It’s been a relatively mild start to January so far, but this week’s race report starts with some snow. On Saturday Lee Clarkson traveled to the Arctic circle to take part in Norway’s most popular winter race: the Tromso Polar Night Half Marathon. It is currently the Polar night period, meaning that there are only around two hours of daylight per day. By the time Lee toed the start line at 3 p.m. the city was in darkness. If the conditions were right, the runners could expect to see the Northern Lights. Lee takes up the story:
“Running in below zero temperatures and on snow requires layers and trail shoes. After a warm up, which proved runners are not all that coordinated when it comes to dancing, runners set off. It was dark but the snow all around reflected the lights and there were candles lining up the finish line, making it a very pretty sight. Sadly it was overcast so the northern lights didn’t come to cheer the runners up, but the snow held till the end of the race, so Mother Nature was kind to us.”
Lee completed the snow-laden course in 1:59:11 and took a hitherto vacant club champs place in the process.
Running in less extreme conditions were this weekend’s band of Bentley parkrunners. At Clacton Seafront parkrun Ray Baggs ran another sub-20, crossing the line in 19:44. Ray was second finisher, just six seconds behind the first runner home. Emma Welham ran a new parkrun PB, completing the 5k coastal route in 33:46. Sandra James (35:55), Alison Clarke (30:51), Brian Telford (23:47) and Robert Thorpe (26:41) completed the Bentley representation.
At Colchester Castle parkrun Nick Goodman ran a new course PB when he crossed the line in 23:00. Richard Moor continued his run of ever improving times following his knee surgery, crossing the line in 23:33, some 23 seconds faster than his New Year’s Day run at the same venue. Claire Groves ran her fastest parkrun since the birth of baby Noah, crossing the line in 26:11.
Castle Park regulars Scott Young (28:48), Claudia Keitch (28:50), Magdalena Komorowska (26:53) and Tomasz Komorowski (26:54) all embraced those undulations that they love so much. Ryan Day bagged a sub-20 and top-ten finish, completing the challenging route in 19:24. Also helping to make Colchester Castle the most popular parkrun amongst Bentley runners this weekend were Sue Sorrell (31:01), Russell Clarke (25:47) and Tricia Stacey (26:18).
At Harwich parkrun Antoinette Wilson was second female finisher in 24:42. There were a trio of Bentley first timers at Great Notley parkrun. Meera Rajoo-Oakley was first home in 28:13, closely followed by Deborah Cubberley (28:34) and Paul Hollidge (28:34). parkrun Tourism this week came courtesy of Caroline Searle, who completed Princes parkrun, Liverpool in 26:14.
There was only one Bentley representative at Colchester junior parkrun this week. Angel Jasper paced her run perfectly, ending with a sprint finish and dipping under ten minutes, with a time of 9:55. She was also the first female finisher, the second time she has achieved this at the event.