Traditionally the month of June is fairly quiet in terms of local races, lots of 5k events, the Friday 5 series swings into action and as is now a custom at Bentley, a 24 hour endurance event. A new local endurance event began the month, thanks to Harwich, with a huge Bentley representation that even included a kitchen sink!
Some fantastic solo performances from David Green, Ben Ficken, and Rodger, in particular, amassing 265 miles between them, backed up by a more laid back approach from Jamie Neil, who must hold the record for time off the course, but nevertheless still ran over 40 miles.
With 18 of you divided up into 4 other teams, it just shows the appeal of these team events, aided by the support crew of Russ, Steve Black and Richard Clarke, the organisation from Rodger, Paul Carlisle, and Phil Presland, and you have a hugely successful weekend of running, so much so Phil is recruiting for next year already! Well done to all who took part, especially those experiencing a 24 hour race for the first time.
Four 5 mile races this month – great to see Mark Ross back in action on the Friday 5 series, joined by John Bush, Frank Gardiner, Martin West, and congratulations to Matthew Jones on a PB at the Framlingham 5.
When it comes to long haul, the dynamic duo of Paul Hollidge and Deb’s certainly went the extra mile with over 100 completed on the Cotswold Way. Andy Stephens completed another marathon, this time at the picturesque Stour Valley, and both guys also took on the tough round the island race at Mersea with a great sub 2 hour run from Andy. I reckon it takes a while to get the sand out from between your toes after that race. Paul Blackwell has just begun an impressive new challenge attempting 5 marathons in 10 days at Great Barrow, and he’s now up to 132 marathons in total.
‘Furthest away to run a race’ award this month goes to Luke, Lee, and John Ferdinand, who smashed his half marathon pb in Helsinki by 12 minutes, excellent effort John.
Moving away slightly from just running, and Michael Simmons must have woke up and feared the worst with the temperature set to reach 32c on his first attempt at a half Ironman in Staffordshire, but one thing this man has in abundance is determination and a desire to succeed, combine that with hard work, self-belief, a nonchalant shake of the head, and a ‘no excuses’ attitude and you end up smashing your goal time by over 10 minutes – a terrific effort and plenty more improvement on the horizon for our coach.
Another beautifully scenic trail run around Aldham was provided by Rodger and Eric. For me these events bring something special to our club, so please keep turning up, even Janice and Meatball took part in this one, and although Michael and Paul Carlisle are still leading the way, watch out for Joe and Charlie leading the chase.
There was just the one Micky Edwards race this month, and coming so soon after HR 24, the timing was a little unfortunate for many, I shall have a quiet word with the organiser for next year! However you guys led the way again with big improvements from Marathon man Paul, John Ferdinand, Andrew White and of course Don Welsh in winning the heat.
July Club Events
What a busy month July is, the final Micky Edwards race is on the 5th and our big Friday 5 event is on the 7th – please do check your emails and Facebook to confirm you’re marshalling role. Best wishes to Charlie, Matthew, Scott, Phil, Paul Connell and Mark Crittenden who will be representing us on the course, go smash it guys.
The following week and it’s the Geoff Day 5k on the 12th with a banquet of food from our one and only burger man Luke, which you can then run off on the 16th, with the new Ekiden Cup and some medals up for grabs.
Dave Green – 1st solo, 112.5 miles at HR 24. He may be naturally quick but he has some serious endurance as well.
Michael Simmons – 1st Half Ironman in tough conditions and 24th place in age category finishing in 5 hours and 49 minutes.
Keith Scrivener – 27.5 miles completed at HR 24. An incredible display of determination.
For those of you who were present at HR24, I’m sure you would have been moved and inspired by our choice this month.
Would you believe it, but having suffered from epilepsy as a child it was the first man to run a sub 4 minute mile Sir Rodger Bannister, in his profession as a neurologist, who prescribed him two options at the age of 39. Powerful drugs, or become vegetarian, drink only water and, guess what, take up running to speed up his heart rate.
Keith never looked back. He’s been a club member for over 20 years and has taken part in triathlons including Ironman, in which he was British over 50’s champion, and quadrathons as a very good canoeist. Running has clearly been his greatest love, as he joined the 100 club some years back at one of his favourites – the Halstead Marathon. He has travelled the world to run ultra’s and marathon’s, including the Midnight Sun Marathon, which was one of his many highlights.
A few years ago he suffered a massive stroke and was told he may not walk again. He was determined to prove them wrong, and he entered and ran the Wix 5 a couple of years ago, and received a standing ovation from members that day, and again on collecting our Outstanding Performance award.
His ultimate desire was to complete another marathon, and with the support of his wife Meryl who was at his side every step of the way, he completed 11 laps and 27.5 miles. They have been a couple since they were teenagers and I’m sure they thoroughly appreciated your support at HR 24.
Thank you to Barbara for providing information about Keith, and to those members who were there and told me of his amazing spirit and determination.
It’s rare for Andy and me to have it so easy! It gives me great pleasure to congratulate Meryl and Keith Scrivener, our runner of the month for June.