It is now officially autumn. The clocks will go back this month and the evenings will be even darker. So a reminder: WEAR HI VIZ TO TRAINING and, if you have one, a headtorch would be useful.

A look back

As I did in August I will only look briefly at the previous month and not repeat what our race reporting team have already told us about.

In brief; races that welcomed blue-vested ladies this September were: the Northampton half marathon; Bedford half marathon; loads of Essex trail events; the Splat Quack obstacle course race; the Great East Run; the Felixstowe coastal 10; the Draycote water 20 mile; country-wide parkruns; and more…

We also saw bling bling success in three local races, further demonstrating the growing depth of our ladies squad: at the Dedham 10k Sarah Davison took home the trophy for 3rd place; at the Colchester 15 mile our ladies took the team prize for first three runners home, and we also think we picked up category prizes (although lots of confusion still reigns!); and at Pleshy one of our number bagged herself an Essex medal.

We also turned out in numbers at the Langham 10k and the PB course saw 12 GBRC ladies come home with standards and season’s best runs.

Trying something new this month, the club sent 8 teams to the Essex XC relays. This involved teams of three/four runners each running 5k on a course that included grass sections and woodland. The best of Essex was on display so we knew there would be a lesser chance of bling bling success; but we went to have fun and I think we achieved that! The next opportunity for relays will be the Road Relays in March so if you like the look of a bit of team work get that one in your calendar for next year (date to be confirmed, likely third weekend of March).

Finally, looking right back at the start of the month, the club celebrated with Paul and Deborah as they tied the knot. Complete with celebratory parkrun the day after the wedding. Congratulations Paul and Debs!


[photo credit to Mags I think!]

A look ahead

What is coming up in October? Because it is my favourite, I will start with Cross Country!

The first league fixture is on 28th October at Writtle. The season opener usually brings the numbers out from all of the participating teams, so expect a crowded field. I hope (!) that GBRC will also be showing up in numbers and I remind everyone that car-sharing is probably essential if we are all going to get parked in good time and relatively nearby. If you can and want to, bring baked goods for afterwards; and remember that we are trying to reduce waste so please also bring a mug if you want a cuppa when you finish!

Other important points about XC are:

  • If you think you may run in any of this year’s fixtures please email/message Vicky your name and age (as at October) so she can ready the scoring sheets. This does not commit you to anything, just makes like easier for those who are doing the scoring as names can be typed beforehand instead of being written on the day;
  • Wear a blue vest. All teams must wear their club colours, which is great as the field becomes a wonderfully tribal affair. If you don’t yet have a blue vest, contact Barbara and she can get you one when she is back from her holiday;
  • As we head in to winter, and the ground softens, you will need to think about off-road shoes. Everyone is different and likes different models/makes so if you can try a few on that is the best idea. People wear spikes and studs, I prefer studs because they are better when you hit hard sections (I recall Harwich having quite a long stretch of hard surface). This website has quite a few options to choose from so worth a look to see what is out there (but then google to find the best price!):

In addition to the league (six events), there are three other events that the XC season brings: Essex Champs (Vets only on 1/12/18 at Hilly Fields; Everyone in January at Writtle); South of England Champs in January and National Champs in February. So that is 10 events, (11 if you’re a vet) that you can get involved in. Someone will be collecting names for the Essex Vets champs soon, so keep an eye out for that call to arms.

We have a few marathon runners this month: both the Chelmsford and the Bournemouth marathons welcome our ladies and we wish them the best of luck.

I have had a look to see what else is on this month (relatively locally) and that still have places as of today: there is a 10k event in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park on October 6th, these runs seem to be a series and are held fairly regularly so worth checking out if you want something that you can repeat and then compare yourself on; the Lowerstoft half marathon is still taking entries; the Southend 10k; .the Suffolk Whole Hog OCR; and if you aren’t up for XC, there is the Epping forest pumpkin festival: a 10k event with a 2 and 5k option for young’uns through the forest which looks like a great family day.

