And what have you done? parkrun of course!
parkruns were available on both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day meaning that an impressive 53 GBRC performances were recorded at weekly 5000m events this weekend.
Unique to Christmas Eve were Mersea Island parkrun, Clacton Seafront parkrun and Banbury parkrun. Martin Owen took on Banbury for the first time, finishing in 26:29. Meanwhile at Mersea Island Geraldine Springett clocked an personal best 5000m with a time of 24:55. Joining Springett at Mersea Island were Matt Jones who stopped the clock in 22:22; Scott Young, with a time of 23:19; Luke Groves (accompanied by Meatball the Labrador) who finished in 25:39; Claudia Keitch with a time of 28:51; Charlie Keitch, testing his 18th parkrun course, who crossed the line as 15th finisher in 20:55; and three of the Booty family: John Booty crossed the line in 23:58 whilst Harry and Hallie Booty ran together, finishing in 37:08 and 37:09 respectively.
Nine blue vests were running at Clacton Seafront where Patrick Reynolds was the fifth finisher in a personal best time for the course of 21:01. Reynolds was followed by Kevin James in 22:58. Graham Clarke, who was attempting the course for the first time, crossed the line in 23:31; Brian Telford ran close behind Clarke in a time of 23:48; and Robert Thorpe completed the gents representation at the Seafront in a time of 30:27. First home for the GBRC ladies at Clacton was Alison Clarke in a time of 29:34; Davina Swindell followed in 30:04; Sandra James came home in 37:49; and Claire Reynolds finished in 39:41.
Blue vests were only seen at Forest of Dean parkrun on Christmas Day where Luke Groves and faithful Meatball were accompanied by Claire Groves. The trio were taking on the course for the first time with Luke Groves finishing just ahead of Claire, times were 29:16 and 30:04 respectively.
[The Groves family at Forest of Dean parkrun]
Also saved for Christmas Day this week was Junior parkrun which saw Harrison Leek as first finisher in a time of 8:24. Yasmin Leek was also out on the course, she finished in 18:15; and Rufus Keitch crossed the line in 13:35 to find free sweets awaiting him.
Having double doses of Bentley members this week were Basildon parkrun, Colchester Castle parkrun and Harwich parkrun.
At Basildon on Christmas Eve Jack Wicks and Louise Upston finished in 25:14 and 30:28 respectively. The pair were then joined on Christmas Day by first time runner Bramble the dog to run together in a time of 31:41.
[Louise Upston with Bramble and their special medal awarded from a friend to commemorate them running on Christmas Day]
Harwich parkrun doubled its catch of GBRC runners on Christmas Day. Two blue vests ran the course on Saturday: Richard Moor with a 6th place finish in a time of 20:36; and Antoinette Wilson with a personal best time for the course of 23:51. Wilson then returned on Christmas day with a run of 24:21. She was joined by Kevin James who crossed the line in 22:47; Sandra James with a time of 35:39; and first time Harwich attendee Graham Clarke who stopped the clock on 23:11.
Colchester Castle proved Christmas Eve’s most popular destination (perhaps something to do with the mulled wine being dished out at the finish line). 11 Bentley Runners completed the course on the 24th of December: first home was Malcolm Jarvis in 21:31 (he repeated the feat the next day with a time of 21:27). He was followed by Anna Mills in 23:00; Lorna Sharp with a time of 24:52; Andy Stephens in 25:21; Frank Gardiner in 27:25; Deborah Cubberley who stopped the clock in 27:51; Paul Hollidge who followed Cubberley and finished in 27:52; Belinda Palmer-Barnes in a time of 29:17; Sue Sorrell in 30:16; a strengthening John Bush who finished in 31:10; and a back from injury Helene Tyler in 32:56.
Following Jarvis home on Christmas Day were Meera Rajoo-Oakley with a time of 22:46; Anna Mills and Andy Stephens who ran together and crossed the line in 23:56 and 23:58 respectively; the pairing of Deborah Cubberley and Paul Hollidge who once again crossed the line together in 28:25; John Bush in a time of 31:25; Helene Tyler who improved on the previous day to finish in 32:28; Belinda Palmer-Barnes in a time of 35:00; and Ruth Metcalfe who stopped the clock in 37:49.
[Paul Hollidge and Deborah Cubberley on Christmas Day at Colchester Castle parkrun]