No midweek action known about this week so we start with Saturday morning and the GBRC runners out at parkrun.

At Colchester Castle parkrun six GBRC men braved the cold. Led home by Richard Moor, who bagged a top 10 finish in 20:02, were Jamie Beadle (21:33); Phil Presland, enjoying his first parkrun in months following an achilles injury (25:07); Paul Hollidge (28:23); Scott Young (29:45); and John Ferdinand with a personal best time of 38:31.

The ladies were also represented: Meera Rajoo-Oakley finished in 23:35; followed by Deborah Cubberley (28:16); Claudia Keitch (29:43); and Ruth Metcalfe (37:20).

At Harwich parkrun Matthew Knowles was the second runner home overall with a personal best time for the course of 20:04. Matthew Jones was the next GBRC member home, also bagging a personal best, in 22:05. Malcolm Jarvis (22:28); Kevin James (23:19) and Sandra James (33:40) completed the GBRC line-up.

Sunday 6th of March saw Paul Blackwell in action once again, wading through mud to complete another marathon in and around the infamous Box Hill in Surrey.

Sunday was also the day of popular local event the Essex 20. The 20 mile road race comprises three laps of North East Essex, which means runners get to experience all of those ‘undulations’ in triplicate. The race forms part of the Essex Road Running Championships where Essex-based runners can compete throughout the year over various distances.

Great Bentley Running Club had eight runners taking on the challenging course on a chilly but dry morning:

  • First home in a blue vest was Vicky Presland. Stopping the clock at 2:23:23, Vicky knocked 7 minutes off of her previous personal best for the distance and becomes the fastest female member of GBRC over the 20 mile distance of all time. Vicky placed 107th overall, and was the 16th lady across the line.
  • Dave Goldsmith led the way for the GBRC men, finishing in 2:25:36, placing 116th overall and slipping into the top 100 male finishers at 99th.
  • Despite a bout of cramp in mile 17, Charlie Keitch finished within sight of Goldsmith in 2:26:40; in 120th overall (103rd male) and looks to be on form for Manchester marathon next month.
  • Eileen Shadford finished as 30th lady in a time of 2:39:41, a personal best run that took the Essex Bronze for the F45 category. Shadford is now the 5th fastest female member of GBRC for the distance.
  • Lee Clarkson finished the course in 2:57:34, five minutes faster than his 2015 attempt. Placing 266th overall, Clarkson was the 202nd male finisher.
  • Having ran much of the course with Clarkson, Chusa Bautista Fructuoso finished hot on his heels in 2:58:47. As the 273rd  person to cross the line overall and 67th female, Fructuoso took 7 minutes off of her time set for the course in 2015.
  • Jennifer Aylen put in a strong performance in advance of her London Marathon in April. Finishing in 2:59:22, Aylen placed 277th overall and was the 69th lady across the line.
  • Rounding off the GBRC finishers was Karen Skene. With a goal time of three hours, Skene paced her run to perfection, placing 279th overall (71st female) and stopping the clock at 2:59:58.

A mention should also go to Andy Fuller and Shawn Leek, who whilst not competing in the 20 mile race, were out on course as pacemakers, helping the GBRC team achieve their goals.