Ooh, the clocks have gone back and the nights are proper drawing in! Not my favourite time of year, it has to be said. I much prefer running in the daylight! That being said, our training sessions are just as strong in the winter as they are in summer, with hills at the university, where light can always be found in the car parks, underpasses and footpaths; Craig’s runners bootcamp alternating with Michael’s Great Bentley residential areas tours on Wednesdays and Caroline’s varied programme of events at Abbey Fields on a Friday. Sundays are still in the daylight, and now seem to be taken up with cross country, since the season opened last week at Chelmsford.
I wasn’t able to make cross country myself last week, but am glad to hear there was a good showing of blue vests. I hope any first timers enjoyed it; if you didn’t then you need to give it another try this week, it will surely grow on you! Seriously, we need as many runners as possible to turn out; it unsettles the opposition! The more the merrier, you club needs you! Plus, cake! Here’s hoping I see lots of you on Sunday!
There has been lots of good running this month, with a lot of standards being earned at a wide variety of events. A superb turnout at Wix made for a great new club photo before the race, and then our ladies went on to win the team event for the second year running. This was an excellent victory, especially when it is taken into consideration that one of the winning ladies ran a marathon the day before! Respect, Meera!
Our own club 10 mile ‘friendly’ with Harwich Runners went off without a hitch too; many thanks to those of you who helped out with marshaling and cake baking to smooth this event along! Some sterling performances were seen at this race!
Rodger’s final trail run also took place this month, with runners bravely navigating their way around the lanes and footpaths of Langham in the dark, meeting a tall, dark and scary stranger at the clipper point! Results of the series are now out, and Meera Rajoo Oakley has held on to her lead to emerge victorious as ladies champion!
It’s great to see Natalie Warriner out running and competing once more after the birth of her first child; she already has a triathlon under her belt! Well done also to Barbara Law, winner her age group again at the Snowdonia marathon. Helen Carey has bagged not only a gold, but two diamond standards this month, hot on the heels of Eileen Shadford who is also racking up the diamond standards. A small proud mum mention also to Nina Simmons, who is currently the fittest member of team Simmons and after running her first half marathon last month, has followed it up with her first 10 mile event this month.
Last Saturday we opened online entry to our headline race, the half marathon to be held in February. The race filled in a shocking 2 hours, a new record for us, and testament to the popularity of our race. Russ will soon be emailing out asking for volunteer marshals, please put your name down if you can, without enough marshals the race cannot go ahead, and profits from this race help fund everything the club provides, from subsidising events such as the Thetford weekend to paying our entry fees for cross country and Wix. We now have an excellent reputation for putting on a great race that is well organised and has friendly, supportive marshals. Let’s keep that reputation going! For those that want to run, there will be a ballot held once we have enough marshals.
Now to Runner of The Month. As usual, not an easy choice, as all of you put your heart and soul into training and racing, and so many people have had notable achievements. However, a decision has to be made, so after much deliberating, Lorna and I have managed to choose someone. This lady began the year unable to run at all due to injury, and has had to come back slowly and with care. She has taken her time and built herself up gradually, and is now back on form. This month alone, she has been 2nd lady at both Colchester Castle parkrun and Thurrock 10k. She ran a club champs time at Wix, and at the club’s 10 mile race, ran her first PB since her injury. Yes, runner of the month is Chusa Bautista!