Winter is here……

Winter is here, the clocks have gone back and it starts to get dark at 4pm so what better thing to do than do a marathon in Snowdonia? Barbara Law returned to Snowdonia after bagging herself first place in her age group last year and repeated the feat again finishing the 26.2 in an excellent 5:16:09.  Joining her this year was Frank Gardiner who has been running really well in 2017 and rounded the year off well finishing in 5:24:12. Whilst checking times on the official site I noticed that Dave Green came in 6th overall in an impressive 2:47:11, hopefully we’ll see Dave at some point this winter running XC in Bentley blue.

Why run the official ultra distance of 30 miles at the Stort 30 when you can get yourself lost and run 30.4 miles?  Well that’s what Charlie Keitch did, this error and a touch of cramp put paid to his target time of sub 4 hours however, his finishing time of 4:04:31 did see Keitch bag a bronze trail championship medal in the 35-39 age group. Also taking on a marathon was Ben Ficken, this time without canine companion Janice.  Ficken ran the 26.2 in Dublin in 3:42:57, a time which he recorded after being “unprepared”. The Race is well supported and run on a good challenging course with about 20,000 runners toeing the start line, the Irish preferring a shout of  “Fair play to yer” in encouraging the runners around the course.

Charlie and Medal[Charlie Keitch and his head sized medal]

Closer to home Chusa Batis travelled to Thurrock to take on their 10k and although she didn’t bag a PB Batis came in as second lady in a speedy 49:44 which ensured she got a nice trophy for the mantle piece.

Saturday saw the usual parkrunners hitting various courses around the country, Matt and Liz Jones ran the Fountains Abbey parkrun which is near Ripon in North Yorkshire.  This was Matt’s 50th parkrun which has seen him take on 25 different courses a great record taking in some lovely parks around the country. He fell slightly short of a sub 21 minute finish completing the 5k in 21:09 with wife Liz coming home in 31:27. Also doing some tourism was Tom Fowler who went to the home of parkrun, Bushy Park, and came home with a PB of 19:35 on the flat fast course. Patrick Bastow completed the Peterborough run in 26:13 rounding off this weeks tourists.

Matt and Liz[Matt and Liz Jones enjoy the scenery at Fountains Abbey parkrun]

We had our usual parkrunners at the various local events again this weekend, over at Colchester it was good to see Richard Moor back and running again, Richard had started to post some excellent times before injury struck, after 5 months out and an operation later Richard got back on the saddle finishing a 28:52 run around the Castle.  Debs Cubberley also enjoyed a good run on Saturday posting a course PB finishing with Paul Hollidge in 26:26.  David Wright warmed up for XC on Sunday with a 5k blast leading the blue vests home in 20:38 he was followed by Phil Presland (22:55), Andy Stephens (24:27), James McCullugh (24:59), Belinda Palmer Barnes (33:47), Colin Farmer (35:51) and Ruth Metcalfe (37:11).

Over on a blustery and pretty cold promenade taking on Clacton Seafront parkrun were 9 blue vests who were led round by the very consistent Ray Baggs (19:38), Patrick Reynolds (22:03), Kevin James (23:39), Caterine Ott (27:17), Rob Thorpe running with son Will (27:27), Kieron Hayes (28:47), Heather England (29:36), Alison Clarke (31:05) and Sandra James (41:23) all toed the line. Finally, at Mersea Jake Darkins (20:33) and Del Godden (22:29) ran the two laps of the Country Park.