This week’s race report begins on Tuesday, when Bentley runners were in action at race four of the Harwich 5k Handicap Series. This race was run in what was probably best running conditions of any of this year’s races in the series – light drizzle. This was reflected in our runners’ times, with many securing their fastest times of the series.
Two Bentley runners finished inside the top 10 of the handicap race. Finishing in fourth place was Chris Hayes with a two minute improvement on his time from race three, crossing the line in 32:47. In 10th place was Peter Reeve with his fastest race of the series so far in 32:09. Peter has completed all four races this year, his previous fastest was race 1 (33:35). Barbara Law (32:15) ran her best time of the series by over 20 seconds.
Sue Wright, winner of race 3, also ran her fastest time of the series so far, finishing in 29:19. Other Bentley runners recording their fastest times of this year’s series were Kevin James (22:43) and Dave Nugent (40:41). The remaining Bentley representation was made up of Brian Telford (23:13), Ray Baggs (19:46), John Bush (29:46), Belinda Palmer-Barnes (28:34), Colin Farmer (21:15), Sandra James (34:22), Stuart Baggs (34:03) and Frank Gardiner (26:07).
Wednesday night was a big one in the club calendar – the third annual Geoff Day Memorial 5k. This year’s race was particularly special as it took part during the club’s thirtieth anniversary celebrations. Some fast times were recorded, and for the third consecutive year the fastest time of all was achieved by Joe Alexander, the winner of the men’s race in an impressive 16:20.6. Second place in the men’s race, and first vet finisher, was Dave Wright (18:16.4). Third place was shared by Dave Goldsmith and Mark Jasper, who after a hard battle both finished in 18:26.9.
The women’s race was again won by Vicky Presland (20:30.0), who has also won the race every year. Second placed in the women’s race was Meera Rajoo-Oakley (21:29.1), and Geraldine Springett took third place in 23:13.4. A total of sixty-five runners completed the race.
There were some notable PBs and season’s bests among the runners. Geraldine Springett knocked an incredible 25 seconds off of her PB. Nina Simmons ran a new PB of 26:22. Chusa Bautista Fructuoso ran her fastest 5k of the year, finishing in 23:45. After his frustratingly consistent Mickey Edwards times (including four finishing times in the 21:13 – 21:19 range), Phil Presland was delighted to cross the line in 20:51 – his fastest 5k for three years. Dave Wright’s 18:16 performance earned him a silver standard.
On Thursday evening two Bentley runners competed in the final race of the Maldon handicap 5k series. Lee Clarkson (23:59) and Luke Groves (23:30) both completed the promenade route. Luke’s time was his second fastest 5k of all time – 13 seconds outside his PB. Luke has ambitions to be in the sub-23 club in the not too distant future.
Over the weekend John Bush took part in the Spitfire Scramble. The event is described by its organisers as ‘London’s only 24-hour trail race’. The event is a 24-hour time challenge, during which time teams complete as many laps of the 5.75 mile route as they can. Each team or ‘squadron’ must have one runner on the course at all times. For the second consecutive year John Bush opted to run solo. Last year he completed 6 laps and this year he improved on that count, completing an impressive 8 laps – totalling 46 miles.
Now on to this weekend’s parkruns, and Colchester castle was this week’s most popular venue amongst Great Bentley runners with seven taking part. James McCullagh (24:53), Jake Darkins (25:54), Chusa Bautista Fructuoso (26:12), Claudia Keitch (29:14), Scott Young (29:15), Jack Wicks (34:22) and Louise Upston (34:27) all completed the 5k route around Castle Park.
Meera Rajoo-Oakley completed Chelmsford Central parkrun for the first time, finishing in 23:51. Deborah Cubberley (26:37) and Paul Hollidge (26:38) went off road and completed Hatfield Forest parkrun. Paul described the event as ‘3.1 miles of dodging cow-pats, ant hills, rabbit holes, lumps and bumps! A nice run in a great location’.
At Clacton Seafront parkrun there were two Bentley runners on the podium with Ray Baggs (19:19) and Dave Goldsmith (19:26) taking second and third places. Brian Telford was the next Bentley finisher in 24:33. Davina Swindell and Dave Nugent both ran parkrun PB’s, crossing the line in 25:04 and 42:05 respectively.
Three Great Bentley runners achieved parkrun PB’s in the near perfect conditions at Harwich parkrun on Saturday morning. Antoinette Wilson took 15 seconds off of her previous fastest time to finish in 23:30 – giving her a very impressive 79.15% age grading. Colin Farmer and Matt Jones also ran parkrun PB’s, finishing in 20:30 and 20:35 respectively.
Matt Knowles continued his comeback from injury and also continued his streak of running each parkrun this year steadily faster than the last. This time he completed the 5k promenade route in 24:13. Kevin James completed the Bentley lineup at Harwich, finishing in 22:57.
At Mersea Island parkrun Ben Ficken and canine companion Janice took (joint) third position, finishing in 20:02. Some confusion in the first lap led them to run part of the route in reverse, but even this wasn’t enough to prevent Janice from being the first four-legged finisher. After completing Mersea Island parkrun, Ben took part in his second 5k of the day, completing the Colour 5k. The event comprised of a 5k run, during the course of which people threw powdered paint at the competitors.
On Sunday morning there was another special event for the club – The Ekiden Relay in Ipswich. Hosted by Ipswich JAFFA Running Club, the race has become an important fixture on the Great Bentley Running Club calendar. The event is a marathon relay, with teams of six completing a 26.2 mile race. The 26.2 miles are made up of two 10k, one 7.2k and three 5k legs. A junior race was also held, which was made up of teams of four, each running a 1.1 mile leg.
This year things were done a little differently, and a club tournament was devised. Teams were picked with the aim of making them all of even ability, and the GBRC Ekiden Trophy was awarded to the first Bentley team to finish. The winning Bentley team was ‘The Good, The Bad & The Ugly’, consisting of Phil Presland, Barbara Law, Rodger Alexander, Amy Young, Joe Alexander and Davina Swindell – who completed the marathon distance in 3:19:08. Full results of the event can be found here: http://www.racetecresults.com/Results.aspx?CId=16672&RId=139&EId=2
Two teams of Bentley juniors competed. The first to finish completed the 4.4 miles in a combined time of 36:25, and consisted of Ben Lyon, Charlie Sharp, Ollie Hill and Alex Hill. The second team finished in 40:15 and consisted of Megan Hughes, Caitlyn Hughes, Rufus Keitch and Lucy Warren. Full results of the junior race can be found here: http://events.ipswichjaffa.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/downloads/2017/07/ekiden-junior-team-results.xlsx
Finally, also on Sunday morning, two Bentley juniors took on Colchester junior parkrun. The first Bentley runner across the line was Angel Jasper, completing the 2k course in 10:50. George Jones took over a minute off of his 13:09 PB, finishing in 12:04.