Early racing this week as Bentley popped over to running neighbours, Harwich. A total of seventeen club members turned out for the penultimate race of this 5k series. Just like our own Micky Edwards, this is a handicapped series, meaning the swifter the runner the later they start. Some good running by all was witnessed on Tuesday. Both Caroline Searle, 24 minutes 56 seconds (5th) and Paul Hollidge 21m 5s (11th) put in fine performances. Some of the other runners were Scott Young, Keith Oakley, Ben Ficken, Ray Baggs, Louise Reeve, Debs Cubberley and Sandra James. Meera Rajoo Oakley, achieved a fantastic time of 21m 51s and was the fastest lady on the night. The results of these types of series always look like a jigsaw puzzle until the final results are in. Currently the Men’s overall standings show a little Bentley competition hotting up between Graham Clarke and Kevin James. One second currently separates them, both are presently in the top ten. The final race will be held on Tuesday 28th July when all will be revealed.
Sunday saw the Bentley charabanc fuelled for its annual run out to Woodbridge, Suffolk for Ekiden. Great Bentley have a club tradition of participating in this event, organised by Ipswich Running Club. JAFFA have staged this, the only UK event for over twenty years. Last year was a record entry, attracting seniors and juniors from all over the region. The very first Ekiden was raced in 1917 and it celebrated the transferral of the Japanese capital city of Kyoto to Tokyo. It covered a distance of 508 kilometres (315.65 miles) and took three days to complete. The modern-day distance is a minor 26.2 miles, covered by teams of six. Each member will complete either 5k, 7.2k or 10k, handing the imaginary “tasuki” sash to the next runner. A total of ten teams from GBRC took part and one junior team this year consisting of Harrison Leek, 8m 15s, Michael Oates, 8m 30s, Ben Lyon, 9m 22s and Megan Hughes, 9m 43s. Due to a technological failure, some individual and team times are incorrect so unable to publish.
Also racing on Sunday over at Felstead were Luke Groves, Gary Hill and Claire Groves. This 10k course is known to be generally flat and fast with some gentle undulations, all on road around country lanes. For Bentley, Gary Hill was first home in 52m 21s. Nineteen seconds behind was Claire Groves, 52m 40s. Fanstatic result for husband Luke, his first 10k under the hour with a great time of 58m 31s. Once again John Bush took himself away from home soil and ran the British 10k in London. Official results are yet to be published but watch time showed 1 hour 3 minutes 1 second.