Running All Over the World

This week Bentley runners took part in running events all over the world, from East Anglia to Cornwall and beyond (Australia). Our runners completed a wide variety of events, from a 1k run in a triathlon up to the full marathon distance and most things in between. We had runners racing in the forest in the dark of night, cross country running, parkrunning and a race that finished down under on the sunny Bondi Beach.

This week’s race report starts with a marathon, and there are no prizes for guessing who ran it. On Friday Great Bentley’s marathon man Paul Blackwell ran the full marathon distance at The Darnley Challenge in Gravesend, Kent. This was the 135th official race of marathon distance or over that Paul has completed. While he was there Paul also picked up his medal and plaque for having completed the challenge to run 52 marathons in as many weeks.

Paul Blackwell’s medal for completing 52 marathons in 52 weeks.

On Saturday morning Meera Rajoo-Oakley and Frank Gardiner ran the August event of the Essex Cross Country 10k Series. This month’s race took place at Hadleigh Park. The 10k route ran up and down the BMX track and concluded with a 1k uphill climb. Meera said to think of the course as ‘Benfleet 15 without the enjoyable flat 7 miles in the middle.’ Meera finished in 50:01 and Frank in 57:32.

Also running on Saturday morning were Great Bentley’s army of parkrunners. There were only four Bentley runners at Colchester Castle parkrun this week. James McCullagh (23:47), Colin Farmer (34:24) and Scott Young and Claudia Keitch (both 29:26) took on the hills of Castle Park. There were two Bentley runners at Harwich parkrun this week, Toni Wilson (23:35) and Malcolm Jarvis (21:34).

Clacton Seafront parkrun was once again the most popular parkrun destination for Bentley blues. Peter Reeve ran a new parkrun PB, crossing the line in 32:43. Magdalena Komorowska (24:53) ran within two seconds of her PB and was third female finisher. Ben Ficken and his canine companion Janice finished in 20:41.

Completing the Bentley representation along Clacton Promenade were Ray Baggs (19:51), David Goldsmith (20:09), Robert Thorpe (21:36), Brian Telford (24:51), Davina Swindell (25:26), Alison Clarke (31:16) and David Nugent (43:31). Staying local but moving slightly further afield, Ade Cherry ran his first parkrun for over a year, completing Chelmsford Central parkrun in 24:29. Matt Jones ran Great Cornard parkrun and posted a new parkrun PB of 20:25.

Charlie Keitch continued his parkrun tour of the West Country. Last week it was Chippenham, this week it was Tamar Lakes on the Cornwall/Devon border. The course consists of a single 5k loop around a lake on tarmac and cinder paths. Charlie described the route as being undulating ‘in the true sense of the word’. Despite the undulations, Charlie was sixth finisher with a time of 19:39.

Saturday night saw six Bentley runners take part in an unusual event – the Aliens V’s Trail Runners Moonlight Half Marathon. Starting at 10pm, the trail race saw our runners complete two 6.7 mile loops in the unlit Rendlesham Forest. The dark and uneven conditions caused our runners to fall several times, but they all got up, carried on, and completed the race. Ben Ficken reported just one fall, and despite taking a wrong turn in the first lap, finished in second place with a time of 1:40:03.

Debs Cubberley recorded a total of five falls and reported that ‘fall number 4 nearly finished me, but after a few seconds laying on the floor I picked myself up and dusted myself down and headed for the finish.’ She also managed to receive her first ever black black eye during the race. Debs and Paul Hollidge ran together and finished in 14th and 15th place respectively, with Debs finishing second female in 2:09:14 on her watch. Also running the nighttime half marathon were Gary Hill (2:41:42), John Bush (3:28:04) and Mark Crittenden (3:34:52).

Debs displaying her medal and bruises at Rendlesham Forest.

On Sunday Caroline Searle ran the City2Surf race in Sydney, Australia. The 14k (8.8 mile) route starts in Hyde Park and finishes on Bondi Beach, after taking in “Heartbreak Hill” at the halfway point. Despite the challenging course profile and the heat, Caroline finished in the top third of the field with a time of 1:24:42.

Caroline taking a well earned rest on Bondi Beach.

The Bentley juniors were also in action this weekend. Megan Hughes competed in her first triathlon and finished in a very impressive third place overall. The event took place in Sudbury and consisted of a 150m swim, 2k bike and 1k run. Two Bentley juniors ran Colchester junior parkrun this weekend. Angel Jasper ran her second fastest time at the course to date, finishing in 10:16, and George Jones collected his half marathon wristband (for completing 11 junior parkruns), before completing the 2k course in 16:03.