Hope you are all recovering well from the Christmas festivities and ready for fresh beginnings, and hopefully injury free running in 2016.
Not a lot on races to report from in December, one XC race, my personal favourite so great to see Halstead back on the agenda, a tough course and being the day after our Christmas presentation we were short in numbers with 19 of you taking part, really good to see some newcomers to our team, Andy Stephens, Matthew Jones, Derek Grantham and John Bush, I hope you all enjoyed, and hope you will all be back again at Hadleigh for the 4th race! In the junior race Michael, Harrison and Daniel Day took part with Michael securing his highest ever finishing position, well done boys.
Paul Blackwell notched up another marathon, the Sikhs dawn to dust in Redbridge; that was number 46, unfortunately a dnf on 47 due to course conditions, but just a few days later and 47 was completed at the flitch way on New Year’s Eve joined by Jamie Neill his 3rd time on this course, and Richard Bryant taking on the flat but muddy trail marathon, well done guys.
Boxing day always gets a few of you out for a race, and this time Ray and Stewart Baggs, along with John Bush and Martin West ran the Witham 5, and over at Friday woods, Joe Alexander (14), Dave Wright (17), Russ Sharp (21), Malcolm Jarvis (42)
And Paul Carlisle (48) all took part in the annual mud bath of runners vs riders.
Our annual presentation evening at the red lion provided an opportunity to ditch the trainers and celebrate your successes this year, Congratulations to our winners:
Runner of the year Shawn Leek
Performance of the year Shawn Leek
Vet of the year Clive Thomas
Newcomer of the year John Bush
Most Improved Runner of the year Michael Belton
Club Person of the year Rodger Alexander
Congratulations also to Michael Simmons on completing the CIRF course, 6 months of hard work and dedication, and Michael is now a fully qualified coach.
Two new members have joined us Simon Miller, already familiar with a few of you, joins the 45-49 vets and secured a Bronze standard recently at Colchester Park run, and Richard Moor, brother in-law to Graham Semple, joins the 50-54 vets, with an impressive sub 20 minute park run pb to his name. A very warm welcome to you both and I look forward to catching up with you both in the New Year.
Coming up we have the Hadleigh XC on the 24th January, be great to see a huge Bentley turn out for this one, and if you want some extra XC training Vicky and Ben have arranged another session over at highwoods on the 10th January, do check the website for exact location and time.
With it being the end of another year, I would just like to say a big thank you to some of the men that in my opinion are the heart and soul of this club and whom we all rely on to keep the tradition, and affection associated with Great Bentley going and make me feel very proud to be captain.
Rodger, just doesn’t stop working, assistant race director, trail runs, course set ups, children’s entertainer you name it this man does it for Bentley.
Eric, Godfather to the club, keeps up with all our standards, photographer, XC scorer, and always available to help others out.
John Mckay, he has looked after the clubs finances for many a year now, and we continue to prosper and provide for members, thanks to his dedication to keeping the books in profit.
Michael Simmons, new coach and dedicated to give up his time to ensure we continue to enjoy quality training, a no nonsense approach and loves the club.
Paul Carlisle, loyal club secretary does a sterling job of keeping us all up to date with all that’s going on and is virtually present at every club session.
And finally Russ Sharp, chairman, Race director, has done a fantastic job to steady the ship a few times this year, has Bentley blue running through his vein’s, our half and 5 are very popular and Russ puts a lot of time and effort in to organise both, and his running as well as I’ve seen in my time at the club.
It’s great to see this man back, after some chronic back problems in recent times; he is on a mission right now to complete as many marathons as possible, he doesn’t do plan’s, session’s or gadgets but will just get of bed and run a marathon, 3 last month, 2 and a half completed this month, nicknamed “double hard” he may not be able to run as quick as he use to but he’s lost none of that determination to get the job done and collect another medal.
I wish him every success on his attempt to enter the 100 club and if anyone can, “double hard” can.
Congratulations to Paul Blackwell my Runner of the month.
Happy New Year to you all and I wish you all every success for 2016.