Lots of different distances attempted this week, including three at the same event: the Heritage Coast Run. Participants selected from the red route (26.2 miles) the yellow route (13 miles) and the dog-friendly blue route (6 ish miles).

On the yellow route was Tom Fowler who placed in 21st with a time of 1:36:11. Taking on the mammoth red route was Gemma Colling who completed her marathon in 5:13:40 and 56th place and meant that she has clocked an impressive 200 miles this month. On the blue route were Benjamin Ficken and Davina Swindell, accompanied by faithful companions Janice and Charlie. 13 may be unlucky for some, but not for Ficken and Janice whose 13th place finish in a time of 41:29 gave Janice a pooch best. Swindell and Charlie finished in 46th in a time of 50:43, a pooch best for Charlie and a great comeback after a period of injury.

[Left: Gemma Colling celebrating completing her 26.2 miles; Middle: Ben Ficken and Janice crossing the finish line; Right: Davina Swindell and Charlie having completed the 6 mile route]

Also going for a half marathon distance was Gary Hill at the Velopark half marathon. Hill completed 13 laps of the Lee Valley Velopark to finish in 1:59:43. Other distances were on offer which meant that runners had to focus hard on their own pace to avoid going off too fast.


Paul Blackwell completed 26.2 miles at the Milton Keynes marathon in 4:40:09. With a stadium finish, Blackwell commented that the race was well put on and the tech t-shirt received at the end made up for the medal being a bit small.

mk mara medal

Opting for 5 miles were Lee Clarkson, Chusa Bautista Fructuoso, Hien Hoang, Scott Young, Graham Clarke, Rebecca Conran and John Bush. The Witham Mayday 5 uses the same course as that used on Boxing Day, although the weather in May is a little warmer. Clarkson completed the course in 35:20, followed by Clarke in 36:37; and Young in 37:24. First home for the GBRC ladies was Fructuoso in 40:34, an improvement on the previous year. Hien Hoang also had a near best run in 41:07. Conran ran with a friend who achieved a personal best when they finished together in 44:19. Martin West was close behind in 45:39; chased by Belinda Palmer-Barnes in 45:54. John Bush broke the 50 minute barrier with a run of 49:27.


[Martin West enjoying the Mayday 5 mile at Witham]

This bank holiday weekend was also the weekend of the GBRC ‘forest adventure’ when members of the club converged on Thorpe Forest on the edge of Thetford. Being in the area meant that there was a surprise for the Run Director of Thetford parkrun when the blue vests started to descend en masse. 14 members ran on Saturday morning, 12 of whom were at the course for the first time. Running the course for the second time resulted in Deborah Cubberley recording a course personal best of 27:07. Sisters Megan Hughes and Caitlyn Hughes also smashed their personal bests for 5k at the run, with times of 27:05 and 32:52 respectively. Completing the team for the GBRC ladies at Thetford were Meera Rajoo-Oakley with 22:27; Katie Presland, who had paced Megan to her PB and finished in the same time of 27:05; Linzi Iddon who crossed the line in 40:38; and Milly Presland who was the first lady finisher at the run in a time of 20:46.
Charlie Keitch was first Bentley man home in a time of 20:18. Phil Presland followed with a close-to-personal-best of 21:58. John Booty completed the course in 23:08; Brian Telford in 23:39 and David Iddon ran a personal best 5k in a time of 28:23. Matt and Michael Knowles were also out at the Thetford course however appear to have fallen foul of the no barcode no time rule!

gbrc at thetford

Also welcoming a large contingent from the club was Clacton Seafront parkrun. A personal best came for David Goldsmith, a second position finish and a time of 18:59. Paul Connell also ran a personal best for the course in time of 20:02. Ray Baggs finished in a time of 19:46; Kevin James crossed the line in 23:15; Scott Young completed the course in 24:47; Robert Thorpe finished in 27:20; and David Nugent ran his first ever parkrun in a time of 46:56.
For the ladies at Clacton were Davina Swindell in a time of 32:25; Sandra James in 37:10; and Claire Reynolds, who stopped the clock in 37:11.

At Colchester Castle parkrun seven GBRC members lined up by the bandstand. Jake Darkins led the way with a personal best run of 20:01. He was followed home by Andy Stephens in 25:12; James Mccullagh in 25:41; Chusa Bautista Fructuoso with a time of 26:13; Belinda Palmer-Barnes who stopped the clock in 29:51; John Bush in 30:31; and Sue Sorrell who completed the 5000m course in 37:25.

At Harwich parkrun Antoinette Wilson was the third female finisher in a time of 24:14. She was joined by Malcolm Jarvis who crossed the line in 21:00 and Richard Moor who finished in 19:57.

Basildon parkrun saw Louise Upston crack the top 10 with a 9th position finish in a personal best time of 27:23.

At Junior parkrun this week Angel Jasper represented GBRC, finishing the 2000m course in 11:22.

And onto the most hotly contested competition of the weekend… the GBRC Superstars event. Held at the Thope forest adventure centre the Superstars events were:

  • base lines: best effort in 1 minute
  • 60 mtr sprint (run)
  • 600 – 800 race (run)
  • Bike sprint
  • Bike Pursuit
  • press ups best effort in 1 minute
  • sit ups best effort in 1 minute
  • squat thrusts best effort in 1 minute.

Phil Presland took the Superstars trophy and won a luxury ride in Rodger’s trailer around the forest.