Men’s Newsletter – April 2018


What a great month it’s been for running! For a while it looked as if summer had arrived by skipping spring altogether but alas, the rain has returned …hopefully not for long. It’s great to see so many of you smashing out events, races and personal best’s after lots of winter training.

New Members:

 Welcome Dimitri! It’s great that you’ve decided to join the club… you always put in 100% at training, so I look forward to seeing what you get up to this year. Remember if there’s cake after a race make sure you get to it before Rodger.


We must begin by looking right back to Easter and congratulate our very own Vice Captain Scott and partner Lee Clarkson for winning Bunny Doubles. There have been rumours of an internal investigation but I can confirm that everything was above board and with Scott giving up his Colchester Half Marathon spot, this was ample tapering in order to triumph at Bunny Doubles. Epic tactics and therefore chocolate well earned J.

Little Bromley 10k had the pleasure of hosting the Essex Championships this year and many of you turned out in force. I think it’s always worth mentioning those who got pb’s so well done Paul Connell (gold standard), Neil Robins (gold standard) and Phil Presland. Charlie Keitch managed to bag a silver standard on a dodgy knee and Paul Davison a bronze standard – fantastic stuff. The glory however must go to these two men representing the M70 category; Eric Shaw and Graham Clarke. Graham achieved a Diamond standard and silver Essex medal whilst Eric earnt a gold standard and bronze Essex medal. Outstanding.

It’s great to see where John Bush decides to travel to on his quest to explore the country and run at the same time. This month it was the Austin Powers themed Groovy Baby race held in the Ashlyns school grounds in Berkhampstead. Flying the Bentley flag as always Johnny boy.

April for many is the month that those winter months of marathon training pays off (be it Manchester, London, Boston (UK), Brighton, Wales, Iceland etc). We had many men around the country tackling the 26.2…..Phil ‘One Job’ Presland decided to smash Boston (UK) by taking an hour off his pb (bronze standard) – very well done. I hear you’re considering another marathon soon….. Tim Ballard completed his first marathon and therefore a pb at The Great Welsh Marathon whilst finishing 14th. Another marathon virgin and therefore pb earner is Nick Goodman running the Reyjkyavik mara in Iceland in sub 4 hours…more great running to come from you I’m sure. So who would’ve predicted that after such a cold and wet winter that we would have such rising temperatures approaching the London Marathon weekend?!? The previous highest temp at London was 21.7oC in 2007 and with predicted temperatures of 24oC this year it was clearly going to be a difficult day. The fact no one had time to acclimatise to these temperatures is a testament to all Great Bentley members that stood on the start line to tackle the distance. Well done Dave Goldsmith, Simon Dale, Kevin Stevens and Tom Fowler. Great looking medal this year too J.

Paul Davison and Andy Stephens both earnt pb’s at Frinton half marathon – a race I haven’t done myself so this is now on the wish list! Well done to Kieron Hayes for completing the Notley spring duathlon in cold and windy conditions.

Lastly onto 5km achievements we had two Bentley boys with a goal of running sub 20 minutes and they did just that! Lee Clarkson bagged himself a pb and silver standard as well as Paul Hollidge who earnt a pb. Awesome effort by both. Tomasz decided to run another new 5km pb…I look forward to your efforts in the upcoming Mickey Edwards series!

 Club Champs:

 Congrats to the following for earning a place on the club champs during April:

  • Charlie Keitch: 10k 40:23 (Senior)
  • Tim Ballard: Marathon 3:11:27 (Senior)
  • Paul Davison: 10k 43:31 (Male40)
  • Paul Connell: 5k 18:46 (Male45)
  • Paul Connell: 10k 38:05 (Male45)
  • Phil Presland: Marathon 3:31:00 (Male45)
  • Peter Benton: 5k 20:29 (Male50)
  • Peter Benton: 10k 42:10 (Male50)
  • Neil Robins: 10k: 54:43 (Male55)
  • Frank Gardiner: 5mile 39:52 (Male60)
  • Kevin James: 10k: 47:18 (Male60)
  • Kieron Hayes: 5k 26:23 (Male65)
  • Graham Clarke: 10k 47:53 (Male70)
  • Eric Shaw: 10k 48:10 (Male70)



 It’s great see club members out running with their dogs whether this gets you out for a run in the first place or if they pull you to a great time. Janice (pulled by her human, Ben) is a clear pooch winner having placed first in many parkruns. More recently Janice and Ben have completed the Trifarm 10k however the weather was too hot so they ran it unofficially in the morning and still got a medal. Meatball does his best but his owner slows him down. Exciting news however is that Matt Jones’ dog, Ragnar looks to be someone who can challenge Janice’s crown:

I’m sure it wont be long before we see Janice vs. Ragnar!

Medal Envy:

 Some people run for time, some for cake and…. some for medals (like myself). This medal from the Groovy Baby race is my favourite during April!

 Future Races:

 Ok back to the serious running stuff so what races do we have coming up in May:

May 6: Hare & Tortoise challenge event

May 13: Colchester 10k / Halstead Marathon

May 19: Hanningfield Triathlon

May 20: Zoo 10k / Para10 / GBRC Trail run no.2 / Boxted 2k & 10k

May 23rd: Mickey Edwards race no.2

May 25: Sudbury Friday 5 series

May 27: Mayflower Half Marathon

…to name a few


Halstead Marathon is an Essex Road running champs race so it will be good to see any Bentley runners doing this one. Also the GBRC trail run no.2 is May 23rd at Capel St Mary (approx. 7 miles)… these runs are awesome and great for all abilities so please come along and give them a go. The first race had a record turnout of over 50 people.

Finally, I want to really promote the Friday 5 series as over the past few years the GBRC presence has been relatively low in comparison the other clubs. I have myself ran all of them (apart from the new course at Sudbury) and have enjoyed them all very much. Each race has a momento and they are fantastically organised as well as the series ending at GBRC on July 6th. The Saint Edmunds route is my favourite. Check out more info here:

Remember that we ask Bentley members to not enter our own 5 mile race and to volunteer with a ballot for running.


 Training has progressed well now that we can use the road again on Wednesday nights and the feedback has been positive from the Fartlek sessions. We will continue with these with the emphasis on running as one club and AWAYS going back for the last runner. Remember to wear high viz.

Other News:

Subs are due (£25) so please pay these ASAP to help Paul and Eileen. £25 which is an absolute bargain for what you get…XC entry, Ekiden entry, Wix entry included. I believe we have over 100 paid up but if the rest could do this by June 1st that would be great! Payment is by BACS.


This has been a very difficult month for Scott and I to choose with so many of you smashing your goals. Tomasz of course is setting pb after pb, Lee and Paul Hollidge have smashed their sub 20 minute 5k goals, Nick Goodman and Phil Presland ran superb marathons and not to mention the many standards set this month. Tomasz and Paul Connell (gold standard this month) ….I think you guys show amazing potential and have come very close this month…however Eric Shaw and Graham Clarke who both earnt Essex medals this month are the two we have narrowed it down to. Graham with his spectacular display at Bromley 10k and a diamond standard has done it! Diamonds are hard to get and not a lot of people have one. Bloody brilliant. A true gentlemen.

Congratulations Graham Clarke!