Let’s hear it for the girls

When I found out that I’d be your humble race report narrator for the May Bank Holiday weekend I though “the blue vest will surely be up and about all that weekend” and you have not disappointed me.

Proceedings got to an early start this week on Wednesday with the inaugural Micky Edwards race. For those of you that are newer to the club, the Micky Edwards is a handicap 5k series run over five races, with the first one setting your base time. Every time you shave time off a previous race you get pretty points. This is a great club event and I would encourage all of you who can attend to give it a go. And if you cannot run but want to be a part of it all then I’m sure Luke will find you a suitable volunteer position. For more details on who was Micky Edwards and find past years’ result, head to our website: https://gbrc.org.uk/our-races/micky-edwards-series/

Being a bank holiday weekend some of you decided to head outside Colchester for a well-deserved rest. Some of you don’t seem to understand the meaning of rest and chucked-in a 5k run into your peaceful holiday plans. I don’t blame you: parkrun tourism is, after all, a kind of holiday which lets you explore other parkrun routes and compare them to your local ones. Rob Ferguson headed West to the Eden Project, a hilly but net downhill course which provided runners with good views of the geodesic biome domes. Rob weaved his way in and out of the domes in a time of 19:43, finishing 14th overall. Rob Dyer for his part headed to Rochford for the Watergrove parkrun, a brilliant, scenic run up and down the moors. It was cold and windy but that didn’t deter him and he completed the course in 26:44. To close off our parkrun tourism section we have Paul Connell who decided to cross the Irish Sea and take part in Enniskillen parkrun. Paul describe the route a three nice laps alongside the river and castle. Fuelled by Guinness, he finished second with a time of 19:32.

Closer to home we had Charlie Keitch taking son Cassius for a 21min 16sec stroll on Colchester Castle parkrun. David Wright for his part finished in 9th place with a time of 18:52. Paul Hollidge incorporated Highwoods parkrun as part of his 26-mile race. This was his 175th event and he ran it at a steady pace in 30:38. On the windy Harwich coast, Dave Jones had an easy 2.5k before turning to face the wind on his way back to the start/finish line in 25:43. And staying on the coast, Brian Telford ran Clacton Promenade parkrun in 23:58.

Junior parkrunners also had a great time this week. In Clacton Cienna Telford finished in 7th place and got a cuddle with the Junior parkrun mascot. In Colchester, fresh from setting a PB last week, Angel Jasper went out on Sunday only to achieve a newer PB of 9:09. She was 9th finisher out of 141 children, third girl and first in her age category. Way to go Angel!

May 4th is known as Star Wars Day – if you cannot work out why, say it aloud in your head then think of what it sounds like. Hare & Tortoise running put on a May the Fourth event, which was complemented by a Revenge of the 6th event on Bank Holiday Monday. Emma Levett-Welham took part in the half marathon option for both events and achieved two great medals that interlink when put together. What a clever idea! Paul and Deborah Hollidge also took part in the Revenge of the 6th half, with Debs finishing 3rd lady in a time of 2:13:11 and Paul hot on her heels with 2:13:12. First lady finisher on that race was Anna Lyon in a time of 2:03:40. Claire Groves took the 10k option on Monday finishing 1st lady in a time of 55:53. Finishing first lady is always a great achievement, doing so the day after running a half marathon even more so. But that is precisely what Claire did, having run the lovely course of the Two Castles Narrative Trail half marathon on Sunday, finishing in 4th overall and first lady. Amazing achievement Claire!

Another lady in blue in excellent running form is Davina Swindell who ran the Thorpness Heritage Coast 10k on Sunday in a time 49.49. This is her fastest time in ages and she and Charlie achieved it despite some teething issues at the beginning of the canicross race. Anna Young was another Bentley Belle who achieved her fastest 10k time in a couple of years. She ran the High Easter 10k also on Sunday. A lovely route around country roads, very well organised that she completed in 52:38.

Bank Holiday Monday saw Paul Blackwell tackle his, I don’t know, one millionth marathon? He found the running conditions at Milton Keynes great and enjoyed the stadium finish. Rob Dyer ran the Breckland 10k in a time of 55:17 on that same day.

May Day Witham race was 10 miles this year, instead of the 5 miles of previous editions, and a few blue vests decided to complete the course. Charlie Keitch was very happy with his finishing time of 1:05:47, which earned him a 3rd V40 position, despite some verbal outburst on account of issues with his right leg. Paul Davison completed the course in a silver-standard time of 1:08:41. Sarah Davison achieved yet another PB and a gold standard for her time of 1:17:52. Have I mentioned that the Bentley girls are doing great? No? Well, I’ll mention it again as Kathy Bishop won a diamond standard with her 1:19:50 and Anna Young a silver one finishing in 1:26:42. Well done all of you!

And to round up the report we had Hélène Tyler, who undertook the Thames Path Challenge Walk and completed it with Bella the dog in a time of 3:08. Now, I’m not sure if that’s 3 hours rather than 3 minutes or if she was going at warp speed – I’ll leave that for you to decide.