This month’s captains newsletter responsibility falls in my lap as Scott is in Boston (Massachusetts not Lincolnshire!!) in pursuit of some parkrun tourism as well as enjoying his 50th birthday celebrations.

As always the boys in Bentley Blue have been busy racing many distances in many locations during September; 10k’s, half marathons, distance challenges and parkruns galore!

A few notable performances that have caught my attention (Apologies if I’ve missed other ‘notable performances’, there’s so much going on to keep track of!)

I’ll begin in the island of Sao Miguel in the Azores where Robin Oakley continued his fine form this season by finishing 8th overall in the Run Azores Challenge, a series of 4 races over 4 days. The series consists of a great mix of distances and terrain coupled with some stunning scenery; an early morning 5k, a half marathon around a volcano, a handicap 6k and finally a 17km forest run. Great running Robin, especially for a tennis player!!

The 10k’s of Langham and Dedham were a popular race choice for the guys in Bentley Blue, seven of you took on the undulating Dedham course and were led home by Paul Connell who bagged the silverware for 1st in age category, a fantastic result, well done Paul.

Tim Ballard finished first at the Layer-Cake trail marathon organised by Tiptree Road Runners, Tim’s been running consistently well again this year.

Paul Davison and Tomasz Komorowski seem to be enjoying an endurance challenge, the pair not happy with 50 miles at Shotley followed it up two weeks later with another 17 & 33 miles respectively at the ‘Abbey run with Fraser’ at Abbey Fields

The Blues have participated in parkrun’s at Colchester Castle, Clacton, Bury St Edmunds, Highwoods, Harwich, Mersea, Haldon Forest (Devon) Portobello (Edinburgh), Boston (Not Lincolnshire!) and Hackworth (Darlington). Three special parkrun mentions; Shawn Leek ran his 50th parkrun at Colchester Castle, he’s also taken part in a few other races recently, it’s great to see you back Shawn. Second mention goes to David Wright who finally managed a first place finish at Highwoods parkrun on Saturday, despite running some great times recently he hadn’t managed to pick up token number 001 at the finish. Well done David! Not to be outdone, Jason Cook also finished first at Clacton Seafront parkrun, great running Jason and more to come in the future I feel.

Rodgers Trail Run

Round 5 – 23 October 2019 – Great Bentley – evening trail run – 5 miles
The 5th and final trail run of the series will be a nice little 5 miler from Great Bentley Village Hall , with groups able to leave the village hall from 19.00-19-45hrs. This is an evening trail run, so a headtorch and Hi Vis are a must. As usual refreshments will be provided after, please let us know if you are coming to enable enough sheets to be printed.

Current standings for the men in this years trail run series:
Tomasz Komorowski 391
Paul Davison 382
Neil Robins 350

Ellisons Cross Country League

In case you’re not already aware cross-country season will be upon us again very soon!! The fixtures are out and on our website, the first one is at Gosfield School on October 20th. As always, it will be great to see as many people attending as possible, the positive support and commitment of everyone at GBRC towards Cross-Country is incredible. Let’s have another competitive and enjoyable season including our own race on November 3rd.

Hosting a Cross-Country race is a new challenge for the club, one that Meera and Scott have admirably taken on! We have a reputation for putting on some great races and this one shouldn’t be any different, obviously, there will be plenty for us all to do on the day and days leading up to the race so look out for emails and requests for help. There has already been a fantastic response from people willing to marshal on the day, but there are many other job roles to fulfil and we need to field a bunch of runners as well! It’s always a tough balance between being competitive and providing as many people as possible with the opportunity to run XC. I know this is a subject that always divides opinion, however the general feeling from around the club seems to be that we field a competitive team on the day and the rest of us will help ensure the success of the event with lots of positive support for all the runners (especially those in blue)!! Team GBRC is an incredibly strong force if we all pull together. In any form of competitive sport there are always lots of unsung heroes behind the scenes that help those on the track, pitch etc. To perform at the highest level, as a competitive club, we are no different and rely on the unsung heroess in just the same way!!

Club Awards Night and Xmas meal

This will be on Saturday 30th November. It will be £5 per person. Mags has sent out various messages and emails regarding voting for the various awards on the night, make sure you get your votes back to her in good time. Help is needed on the day to get things set-up, let Mags know if you’re able to help out in any way.

GBRC 10 mile race

Another date for your diaries – 8th December at Great Bromley. A free 10 mile race along with Harwich runners on a flat course followed by coffee and cake. Look out for the emails and messages requesting help on the day over the coming weeks.

