Members have been playing hooky from the long distances this week, with almost of the racing being over 5000m. Not to be underestimated, the 5k distance challenges even the best of us and this week the clubs runners are celebrating the the end of the 5k season as well as the end of the school term with some gut-busting efforts.

This week local 5000m series have all drawn to a close. Over the June and July GBRC runners competed within both the Clacton and Maldon 5k series, but it was Harwich’s offering that, as usual, proved most popular.

In total 19 runners from the club covered the Harwich course at least once; for the GBRC men representation came from Ray Baggs, Frank Gardiner, Kevin James, Peter Reeve, Stuart Baggs, Colin Farmer, John Bush, Dave Nugent, Richard Moor and Graham Clarke. For the GBRC ladies were Kathy Bishop (achieving a 7th position finish in the series points table), Belinda Palmer-Barnes (finishing 8th in the points table), Sandra James, Sue Wright, Barbara Law, Emma Welham, Rita Page, Louise Upston and Vicky Law.

In this most recent week, the first blue vest home was Stuart Baggs, who fared best again his handicap with a run time of 31:27. He was chased home by Barbara Law (31:43) and Peter Reeve (31:28). Frank Gardiner was the fourth blue vest across the line in 23:18 he was followed by Bentley’s fastest man of the night, Ray Baggs whose run took only 19 minutes and16 seconds. Kevin James returns to form with a time of 22:39 and Belinda Palmer Barnes snuck into the top 50 with a time of 27:20. 2016’s series champ Rita Page stopped the clock in 38:41, being chased down be Colin Farmer (28:58) and John Bush (30:40). Sandra James rounded the team of for the ladies on the night in a time of 35:09 and Dave Nugent completed the offering from the GBRC gents in 43:29.

Also enjoying the 5,000m distance were this weeks parkrunners. The club had representatives at seven parkrun this week: Harwich, Colchester Castle; Maldon Prom; Gloucester North; Chippenham; Clacton Seafront; and Holkham.

A personal best for the course was achieved by Antoinette Wilson at Harwich in a time of 22:58 and a fifth position finish. Showing great progress in his recovery from injury is Matt Knowles who clocked his fastest time this year of 23:02. Harwich was also the course of choice for Benjamin Ficken and his faithful running buddy, pugalier Janice. The pair finished in 20:10.

Clacton Seafront witnessed a personal best run from Heather England in a time of 30:15. She was joined on the course by Ryan Day who was the first blue vest across the line in 18:20 and Ray Baggs in 19:33. Kevin James back up his Tuesday night performance in 23:04, as did Sandra James who made it home in 34:26. Robert Thorpe completed the line-up at Clacton running with his son. They completed the course in 27:33.

At Colchester Castle the current trial course is continuing to make personal best runs hard to come by, however the blue vests keep on trying! Meera Rajoo-Oakley led the GBRC charge with a time of 22:29, second lady home. She was chased by James McCullugh in 23:40 and Nicholas Goodman who completed his run in 26:15. Siblings Scott Young and Claudia Keitch ran the course together in 28:31 rounding off the GBRC finishers.

At Gloucester North, Liz Jones ran her first run after a period of injury and debuted the course in a time of 35:05.

Also trying something new was Charlie Keitch who stopped the clock at Chippenham in 19:38.

There was a course personal best at Maldon for Paul Connell who dipped under 19 minutes 18:58.

And at Holkham parkrun Jake Darkins also bagged himself a course personal best in 20:19.

A GBRC member who can’t seem to help recording PBs this season is Matthew Jones. This week he set a best time for the mile at Ealing, dipping under 6 minutes (5:58) for the first time. He then went on to run the Hooky 6 mile road race in Hook Norton, Oxfordshire. Jones finished in 41:50; placing 78th out of 341 runners and indicating fab things to come when he next takes on a 10,000m course.

matt hooky 6

[Matthew Jones showing off the race goody-bag after the Hooky 6-mile]