Relays, Season’s Bests and Fancy Dress

It was a relatively quiet week for Great Bentley Running Club members at our local parkruns. Clacton Seafront was this week’s most popular parkrunning destination, with eight Bentley shirts toeing the line on the promenade. Ray Baggs was the first club member to finish when he ran a sub-20 minute 5k on the Clacton route for the second week in succession. Ray stopped the clock in 19:50, a time good enough to earn him a second position finish.

Sandra James (33:49) ran a new course PB. Sandra’s husband, Kevin James, completed the course in 23:53. Kevin was closely followed by Brian Telford (23:57), just four seconds back. Next across the line was Sandra and Kevin’s son-in-law, Patrick Reynolds (24:36). Davina Swindell (40:08), Robert Thorpe (28:16) and Scott Crawley (23:04) completed the Bentley representation.

This week just three club members took on the hills of Colchester Castle parkrun. Andy Stephens was first across the line with a time of 23:14. Andy was followed by Jack Wicks and Luke Groves who finished in 28:15 and 28:18 respectively. At Mersea Island parkrun, Geraldine Springett was third female finisher in a time of 26:47. This achievement made all the more impressive by the fact that she was pushing a double buggy for the first lap! Further afield Paul Connell completed Maldon Prom parkrun in 20:44.

Before the dust had fully settled from Saturday morning’s parkruns several teams of Bentley runners were warming up for a different 5k event. The annual Essex Road Relay Race is currently hosted by Harwich Runners and each runner completes 5k before passing the baton. Seven teams of Great Bentley runners entered the event.

In the female vet-45 race the team of Marion Simmons (24:20), Sue Thomas (27:34) and Eileen Shadford (22:56) finished a very solid seventh place with a combined time of 1:14:48. As well as being a great team performance, Eileen’s time earned her a place in this year’s club champs as well as a second diamond standard in as many weeks following her sterling effort at the Colchester Half Marathon.

The female open race also saw a Bentley team finishing in seventh place. The team consisted of Sam Godden (20:46), Debs Cubberley (25:28, PB) and Meera Rajoo-Oakley (22:11), who finished in a combined time of 1:08:24. Finishing in ninth place in the same event was the team of Jenny Aylen (22:45, club champs), Rebecca Conran (26:22) and Rachel Giles (24:22), whose combined time was 1:13:28.

Finally for the ladies, the team of Sarah Greenham (29:10), Alison Clarke (29:03) and Lesley Fuller (25:00) finished in a combined time of 1:23:13, good enough for twelfth place in the female vet-35 race.

In the men’s races, the team of Charlie Keitch (20:16), Ryan Day (17:00), Ben Ficken (18:54) and Chris Warren (18:30), combined time 1:14:38, finished in ninth place in the men’s open. Ryan’s time earned him his first club gold standard, a place in the club champs and seventh position in the club’s all time top ten men’s 5k performances.

Going for gold – Ryan Day achieves his first gold club standard.

Also running in the men’s open race was the team of John Bush (28:48), Gary Hill (25:13), Derek Greenham (22:08) and Malcolm Jarvis (21:48). Their combined time of 1:37:55 earned them twenty-seventh place. In the men’s vet-40 race Bentley’s team of coach Michael Simmons (19:17), Paul Hollidge (21:00) and Paul Davidson (19:50) finished with a combined time of 1:00:06, which earned them thirteenth place.

The common theme among those competing in the relay races was people achieving their best times in recent months. Of his 28:48 5k John Bush said ‘Not a PB, but first time under 30 min since about August, so hopefully getting there’. Similarly Michael Simmons commented ‘Not a PB, but heading in the right direction’. Paul Hollidge stated ‘My quickest 5k for a long time’. Ben Ficken said that this was his ‘best 5k time for a while’. Rebecca Conran said ‘My quickest 5k since October… …finally starting to get there’. Charlie Keitch reflected ‘Fastest 5k since my knee went pop’.

On Sunday Tom Fowler took on the hilly Brentwood Half Marathon in rather windy conditions and finished in a very respectable 1:34:49. Tom said of the race ‘That was a tough day at the office, but I’m rather pleased with myself.’ Sunday morning also saw a good turnout of Bentley juniors at Colchester junior parkrun. Linzi Iddon’s daughters all completed the 2k event. Caitlyn (12:42), Megan (11:21), Chloe (16:42) and Mia (20:45) all ran in the windy conditions. Flynn Neil finished just three seconds behind Caitlyn, when he crossed the line in 12:45. Bobby Neil made his second appearance at the event and achieved a new course PB of 9:37 and Harrison Leek was first finisher with a time of 8:10.

Several Great Bentley runners took park in the Comic Hero Run event in Castle Park on Sunday. The untimed super hero themed event raised money for St Helena Hospice and offered 10k, 5k and 1k fun run options. Scott Young ran the 10k and according to his watch he finished in just under 50 minutes. He also managed to raise £450 for St Helena Hospice, which his employers agreed to match. Anthea Colsell also opted for the 10k route and made her time 59:49. Charlie Keitch’s watch read 43:26 when he crossed the line in second place.

The 1k event was popular with the Bentley juniors. Geraldine Springett (dressed as Wonder Woman) accompanied two little Supermen Kaiden and Cian. Rufus Keitch was accompanied by auntie Claudia and Matt Jones accompanied daughter Isabella as she came good on her mission to ‘give it her all’.

Bentley runners at the Comic Hero Run