It’s that time again! We are now officially into the period of the year when the days start to get shorter. It’s still super-hot though so make sure to stay well hydrated!

A look back

It seems like last week, but it was a month ago that we gathered in Bentley to welcome from far and wide runners hoping to smash personal bests on our 5-mile course. Mr Sunshine had other ideas though as he heated the course up to record levels making running dusty and very uncomfortable. Still the Bentley spirit shone through and our marshalling and encouragement on the course was well remarked upon. Thank you to everyone who helped at the Friday 5 race. We are proud of the race, local runners love it, and income from the race helps keep our subscription costs down so by helping out you make a difference for us all.

We also had several ladies running in our Friday 5. For some it was the first in the series they ran, and for one it made for a complete set. Well done ladies; whether you did one or all six, you should be very proud of your efforts. It has been really good to get a good number of Bentley blue-vests at the series again this year and so do consider supporting the Friday-5s in 2019 if you can.

Also thanks to those who helped out earlier in the evening for the Junior Race. This year was my first time helping at the junior run and it was thoroughly enjoyable! Don’t forget, members children can enter for free so bear that in mind for next year!

July also saw the end of the Mickey Edwards series and the Harwich Handicap series. Both saw Bentley ladies improving over the few weeks, even though the weeks got warmer and conditions tougher. It goes to show what dedication to one distance can help you achieve.

Ekiden was also this month! On Saturday night before the race I was a broken woman trying to make sure the Sunday would go as smoothly as possible. Much like the day after a marathon though, on Sunday I had started to forget the stress: I had a great day at Ekiden bossing you lot around, I hope you all enjoyed it too, despite the hot hot running conditions! The competition ended up so tight and even the organisers couldn’t tell who has won on Sunday! Also special thanks to Phil P who was the independent adjudicator for the team names competition.

Another special Bentley night was the Geoff Day Memorial 5k. Well done to all who ran that evening; I think we had 27 ladies out on course this year, which is probably a record! If you didn’t manage to make it, do look out for next year’s date and get it in your diary.

The Summer Stumble was this month – an ever-more popular event that combines running and the putting away of alcohol. As always GBRC had a good number of runners there and having fun, which goes to show what a friendly and not-too-serious bunch we are! I hope to make it to the Stumble or the Winter Wobble one year, but they always seem to put me on parkrun duty that day. Coincidence? Hmmm….

Other things happening in July were (in no particular order) Brightlingsea 10k fun run; Felstead 10k; Brantham 5 mile; Glasgow-to-Edinburgh trek; Royal Parks Summer 10k; Fort William Marathon; the Prudential Ride 100……….

I am so so proud of the GBRC ladies representing the club at all of these. There have been personal bests, standards, good progress with injury rehab. So much achievement. But just as pleasing is seeing us as a club having fun, interacting with other runners (sometimes convincing them to join the club!) and thoroughly enjoying the summer running.

A look ahead

There is lots to look forward to in August.

I will start with training – Caroline and Mick have put together the plan for club sessions up to the end of September: take a look at the webpage and see what will work with your personal goals. Some are lucky and are naturally talented at running, however for the rest of us the key is turning up at training consistently and showing dedication to a goal.

The coaches are now planning towards the end of the year and I am pleased to announce the club is looking into getting Craig back for winter conditioning training, so you can all look forward to that! I think training as we head into winter will have a little XC focus to it… A reminder that Vicky has circulated the XC dates and they are on the webpage here Get them in your diary!

Race wise there is lots to consider in August: starting with our own, the next trail run designed by Rodger is on the 19th of August. This will be the longer run but take it slow and most will be able to get round. Rodger likes to have a crowd so do come along if you can!

Also in Rendlesham forest on 11th August is Aliens vs Trail Runners. Wixy has set up a Facebook event for this if you need more information. The premise is a looped course where you can choose your distance.

12th of August sees the Mill to Mill swim (not running, but still a good event) from Dedham to Flatford. This swim coincides with the crossing through Dedham Vale of the SVP100 race. There are still places for the 63+ mile challenge although perhaps no one is quite trained enough to enter that on a whim! If you are in the area though to support the swimmers and runners as they pass though. The Anchor at Nayland has a beer festival on that weekend as well so you can always enjoy a pint as the runners pass through 50 miles!

