A Busy Week for Bentley Runners

This week’s report starts on Tuesday, when fifteen Great Bentley runners took part in the third race of the Harwich handicap 5k series. Bentley’s Sue Wright won the race, crossing the line in 29:43 – over a minute faster than her time from race one. Paul Blackwell also improved on his previous times and was just outside the top ten, finishing 11th place in 25:46.

Third runner home for Bentley was Belinda Palmer-Barnes in 27:50. The other Bentley runners competing were Kevin James (23:18), Emma Welham (35:01), Ray Baggs (19:41), Peter Reeve (33:38), Frank Gardiner (24:18), John Bush (29:44), Colin Farmer (21:13), Rita Page (39:29), Sandra James (35:33), Chris Hayes (34:48), Stuart Baggs (36:12) and Dave Nugent (45:32).

On Friday evening six Great Bentley runners took on this week’s instalment of the popular Friday 5 series of local five mile races. This week’s race took place in Bury St Edmunds and was hosted by Saint Edmunds Pacers. The multi-terrain course started in Nowton Park (home of Bury St Edmunds parkrun) and travelled via private land at High Green to Nowton village, before returning to Nowton park for the race finish.

First home for Bentley was Mark Ross in 37:36. There was almost need for a photo finish to separate Hien Hoang (40:27) and Frank Gardiner (40:28). Alison Clarke (49:03), Deborah Cubberley (42:10) and John Bush (50:38) also put in solid efforts, especially considering the weather. Cubberley later commented ‘hard course and it was very muggy’. The next and final race in the series is our own Great Bentley Friday 5, which will take place on Friday 7th July.

On Saturday morning Sam Godden ran the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park 10k and was third female finisher in 44:30. Godden described the race as having ‘3 laps, 2 cheeky hills per lap and lots of wind!’ Having won free entry to another race, she said she would definitely be back.

Lorna Sharp competed in the Trifarm Sprint Tri. The event consisted of an 800m swim, 18k bike and a 5k run. It was Lorna’s first open water triathlon and she said she struggled in the run, but she was happy to finish 12th female and third in her age group.

An action shot of Bentley runners mid race at the Summer Stumble

A race with a difference next, as several Bentley runners took part in the Summer Stumble. A 10 mile race with a pint consumed at the start, the halfway point and the finish. The event was hosted by the Long Brew Running Club who were raising money for Essex & Mid Herts Air Ambulance.

Ben Ficken finished in third place with a time of 1:13:26. Chusa Batis finished in 1:29:52 and was the second lady home and first lady in the ultra category (drinking spirits at every station). Gemma Colling (1:39:28), Luke Groves (1:57:14) and John Ferdinand (1:57:41) all completed, and no doubt enjoyed, the race.

Linzi Iddon, David Iddon, Helene Tyler and Emma Welham took part in the World War Run in Surrey. Linzi described the event as ‘mud, mud, water, ditches, obstacles, cargo nets, barbed wire and a bit of swimming. Paint ball guns, mustard gas… who wouldn’t have enjoyed that?’

Muddy Bentley runners at the World War Run race in Surrey

Clacton Seafront was this week’s most popular parkrun among Great Bentley runners. Dave Goldsmith was second finisher in 19:30. Peter Reeve ran a course PB in 33:03, over a minute faster than his last time at the course. Lynsey Apps ran the route for the first time and finished in 29:51. Brenda Jackson ran a PB of 35:37. Joining Brenda in the PB experience were Heather England (31:56) and Rebecca England (45:28).

Clacton Seafront regulars Kevin and Sandra James completed the course in 23:52 and 36:28 respectively. Charlie Keitch completed the course with son Cassius in his buggy. It was the first time the pair had finished together sub-21 minutes when they crossed the line in 20:52. Scott Young ran 23:57 and Davina Swindell officially ran 26:08, although she started late and actually ran the 5k in 25:14.

Eight Bentley runners took part in Colchester Castle parkrun this week. Rich Moor was the first Bentley runner home in 21:54. Up early and raring to go after the Bury Friday 5 the night before, but taking it easy in preparation for the Mersea Island Round the Island race the following day, was Deborah Cubberley (26:59), who ran with Paul Hollidge (27:00).

The other Bentley runners at Colchester Castle were Nicholas Goodman (24:21), John Cooke (25:39), Jake Darkins (25:49), Andy Stephens (27:14) and James Mccullagh (29:26). At Harwich parkrun Antoinette Wilson was third female finisher in 23:52. Sue Thomas took on Bury St Edmunds parkrun, finishing in 28:28. Matt Jones ran Hove Promenade parkrun in windy conditions and was delighted to run his fastest 5k of the year and a 2 second course PB, finishing in 21:25.

Sunday morning hosted round three of the 2017 Great Bentley Trail Runs. This week’s event started at Aldham Village Hall and consisted of approximately 9 miles of trail running around the surrounding countryside. Joint first finishers for the men were Chris Warren and Charlie Keitch, with Joe Alexander taking the final podium place. For the ladies Meera Rajoo-Oakley was first finisher, followed by Emma Wakling in second place. Third place was jointly shared by Anna Lyon, Melanie Moore, Eileen Shadford and Toni Wilson.

A group photo from Rodger’s Trail Run

After three races the men’s leaderboard is currently topped in joint first place by Michael Simmons and Paul Carlisle, each on 290 points. Malcolm Jarvis sits in third place with 283. For the ladies, the reigning champion Meera Rajoo-Oakley tops the table on 300 points. Rajoo-Oakley is closely followed by Melanie Moore in second place, with 295 and Rachel Giles in third on 285.

For club members who felt that 9 miles of trail running just wasn’t challenging enough, Sunday also hosted the Mersea Island ‘Round the Island’ race. The approximately 13 mile race runs completely around the island in a clockwise direction and takes on a variety of challenging terrains, including sand.

First home for Bentley was Andy Stephens who just dipped under two hours with a time of 1:58:59. Madelanea Komorowska ran 2:13:08. Paul Hollidge finished in 2:06:51, and Deborah Cubberley, surely Bentley’s busiest runner in this very busy week, with three events in as many days, crossed the line in 2:07:17.

That concludes this report on what was a very busy week of running. Good luck to all running in the coming week.