…you never know what you’re going to get! And there was (liquorice) all sorts going on in this last week for Great Bentley Running Club.

Staying with the sweet treats first we look to Kent, where a back from injury Paul Blackwell is back to progressing his entry into the 100 Marathon Club.
On June 15th 2016, Blackwell took part in the Cookiethon, completing his marathon in 5:39:33. The run also had some additional competitions alongside the race to complete the most miles in the time… competitors were asked to bring cookies with them and the best were awarded trophies – if there were any left for the run director to try after the marathoners had got to them!
Blackwell then went on to complete the Fudgeathon on June 16th; a celebration of World Fudge Day. Held at the same Kings Wood, Kent location as the previous day; Blackwell was this time joined by Janine Simpson. The pair completed their marathons together in 6:04:05.

[Cookiethon and Fudgeathon medals]

Or if you don’t like sweets, what about cocktails! The Shaken Not Stirred half marathon took place on the 18th of June. Paul Hollidge and Deborah Cubberley ran together, finishing their 3.5 scenic laps of Caldecotte Lake in 2:04:02 and picking up this fantastic piece of hardware:



[Shaken Not Stirred half marathon medal]

Celebrating with some very expensive beer in the Arctic Circle were Andy Stephens, Chusa Bautista Fructuoso and Lee Clarkson. Both Stephens and Fructuoso opted for the Marathon distance at the Midnight Sun event in Tromsø, Norway. Stephens competed his run in 3:33:27th, a personal best time and 48th male finisher. Fructuoso was the 8th female finisher and crossed the line in a personal best time of 3:44:17. She then ran some more: quickly seeking a computer to get her London Marathon GFA entry in before the deadline of 20th June. Wanting to enjoy his trip to Norway with a little more relaxing and slightly less running, Clarkson opted for the half marathon distance. Crossing the line in 1:39:36, Clarkson also achieved a personal best time.

Chusa Fructuoso and Lee Clarkson after Midnight Sun

[Lee Clarkson and Chusa Bautista Fructuoso having completed the Midnight Sun Half Marathon (Lee) and Midnight Sun Marathon (Chusa) in personal best times]

Closer to home, five GBRC members ran in the Capel 5 mile. Representing the ladies, Claire Groves ran a personal best time of 39:04. Charlie Keitch was the first GBRC male home, crossing the line in 32:06. Eric Shaw ran his fastest 5 miles of the year in 41:31. Frank Gardiner followed close behind Shaw, coming home in 43:57 and John Bush completed the GBRC line-up. Having been taken ill whilst out on course, Bush employed a run/walk strategy and managed to soldier on, completing his run in 52:35.

There was also plenty of 5000 meter action this week. 11 GBRC runners were at the Harwich 5k series on Tuesday evening: this race used the handicap system with faster runners being set off later and all runners aiming to beat their handicaps and get home by 8:40pm.

  • Louise Reeve celebrated a race win, crossing the finish line first with a run time of 28:25;
  • Barbara Law ran her fastest 5k of the year, arriving home in 3rd pace with a time of 29:38;
  • Stuart Baggs also finished in the top 10, his time of 28:16 was 45 seconds faster than his handicap and saw him in 8th position;
  • Rita Page knocked 15 seconds off of her time from the previous race, finishing in 36:16;
  • Ray Baggs stopped the clock in 19:20, 20 seconds faster than his handicap;
  • Kevin James followed in 22:29, 2 seconds faster than his previous time on the course this year and equalling his fastest time this year;
  • Alison Clarke was also faster than her previous than her previous attempt in 26:58;
  • Malcolm Jarvis completed the 5000 meters in 21:11, coming home in 78th position;
  • Graham Clarke followed in 79th position with a time of 22:32, which was over 20 seconds faster than his previous attempt;
  • Sandra James finished the course in 32:22; and
  • Dave Nugent completed the GBRC line up, running a time of 43:03.

The official points are yet to be updated after the third race, however some quick maths indicates that for the ladies, Rita Page currently sits in 10th place for the overall series and Louise Reeve in 11th. For the gents, Graham Clarke looks to be 3rd position for the series.

