Men’s October Newsletter 2018


Well the autumn weather has finally found us with the start of October still very much warm then turning into some very cold days and evenings. We’ve seen a new world record set for the half marathon at the Medio Maratón de Valencia Trinidad Alfonso;Abraham Kiptum took 5 seconds off the 2010 record to finish in 58:18! That’s a pace of 4 minutes and 27 seconds per mile!!!!!!!! Crazy.

New members:

We see the return of a former Bentley Blue this month. Darren Horner ditched the green uniform at Harriers and brought his partner Kirsty and family to GBRC. Rumour has its blue looks better on Darren but I have it on good authority that his return was for the cake. Those Harriers don’t eat any cake. Welcome back!


October is quieter month, more local races and as always here are the most interesting adventures and top performances of the month.

I always enjoy hearing of people who travel the globe for a race. I love going places for a holiday and scheduling in a race around it. This month Paul Blackwell travelled to America to race Mo Farah at the Chicago marathon, one of the six marathon majors. Tim Ballard tackled the Saltmarsh 75 finishing 1stplace – stunning effort well done! Russ Sharp completed the Great Notley duathlon in an impressive 7thplace……however he could have finished higher up the table if it wasn’t for a transition malfunction. Ade Cherry was on duty at the dismount line in transition for Born2Tri (triathlon club who host the event)….Russ must have thought his luck was in when he saw his fellow GBRC team mate and decided to forgo the bike dismount! Ade couldn’t pull any strings unfortunately and alas, he was brought back for a stop penalty. Great performance chairman nonetheless. I don’t usually mention parkrun but Johnny Boy Bush completed his 100thrun (over 5 years) along with a few familiar GBRC pals, just think one hundred 5km runs….thirsty work.

One of the most exciting excursions during October was the trip to Krakow for the local parkrun and half marathon. Tomasz ran a very good time on his road to returning to full speed….i think he may have cycled to Poland the day before? Excellent stuff all round and a potential GBRC event in 2019! Watch this space… Tiptree 10 returns which is always a popular race and Bentley represented as always including some members being a part of the pacing team. The notorious return hill in the latter stages of the race is a tough one but this didn’t stop Eric Shaw from earning an Essex Champs Silver for his age category and of course club champs. Charlie Williams also claimed a club champs spots – awesome running. Lee Clarkson ran a PW in 1:39:49 and then tried to pretend he was pacing. Don’t believe him!

Wix 5mile race aka the GBRC photoshoot day returned and as always the club turned out in huge numbers. Eric Shaw (club champs) continued his fine form by claiming an Essex Gold (plus overall silver medal for the Essex Road Champs series!) and personal bests were achieved by Ryan Day (silver standard), Paul Hollidge (10 pbs this year now I believe) and Jason Skelton (bronze standard). Also achieving a bronze standard was our own VC Scott Young. Silver standards were gained by Matt Laverack and Graham Semple– well done lads. It was great to see that Keith Scrivener (with wife Meryl) and Michael Sommerlad were returning yet again to racing form. Finally Peter Benton claimed a spot on clumb champs to round things off. The Bruges half marathon was well supported by 5 GBRC members including myself. The beautiful city hosted a marathon festival that also included a walking option. You started the race parallel to one of the many canals, near the Bourgogne Des Flanders Brewery and from here you navigated the cobble stones south to follow the twisty roads and soak in the culture and beautiful buildings. The route headed north to follow one of the large canals heading towards Zee Brugge and then a return to the city to finish on the Markt Square in front of the Belfort. Stunning route, excellent organisation, great local support, beautiful warm weather and the best part at the end was you exchanged 2 tokens connected to your bib number for a plate of meat, cheese, bread and a beer! I highly recommend this race however …our bib numbers had our country of origin on a few Europeans decided to start up Brexit conversations….probably the first time I’ve ever wanted to hide my nationality! Anyway I won’t get into politics as it bores me….you may be paying a visa next year to do these European races but hey ho! I may have had a few beers when visiting Bruges….it would be rude not to! One to consider for 2019 if you fancy a trip!


Bruges HM: Claire, Luke, Ade and Charlotte !

