It was a weekend of PBs… yes Pooch Bests! At Fido’s Forest Frenzy in Thetford a doggy dash over 10,000 metres took place. Luke Groves ran with Meatball; Davina Swindell was accompanied by the experienced Charlie; and John Booty was joined by Zara, all taking on 10k of forest trail. Zara finished with Booty in 48:41; Groves and Meatball followed in 51:57 and Charlie brought Swindell home in 58:29.

[Meatball and proud owner Luke Groves after Meatball’s pooch best]meaty

Also running with a four-legged friend was Ben Ficken. Running the Mersea Island parkrun with Janice in tow a time of 20:41 saw Ficken as fifth finisher, bagged him a personal best for the course and awarded Janice with her very own pooch best.

Other parkruns enjoying visits from blue-vests were Harwich, Cambridge, Clacton Seafront, Colchester Castle, Basildon and Colchester junior.

Two GBRC ladies took on Harwich, Antoinette Wilson finished in a time of 23:50 and Cherie Hipkins stopped the clock in 31:10.

At Basildon Louise Upston finished in 31:38, whilst Rebecca Conran took on the Cambridge course for the first time and ran her 5000m in 28:12.

At Colchester Castle parkrun Hien Hoang ran with Jack Wicks. Hoang, who had not been out on the course since July 2014 finished in 27:34, meanwhile Wicks, following her home, stopped the clock in 27:39: a 25 second personal best. Parkrun regulars were also out with Rich Moor being the first Bentley back in a time of 20:17. Lee Clarkson and Anna Mills finished next in 24:27 and 24:47 respectively. Also braving the icy Colchester paths were Paul Hollidge and Deborah Cubberley who arrived back to the bandstand in 27:57 and 27:58.

Clacton Seafront saw eight club members testing themselves against the chill. Attempting the course for the first time was Belinda Palmer-Barnes, who laid down a time of 29:15. Not doing her first attempt of the route, but managing to run the whole way for the first time was Emma Welham in 40:16. John bush was also back running with a personal best time for the Clacton course of 32:14. Completing the parkrun lineup for the ladies was Sandra James in a time of 37:37. Husband Kevin James had not waited for her this week as he finished in 23:08, just ahead of Scott Young who recorded a time of 23:11. Brian Telford finished in 23:55 and first across the line for GBRC was Patrick Reynolds in 21:20.

At Sunday’s Colchester junior parkrun was Rufus Keitch. Keitch completed his 20th junior parkrun in a time of 13:22.

John bush was also out on Sunday at the Finsbury Park 10k. His time of 1:07:08 marks another step on the road to recovery after having surgery on his legs. The course involved four laps of what is usually the Finsbury Park parkrun course, which in itself is known to be a little hilly.

[John Bush enjoying his return to running]john

The Windsor Winter Half Marathon saw Gary Hill finish in 2:03:17. The race is described as a popular way to burn off those Christmas excesses. Not commenting on his Christmas excesses, Hill did note that the first lap was quite nice, however by the fourth lap the course was getting a bit boring.

[brrrr! Even the medal looks cold at the Windsor Winter Half]

Doubling up his marathon efforts this weekend was Paul Blackwell with the Hugin Challenge marathon and the Winter Ranscombe Challenge. That brings Blackwell’s total to 116. Both of these marathons were lap events, with a thick fog adding to the mix at the Hugin challenge.

[Two lots of bling for Paul Blackwell this week. The Ranscombe Challenge is put on each season with the medals forming a wheel if you collect them all]


And finally we look away from the blue vests and towards the green of Colchester Harriers as we celebrate achievements of those who are of course Bentley blue at heart. On Saturday Milly Presland ran in the Essex Schools cross country championship. Placing 6th results in Milly being invited to run in the National Schools cross country championships. The Essex Schools XC was held at Hilly Fields in Colchester.