FROM KENT TO KILIMANJARO

GBRC members ranged far and wide to get their race action this week, donning their blue vests and representing the club in five English counties … oh and in Tanzania, Africa!

Friday was what is known as ‘Marathon Day’: the 26th of the 2nd. Both Janine Simpson and Paul Blackwell chose to celebrate Marathon Day with a 26.2 mile jaunt in Deal, Kent. This was Simpsons 29th attempt at the marathon distance and she completed the 5 laps of 5.24 miles in 4:46:37. Blackwell completed the course in 4:56:16 and this was not the only marathon he ran this week…

Yes, Paul Blackwell was out again on Sunday 28th February, completing a further 26.8 miles in the Theory of Relativity marathon. This course, also in Kent, comprised out-and-back laps of 6.7 miles and celebrated the 100th anniversary of the general theory of relativity having been published. Described as a boring course by the organisers, the advice they give is to “think about the medal”; and it really is a great piece of bling!

29.2 Blackwell medal 2

Blackwell completed the 26.8 miles in 5:15:39.

Also out attempting the longer distance were Rodger Alexander and Paul Carlisle. Running together as a team Paul and Rodger took on the New Forest Challenge where entrants are provided with only a set of grid references. Armed with a compass, a pencil, a cup (to use for water along the way), and an ordinance survey map; competitors must find their way through a series of checkpoints and back to Burley village hall where the challenge began. The pair completed their challenge in 5 hours 45 minutes and clocked a total of 28.5 miles having strayed from the ‘ideal’ route a few times.

Further down on the south coast, Katy O’Leary completed the Brighton half marathon. In its 26th year this popular half marathon attracts runners from all over the country with a course that journeys along the seafront and back passing landmarks such as Brighton Pier, the Lanes and the Royal Pavilion. O’Leary placed 478 out of 3800 ladies with a time of 1:49:18.

Closer to home, seven GBRC members travelled across the border to Suffolk, running in the Tarpley 10 and 20.

Attempting the 10 mile course were Karen Skene, Natalie Stewart and John Bush. Skene was the first of the three across the finish line, stopping the clock at 1:23:21. Stewart must have had Skene in her sights for most of the second half as she was close behind finishing in 1:25:19, a minute improvement on her 10 mile time set at Hadleigh back in November. Bush completed the 10 miles in 1:44:01, a personal best performance by a massive 7 minutes and three seconds.

Attempting the 20 mile course were Alison Clarke, Deborah Cubberley, Paul Hollidge and Matthew Jones. Jones broke the three-hour mark finishing in 2:55:03, a promising performance with Brighton marathon just around the corner for him. Hollidge accompanied Cubberley on her first attempt at the 20 mile distance, the pair crossing the line together in 3:14:17. Clarke completed the GBRC representation in Tarpley, also with a first time attempt at the distance, and setting a strong benchmark for the future with a time of 3:35:13.

Closer to home, GBRC was once again represented at two local parkruns, Colchester Castle and Harwich.

At Harwich, Richard Moor took 4th place with a course personal best of 20:04. Sandra James also bagged herself a personal best with a time of 32:04. Kevin James finished with Sandra in 32:05.

Over at Colchester Castle Jamie Beadle returned from injury and managed to complete the 5000m in 21:42, his first attempt at the course in 5 months. Also returning from injury was Leoni Harvey with a time of 30:39. Other GBRC members at Colchester Castle were Adrian Cherry (24:57), Luke Groves (41:00) and new GBRC member John Ferdinand who completed the course in 39:14, a personal best time by 62 seconds.

Heading out of the UK and into warmer climes, Andy Stephens celebrated his completion of the Kilimanjaro Half Marathon with a cold can of Kilimanjaro Premium Larger.

Andy Kili Half 1

In its 14th year, this half marathon skirts the base of Mount Kilimanjaro and is accompanied by a full marathon and 5000m fun run. Stephens completed his run in a respectable 1:51:47 and must have had quite a different experience from running at the extremely windy GBRC half marathon just four weeks ago.

And now for something a little different…

This weekend saw Davina Swindell, along with Charlie the dog, complete the fourth and final event of the winters Colchester Canicross 5k series. This event involved a flat 5k course and required team effort between human and dog. Canisport involves taking part in runs, bike rides and other sports whilst accompanied by your dog.

Canisport 1Canisport 2