How many hills?

Kim Chatting who represents the club from Switzerland (!) ran the Jussy half marathon on Saturday evening.  The run took place after a day of heavy rain which provided some interesting footing on the partially off road race fortunately the rain abated about half an hour before the race started.  Kim completed the 21k route in 1:49:47 just 28 seconds off her course personal best (PB) which was set some 5 years ago.  This time placed her 8th in the female V1 category and earned her a club silver standard.  Adding to the fun is the fact that the race has a theme this year it was “heaven and hell” with angels on zip wires and fire eaters in some of the forest areas.  If any of you fancy something a bit different next September this race comes high recommended.

Sunday saw a swarm of blue take on 3 or maybe 4 hills (Charlie Keitch may have the answer to this one!) around the picturesque Essex countryside participating in the Dedham 10k race. The hills didn’t stop PB’s being posted by both Paul Davison (41:54) and Sarah Fletcher (47:25); whilst Marion Simmons posted a course PB in 51:28. Charlie Keitch was aiming for sub 40 minutes but got caught out by the unexpected (to him) 4th hill to finish in    40:40.  The men’s blue vests at Dedham were Michael Simmons 42:27, Ray Baggs 42:30, Richard Moor 45:17, Kevin James 47:22, Frank Gardiner 50:58 and Darren Willey    57:07. The ladies were represented by Eileen Shadford 48:44, Davina Swindell   55:38, Anthea Colsell   57:07, Sandra James 1:10:15 and Rita Page 1:14:23.

After recent ultra running performances at the club it was good to see John Booty out running again, this time it was the wonderfully named Chiltern Wonderland race. This was a 50 mile course that included a small matter of a 5800 feet of ascent which John completed in 11:15:14. Sunday also saw a couple of our runners undertaking the Only Fools and Horses event at Stratford. This had a 4 and 8 mile option which included obstacles normally used to challenge our four legged friends; both John Bush and Ben Finken completed the untimed 8 mile route. Over at nearby Ipswich Lee Clarkson and Gary Parker undertook the more conventional half marathon which includes the gruelling Constitution Hill not one but twice, Gary completed the 13.1miles in 1:39:10 whilst Lee who is training for his “main event” at Pleshey finished in 1:48:36.

Paul Blackwell’s quest for 100 marathons took in another couple of stops this week. Over in Ramscombe Paul did the “Beerathon” marathon which saw him complete 7 laps of the course during which a bell would ring and the competitors had to open a beer and have a drink (for good measure a beer was also consumed after every lap). Unfortunately Paul had to drive afterwards so was restricted to a few sips each time. Paul was joined by Rebecca Conran, who is in marathon training, for the Roald Dahl run at Samphire Hoe on Thursday. Paul completing 7, 3.8 mile laps and Rebecca 5 for which they collected possibly the biggest medal ever!

[The rather small Roald Dahl medal modelled by a proper size human hand!]

Saturday is Parkrun day this week’s tourism was undertaken by Jack Wicks (26:52) and Louise Upston (29:15) who ran the 5k route at Rotherham whilst Matt Jones (21:50) donned his off road trainers to complete the undulating and grassy run at Bury St Edmunds. Colchester Parkrun had a deluge of blue this week taking on the slightly altered route in castle park. The Preslands had a family affair this week seeing Vicky (21:25), Phil (22:43), Katie (25:44) and Milly in a PB of 21:50 all running. The blue vest finishers were Ben Finken (19:19), Lee Clarkson (20:57), Meera Rajoo-Oakley (22:08), Claire Groves (23:38), Andy Stephens (25:25), Rebecca Conran (26:29), Debs Cubberley (27:36), Paul Hollidge (27:37), Claudia Keitch (28:38), Scott Young (28:41), Alison Clarke (28:45), Caroline Searle (30:01), John Bush (30:53), Luke Groves (32:55), John Ferdinand (32:32) and Ruth Metcalf (36:58). Over at Harwich Malcolm Jarvis must have felt a bit lonely after the recent turnouts from GBRC at this course, saw him complete the windy prom run in 20:41.