What a week of running ! Salt , Marsh, Swim , Sun ?

There were yet again some amazing running from the blues last week, in the first week of October, with an extraordinary wide range of locations, distances and events.. and a mixture of weather conditions to contend with or enjoy..

Firstly, we start with Parkrun catch up from Saturday.

Mersea Island saw Charlie Keitch, in a warm up race for the following day, run to 10th place ,in 21:39, closely followed by Robert Ferguson in 22:02.

Clacton Sea Front had a great turnout of blues this week ; Kevin James (23:38), Anna Lyon , 3rd place female in (24:31), Brian Telford (26:12), Patrick Reynolds (29:14), Heather England (31:58), Claire Reynolds (32:39), Laura Warren (33:46), Sandra James (39:50),Dave Nugent (53:10).

Colchester Castle Parkrun;

Craig Warriner was in 7th place with (19:06), Danny Draper , was in 13th place with a course PB time,and sub 20 minutes to boot, with (19:55), Malcolm Jarvis was next in (22:00) ,Russell Clarke ran (25:39), James McCullagh (27:03), then first time runs for Fen Julier , in the JM10 category (27:42), and Laci Wakeling (34:32) in the JW10 category, running with Mum Emma Wakeling (34:33). This run for Laci beat her 5km PB by 20 seconds !

Harwich Parkrun

Justine Sheekey with a nice pacing speed tune up ready for her Sunday run, finishedin (29:20).

Highwoods Parkrun,

A bit of a low turnout of runners this week, (71 in total) saw Scott Young run (25:15), in 18th place, with Magdalena Komorowska and Tom Komorowski running the hills together in (28;17 and 28:18) respectively.

Captain Scott at Highwoods parkrun, with a different sport and club allegiance kit!

Mags and Tomasz. – Scott’s dust had long since dispersed

Huntingdon Parkrun.

The Hollidge’s and Presland’s took in a bit of Parkrun tourism whilst on route to the Lake District for Deb’s and Vicky’s main challenge the following day. Phil said this Parkrun was a very pleasant 2 laps through the woods. Paul Hollidge finished with (23:11) , taking part in his 35th different parkrun venue. Phil Presland finished with (23:59), Vicky Presland (25:57) , and Debs Hollidge (28:35).

Junior Park Runs – Unfortunately, due to the adverse wet weather on Sunday, both of the Clacton and Colchester junior park runs were cancelled this week.

Saltmarsh Half Marathon…

Several blues tackled this inaugural event on the Essex Marshes. This course was basically along the line of the river between South Woodham Ferrers and Burnham on Crouch, with a few dips inland where the sea wall had collapsed. It was run along a mixture of grass, trail , fields, with a few stiles, gates and steps thrown into the mix. The general consensus was that it was a tough course, but enjoyable and set in great scenery ; and a race to recommend to others to tackle the beautiful course next year. Rob Dyer ran his fastest half marathon for 3-4 years, in 01:58:00, which included an extra detour at the start as the leaders took a wrong turn! Sarah Davison ran 02;03:50. September male ROM Dave Jones (runner of the month) stormed home in (02:21:20), Davina Swindell ran most of it with Dave Jones in 02:26:25, Neil Robins and Leoni Harvey finished together 02:27:11, Mark Crittenden 02:51:22 , and Emma Levett-Welham 02:50:00,

Happy blues at Saltmarsh

Lovely views of the coast – only a few clouds on Saturday

Neil Robins – with well earned medal

Saltmarsh Ultra 50 mile Trail Marathon

Paul Davison took on this ultra, tackling the enormous 50 mile challenge. finished in 10th place , in 09:17:10 . Whilst this is a lovely bit of coastline, 50 miles of mainly repetition is no doubt tough, so Paul found this affected his running and concentration, and so slowed down a bit between 26 and 35 miles. However, with great detemination he but pulled it back over the last 15 miles. Paul even included an extra mile in the run, which was probably deliberate knowing the man and the unbelievable amount of miles he has clocked up this year. Fantastic commitment from Paul.

