The sun shone for the bank holiday weekend and there were definite signs of an approaching summer: which means 5k season! Saturday saw 19 GBRC members take on the 5000m distance at parkrun, the free, weekly run at parks across the country.

parkruns welcoming Great Bentley runners were: Coventry; Chelmsford; Colchester Castle; Bury St Edmunds; Thetford and Harwich.

At Coventry a mammoth field of 618 runners included for the first time Andy Stephens who finished with a time of 23:15 and took 106th place.

Chelmsford saw Simon Miller fit his 5k in before heading off to work. Miller crossed the line in 21:36.

Meanwhile, GBRC’s local parkrun Colchester Castle welcomed five blue vests onto its course. Sue Sorrell was the first GBRC member home in 28:46; Katy O’Leary was close behind in 29:01; John Ferdinand bagged yet another personal best with a time of 34:20; Luke Groves finished in 37:44; and Rebecca Conran volunteered as tail runner, stopping the clock in 57:53 as the 390th finisher.

Bury St Edmunds saw Chusa Bautista Fructuoso finish in 26:01 and Lee Clarkson follow her home with a time of 26:46; both were attempting the Bury course for the first time.

Thetford parkrun experienced a GBRC invasion: the result of the club having an ‘activity weekend’ at nearby Thorpe Adventure Centre. Benjamin Ficken was the first member to finish and was the 5th male home in a time of 18:53; Malcolm Jarvis, the 20th male home, stopped the clock in 21:17; Meera Rajoo-Oakley found her time of 21:33 good enough for her to be the 2nd lady home; Paul Hollidge ran the 5000m course in 23:18; Caroline Searle came home in 25:55, her fastest parkrun of 2016; Deborah Cubberley, also with a best time of the year so far finished 27:45; Helene Tyler completed the mixed-terrain course in 30:08; and John Bush completed the Thetford line up, finishing in 30:58.

Harwich welcomed just two GBRC members. Matthew Jones achieved a personal best time of 21:36 and Antoinette Wilson, also with a personal best for the course, was the first lady finisher in 24:23.

Sunday saw Luke Groves, along with Adrian Cherry and Natalie Stewart rise with the sun take on the Saffron Walden Triathlon. Stewart finished the three disciplines (four if you count getting changed in transition a discipline) in 1:33:39, the 27th female overall and 3rd in her age category. Groves and Cherry ran a close race with Groves ahead at the start of the run. Cherry however covered the 5k that bit faster than Groves to finish in 1:41:52 to Groves’ 1:43:30.
The race comprised a swim of 400m; a bike of 23k; and a run of 5k.

Luke, Natalie, Ade

Bank Holiday Monday brought more sunshine and slightly warm running conditions for those out at the Witham May Day 5 mile event. Colin Farmer was the first GBRC member home in 35:01, just missing out on a top 100 finish and placing 109th; Graham Clarke was not far behind, finishing in 35:56. Scott Young stopped the clock in 38:21, to be followed in by Katy O’Leary who achieved a personal best time of 40:10. Shortly after, Chusa Bautista Fructuoso and Lee Clarkson crossed the line together in 40:55. John Bush once again completed the GBRC field, completing his five miles in 50:23m his fastest time over the distance this year.


Meanwhile Mark Crittenden broke the hour at the Bobby Moore Foundation 10k at the Queen Elizabeth Park. Crittenden finished in 59:05.


Also on Bank Holiday Monday Paul Blackwell took on another of the Saxon-Vikings-Normans challenges: the cakeathon. Laps of 4.37 miles punctuated by cake eating. Blackwell completed 5 laps, clocking 21.85 miles in 4 hours 36 minutes and 27 seconds and picking up another fantastic piece of bling!


And last but definitely not least: Belfast city marathon was also held on 2 May 2016 using a route that takes in north, south, east and west of the city. Jonathan Tither represented GBRC, finishing in 4:28:40.