It was cold!

Everyone seeemed to agree on one fact this weekend whilst out racing; it was cold!

The half marathon’s are coming up thick and fast now as people train for marathon season (well apart from Paul and Janine where every day is marathon season!) saw Charlie Keitch run the Brighton half marathon in a superb 1:24:54 which whilst not a PB was good enough to secure a Gold Standard.

Going slightly further afield for her race was Tricia Stacey who took on the fearsomely named “Baldock Beast” which is a multi-terrain half marathon which includes sections on uneven gravel paths, over fields and through sometimes marshy woodland and pretty much up hill; Stacey completed the 13.1 in a great time of 1:54:42.

This bitterly cold Sunday also saw the running of the Tarpley 10 and 20 which saw quite a few Blue vests on the start line. The Tarpley 10/20 is a Bury St Edmunds Pacers run that is named after Ben Tarpley an early Pacer, the course passes through beautiful countryside and is run along gently undulating country lane in Suffolk. Caroline Searle took on the 20 as a training race for her upcoming marathon and bagged herself a massive PB and a club Bronze Standard finishing in 3.10.31.

Taking on the 10 saw Debs Cubberley finish in a PB time of 1:23:11, Sue Thomas also ran a PB finishing in 1:38:37 (I think the cold must have focussed minds!). John Bush had a steady run finishing in 1:55:55 which was slower than last year. It seems that there were a few queues at the end getting bags back as everyone tried to keep warm, that aside the course and run got the thumbs up from our runners.

[John Bush (performing the running whilst asleep look) and Caroline Searle at Tarpley]

Whilst taking a break in the New Forest Kieron Hayes decided to run the Bournemouth 10 mile race finishing in a great time of 1:29:00; on a gun to finish race as there were no chips; earning himself a Silver Club Standard.

Paul Blackwell added another marathon to the list completing the Sikhs in the City marathon which was 21 laps of a hill – the bright side according to Paul was that this was good training for the upcoming Grizzly (which gets the award for the best named race!). Also, racking up the marathons is Janine Simpson who did number 94 at the Ghost of Kent Road marathon in particularly cold conditions.

Saturday saw the running of the National Cross Country Championships which returned to Parliament Hill this year. If you haven’t run the Parliament Hill course which is on Hampstead Heath its certainly one to add to the diary, full of mud and you guessed it hills! We had 3 runners this year Meera Rajoo-Oakley finished 574th in 41:38 in the women’s race whilst in the men’s race Adam Smith was 985th in 53:56 and Matt Jones 2255th in 1:16:34.

Obviously Saturday is parkrun day too and we had our usual representation across the various runs in the area, however, our tourism this week was done by Kathy Bishop who did the 5k race in Northampton finishing 5 th lady in 23:40. At Colchester this week a mention for Milly Presland who finished first lady in a great time of 19:47, our blue representation came from Craig Warriner (19:28), Richard Moor (23:02), Nick Goodman (23:23), Malcolm Jarvis (23:26), Anna Mills (24:52), Russell Clarke (25:16), James McCullagh (26:28), Debs Cubberley (28:13), Paul Hollidge (28:14) and Tomasz Komorowski (28:36).

Over at a bitterly cold Clacton Seafront 6 Bentley runners toed the revised course line Ray Baggs had another fine run finishing 3 rd in (20:55) followed by Charlie Keitch (21:40), Scott Young (23:34), Brian Telford (24:33), Alison Clarke (32:55) and Peter Reeve (36:33). Finally, at Mersea Ben Ficken and trusty companion Janice completed the 5k in 20:19 he followed this with the lesser spotted “Venezuelan Poodle Moth” run – definitely a course I’ll be seeking out on Strava!

The race report wouldn’t be complete this week without mention of the “non-race” that was Meera and Luke’s trail run. There were 3 options for running 3 miles, 7 miles and 9 miles all took you through the beautiful Essex/Suffolk border countryside. There were only a few missing runners at the end of the day and a few more deflated aliens. I don’t think that anyone could understand the scoring system (which is a good thing) all I know is that I am a bar of chocolate to the good and left with a good fill of pulled pork! An excellent event thanks for organising it Meera and Luke – a superb job.

[No caption required……!]

Great running everyone.