Southend 10k

This by all accounts is a great race, albeit a busy one, in (not so sunny this weekend) Southend . Despite the hindrance of a strong headwind on the return back from this seaside course , the 4 blues who ran did very well . Justine Sheekey was over the moon with running a PB of (45:35) in only her second 10k. Charlie Keitch ran this race for the first time, and was pleased to get under the 39 minute barrier,with (38:59). Jon Mann ran well against the crushing headwind with (41:16). Ryan Day was first blue home in (37:18).

Jon Mann making light work of the headwind at Southend

Lovely anniversary medal from Southend 10k

Breca Coniston Swimrun.

Debs Hollidge and Vicky Presland travelled to the Lake Distict to compete in this event. It involved 24 miles of running, 4 miles of swimming (in the iconic lakes of Coniston, ,Grasmere, Windermere amongst others) with 18 transitions along the way. The race was challenging, with technical uphills and downhills, Ably supporting each other , and joined for the final run by husbands Paul and Phil , the ladies completed the event in 8hrs and 18 minutes and 36 seconds. Well done ladies, I would have drowned in the first 5 yards .

Vicky and Debs (plus unknown photobomber 🤩 )

One of the lakes

Crete trip 2019.

Lee Clarkson and Chusa were in Crete, taking on a couple of events.

Lee ran the 10k, Chusa took on the half marathon distance.

This sounded like a difficult run ( a combination of the Halstead marathon and Highwoods parkrun with the hills,and under a blazing sun).However, this was offset with a beautiful landscape full of olive trees, and cheering from the local people who were sitting outside their houses in the villages. Chusa’s finishing time was (2:01:16), for 8th in age category, and 29th female out of a field of 145 ladies- and a bonus late summer tan.

Lee and Chusa enjoying the heat and hills in Crete

Colchester Zoo Stampede.

There were extremely wet conditions in Colchester during the second running of this event.

Robin Oakley in his first “proper” attempt at a half, was pleased to run in 13:38. Rob Dyer ran a PB in 01:51:55, and was very pleased, not surprising considering the miles from just the day before ! Fiona Gosling finished with a time of 02:12;:14, Ben Myhill finished with 01:44:14 , and mark Stevenson ran another half marathon, for the second time in two weeks ,in 01:41:42, for second in age category.

Robin Oakley pleased to have finished the drenching at Colchester Stampede

Ben , Robin and Mark with stampede finishers medals

Martlesham 5k.

Tim Ballard finished in a brilliant second place in this well organised event, with a time of 18:35, in wet , stodgy grass and partly flooded conditions. Tim was very happy with this time, coming just two weeks after his success in the Layer Trail marathon two weeks ago ; a super medal, and a nice silver plate for coming second, well done.

Awesome Martlesham Medal.

The Flower of Suffolk,

Organised by the LDWA (Long Distance Walkers Association) , Tomasz Komorowski and Magdalena Komorowska took on this 18 mile challenge around Walberswick in Suffolk. The flat paths turned into streams in the atrocious conditions, but “the Rock” Tomasz kept dragged them through the streams , to get to the finish of another mega distance run, and to collect a nice certificate to make the sogginess worthwhile.

Mags running through the rivers of Suffolk on Sunday

Lowestoft Half.

Slightly further up the coast, Duncan James Scott took on Lowestoft Half today in what he called biblical conditions -ie,Big headwinds, big rain and big waves – Despite this, Duncan was inspired to run personal best of 1:40:30, beating his previous best by 1.5 minutes.

Bournemouth Half.

Mark Harris was on the South Coast,where the sun was out ! He took on Bournemouth half marathon, finishing with a chip time was 2.02.37. Well done Amr

Chester Metric Marathon.

Across the other side of the country, club coach Caroline Searle took on this unusual distance of 26.2km or 16.37 miles. It was dry there, and Caroline got her head around the distance to finish the race in 2:49:33.

Metric Marathon distance medal for Caroline. One to savour.

Gosfield Gauntlet – Half Marathon Trail.

Part of the Essex Trail events, and hosted by Halstead Road Runners. Sue Wright stayed closer to home, not wanting to miss out on the rain and mud, and get in some cross country training. Sue found it easy to not get lost with the excellent narrative, so put this race down as a favourite trail run, with considerately freshly ploughed fields and nice hills to tackle, in the lovely Essex countryside.