Race Against The Sun

This week’s race report starts in Ipswich on Friday evening where ten Bentley runners participated in the Twilight 10k in Ipswich. The event is now in its second year and was highly rated by club members who took part in the inaugural event. The flat course was run through the town centre and started at 7:30 pm with runners challenged to cross the finish line before sunset.

Great Bentley runners at the Twilight 10k

Great Bentley runners at the Twilight 10k

Alison Clarke (56:35), Louise Upston (57:52), Jack Wicks (51:37), Rebecca Conran (53:26) all achieved PBs. Rebecca’s time was a PB by a remarkable 3:54. Charlie Keitch broke 40 minutes, finishing in 39:51, his fastest 10k in two years, even though glute issues required that he ‘kept it steady’.

Gemma Colling continued her recent run of good form, finishing in 55:20. Gary Hill started faster than he intended and paid for it in the final mile. Despite the positive split his time of 52:22 was 2:16 faster than his time at the same event last year. Frank Gardiner (49:38), John Bush (60:25) and Belinda Palmer-Barnes (60:25) were the other Bentley runners.

Gary Hill digging deep.

Gary Hill digging deep.

Saturday morning started as every other Saturday morning does, with flocks of Bentley runners participating in a variety of parkruns across the country. Several were run on tired legs as some runners couldn’t resist the Saturday morning 5k, even after racing the Ipswich Twilight 10k the night before.

At Colchester Castle parkrun club chairman Russ Sharp made a rare appearance at the undulating course and was first finisher in a very respectable 17:58. Rich Moor was next across the line in 20:11. Rebecca Conran was one of the runners on tired legs after the Twilight 10k. She managed 27:31 with Meera Rajoo-Oakley (27:32) keeping her company. Also running together were Claudia Keitch and Scott Young (both 29:31).

There was quite a Bentley turnout at Harwich parkrun this weekend. Harwich regular Malcolm Jarvis was the first Bentley runner home when he achieved a course PB with a time of 20:28. Andy Stephens ran for only the second time at Harwich parkrun and followed up his 23:52 5k with a 26k run to Manningtree train station! John Bush was another club member still recovering from the Twilight 10k, but he still came in sub-30 with a time of 29:44.

Five other Bentley runners took park at Harwich: Paul Hollidge (22:17), Kevin James (22:36), Katy O’Leary (28:56), Sandra James (33:35) and Claire Reynolds (36:50). Slightly further afield, three Great Bentley Running Club members took part in Maldon Prom parkrun. Claire Groves was third female finisher in 23:15. Simon Miller ran a course PB of 21:17. Luke Groves ran with pet dog Meatball and they finished in 28:56.

This week's Bentley representation at Maldon Prom parkrun.

This week’s Bentley representation at Maldon Prom parkrun.

There was a lot of parkrun tourism this weekend. Sue Wright ran Swindon parkrun in 30:52. Caroline Searle ran Lymington Woodside parkrun in 27:00. In an unusual turn of events the run was restarted after less than a third of a mile because a marshal sent the leaders in the wrong direction! Caroline took the run easy as she had a crick in her neck, which the gentle run cured.

Liz and Matt Jones were on the Sussex coast this weekend and decided to try a relatively new parkrun venue at Worthing, which was hosting just its eighth event. The route was a pancake flat out and back along the promenade. There was a cool sea breeze on the way out, which was sorely missed on the way back on that hot morning. But despite the conditions Liz managed a 5k PB by 19 seconds when she ran 28:28. Matt ran 21:37, his third fastest parkrun to date.

Opting for a Saturday marathon over a 5k was Paul Blackwell who ran the Phoenix Summer Marathon. The route consisted of four times out and back along a 10.5k length of the Thames Embankment. Despite the unbroken sunshine and hot conditions, Paul completed his 80th marathon and moved several thousand steps closer to joining the 100 club.

An unusually quiet Sunday for the club this weekend with no senior runners reporting any races. The juniors were in action though with Caitlyn Hughes (12:49), Megan Hughes (11:01), Chloe Iddon (18:03), Harrison Leek (8:57), Yasmin Leek (17:46), Rufus Keitch (14:27), Connor Sharp (16:49) and Charlie Sharp (12:58) taking park in Colchester junior parkrun. That concludes this week’s race report. Next week promises to be eventful with several of you taking part in Spitfire Scramble. Happy training.