A sea of blue

Saturday got to a nice and bright start: the winter sun was shining, the sky was blue and the air was crisp with that freshness that accompanies bright winter days and that is loved even more after a few dreary, grey and wet days. And so it was that with high spirits and tops matching the blue sky, a big continent of Bentley runners descended on Colchester Castle parkrun to run 5000 metres. A total of 30 eager runners took part in what was a very busy parkrun and so, not wishing to make this report an endless list of names and times I will mention just a few (a full list of club result can be found following this link):

First to cross the line for the men was Malcolm Jarvis in a time of 22:17 whilst Kathy Bishop was first lady in 24:57. The Komorowscy (hope I got the right ending for the plural surname) were celebrating their 50th parkrun and they finished seconds apart in a time of 27:07 for Tomasz and 27:09 for Mags. Another runner celebrating a landmark was Debs Hollidge who ran her 100th parkrun in 29:18.  I would like to congratulate you in achieving your new parkrun T-shirts and hope to see you wearing them soon. Also celebrating was Neil Robins who achieved a personal worst running in 30:42 and lived to tell the tale.

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Parkrun and Run for Gem runners in Colchester Castle Park

Meanwhile over in Clacton Seafront parkrun two blue vests defied the blustery wind to complete the 5km course. Kevin James crossed the finish line in 24:37 and Beverly Shortley followed him in 26:20.

But that was not all the running happening on that glorious Saturday morning, oh no! A big group of runners congregated by the band stand in Colchester Castle to run another 5000 meters in honour of Gemma Edgar, a regular parkrunner who was determined not to let brain cancer get in the way of her doing what she enjoyed and keep participating in parkrun and went on to complete London Marathon this past April. Run for Gem was organised by Gemma’s friend, Cara Greenley, to raise funds for St Helena Hospice and Brain Tumour Research. A great number Bentley runners took part in the run which took a flatter route in the lower park and contributed to raise funds and awareness for such a great cause and it was lovely to see runners getting together and enjoying running as much as Gemma did.

Sunday was also a lovely and sunny day … in Lanzarote, that is. Marathon-man Paul Blackwell was in the volcanic Canary island running his 155th marathon and he reported a very hot day with a lovely course along the sea with a good medal and goody bag to be had at the end.

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Whilst on a weekend away in Paris Caroline Searle could not help but donning her blue vest and go for a 5 km jog around the City of Lights (or the city of social unrest, as it could have been named during the weekend).

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Caroline and her friend running in the mean streets of Paris.

Back in the British Isles the weather was not quite that hot or bright but that didn’t stop Bentley runners from heading out for a bit of exercise.

John Bush took part in the Not the Flitch Way, a trail run in Felsted organised by Essex Trail Events. He completed the 5.5-mile course through muddy fields in 1hr 15min 2sec. Also opting for a muddy course was Chusa Bautista who took part in the Princess Cracker self-navigating 7-mile trail run organised by the Company of Runners. Chusa completed the course in 1hr 32min 10sec and was particularly proud of the fact that she didn’t get lost.

Other Bentley runners decided to tackle longer distances at the Reynedeer Run. A timed event where runners can run as little or as much as they want in 6 hours. Luke Groves tackled the half marathon distance in 2hr 13min 54sec and was very happy with the organisation of the event and the medal. Also running the half marathon distance was Anna Lyon in 2hr 7min 11sec. Opting for the marathon distance were Claire Poole (5hr 32min 36sec) and Gemma Colling (5hr 20min 7sec). Ben Ficken completing 9 laps totalling 29.52 miles without his faithful running companion (please insert here your preferred shocked emoji). He was sadly afflicted by a bad back but lucky for him Steve Black was on hand to sort him out and was able to complete his chosen distance. Also running an ultra-marathon was Anna Young, who wins the best fancy dress category.

Sunday was also the day you all have been waiting for. The day where blue met black and white in a clash of titans. The day of the 10 Mile Great Bromley inter-club competition race!!! The day was grey but not enough to dampen the spirits of the many Bentley runners that made their way to Great Bromley Village Hall to start a friendly competition with our friends from Harwich Runners. Russ has very kindly published all finishing times and I am very happy to report that Bentley won the competition overall (hurrah!). Eileen Shafford was first lady to cross the line in 1:16:30. She’s unstoppable at the moment! Natalie Warrimer achieved her bronze standard in a time of 1:27:20 and Gemma Camp got her hands into a silver standard with a time of 1:17:57. Robin Oakley was 7 seconds off his bronze in 1:10:07 (#Oakleycurse apparently) and Charlie Keitch got a coveted spot on the Club Champs with a time of 1:04:19. On behalf of the report-writing team I would like to thank the organisers, marshals and cake-bakers of the 10-miler for putting on such a fantastic event, to Barbara for hand-sewing the ribbons the medal ribbons and to the club in general for enthusiastically participating in the event.

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The winning team at the 10 Mile Gt Bromley Race