One foot in front of the other

Well, well, well … what do we have here? Another weekend full of epic running, PBs galore, trophies and standards?  This being a race report for Great Bentley runners I was not expecting anything less.

The “big ticket” race this weekend was the Great East Run, formerly known as the Ipswich Half Marathon.  A few years ago the Great Run franchise took over and altered the route to make it less hilly. Never having run it I cannot comment on whether that is the case but what I know is that the local run proved popular with Bentley members with eight of them participating. First Bentley to cross the line was Jake Darkings in a time of 1:36:02. Andy Stephens followed in 1:38:42 and hot on his hills was Peter Benton in 1:39:03. Jason Skelton was next. He was pleased with his time of 1:45:20 since he hadn’t done much training since July and was trialling new shoes. He was followed by Magdalena Komorowska, who greatly appreciated his encouragement and crossed the line in 1:46:51, achieving a course PB of 7 minutes: not one second more, not one second less. Hien Hoang came back from a trip to Vietnam and Laos on Friday but that didn’t stop her crossing the finish line in 2:03:40. Michael Deed was next in 2:07:12 and Neil Robbins rounded the Bentley presence with a course and distance PB time of 2:14:32 with near zero training.

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GER half marathoners

Another local event on Sunday attracting another set of eight Bentley members was the Dedham 10k. First Bentley home in a time of 47:56 which earned him a first place in his age category was Kevin James. Newlywed Sarah Davidson finished in the fantastic position of third lady overall in 49.12 and earned herself a trophy in the process. Anthea Colsell achieved a course PB by 2 minutes and was 4th in her age category finishing in 51:26. Emma Wakeling was a last minute entry and bagged herself a Bronze Standard in a time of 56:32. Other runners were Richard Moor (49:04), Helen Carey (1:03:04) and Sandra James (1:14:13).

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Dedham 10k runners

Yet another set of Bentley runners also tackled the half marathon distance at Pleshey, who is described as a great course with happy marshals. This was the half marathon qualifying race for the Essex Champs and Eileen Shadford achieved a silver position for those Champs in her age category when she crossed the line in a fantastic time of 1:43:14, her second fastest time for that distance. She also bagged herself a place in the Club Champs and a Diamond Standard, or so a bird has told me. Well done Eileen! Also at Pleshey was Teresa Farmer who completed her first half marathon in a time of 2:40:04 and already has her sight on a 15-miler. There’s no stopping her! Bentley gentlemen were represented by Colin Farmer, who ran in 1:36:58 and Charles Williams, 1:51:40.

But the action doesn’t stop there! Sunday also saw Emma Levell-Welham and Mark Crittenden braving 3.4 muddy miles to complete the Splat Quack OCR.

Also running on Sunday were Ben Ficken and Janice. Ben let his mum pick a race which turned out to be the Essex 10k aka Waterways 10k, mostly cross country along the Chelmer from Ulting to Maldon and back. Ben and Janice had a good first half (despite some questionable dinner choices that left Ben’s stomach a bit fragile) but unfortunately took an unplanned detour to a Tesco carpark and found themselves stuck behind other runners in a narrow path. Add to that a twisted ankle, a blister and no medal and I’m not sure Ben is going to let his mum pick a race for him any time soon. All in all, the dynamic duo ran 6.45 miles in 49:20.

Going back a day to Saturday we found Debs and Paul Hollidge participating in the Gt Dunmow Carnival running the Essex Trail 6-miles event. They reported the race as hilly with some fresh plough terrain but with easy to follow directions which meant no bad turns and a 4th lady position for Debs. They both finish, hand in hand one likes to imagine, in a time of 1:07:00.

Jumping back to Sunday (I like all this time-travel) we have a “little” event you may have heard about, the Berlin Marathon.  Kipchoge may have smashed the World Record finishing in 2:01:39 but our own Kevin Stevens can be proud having finished in a great 3:38:07.

If you thought you could stop reading now and get up to make a cuppa, well, then you have clearly forgotten that Saturday is known as parkrun-day and this report would not be complete without a mention to several 5 km runs with finishing positions that are definitely not races.

This week parkrun tourism came courtesy of Kathy Bishop, who headed to Cheshire to run three laps of a lake in the Congleton parkrun in 24:03; and Nick Goodman who completed Tonbridge parkrun in 24.14.

Mersea Island saw Belinda Palmer-Barnes running in 30:21 followed by John Bush who achieved a course PB with 31:33. At Clacton Seafront Rob Blackman lead the Bentley charge in 22:51; Beverly Shortley was 3rd female overall and 1st in her age category with a time of 26:01 and Alison Clarke crossed the line in 32:08.

Up the coast in Harwich we had Emily Zethaeus (22:41); Kevin James (22:45); Teresa and Dave Jones (29:56 for both); Cherie Hipkins (31:25) and Sandra James (34:55).

Colchester Castle parkrun proved the most popular this week with nine Bentley runners. First one up was Tim Ballard who was 5th overall and 1st in his age category with an amazing time of 18:56. Malcolm Jarvis was next, entering the finish funnel in 21:51. Next were Meera Rajoo-Oakley (22:13); James Mccullagh (23:29) and Anna Mills (23:45). Magdalena Komrowska had a bit of a hiccup with the barcode reader but all was sorted in the end and her run was duly recorded at 24:52, getting her that little bit closer to the 50 parkrun club. Only seven more to go! Lee Clarkson kept Chusa company only to leave her for dead in the final lap finishing in 24:59. Chusa couldn’t be too angry with him as chasing him down earned her a best time post-injury so far of 25:34. And completing the Bentley contingent was Stephanie Mills, who crossed the line in 28:53.

What a week this has been! Keep on the good work and see you next week another episode of “What did the Bentley runners do next?”