Warmer Climbs for some, colder climes for others!

Another week and another new race reporter – this weeks report bought to you by Caroline Searle……..

Most of us found ourselves running in the colder weather this week, the exception being a bevy of Bentley Babes finding warmer climes and climbs in Cyprus!

There was a mid-week venture by some to Mid Essex Casuals’ first night trail run of the series. It was named Nightmare at Owl’s Hill and was said to be 5.3 miles. Vicky and Katie Presland completed the trail in 52:34 whilst Phil Presland and Rob Blackman decided that it was better to round up their run to 7 miles and they arrived back at the tea rooms in 1:00:14. Phil is optimistic to redeem his reputation at the next one in a month.

Thursday saw the first race take place in the Cyprus International 4-day Challenge. Now in the 13th year this allows participants to enjoy an adventurous and challenging running event with 4 races over 4 days. The first race is a 6km time trail on asphalt with the promise of wet sponges and raisins at the end! Meera Rajoo-Oakley was pleased to beat her time from last year reaching the finishing line in 27:34. Anna Mills was not far behind with 27:58; Eileen Shadford 28:10; Tricia Stacey 30:49; Melanie Moore 33:00 and an honorary BB (for a week) Sonia Howard, Trisha’s sister, with 35:20. Reported to be a hard race with dry dusty air playing its part.

Friday saw day 2 of the Cyprus International 4-day Challenge take place. This was an 11km uphill race from sea level. Words I have gleaned from the website description of the course will give you an indication of what they encountered. They include: an immediate climb uphill for 6k with the first 4k being rocky, a fairly steep descent just after half way followed by another climb, a short steep uphill at 9k before finishing off with a 500m climb to a pretty church square. Eileen Shadford stormed the hill in 1:12:58 and was 14th lady. Anna Mills was next to see the church with a time of 1:13:12. Meera Rajoo-Oakley was yet again faster than last year with 1:14:19. Tricia Stacey reached the church square in 1:22:13, Melanie Moore in 1:26:39 and Sonia Howard in 1:40.53.

Saturday in Cyprus saw temperatures of 20 degrees. It also saw the furthest distance being raced in the Cyprus International 4-day Challenge with a 21km (half marathon) multi terrain race. There were switchback bends and a few uphill and downhills for our tourists to negotiate before a finish on the beach. Eileen Shadford was 16 th and got to the beach in a time of 1:48:47. Anna Mills finished in 1:49:40. After a fall, Meera Rajoo-Oakley completed the race in 1:51:33, faster than her 2016 time. Tricia Stacey crossed the sandy finishing line in 2:00:44. Melanie Moore finished strongly in 2:26:38 and Sonia Howard overcame falling and a hazardous driver to finish in 2:40:14.

Meera[A well-deserved paddle after day 3 of the Cyprus International 4-day challenge]

Meanwhile in the UK we saw temperatures just above freezing at 9am on Saturday – this didn’t stop you heading out for a 5km run at a parkrun near you!

A small cohort braved the hills at Colchester Castle parkrun with Paul Hollidge finishing in 22:48, James McCullagh in 25:56 and Tomasz Komorowski in 25:59.

There was a larger turnout at Clacton Seafront parkrun with 9 runners taking in the sea air. First home for Bentley and 2nd overall was Ray Baggs in 19:59 Hot on his heels was Janice with Ben Ficken. They crossed the 5km line in 20:26. Other participants were Patrick Reynolds, 22:36; Kevin James, 23:43; Deborah Cubberley with a parkrun PB in 25:08; Scott Young, 25:11; Alison Clarke, 31:21; Sandra James, 36:06 and David Nugent, 46:19.

Taking in the sea air elsewhere was Malcolm Jarvis who ran Harwich parkrun in 24:11 and over on Mersea Island John Booty was 12th in 22:29. Belinda Palmer-Barnes finished in 29:24 and John Bush completed in 35:13.

To complete the Essex parkruns attended by Bentley runners, Nick Goodman ran Great Notley parkrun in 23:34.

A couple of you ran a parkrun further afield. Andy Stephens ran the dead flat Hackney Marshes in 20:05 and Luke Groves, fresh from celebrating his brother’s graduation, ran Gloucester North parkrun in 26.21.

Over in Cyprus on the fourth and final day of the Cyprus 4-day International Challenge it was an early wake up call to get to the start line of the Paphos 10km race. Eileen continued to run strongly with a finish of 47:09. Meera Rajoo-Oakley was 13th lady, her highest placing of the challenge, with 46:06. Anna Mills came over the line in 49:27. Tricia Stacey finished in 51:15, Melanie Moore in 1:00:14 and Sonia Howard in 1:07:10.

The two teams ended the first day in 4th place (Meera, Eileen and Anna) and 6th place (Tricia, Melanie and Sonia) and despite their best efforts they stayed in these positions when the challenge finished on day 4. Well done to you all, great running. Special mention to Meera Rajoo-Oakley for winning the senior women category in the Paphos 10km. Let’s hope the trophy fits in her luggage!


[Meera’s category winner trophy for the Paphos 10km]

A busy November week culminated with GBRC awards night and Cross Country. Well done to everyone this year, not only the winners but also to the participants of every training session and race throughout 2017. Club championships are fought over all year and it is down to all your efforts that we see people achieving personal bests and goals. Good luck for your goals for the upcoming racing year.