It’s gettin’ hot in here so … apply your SPF and get your running shorts on!

Well, what else did you think I was going to say? As the weather warms up remember to be sensible in the heat, protect your precious skin from Mr Sun’s rays and stay hydrated (sadly an ice cold beer does not always count as hydration – who knew!?).

But before it got hot the weekend started a bit unsettled, with storms predicted and rain making an appearance on Friday. Of course that did not deter the Bentley Blues from participating in the Brantham 5 mile race and 1 mile fun run on Friday evening. Starting with the fun, Tim Ballard ran with Amelia (6) and Imogen (4) in what was to be Imogen’s very first race. She did extremely well despite Tim’s “sabotage” efforts after 200 meters where he accidentally knocked her over. She recovered and went on to complete the run in 14:34. Amelia on her part ran a little bit extra as she kept doubling back to check on her little sister (and keep an eye on her dad, no doubt) and finished the course in 14:19. Both Amelia and Imogen were chuffed to bit with their medals.

We all know how much they like a 5-miler, especially Mags Komorowska who gushed about the slightly altered route. She loves this race so much this was her third year running it and greatly appreciated the local support in adverse weather. She ran with Frank Gardiner in a time of 43:58 (Mags) and 53:58 (Frank). Tom Komorowski ran just ahead of them in 37:55. Anthea Colsell was also at the event and with a finishing time of 40:29 bagged herself a new PB. Well done Anthea! Tom Colsell on his part ran a fantastic 32:34. Rounding up the reported Bentley representation at Brantham was Mark Crittenden with a time of 51:03.

For Mark, that was the aperitif to his main event of the weekend: the Summer Stumble on Saturday. The 10-mile race between the Black Buoy in Wivenhoe and Ye Olde Albion in Rowhedge, this event along the “Colchester Riviera” can be summarised as drink-run 5 miles-drink-run 5 miles-drink-collect your hard earned medal. By all accounts Mark enjoyed this event as can be gleamed from some of the photos shared on social media. His comrades in arms for that arduous journey were Nicola Laverack and Dave Jones.

Sunday started nice and bright with a team of intrepid Blue Vests at Felsted 10k. Peter Benton was the first Bentley and 50th runner overall to cross the finish line with a time of 41:52. He was one second off equalling the current Club Champs for the distance and two seconds from bettering it. Paul Connell was not far behind, coming in at 42:22. Paul’s advice for a broken-hearted Peter? Everything seems better after a refreshing pint! Paul and Debs Hollidge completed the blue representation with times of 45:13 and 57:32 respectively. Debs struggled on the day but reported that the event was a nice one with a good course and an unfortunate lack of toilets at the start that made for long queues. Not one to dwell on the negatives, she quickly remarked that the medals were awesome.

Meanwhile in Norwich Anna Young also tackled the 10k distance across the city. The race was well-organised and the approximately 6,000 runners enjoyed support all along the way, nice bling and a great goodie-bag. Anna had some problems breathing and getting enough oxygen and had to see the medical team along the race. Once she felt better she resumed the run and completed it in a time of 57:57. Whilst disappointed with her time she did the right thing seeking help when needed. Let this be a reminder to all of us that not all races go to plan and our health is always more important than running a few minutes faster.

Another club member running the 10k distance was Emma Levett-Welham who ran the Hare & Tortoise Ice Cream Sunday in Brightlingsea. She completed a 10k lap and celebrated the completion of her 12 in 12 half marathon challenge. Well done Emma!

And this concludes this week’s race report … KIDDING! How can we forget about that wonderful, free and inclusive event that is parkrun?

So here you have the parkrun rundown, starting with the parkrun tourists: Phil and Vicky Presland. The survived a night in a tent and ran the out and back course of Sizewell mostly on firm sand, grass and stone tracks with a bit of soft sand thrown in for good measure. Vicky was 2nd female with a time of 23:22 and Phil followed in 25:52.

In Harwich Paul Davison was the 5th finisher in the breezy course in 20:45 whilst Anna Young ran her fastest course time (26:22) with Caleb the dog who caused havoc at the start, getting tangled and inspecting the puddles, but was good in the end.

At CCPR Mags and Tom ran the orange route which is not the easiest, if you ask Mags. That didn’t seem to matter much to her as with a time of 24:44 she was 5th female and 1st in her age category. Tom finished one second behind her in 24:45.

Up and down the Highwoods parkrun Charlie Kietch was 6th overall finisher with a time of 20:45. Emma Wakeling for her part was 5th female there and 3rd in her age category with 27:37. Gemma Colling ran her first parkrun in 30:12 and was 1st in her age category, not a bad start. Paul Hollidge finished in a time of 28:44 and Debs in 30:28. Having lovingly baked a cake to celebrate Scott Young’s 200th parkrun milestone she was devastated to learn Scott has miscounted and that was “only” his 199th event.

On to the Junior parkrun events, Clacton saw the rivalry of the Wakeling children at play. Brody was determined to beat his sister Lacy and bagged himself a course PB by finishing in a time of 11:57. Lacy had to accept the fact that on that occasion her brother had been faster and completed the course in 14:55, which may or may not have been a course. At the same time, in Colchester, Angel Jasper had a magnificent race at junior parkrun. Not only was she 1st girl finisher (an accolade that she has won on 8 separate occasions now) but she was 8th out of 149 children with a PB time of 8:43. Angel is a very determined runner and was understandably very proud of having shaved 5 whole seconds of her PB.

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Parkrun tourists

This truly concludes this week’s report. My opening statement remains: be careful when running in the heat, drink plenty of fluids and apply SPF generously.