15 miles, the main order of the week

Good evening all. The weekend turned very chilly, but the sun shone, and the blue shirts were out and about and enjoying events.

Benfleet 15.

19 blues turned travelled to the south of the county, to take part in the 29th edition of this extremely popular race. For those unfamiliar with this course (myself included) this is described as a challenging, 15 mile, multi-terrain course, incorporating sections of the Canvey Island sea wall, and the undulating Hadleigh Downs. The race is based at Hadleigh Country Park, and starts and finishes at the Hadleigh mountain bike course. Different touches at Benfleet 15 include the colour coded medals awarded, with gold for the first 100 men and women, silver for the next 150 men and women, and bronze for every other finisher. An added bonus for Great Bentley running club, this year the T -shirts were in Bentley blue colour. The weather was cold but kind for the runners this year, as the course was relatively dry in comparison to previous years. Results and comments as follows, in no particular order!

Male club runner of the year, Tim Ballard, came a fantastic 30th place, in his first 15 miler, with 1:45:47 , which was a bronze standard,  and a club championships spot. Tim is now confidently back to full fitness.John Booty ran 2:06:26, for 186th, got a silver medal, and was pleased with his good form returning. Charlie Keitch , with , 1:53:04 , unfortunately suffered cramps at the 14th mile, after being on target for a course PB. However, despite the last very tough mile, this was still good enough for the top 100 to get the gold medal. Meera Rajoo-Oakley 2:11:31 , a personal worst for Benfleet 15, but still 29th place, in spite of not treating the hilly course as an “A” race ! This got ladies captain Meera a club championships too. Dave Jones, “enjoyed” the hills in his XC trainers, finished with 03:16:02. Claire Poole ran 3:12:18, with Christina Foreman in 3:11:17. Paul Davison ran in 2:02:48  and was pleased with that, as he finally seems to be running injury free. Mrs Davison (Sarah) ran 02:27:28 , gaining a club bronze standard. Tricia Stacey ran 02:23:12 and gained a club bronze standard. Leoni Harvey at 2:54:06 felt strong but turned knee at mile 7 and had to walk the last three miles, but still earned the race silver medal, and a place on the club championships. Bentley’s Iron man Tomasz Komorowski ran 02:15:54 (I don’t think he cycled there though), and Rob Dyer ran 02:16:16. James Carter ticked off one of his bucket lists, running the hilly 15 miles in 02:33:04. Frank Gardiner ran 02:41:56. Anna Young, with her first longer run since an unfortunate race in mid December, ran a confidence boosting time of 02:43:37.Emma Levett-Welham enjoyed the stunning views once the hills were conquered, with 3:26:15 , who ran with Mark Crittendon , who found it tough but in typical style loved it, finishing also in 3:26:15 . Sue Wright ran a super time of 3:17:20, closely followed by buddy Barbara Law, in 3:17:30

Some of the mass blue contingent at Benfleet

Some more blues at Benfleet (what a Buff)

 Folksworth 15

 The running “Hammond’s “ (really Mr and Mrs Hollidge) pair took part in this alternative 15 miler. Folksworth is located off the A1(M) junction 16 at Norman Cross, 5 miles south of Peterborough. Now in its 30th year, the route takes in some great scenery over two laps of an undulating course, all on country roads. With three fairly steep hills on each lap the course is testing, is chip timed, and this year a nice purple t-shirt as a prize for finishing. Paul Hollidge, achieved a personal best of 01:48:28 , a massive 15 minutes and 12 seconds better than his previous 15 mile best. This earned Paul a silver standard and, and a club championships spot. Debs Hollidge kept up the trend , with a PB was by 3 minutes and 59 seconds, in 02:16:38.

The smiling Hollidge’s in eager anticipation of some great running

 Gloucester Half.

Men’s team captain Luke Groves, travelled “home” again to take part in his 22nd half marathon, continuing a competition with his brother Rob. This is a traffic-free course with entirely closed roads except for two sections on the route. The route takes runners through the wonderfully scenic parish of Haresfield and Colethrop village. The race was cold, possibly causing an unscheduled toilet stop for our captain, meaning brother Rob stormed off to now lead the Groves competition 3:0.  Not even the nice medal could cheer Luke up by the look of it, with an expression on his face that can only be achieved when bested by a sibling. Luke still ran close to the two hour mark, with 2:03:45.

Brotherly love in Gloucester (our skipper’s on the right)

Rachel’s Ranscombe Ramble.

Paul Blackwell took part in this Saxons, Vikings and Normans challenge, this time a pretty route, near Rochester in Kent, with laps of 4.37 miles, with a time event limit of 8 hours. Our club marathon man did not have his real legs on, but still ran (guess what – 15 miles) to earn a nice medal.

That’s a pretty medal!

Saturday Park Run update;

Colchester Castle Park Run;

Malcolm Jarvis was first blue home in (21:39) Richard Moor  in (22:11) Rob Blackman  in (23:04) Jason Skelton  ran an almost pain free  (23:29), taking it steady on recovery from achilles injury, Russell Clarke  in (25:16),  Meera Rajoo-Oakley  in (25:37), Magdalena Komorowska  in (26:01) Tomasz Komorowski  in (26:07) Natalie Warriner  in (26:11) Anthea Colsell  in (26:23) James Mccullagh  in (26:59) Andy Stephens  in (27:11) Emma Wakeling  in (27:43) Scott Young  in (28:09) Claudia Keitch  in (28:47) Jack Wicks  in (31:37)

Clacton Sea Front;

Brian Telford in (24:05) Alison Clarke in (30:26) and Peter Reeve  in (34:39)


Emily Zethraeus in (21:04) was overall 1st lady home, with Toni Wilson in (24:31)

Mersea Island;

Benjamin  and Janice Ficken “non- competed” to run in  (20:51).

Kesgrave Park Run;

Rob Dyer travelled to Suffolk and ran in (28:46), a warm up for the 15 miler the next day.

Junior Park Run – Sunday

Colchester – Angel Jasper ran 09:42 for 2nd female, with Cienna Telford  11.21  and George Jones 19:21.

Once again, another fantastic effort by all our runners, with much achieved in 2019 and it’s only the middle of January. Keep safe, and carry on with the joy of running.