Men’s August Newsletter 2018


Well, August continued with the hot and humid conditions that we ‘re becoming accustomed to…. Only for it to quickly turn into a monsoon! At least we have some cooler weather and more runner friendly conditions (especially for anyone training for an autumn marathon!).

New Members:

We’ve had not one but two men join the club in the past month….welcome to Stephen Collis and Mark Stevenson! Perfect timing to enter the club and gear up towards cake season, I mean, XC season. I’m sure you will enjoy your time with Bentley!


Corr… the first week of August was particularly hot….so Ipswich Twilight 10k returned (an event I am desperate to run and must pull my finger out to enter in 2019). It has been suggested that this event is …ahem, a tad short and very good indeed for pb’s!!!!! I’m sure there isn’t the case ….Paul Hollidge absolutely smashed his pb by over 2 mins and earnt a silver standard, Charlie Keitch ran sub 39 minutes to reach an impressive pb, Tim Ballard not to be outdone ran a sub 38 with a pb and finally Tomasz who is returning to top flight speed managed to gain a pb in a time of 49:05. It was good to see Jamie Neil returning to racing also. Robin Oakley managed sub 20 minutes at Chelmsford parkrun whilst bagging a bronze standard – truly impressive and more speedy performances to come from the fastest Oak I’m sure. A mention must go to Paul Hollidge who managed to race the fastest time at karting during his stag do… of course it was nothing to do with the fact he had the fastest car with the best breaks and most importantly was Ferrari red! Paul Connell on the other hand… aka the ‘people’s champion’ managed to destroy every kart he touched!

A flight to Ireland saw Tomasz tackle the Dublin Rock N Roll half mara  – another race I would love to do one day…not just for the Guinness before any of you jump to conclusions! Lovely bit of bling too! It won’t be long before Tomasz is beating Mags again…muwahaha. This could be a good GBRC field trip one day I reckon. The Rendlesham Alien’s vs. Trail runners HM returned for their night and day double and Gary Hill and Neil Robins fancied a bash. They both finished safely (unlike Debs the previous year) gaining an impressive medal that interlocked if you ran both night and day races. I feel like race envy is getting the better of me this month…another on the wish-list. Daniel Blacker ran a superb pb at Junior parkrun in 13:43 – keep up the good work!

With the cooler weather setting in, Paul Blackwell began his 10 in 10 ultramarathons attempt. The mighty Paul completed 4 days however on the 5thday he had to retire due to a knee niggle…a valiant effort and one I’m sure he will return to tackle. Some awesome tank medals earned in the process. I caught up with James Carter just before Clacton 10k/HM before we battled the gale force winds….happy to report that there were no directional issues this year however the run would be more pleasant with better weather. James ran a great time by banking a pb for the 10k – congrats…I know you’re looking ahead to claim that sub 50 goal….you will smash it soon enough.

james carter and luke

James and Luke at Clacton 10k/HM

Charlie Keitch went and claimed a pb double this month by running Mersea Island 10 in a staggering 1:04:37, finishing in 8thplace overall and claiming a silver standard. He also grabbed one of the two remaining vacant club champs spots for Male Senior, just the 20 miles left unclaimed.

Two Bentley events that took place this month being the 3 peaks trip and GBRC trail run, were a great success as always. Thanks to those who give their time to organise these trips/events for our benefit so thank you Paul and Rodger (plus all the other helpers). Paul is a lover of sweaty hugs if you want to show him your appreciation.

Congratulations to Phil ‘one job’ Presland and his navigator/engine Milly, for winning the 4.5 mile Farmhouse Inn Trail. Very good stuff indeed and looks like the rehydration was well earned!


Phil and Milly having a well earned drink after winning the 4.5 mile Farmhouse Inn Trail

John Booty returned to Chamonix for the UTMB festival of running. This time he tackled the 35 mile option including 3500m of accent to reach an altitude of 2100m! Amazing physical and mental determination to complete the route after a few falls and a tackle chunder. Finish time in 11hrs 44 mins and a well-earned finishers gilet to collect at the end. A race that not many will experience – absolutely fantastic well done John!


John Booty – finisher!

Club Champs:

It’s been a quieter month for club champs claims…Paul and Sarah are busy on their honeymoon so we won’t bother them but the most up to date entries I have are:

Tim Ballard: 10k 37:50 (Senior)

Charlie Keitch: 10mile 1:04:37 (Senior)

There are still several spots yet to claim so it’s worth having a look and possibly entering an event…you have to be in it to win it!


The summer nights are drawing in but we have plenty of light left to take advantage of. Please continue to wear high viz so we can remain safe as a group. When on the Bentley roads (Wednesday sessions) the blowing 3 times on the whistle to stop/slow the group down for cars passing, seems to work well. Always listen to your LIRF, tell them if you have any injuries and if you have any suggestions to improve the session we will take that on board. Having led many of the LIRF sessions it’s inspirational to see so many of you pushing and pushing during training, striving for improvement. It really does make a difference in training when you’re in a group, plus when you pair this with an awesome training plan such as the one by Caroline and Mick…it’s a winner. The trifecta of building strength for running I believe is hills, cross training and XC….fortunately we have a hill session once a week, boot camp for cross-training is returning in October in the Great Bentley hall and the XC season is nearing! Watch this space for more info….

If you ever want to see additional details of training sessions make sure to check the website or visit the link here:


Not a lot to report this month – lazy pups #justiceforjanice.