Standards Survey

The results of the standards survey have been collated and a majority of members are in favour of a change to the current system, thank you to everyone who took the time and trouble to respond. The committee are working on a solution based on the ‘parkrun style’ of age graded percentages, there is no doubt that there will be winners and losers as a result of any changes! Watch this space over the coming months for more details…

Member under the microscope

This month’s willing volunteer to place themselves under the microscope is coach Charlie Keitch.

Age: 41

Occupation: I work in the internal communications team at the University of Essex. I have to bite my lip every time someone calls it Essex Uni on the club Facebook page!

Started running: I’ve been running for ages. I was a fat kid and started running in my teens to get healthier. I ran throughout Uni and into my 20s, but never ‘seriously’. I didn’t enter any races. I certainly never thought about joining a club. Then in 2005 I did a 10k and then a half marathon and then I was doing a few ‘races’ a year. I didn’t really train for them, I just turned up and did them. Then one day, after my son Rufus was born, I randomly got on some scales in Boots. Despite all the running, they told me I was overweight. At that point, I wouldn’t have said I was ‘fat’ anymore and I remember standing on the scales and thinking, ‘but that’s stupid! What’s the point of all the running if it’s not doing me any good’. And then I thought, ‘oh, perhaps it’s all the food and booze’, so I decided to see what would happen if I ate better, drank less and trained properly. Then, I suppose I got a bit addicted to running!

Favourite running distance: 15 miles.

PB at this distance: I’m not sure, but after a quick search on Strava it looks like it’s 1:48:39 (ish) at my first ever Benfleet 15 in 2014 (I’ve got progressively slower ever since!). It’s not a particularly great time, but for me 15 milers are all about tough, off-road courses. I’ve never raced 15 miles on the road. I try and do the Benfleet 15 and Bewl 15 as often as I can. They’re both special races, brutal off-road courses with plenty of hills, it’s just that one’s usually run in the freezing cold and the others run in scorching hot sunshine. I’ve got my eyes on the Offa’s Dyke 15 too, but it’s miles away and run on a Saturday, which has proved a bit tricky to organise so far.

Claim to fame: It’s not much of a claim to fame, but I used to feature in my friends running blog quite regularly. It had quite a decent readership, but nothing huge. Anyway, one day when I was still working in London I was running through Bank on my way to Liverpool Street when someone recognised me from the blog and shouted after me. It was pretty weird. We did try to bring the blog back a couple of years ago and I even wrote a few things for it myself, but it proved too hard to keep it going for too long. Perhaps we’ll be back one day, though. Who knows?

Best running advice you ignored: Don’t set off too fast. One year I did the Royal Parks Half and decided on the start line that I was just going to smash it. The ‘plan’ was to go out hard and see what would happen. I remember getting to 8 miles and thinking, ‘this is OK, in fact, this is more than OK, this is awesome’. ‘ What a piece of work is man, how noble in reason, how infinite in faculty, In form and moving how express and admirable, in action how like an Angel, in apprehension how like a god’. OK, that last bit was Shakespeare, but you get the idea. By mile 9 I was a shuffling mess of pain, covered in sweat and just wishing the pain would stop. I must have looked awful at the finish, as for the only time ever a Marshal came up to me, covered me in one of those silver blankets and told me to sit down until they said I could move. Ever since then, I’ve been a great believer in setting off just under race pace (this can take a bit of nerve as people dash away from you) building into it and trying to finish fast. Every PB I’ve ever had has been a negative split and I try to do lots of progression runs in training – this is where you start out slow and up the pace every mile.

Celebrity you would like to have dinner with & why: I’d hate to have dinner with a celebrity. I mean, why would you want to do that? You’d be like ‘Oh, you’re that person off the TV’ and they’d say ‘I know’ and then it would just be weird from that moment on. I went to University in Liverpool when Brookside was still on TV and bumped into the person who played Sinbad. I mean, I literally bumped into him walking out of a shop. Because I recognised him from the soap I actually said ‘Sorry, Sinbad’. How embarrassing is that!

Runner of the month

Choosing a ROTM is always a tough one for me and Scott, I’ve already highlighted some great performances from you guys, all worthy of consideration for this coveted accolade! This month’s runner of the month is a runner who joined us last year and has a consistent attendance at training sessions regardless of the weather, location or style of training ever since. He always has a smile on his face and is never short of encouragement for others. His hard work is clearly paying off with some solid race performances, whether it’s a parkrun, 10k, Mickey Edwards or trail runn he always gives it 100%. A big ‘Well done’ to September’s runner of the month Dave ‘good session’ Jones!! Well done Dave and keep up the good work.


Dave demonstrating his commitment to training!!