The weekly pilgrimage to parkrun involved four parkruns and 13 club members this week. Louise Upston ran at Basildon, finishing in 27:44 as the 15th lady. Keith Oakley once again took on Ipswich’s course, finishing in 27:41. At Colchester Castle, Malcolm Jarvis led the way for GBRC in 21:18, his fastest time for the castle course this year. The only other male GBRC member at the castle this week was Scott Young, who completed his 5k in 23:58. For the ladies Sue Sorrell ran the course in 29:31; Claudia Keitch in 30:05; and Rebecca Conran volunteered as tail runner, following the last runner home in a time of 1:02:44. Harwich saw the greatest number of GBRC members this week: Colin Farmer debuted on the Harwich course with a 5th position finish in 20:53. Kevin James took Harwich on for the second time in a week, stopping the clock in 22:56. John Bush was the 3rd GBRC male home to the bandstand that morning in 24th position with a time of 29:19. Katy O’leary led the GBRC ladies, finishing in 5th position with a time of 27:27. Belinda Palmer-Barnes slipped in to the top 10 with a 9th position finish and a time of 28:41. Ruth Metcalfe was the 22 female finisher in what was her first time at the Harwich course. She finished in 35:23.

For GBRC’s younger members, Junior parkrun started in Colchester this week. Harrison Leek was the first GBRC member to cross the line of the 2k course. His time was 8:52 and he placed 7th. James Blacker finished in 10:24. 31st position; Ella Simpson was 106th finisher with a time of 15:57; Georgia Willey followed close behind in 108th position and a time of 16:04; and  Elliot Wright stopped the clock in 18:52, 128th position. All five ran in the 10 years or younger category.

Broadening their horizons to sports other than running, we had several members out at triathlon races this week.

At Harwich triathlon on Saturday 18th June, seven GBRC members were out on course, three of which were attempting their first triathlon. The race began with a swim of 400m. This was followed by a bike section of 21.5k and concluded with a run of 5k Michael Simmons placed 25th in an extremely strong first attempt at the sport. Simmons’ time was 1:15:15 overall (Swim: 5:52; Bike: 47:06; Run: 19:30). Lorna Sharp, who was described by her sons as “awesome” as she swam, finished in 46th overall and was the 5th lady. Sharp completed her race in 1:20:55 (S: 6:19; B: 47:58; R: 24:07). Tricia Stacey, Luke Groves and Adrian Cherry ran a close race with all three finishing within three minutes of each other. Stacey completed her race in 1:24:02 (S: 5:47; B: 52:31 ; R: 23:25); Groves finished in 1:25:48 (S: 6:28; B: 50:24 ; R: 25:48); and Cherry, who had been behind the other two by over 4 minutes at the end of the bike section, ran his fastest 5k of 2016, pulling 90 seconds back and finishing in 1:26:33 (S: 8:15; B: 53:27; R: 21:49). Alison Clarke, was also attempting her first triathlon, stopped the clock in 1:40:48 (S: 8:46; B: 1:01:37; R: 27:17) and placed 127th. Linzi Iddon has been waiting to complete her first triathlon for a while, her training having been beset with both knee and back injuries. However this Saturday was finally the day! Iddon completed her race in 2:04:56 (Swim: 11:00; Bike: 1:09:21; Run: 40:42)

[Above: Linzi Iddon; Alison Clarke; Lorna Sharp; Luke Groves; and Adrian Cherry getting ready for their triathlon.
Below: Linzi Iddon with her medal and Adrian Cherry and Luke Groves celebrating with their medals]

At Bury St Edmunds triathlon there was the option of a sprint distance (300m swim; 23k cycle; 5k run) or a sprint+ distance (600m swim, 46k cycle, 10k run). Sam Godden took on the sprint distance, finished in 1:14:09 overall (swim: 5:01; bike: 45:38; run: 21:58) and took the trophy for first lady. Also triumphant was Anna Mills in the sprint+ distance. Mills completed her race in 2:37:30 (swim: 12:43; bike: 1:35:47; run: 47:08)

[Left: Sam Godden receiving her winner’s trophy for the Bury St Edmunds sprint triathlon.
Right: Anna Mills receiving her winner’s trophy for the Bury St Edmunds sprint+ triathlon]

On the Saturday Mills had also participated in the Great East Swim at Alton Water. The swim comprised two miles in open water. Mills finished 123rd out of 284 in a time of 1:07:21.