Medal of the month:

So this month it comes down to half mara or further distance medals…..

mens aug medals

Top left: Dublin Rock N Roll medal, Top right: SVN tank medal, Bottom left: Clacton Pier medal and Bottom right: the Rendlesham night/day medal

I have to say I do love an interlocking medal so for me this month it’s the Rendlesham Aliens vs. Trail runner medal as my winner!

Coaches Corner:

A new monthly segment! Each month I’ll be talking to Mick and Caroline, your two England Athletic CIRFs for which man or men they think have worked particularly hard during recent training sessions. Race performance speaks volumes but not everyone enters events and recognition is deserved for the efforts put in during training. This month the focus and praise was very much on Dave Jones who has worked incredibly hard particularly on his running technique. Well done Dave keep up the good work, the coaches are impressed!

Plus!!!!….. we will be featuring a topic each month (guidance and writing by Mick and Caroline) on training, to explain why exactly we do what we do in our GBRC training sessions. Theres alot of jargon which we will break down and some confusion on why we do intervals, warm ups, arm drills etc.

Next month’s topic: VO2 max training – does aerobic capacity matter? How do we improve our VO2 max? Can our Garmin’s estimate this efficiently? What GBRC sessions incorporate VO2max training?

Other News:

Russ has asked me to remind you all that entries to the GBRC half marathon will open in October and that Bentley members who are interested to run please do NOT enter. Members interested will be put into a ballot and drawn later down the line. We ask that our members do not enter the half marathon so they can be available to help host the event…. We always allow several men and women each year to run but we need a large turnout of volunteers to ensure the event runs safely and with prestige. The income for this event keeps our subs down, subsidises events, pays for entries such as XC, Ekiden, Wix 5 etc. New members of the club if you would like more info then speak to any of the committee and we will be happy to explain more. Thank you in advance for this.

XC plug: dates for the upcoming season are available on the website, please get them in your diaries so you don’t plan a shift at work/holiday/day out/sofa day…priorities people.

For those of you that have missed the gossip….where have you been…..the man behind HR24 has stepped away from Harwich and has announced his own 24hour event in 2019 called: ROC24 on June 1stand entries open in October. A very similar format but it will be held at Culford School instead. Now, the rumours were that Harwich Runners wanted a break in 2019 anyway and could foresee a 24hr event happening every other year so this really is a bonus for those needing to fill a need for 24hr running and no travelling the distance of TR24 or Endure. HR24 may return…or may not. So…who’s in?!

Barbara is putting in another order for the newer lightweight Bentley jackets so please see her for an order and sizing – bargain price of £17 each.

The GBRC 10 miler has been rescheduled for Dec 9th – this is important as it means it won’t count for this current period of club champs(window ends Nov 12th 2018) – therefore look around for another race (if you’re not entered already) if you want to compete for a place on club champs, i.e Stebbing 10 (Nov 11) – entries open Sept 1st:

Finally, but by no means last……Congrats to our very own Sarah and Paul for getting married on August 26th. They are currently enjoying their honeymoon in Austria and we look forward to your return!

sarah and paul wed

Mr and Mrs Davison’s wedding

Upcoming races:

Here’s a few races/events upcoming in September (many of which you can still enter), also please note that there’s no GBRC trail run in September – the next one returns October 24th(venue: tbc):

Sept 2 – Takeley 10k / Hare & Tortoise Purple Rayne Challenge Event / Bedford HM

Sept 7 – +++++ NO Friday GBRC training session +++++

Sept 8 – Debs and Paul wedding parkrun takeover * / Vitruvian Triathlon

Sept 9 – Brightlingsea 4 mile run/walk/jog in aid of Essex Air Ambulance / Langham 10k / Colchester Stampede HM

Sept 16 – Splat Quack Go OCR / Tomasz Kom social bike ride & breakfast** / Dedham 10k / Pleshey HM / Great East Run HM / Essex Trail 10k

Sept 22 – Serpentine Swim

Sept 23 – Felixstowe Coastal 10 mile

Sept 29 – Essex County XC Relays ***

Sept 30 – Dunton Demon 5 miler / Cheltenham HM

* Debs and Paul have invited everyone to join them at South Wooden Ferrers for some parkun tourism and to celebrate their wedding. Plus they are having breakfast after at Three Rivers Golf & Country club – let Debs or Paul know if you want to go to breakfast.

** Tomasz is building a reputation for planning social bike rides coupled with breakfast. For those who want a break from running then join him for a gentle 45miles (ish) including breakfast at Suffolk Food Hall and an opportunity to support runners at the Great East Run. Speak to him for more details or find the event on Faceboook.

*** Please let Meera or Debs know if you want to take part in the XC Relays – any opportunity to get muddy is good in my opinion!

Very important: there is no club session on Friday Sept 7th.


This month has been another tough selection for Scott and I. Two Bentley mammoths in the form of Tim Ballard and Charlie Keitch continue to impress, inspire and smash their running goals, Dave Jones continues to run strong and Paul Hollidge has smashed an impressive 10k pb this month whilst always running consistently well and having a large presence promoting the club wherever he goes. For us however, we wanted to reflect on our admiration for someone who continues to run very well in a different way, not necessarily for speed but endurance. We wanted to give ROM to this man who has managed to run 4 ultra marathons in 4 days. What an unbelievable accomplishment. Just think about it, think of the miles, the strength, the determination and mental mindset to complete such a feat. This man is also returning from a substantial injury so has worked hard to get back to running and furthermore set a great example when he listened to his body and retired on day 5 of his ultra marathon attempt. Amazing running and a great bloke who will always give you the time a day.

paul blackwell

Congratulations Paul Blackwell for Runner of the month!