A packed 7 days!

It’s not too often the race report starts on a Monday and it’s rarer still for it to start so very far from home but that’s just how this week began!

Ladies captain Meera Rajoo-Oakley, Sarah Davison, Kathy Bishop, Eileen Shadford, Hien Hoang and Robin Oakley jetted off to the island of Sao Miguel in the Azores to take part in the Run Azores Challenge, a series of 4 races over 4 days. The series kicked off on Monday with the Ponta Delgada 5k – an early morning out and back along the harbour side of the islands capital.

Bentley Ladies and Gent at Ponta Delgada
Hit the Hill!

Tuesday upped the ante somewhat with the Volcano Half Marathon which follows a circular route around the Sete Cidades lagoon in the heart of an extinct volcano. The run starts with a not so gentle climb up to the rim of the volcano, rising and falling before descending steeply to finish by the lagoon.

Wednesday brought a change in format in the shape of the Lakeside 6K, a handicap race around the perimeter of Furnas hot springs and volcanic lake with the slowest runner from the first 2 events starting first, followed by the next runner at 30 second intervals.

Finished!

The challenge concluded on Thursday with a 17km forest trail run on the east of the island followed by a celebration dinner and awards ceremony during which Eileen picked up her award for 1st female vet 50! Well done Eileen! To quote Meera, the challenge involved “Lots of plodding uphill, thrilling descents, some hot springs, a volcano, exciting smells, cows in the road, foreign gels (mystery flavour!), near death by tractor; lake swimming and lots of wine!“. Sounds a little bit like one of Rodgers trail runs if you ask me!

Eileen picks up her award.

Final results for the Challenge were Robin Oakley 4:13:16 (8th place overall, missing out on 7th by just 4 seconds!), Eileen Shadford 4:32:38 (16th place), Sarah Davison 4:45:58 (21st), Kathy Bishop 4:46:14 (22nd), Hien Hoang 4:55:10 (24th) & Meera Rajoo-Oakley 5:00:08 (26th). A massive well done to all of you!

A little closer to home, Anna Young took part in the Forest of Light Run in Thetford Forest on Friday evening. This was a 3k course with the aim being to complete as many laps as possible in 2 hours. Anna complete 7 laps in 2:06:58, finishing 38th out of 750 runners. Well done Anna!

Just 2 Blues ran at Colchester Castle parkrun on Saturday morning with Shawn Leek finishing in 28:12 and Sue Sorrell in 32:34.

Rob Blackman ran at Bury St. Edmunds, finishing in 23:09.

Scott Young travelled a little further north to Hackworth parkrun in Shildon, 11 miles north of Darlington, finishing in 24:37.

Over at Clacton Seafront, Patrick Reynolds finished in 24:19, followed by Kevin James in 24:20, Anna Lyon in 25:11 and Brian Telford in 27:27. Emma Welham ran in 29:47 followed by Alison Clarke in 30:54. Completing her first Clacton parkrun in 34:54 was Laci Wakeling crossing the line just ahead of mum Emma in 34:55. Sandra James completed the line-up in 42:58.

Emma Welham at Clacton Seafront

Highwoods parkrun this week was a paced event with Colchester Harriers providing the pacers. They obviously did a good job as Dave Jones earned himself a new PB with a 28:32 finish – well done Dave! Anthea Colsell finished just a few seconds away from her PB in 25.25 and Justine Sheekey finished first in her age category in 23:59.

Also running were the 3 Paul’s; Paul Davison 21:00, Paul Connell 21:15 and Paul Hollidge 24:26. Tom Komorowski finished in 24:39 and Martin Steinwand in 28:41.

Tom and Paul a blur as they speed past followed by Dave Jones on his way to a new PB!

Sunday morning saw the turn of the Juniors with Angel Jasper finishing at Colchester in 09:02 followed by Frances Laverack in 09:35 and Leni Laverack in 09:59. Both Frances and Leni earning themselves new PB’s with those times – well done to you both! Yasmin Leek finished in 14:14 followed by Rodger Ferguson in 17:07.

Winding its way around the sights of Ipswich and the Orwell, the Great East Run saw a contingent of Blues head up the A12. First Bentley to finish was Paul Connell who at 1:29:37 earns himself his first club Gold standard – congratulations Paul! Next to cross the line was Peter Benton in 1:37:17, Ryan Day 1:38:14 and Duncan Scott 1:43:23. Mags Komorowska finished in 1:50:20, Bullet Sestak in 1:57:08 and Mark Harris 2:07:53. Next home were Andy Fuller 2:09:58, Frank Gardiner 2:15:24, Leoni Harvey 2:18:49 and Anna Young 2:20:35. Sunday was almost unseasonably warm and humid and the forecast rain arrived a little too late for most making this an uncomfortable event for many. A massive well done to all that ran!

Bentley Blues at the Great East Run
Barbara, Tim & Sue at Layer Cake

A new event on the calendar this year was the Layer Cake Trail. Organised by the Tiptree Road Runners, participants could choose from either a half or full marathon distance. Judging by some of the reports though, it seems like most runners wanted to get their moneys worth and run a few extra miles!

The trio of Vicky Presland, Debs and Paul Hollidge completed the half in 2h31. Scott Young opted for an ultra-half and completed 17 miles in 3:13 followed by Sue Wright and Barbara Law who completed 16 miles in 4hr15. Well done to you all!

Congratulations go to Tim Ballard who finished 1st place in the marathon in 3hr58, more than half an hour ahead of the second placed runner. Tim also opting for an ultra distance at 27.75miles earning himself “a bottle of wine and early choice on the cakes“.

Phew! There you have it – a whole 7 days of running and some awesome efforts as always from the Blues, near and far!