberley, Keith Oakley, John Bush, Sandra James and Linzi Iddon. Fantastic to see Michael Sommerlad (1hr 22m 17s) still racing at the handsome age of eighty two. True Bentley spirit showed as both Charlie Keitch (1hr 21m 27s and Helene Tyler (1 hr 1m 52s) sacrificed their races to come to the aid of another runner.
Another 10k event to share “Super Sunday” is held at the Alton Water reservoir. Runners from across the Essex and Suffolk region take in beautiful scenery on this multi terrain course. Returning to defend last year’s title was Men’s Captain Chris Warren. Chris, this year was pipped to the finishing line by some superb running which separated the first four by just eighty seconds! Rachel Giles, first home for the ladies bagged herself a gold standard with a time of 48m 17s(PB). Also running was Claire Groves. Overall Claire was 34th out of the 213 ladies taking part, obtaining a bronze standard and a new PB with 52m 34s. Husband Luke Groves also earned himself a new PB in 1hr 1m 17s. Other’s were Lindsey Willson, Marc Crittenden, Louise Reeve and Peter Reeve.
They say that only mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun, well that’s precisely what four men and four woman from GBRC did. All eight, who were competing in this year’s Essex Championships took to the winding streets and hills of Halstead and it’s surrounding villages. Voted 3rd best marathon in the UK, Halstead Running Club has enticed many a runner over the last twenty one years. The course is without doubt a challenging one and twenty six miles is never to be belittled. The temperature which peaked at nineteen degrees coupled with the hills made for an interesting run. Paul Carlisle was home first for the club with a time of 3hrs 52m 33s. Next across the line was Steph Horner, gaining a new PB by 1 hr 9m. A time of 4hrs 0m 46s saw Steph achieve a silver club standard and an Essex Championship bronze medal. Barbara Law, choosing this event to probably be her last marathon, not only attained another Essex Championship gold medal but also obtained a rare and precious diamond standard. Clive Thomas, 4hrs 0m 55s. generously put his own race to one side and helped bring others home safely. Emma Town, looking fresh despite the difficult conditions came away with 4hrs 23m 13s. Racing this distance for the first time was the club’s coach Darren Horner, struggling with the heat and cramp Horner made it back in a respectable time of 4hrs 32m 13s. Next in was Miriam Mark, a solid performance from Mark produced 4hrs 37m 42s. John McKay completed the line up in 5hrs 7m 28s.