Keeping off-road is the summer club event: Yorkshire three peaks. I am sure Paul C will welcome a few more signing up so if you are interested have a chat with him at club. Several members took the challenge on last year and the feedback was extremely positive, so it looks to be a good event for this summer.

I’ve had a nose to see what is on in and around Essex this month that still had places (although you will have to google to see if that remains true). You can find: The Hatfield Forest half marathon; The Chase the Sun Olympic Park 5k &10k; the Hadleigh Castle 10k; the Clacton half marathon and 10k (although previous year’s feedback has not been great about this race!) the Trifarm Autumn 10k and the Mersea Island Road Races 5mile/10mile. So, if you have a spare weekend and fancy a race there are loads locally that you can try!

There is also the August edition of the Essex Summer XC on 11th August. This is at Hadleigh park and is a wonderfully hilly course to challenge oneself against. You can usually enter on the day for the Summer XC so if you fancy a change on a Saturday morning, why not!

Finally, I think it is sold out, so not one to try and enter now, but good luck to all those entered into the Ipswich Twilight 10k on Friday. It’s a fast course so one to lay it all out on and see what you can do: I look forward to seeing standards and PB galore on Saturday morning!

My usual reminder: as was proven at Ekiden, parking at races is often really limited. If you are heading to a race this month, check out Facebook or speak to people on Wednesday club night to see if you can car share. Not only does it help race organisers out by reducing the need for car parking space, it gives you someone to chat to on the way there and back.

Welcome welcome…

Welcome to all new ladies that have joined during July. I hope your first few runs with us have been enjoyable and I look forward to running with you as we head into the muddy season!

What an inspiration!

Each month I hope to highlight some ladies that have personally inspired me for the dedication they put into their training, the fears or obstacles they overcome and their courage to take on new challenges:

This month I highlight some ladies whose dedication to training and focus to specific goals has yielded rewards:

Teresa Farmer – having joined relatively recently Teresa has been working towards getting her 5k time below 30 mins. This month she smashed that at Harwich, bagging herself a bronze standard along the way. She also finished as Bentley’s highest placed lady in the Harwich handicap series; ran a super strong closing leg for her team at Ekiden and has taken on the 5-mile distance with success. Well done Teresa!

Teresa Jones is a similar story. Joining with husband Dave, she has shown a fantastic commitment to training. This is paying off as she placed third in this year’s Mickey Edwards. Teresa’s focus in training is admirable and she is never afraid to give things a go. Well done Teresa!

Another person I have noticed showing real commitment to training is Alison Clarke. Having been running consistently now without injury, Alison’s training is paying off with solid performances at parkrun this month as well as at the Friday 5 and Brantham 5. Keep it going Alison!

Geraldine Springett ran her second marathon of the year this month. Again she has shown dedication to the distance and focused her training around achieving an amazing time on a really tough Scottish course. You deserve a rest now Geraldine, a super effort!

And last but definitely not least I highlight Gemma Colling. Last year Gemma attempted to run 10 marathons in 10 days. She achieved 9 and, well, this year she wanted to go back for more. This attitude is commendable; to accept that sometimes things don’t go your way but be willing to keep trying. This month saw Gemma go again and attempt 10 in 10. Once again, she came a-cropper with a foot infection however her achievement of five days in a row is absolutely super and more than most of us will ever achieve. Well done Gemma, keep going: you will definitely get to ten soon!

Runner of the Month

So, who for runner of the month? Debs and I had our work cut out for us with so many ladies showing real improvement. The lady we have chosen has been a member of the club for a while, but perhaps more recent members will not know her as she has been out with injury for a while as well. This summer though has seen her complete the London Marathon, improve so much over 5k that she placed second in the Mickey Edwards series, run her fasted 5-mile race in over two years, compete confidently in the Felsted 10k; and put a solid performance in at Ekiden to help “Meera’s Maidens and a bloke called Russ” come second in the club Ekiden Cup. Making a fabulous come back to running, I hope to see this lady reaching new levels of speed when the slightly cooler season rolls in! Congratulations Leoni Harvey, you are this month’s Runner of the Month!