Somewhat under the radar Frank Gardiner ran Beachy Head marathon in 6:12:34. Formerly known as the Seven Sisters marathon this is one of the most popular off-road marathons in the UK and a very challenging one at that with 4 huge hills, 7 little ones and a total elevation gain that will leave you in tears. Supreme effort well done Frank. The last of the GBRC trail runs have taken place at Ramsey. Another fine route running around in the dark. Thanks to Rodger, Eric and anyone that has helped to organise these trails I know they take a great deal of effort. We hope the trail runs return for 2019. The winners are due to be announced. Lee Clarkson headed to the Thurrock 10k race where he finished 11th (I hope this made up for his poor performance at Tiptree 10). Finally the last weekend saw the return of XC and the newly named North Essex South Suffolk (NESS) league. GBRC currently compete in pool A and we had a great turnout from the men: 24 of you outnumbering the ladies…. Good to see so many of you wanted to come out and tackle the course and well done to Adam Smith for being first Bentley man home. I think in terms of course completion time, this could be argued as an ‘easier’ XC as it was more undulating than hilly…. Either way it was a lovely morning in the end with the sun coming out and the cake and hot drinks made the trip very worthwhile. A few newbies came alone to try XC and I hope you return next week for more. XC really is great strength training and will be make a huge difference to your road running abilities. Most importantly the men finished 3rdwhich is fantastic so early in the season. We are currently 4thin the table ( The next race is at Great Notley Discovery Centre, near Braintree (more details further down).

Club Champs:

Entries to the club champs during October are as follows:

Ryan Day: Wix 5 – 39:24 (Male Senior)

Mark Jasper: Wix 5 – 32:15 (Male 40)

Peter Benton: Wix 5 – 33:40 (Male 50)

Colin Farmer: Tiptree 10 – 1:10:53 (Male 50)

Colin Farmer: Writtle XC – 92nd(Male 50)

Graham Semple: Wix 5 – 35:35 (Male 55)

Charlie Williams: Tiptree 10 – 1:22:48 (Male 60)

Kieron Hayes – Holmworth 15: 2:32:48 (Male 65)

Eric Shaw: Wix 5 – 38:54 (Male 70)

Eric Shaw: Tiptree 10 – 1:22:19 (Male 70)

Michael Sommerlad:  Wix 5 – 1:27:41 (Male 85)

Well done all! Still lots of spots to run for…..remember the club champs calendar runs to November 13! Awards presented during December.

Special Award:

Eric was selected to receive the coveted ‘GBRC runner of the day’ award at the Wix 5 which was presented to him at Writtle XC. Well done to Eric, those hundreds and hundreds of miles ran this year and dedication to training is paying off. I couldn’t think of anyone more deserving you’re doing Bentley proud. Well done indeed!


Now that the clocks have gone back the nights are very much in the dark! Please make sure you check the training schedule each week so your know what to expect:

I recommend that you bring a head torch for hills just in case as areas in/under/around the podia can be quiet dark especially when the room lights are switched off which doesn’t illuminate the floor as much. If you’re confident you can see where you’re going then fine. Also it’s advisable to where appropriate outdoor clothing for bootcamp sessions as we do venture outside for some tyre flipping (wear white at your peril). Of course….wear high viz with REFLECTIVE material.

Don’t forget to bring water with you especially at hills, Abbey Fields and Sunday morning runs.

If anyone fancies an earlier hill session on Monday Christmas Eve then let me know (possibly 6/6:30pm). I will send a poll out during the end of November. This will be a chocolate hill session and points for wearing a Christmas hat.

If you have any worries or concerns regarding training then please speak to your friendly LIRF (anyone who leads a session) or if it’s particularly technical then speak to Mick or Caroline. That’s what we’re here for and no question is stupid. Unless you’re Paul Carlisle.

Medal of the month:

There are a lot fewer medals to choose from this month but I have selected the following:


Top left: Krakow HM, Top Right: Bruges HM, Bottom left: Ironman Kona, Bottom Right, Chicago Marathon.

No one from the club has actually done Ironman Kona this year that I am aware of but looks at its beauty! So, really the shortlisting is amongst the other 3. Bruges would have been a better contender if it was bigger but actually it is a lot smaller than the picture makes out. For this month it is the Krakow HM medal which actually interlocks with 2 other medals from a racing series including a 10km and Mara distance medal. This then sit in a frame and the three medals complete a picture of a map of Krakow – VERY COOL!

Coaches Corner:

I have been particularly impressed by Paul Carlisle and Russ Sharp who both put 100% in during the VO2 max hills sessions as well as Dave Jones who continues to work very very hard. Duncan Hymes is getting stronger and stronger at each training session as well as Adam Smith. New member Rob has also impressed Caroline in training so keep up the good work all!

This month’s topic has been written by Caroline…so…..The Cooper Test:

In simple terms the Cooper Test is a physical test where the athlete is asked to run as far as they can in 12 minutes to assess aerobic fitness (the ability of the body to use oxygen to power it while running). It was devised by the US military in the 1960s by Dr Cooper.

For this to be a standard test it is ideally run on a track or treadmill but the test can be used to get an idea of fitness on other surfaces if these are not available. Lots of different military organisations now use a fixed distance rather than time. This is called the Cooper 1.5 mile test.

