A spring in your step!

Wow! I do not know where to start this week with the race report. This weekend was the first weekend of spring 2018 and Great Bentley runners certainly had a spring in their step.

Personal Bests:

I will start with Personal Bests achieved this weekend. So many runners ran twice this weekend and some came away with double PBs! Tomasz Komorowski ran the Essex 5k Relay in 22:44 and then completed the Colchester Half Marathon in 1:46:43, a PB of 17 minutes! Eileen Shadford ran the Essex 5k Relay in 21:50 and then ventured to Oundle to find a 20 mile race to help her marathon training and bagged a PB of 2:39:21. Tim Ballard ran the Essex 5k Relay in 18:25 and completed his PB double with a 44th place in Colchester Half Marathon in a time of 1:23:41, a PB of over 4 minutes.

Personal bests still kept coming. Anthea Colsell ran Essex 5k Relay in a PB of 23:49 and helped her team (Vet 35) to a very commendable 4th place running with Tricia Stacey 23:51 and Toni Wilson 25:25.

Anna Mills ran a 5k PB of 21:48 in the Essex 5k Relay as her team came 8th in the female open category with Sam Godden 20:37 and Eileen already mentioned above.

Dan Clapton ran a 5k PB in the Essex 5k Relay in 18:59. His team comprised of Tim, already mentioned, Tommy Colsell who ran a brilliant 23:17 and Ryan Day who completed their relay in 17:54.

At Colchester Half Marathon(CHM) Adam Smith came 25th out of 2782 runners in a new PB of 1:20:49. Two GBRC runners in the top 50, fantastic running from both of you. Well done Adam and Tim!

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Tim Ballard at bottom of East Hill on the way to a top 50 finish at CHM.

CHM was Paul Connell’s first half marathon and he set himself an amazing time in 1:28:03. Nick Goodman ran CHM as his second competitive half marathon in a PB of 1:41:37. Sarah Fletcher was the first GBRC female to finish CHM. She ran a PB in 1:45:36 and this was after a super 5k run at the Essex Relay in 23:01. Geraldine Springett was the second GBRC lady home and she ran a PB of 1:47:09.

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Paul Connell making the most of the 1:30 pacers Charlie Keitch and Ryan Day at CHM.

In London it was the inaugural London Landmarks Half Marathon, a route taking in just some of the sights of London including the Tower of London and Trafalgar Square. Deborah Cubberley continued her good form with a PB of 1:49:54. Joining her with a PB on this course was Rob Blackman who ran in 1:34:01. This was a day after equalling his 5k PB at the Essex Relays in 19:04.

At time of going to publish I do not know of anymore PBs so apologies if yours was missed.

Essex 5k Relays:

Back to the Essex Relays; these are a county-wide championships and teams consist of 3 runners each taking the baton for a mostly flat 5k route along the seafront. The rest of Sarah Fletcher’s Vet 35 team comprised of Magdalena Komorowska who ran in 25:21 and Caroline Searle who ran in 25:52. They came 5th out of 8 Vet 35 teams. The final female team for GBRC was made up of Nina Simmons, 28:07, Kathy Bishop, 23:13 and Marion Simmons, 26:42.  We had three more male teams in the Relay alongside the one previously mentioned. Rob’s teammates were Tomasz Komorowska, Lee Clarkson, 21:39 and Charlie Keitch, 18:53 in the Male Open which required four runners. Paul Davison ran in 21:14 with Paul Carlisle in 21:30 and Graham Clarke, 24:21 completing their team. John Bush, 30:50, Frank Gardiner, 25:19 and Gary Hill, 27:11 made up our final team.

Orion 15:

Vicky Presland took in the Orion 15 now in its 64th year, a muddy cross-country race in Epping Forest in 2:09:27. She came 108th out of 300 runners and second in her age category.

Sunday Races:

Colchester Half Marathon is now in its eighth year and this year thirty-two Great Bentley runners took part. Many have been mentioned above and the following list shows the commitment everyone gives to their running goals.

Kevin Stevens, 1:33:40, Peter Benton, 1:37:14, Andrew Edwards, 1:42:06, Andy Stephens, 1:43:04 (as part of a 21 mile run!), Paul Davison, 1:45:37, Andrew White, 1:46:18, Adrian Cherry, 1:47:36, Tricia Stacey, 1:48:59, James McCullagh, 1:49:08, Anna Lyon, 1:50:33, Eric Shaw, 1:51:35 (first in age category, paced by Gemma Camp!), Rachael Chadwick 1:51:42, Jennifer Aylen, 1:52:17,  Rachel Giles, 1:52:31, Darren Willey, 1:52:43, Emma Town, 1:57:06, Del Godden, 2:00:29, Frank Gardiner, 2:04:07, Michael Deed, 2:07:52, Sarah Greenham, 2:15,10, Claudia Keitch, 2:17:18, Leoni Harvey, 2:19:29, Liz Jones, 2:39:21 and Emma Levett-Welham running her first half marathon in 2:54:54.

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Emma Levett-Welham coming into the finishing straight with the next generation joining her.


Alongside this impressive list of runners a group of Great Bentley runners volunteered their time to pace others around the Colchester Half Marathon. Many people would have appreciated their help to achieve their own personal goals. Wearing bright pink shirts they couldn’t be missed. A big shout out to Charlie Keitch and Ryan Day, 1:29:32, Ben Ficken, 1:34:20, Craig Warriner, 1:39:55, Lee Clarkson, 1:49:43, Natalie Warriner, 2:00:46, Kevin James, 2:04:24 and Luke Groves 2:09:21. Great effort over 13.1 miles everyone!

Meanwhile in London alongside Debs and Rob there were a number of other runners taking part in the London Landmarks Half Marathon. Phil Presland ran in 1:36:48, Magdalena Komorowska, 1:58:00, Sue Sorrell, 2:28:54, Neil Robins, 2:29:21 and Mark Crittenden in 2:42:12. Good to see Mark back from injury.

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There’s certainly a spring in each of their steps!

Completing the race line up on Sunday was Meera Rajoo-Oakey who like Eileen went in search of a 20 mile run as part of her marathon training. She ran in the Wymondham 20 in 2:42:26, setting her on course for her marathon aims.

In other news:

A race report would not be complete without writing about the efforts seen at parkruns, local and far-flung.

Six different parkrun venues welcomed Great Bentley runners this Saturday.

Colchester Castle parkrun: Tom Fowler, 20:03, Malcolm Jarvis, 23:05, Nick Goodman, 26:40, Jack Wicks, 26:50, Russell Clarke, 27:23, James McCullagh, 27:32 and Louise Upston, 31:04.

Clacton Seafront parkrun: Ben Ficken 21:18

Harwich parkrun: Kevin James, 23:33, Emily Zethraeus, 23:42 and Sandra James, 37:18.

Ipswich parkrun: Richard Moor, 22:59

Hadleigh parkrun: Deborah Cubberley, 31:45

Gunpowder parkrun: Katie Presland, 26:23.

Finally on Sunday morning there was a GBRC turnout for Colchester Junior parkrun with Angel Jasper running the 2km course in 10:31, George Jones, 17:49, Clara Jones, 22:06, which is a PB, Isabella Jones, 23:14 and Darcey Jones, 23:14. Great running everyone.

As a running coach this report has been a pleasure to write and it is fantastic to see so many members of Great Bentley Running Club doing so well, collecting PBs, Club Champs, or coming back from injury. Spring is definitely making itself heard!