On the 21st of October the club will be at the Wix 5-mile event. You need to tell Paul C if you wish to run this within the next day or two. The club pays for our entry and we usually take our annual photo before the race, so sign yourself up and get there early to be in the photo! Not to brag (sorry lads) however our fabulous GBRC ladies have taken the team prize home for the last two years in a row and I am hoping that we repeat this feat this year so pressures on ladies!

Best of luck to those running the at the Tiptree 10-mile. And finally I have a suspicion we might have some brave souls taking on the Saltmarsh 75 this year so best of luck to you as you tackle the two-day event.

Caroline has updated the training schedule and this is now on the website here:

Can you believe we are back at Christmas already?! You will see that on the Wednesday before Christmas we hope to hold our fish and chips run again. This involves a pootle around the village then back to the hall to collect fish and chips takeaway to enjoy together while we natter. It was a good evening last year so add it do your diaries!

As always, I recommend that if you have questions about specific areas of training or are worried about your training, speak to Michael or Caroline who are qualified coaches; and I am sure happy to help.

Entry to the GBRC half marathon has been confirmed for 11 am on 20th October, so please tell your friends. DO NOT, however, enter the race yourselves! We request that members, if they are able, volunteer to marshal on the day and those that wish to run will be placed in a ballot and selected at random later in the year.

Also in October is the final race of this year’s trail series organised by Rodger. Held on Wednesday 24th the run will be in the dark to hi-viz and head torches are mandatory. Debs has already secured her victory this year so with the competition over this run is a chance to run at a relaxed pace and enjoy yourselves… I would beware of the ghouls and goblins as well with Hallowe’en right around the corner 😉.

And, a final reminder that awards evening is coming up. We will be presenting the annual awards and club champs at the Bentley village hall on Saturday 1st December. I think Paul will soon be putting together an attendees list so get yourself on that if you are coming.

Welcome welcome…

I am not sure I know of any new members during September, however if you joined in July and August and have yet to say hello I am usually at Friday training and around on Sundays if I am not racing so do flag me down and introduce yourself!

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 have many ladies that are in my mind and it has made selecting a ROM very, very hard:

  • Someone who is working really hard in training and put it into practise at XC relays this weekend: Nina Simmons. Nina is extremely sensible about her running, only running when she is fully prepared and never if she feels those niggles coming on which means she is less likely to long-term injure herself. It means we might not see her race as much as we might like, but when she does she gives it her best shot. Well done Nina, your work is paying off.
  • I mentioned her previously, however this month Teresa F took on her first half marathon and then went even further to complete the Colchester 15 mile. Well done Teresa; a fabulous month of running and some excellent bechmarks to try and beat next year. Be sure to rest now and prepare for your next challenge.
  • Sarah Davison brought home the bling at the Dedham 10k and then went on to get a personal best at the Colchester 15 with a standard to boot. Well done Sarah, excellent preparation for your marathon coming up!
  • Quietly collecting her standards is Kathy Bishop. With a standard at the Northampton half and again at the Colchester 15 she is also showing some excellent form as she runs towards her marathon day. Keep going Kathy!
  • Legs-of-steel Gemma Colling completed her 52nd marathon in 52 weeks this month; now over half way on her journey to join the 100 marathon club. To repeat my words of before, keep going Gemma! We are all behind you and can’t wait to celebrate the next milestone of 60.
  • And Magdalena Komorowska set a personal best at the Bedford half, a course best at the Great East and took home an age category prize at the Colchester 15!

Runner of the Month

We come to runner of the month. Somewhat unusually Debs and I didn’t immediately agree this month (although we did in the end) as there were so many ladies in the running! The achievements of this lady this month really are unparalleled when you write them all down:

  • Her second best time over the distance for 15 miles and leader of our ladies team in their victory;
  • Her team at the XC relays came in 23rd in the ladies competition and her run was within Bentley’s ladies top 5 times on the day;
  • A seasons best time at the Langham 10k, her second fastest 10k after a PB back at the Bromley 10k in April;
  • And we look to the Pleshy half marathon where a diamond standard performance also resulted in a silver Essex medal for her category.

She now stands in second place for her category in the 2018 Essex grand prix with Wix and Tiptree to still be run and we wish her the best of luck! Massive kudos on an excellent month of running, Eileen Shadford, you are September’s runner of the month!