The idea is to put a constant load on the cardiovascular system – it is not meant to be a run that has a varied pace but at a pace that the athlete can hold for 12 minutes. A 10 minute warm up is done first. This test does require practice to get the right pacing.

A person’s age and gender is taken into consideration when working out their fitness. Once the distance (12 minute test) or time (1.5 mile test) is recorded then a simple calculation can be done to estimate Vo2 Max. There are many tables available to give an idea of a general level of fitness depending on age and distance too.

VO2max (in ml/kg/min) from the distance score (a formula for either kms or miles):

VO2max = (35.97 x miles) – 11.29
VO2max = (22.35 x kilometres) – 11.29


Fitness levels – Cooper Test (tables for males and females can be found – this is a generalised one)


So I know you’re dying to find out when we will be doing this…

Friday December 7th

Come prepared with water and make sure you fuel properly before and after. It’s going to hard but fun!

Other News:

The Great Bentley half marathon has sold out within 2 hours of entries going live – woohoooo! Now all we have to do is lay on the event which will be awesome as always. We will be taking names soon for those wishing run for the ballot so watch this space.

Club Awards Night: December 1stat Great Bentley Village Hall 7pm. This is the big night of the year where we can socialise, eat, drink and dance (some of us) whilst receiving and congratulating the many awards earnt throughout the year. It’s’ bring your own booze’ so if drinking, arrange a taxi/lift or take advantage of the train station right outside the village hall! Final cost will depend on numbers but it will not exceed £10 per person. We will find out who’s a meat eater and vegetarian etc in due course so do not worry. Partners are very welcome and could you please let Paul Carlisle know ASAP. We are also going to be asking for volunteers soon to help decorate the hall for the night so watch this space.

Club Award Night Voting:  Last year was one of the best voting turn outs we have had and it would be great to try to beat it this time around. I know it can be difficult to choose but your votes mean a great deal to those who get the nominations and awards.  You don’t have to vote in every category so if there is a category which causes concern then just leave it. Even if you only vote in one category it’s great to have you take part. Paul Carlisle has sent everyone an email with the categories to vote for. Please let us have all votes by 16/11/17 so that we can get everything sorted in time for the big night!


Upcoming events in November. Fewer races this time of year but still places left to enter most of these:

4 – XC: Great Notley, near Braintree (Discovery Centre)* / Elmstead Trail Marathon

11 – Hare & Tortoise Memorial Race: Challenge Event / Stebbing 10 / Stowmarket Scenic 7

7 – GBRC Bootcamp, Village Hall

18 – Hertfordshire Half Marathon / Hadleigh 10 mile & 5 mile / Peterborough 10 mile / Adnams Southwold 10k (SOLD OUT) / Gosfield Gauntlet HM & Marathon Trail

21 – GBRC Bootcamp, Village Hall

25 – XC: East Newhall Farm, Harwich

28 – Mid Essex Casuals night trail: Nightmare at the Elms

*XC: Notley – here is some wisdom from Vicky Presland regarding the course: The route is the normal one – the hill is in (twice).  Spikes or trail shoes – it doesn’t matter for this course.  If it does rain a lot this week it will be muddy and there is a few farmers’ fields to run round so a tip if youshoes are slightly loose – triple knot them and then put some tape round your laces and sole of shoe.

REMEMBER: YOU MUST WEAR BENTLEY COLOURS WHEN RUNNING XC – Please see the lovely Barbara for kit. If you don’t wear club colours then you cannot score.


This without a doubt has been the hardest month to select ROM. So many of you after a season of fantastic running are at their best, smashing out personal bests and just keep on improving. Scott and I discussed many many GBRC men and their performances this month and as always we came to an agreement together. Kieron Hayes has been running incredibly well claiming club champ spot after club champ sport whilst gaining silver and bronze standards this year at 5k, 5 mile, 15 miles (this month) and 20 miles – absolutely incredible work. We’ve seen continued awesome efforts from Tim Ballard who won Saltmarsh 75 (EPIC!), Ryan Day claiming a silver standard and finishing 3rdfor GBRC at XC, Adam Smith with his mighty efforts in training and claiming 1stBentley home at XC. Silver standards were achieved as well by Matt Laverack and Graham Semple during October as well there really hasn’t been an end to the men’s performance….but after a lot of thought there really could only be one ROM and that goes to the man who’s running performance has excelled all year, he’s ran a ridiculous number of miles this year 1300 so far…), claimed many club champs spots, standards galore including a gold this month at Wix 5 including ‘GBRC runner of the day’, overall series Silver for the Essex Road Champs, Runner of the day…not to mention he’s a bloody great bloke. Yes he took ROM a few months ago and this is a rare occasion that wont happen again for a while I’m sure but when you’re running this good you deserve it again. Someone we can all respect and look up to……


Eric you are runner of the month!