Relays, Trails, and Standards Galore

Welcome to this weeks race report, the last of September, with a sunny weekend bringing out sparkling performances from the blue vested runners.

First up;

Essex County Cross Country Relays.

Saturday lunchtime saw a huge turnout of runners descending to Gosfield school for the Essex Championships Cross Country relays event, which was hosted by Halstead road runners, at the usual winter cross country location, so parts of the course were familiar to some. Each leg was 5k in distance. Bentley had a great turnout of 8 teams – 3 all female, 3 all male, 2 mixed teams, with a total of 29 runners – with all required to carry batons which contained chip timing (for the first time this year). It was a great effort on the day by all participants, on what was a lovely warm day – certainly not the usual cross-country conditions! The short course was quite tough, with a couple of hills to negotiate; overall it was fairly well organised, but a couple of points on the course were not clear, or marshalled, so a few wrong turns contributed to some disparate distances. Overall, it was a good team effort though, and some nice cake at the end. Special thanks to Ladies captain Meera for all the hard work organising and selecting the teams. Meera has posted the Ladies, Men and mixed team results on the club facebook page which have both team and individual runners times.

A bright blue turnout at the relays

Colchester Harriers Essex 15 mile.

On Sunday the Harriers 15 mile race took place, comprising an undulating 2 lap road race around the villages of Langham and Boxted. This race was postponed from March, so well done all for their patience – and for maintaining fitness over the summer, as there were some amazing performances from the blue vests on a very tough course.

David Wright was first blue home; in David’s first 15 mile race, he came 8th overall, was 2nd in his age category (which earned a race prize) with a time of 01:38:09.  This earned David a gold standard, a club championships spot, and an amazing 6th place on the club’s all time top ten performances over the distance. David was especially pleased that training for a specific event actually worked out well!

For the ladies, there was a team win, for our first three ladies! – Eileen Shadford, Magdaleena Komorowska and Sarah Davison. With a brilliant time of (02:01:28) Eileen Shadford earned a club diamond standard, and a club championships spot – despite saying next time she will tackle it with more training! Next up was Magdalena Komorowska in (02:07:53), which was officially 3rd place in class, so earned a prize, as well as another silver standard and club championships spot. Sarah Davison ran a Pb (02:10:14), for a silver standard. Kathy Bishop also ran a pb (02:10:51) and a Gold Standard. Meera Rajoo-Oakley ran (02:10:14) (helping pace Saran and Kathy) which was not as relaxed as intended, due to the last hill and the excitement of Sarah and Kathy’s Pbs, and consolidated the club championships spot. Meera said she will definitely back for the course in March when it will hopefully be run next year – weather permitting. Teresa Farmer completed her longest ever distance in a great time of 03:04:21 and was smiling at the finish like it was the start!

Colin Farmer ran a time of (01:53:04) and gained a silver standard, with a tight tussle managing to stay ahead of Peter Benton, who also ran a great time of (01:54:03) for a silver standard.

The ever impressive Frank Gardiner came 3rd in his age category, and with his fastest time of the year, (02:15:14) – but unfortunately it was missed at the awards presentation afterwards.

Well done all blues who ran this tough endurance distance and course – a very proud day for yourselves and the club.

Some of the excited Blues before the big race

Teresa Farmer smiling at the end

Colin, Peter and David looking relaxed

Each Step Counts Trail Run – Saturday

John Bush and Belinda Palmer-Barnes travelled to Bacton near Stowmarket to this very well organised trail run, which is in aid of the EACH (East Anglia Children’s Hospices charity). There were 3 Trail options available – either 3, 6 or 8 miles, which weren’t officially times. John and Bee opted for the 6-mile, three churches route. The course was lovely apparently, travelling through farmland and wooded paths, which included passing 3 churches along the way. John and Bee finished the course (without major incident) in around 1hr 30 minutes, to then enjoy lovely homemade cakes.

John and Bee at end of trail at Bacton

Cheltenham Half Marathon. Luke Groves travelled “home” to Gloucester, immersed himself in rugby (and a couple of beers) the day before, then ran the Cheltenham Half Marathon, a lovely, undulating route which finishes with two tough miles running around the race course. Luke ran, without pushing too hard, to a great time of 1:59:30, and let his brother sprint finish him at the end – otherwise the Groves Adjusted Method time would have been 1:56:30.

Captain Luke…he’s on the right

Bradwell Vertical Trails, 4,7 and 13 miles Run.

This Trail event, run by Essex trail events, had a choice of distances to run in one of the flattest areas of the county. Entry on the day was a very reasonable £5 with a £2 voucher to spend at the Bradwell Marina on the day. Three Bentley blues took up this opportunity and were blessed with a lovely morning for a trail run, some of which was on the sea wall, with section of ploughed fields and some uneven ground.

John Bush chose to run the 7 mile route it, his second trail run of the weekend. John ran the course in 1:48:14, with no major incidents, although with a slight mistake right at the end ended up doing just under 8 miles just for good measure. Deb’s and Paul Hollidge opted for the 13.4 mile off road fun and enjoyed giving their hips and knees and ankles a hard time to finish as 3rd and 4th female (?) in a time of 2:21:22, which earned them the chance to use the £2 voucher on a thoroughly deserved and yummy sausage and bacon sandwich.

Saturday Park Run update;

A quieter than usual park run Saturday for the blue vests,  as many of the usual suspects were at the 5k cross country .

Colchester Castle Park Run; Andy Stephens was first blue home with a time of (23:31), first blue lady home was Anna Mills (25:32), with Kathy Bishop (25:37) and Sarah Fletcher (25:38) fine tuning ready for the 15 mile race the following day. Nick Goodman completed the blue contingent on the hilly course with (26:23).

Clacton Sea Front; Ray Baggs was first blue home ( 4th position overall) , with a time of (20:30). Kevin James was next blue vest (24:06), followed by Alison Clarke (31:28) and Sandra James (36:16).

Great Cornard Park run. Magdalena Komorowska ventured to this grassy course for the first time, and warm up for Sunday 15 miler, and finished in 35 position, with a time of (23:44).

Harwich; Beverly Shortley, despite feeling a bit sluggish, still ran a very good (25:14),with Leoni Harvey running (27:20).

Mersea Island; Over at the scenic Mersea course, Lee Clarkson ran quickly (perhaps scared of the rabbits) to 5 position, with a time of (21:47), Chusa Battis, who was only surprised by the rabbits, finished with a time of (27:12).

Colchester Junior Park Run – Sunday

4 blue juniors took on the recreation ground course and all ran great times as follows – James Blacker (09:03), Angel Jasper (09:25), Laci Wakeling (12:20), and Brody Wakeling with (13:38) and a new course PB!

Clacton Junior Park Run –

Rhianna Reeve ran the seafront course in a time of (11:26) for 4th place, and a new PB !

That’s all from another busy week; well done everybody – continue to look out for each other, and a repeat note – with the shorter days, wear hi-viz to be seen.