Rave reviews of Bentley’s XC event

For Great Bentley Running Club, this week was dominated by the club hosting the second race in this seasons Ellisons Solicitors NESS Cross Country league.This was the first time in several years that the club has put on one of the races in this series that takes place each year between October and March. The delightful location of Hilly Fields, in Colchester,was chosen as the location, with St Helena School being the HQ and base.

The course, specially mapped out by Rodger Alexander, was a great success, with superb feedback from the other clubs post race, with it seems unanimous agreement that the course and marshalling were brilliant, with the most common being “brutal, but at last a proper cross country course, something for everyone”. A “fantastic course laid out by Bentley”, one comment from a notable Colchester Harrier.

Much effort was put into cake donating and baking ( a Bentley speciality) An incredible amount of £408.00 was raised to be split equally between local charity Run For Gem and whichever charity Darren Willey’s family choose.

A fine display in the kitchen

To the results ;

Great Bentley are in Pool A. The team results for Bentley in the race were : Senior Ladies, 3rd position. Senior Men 5th position, for a combined 4th position in Pool A.

The Juniors finished with 6 points, so now have 11 points, for 6th place in the league after race 2. Notably, the number of junior runners (158) was the second highest number in the last 10 years.

Well done to the 12 Bentley ladies, 24 Bentley men and 10 Bentley juniors who ran the race. As usual protocol, I will list the points scorers and positions in order, but full results can be found in the below link.



Emily Zethraeus (7), Vicky Presland (19) , Meera Rajoo-Oakley (28), Sarah Davison (30)


Tim Ballard (32), Dave Wright (33), Charlie Keitch (42) , Russ Sharp (61) Mark Jasper (65), October Club runner of the month Robin Oakley (73) Jason Cook (74) Jon Mann (76)

Senior Mass start at Hilly Fields

Junior Mass start at Hilly Fields

“Thanks Rodger”, from Derek Greenham

A nice smile Peter Benton, but Michael Simmons wants that club champs spot

So, a great success for Great Bentley, well done all who contributed. It looks likely after this that the race will be repeated next season !

Onto other races, in an otherwise quite quiet week.

Friday Fright Night.

Anna Young, Mark Crittenden and Emma Levett-Welham took part in this approximately four & a half miles running-trail in Coggeshall, the day after All Hallows’ Eve. Anna finished in 14th place, 43:07, a great time considering it included a couple of wardrobe malfunctions. Emma got chased by a big rabbit to a time of 57:39, with Mark in 57:36 . The race involved photographs being taken & variety of ghouls/zombies etc to negotiate, and all participants received a light up memento at halfway point & soup and roll at the end. This was a friendly and fun event, one to look out for for other Blues next year, if you don’t mind being spooked !

A ghoulish Anna Young in Coggeshall

Nuclear races fallout – Saturday

Emma Young tackled this event, described as the Nuclear winter beast. There are two races, a 12k and a 7k. Emma took on the 7k, which involved over 50 natural and man made obstacles, over woodland, lakes, bogs and of course lots of mud. Emma finished the course in 1:55:08 an excellent 68th place out of 537 runners, 11th out of 192 women and 1st in age and gender category.

Emma “lovemud!” Young at the Nuclear race.

Parkrun update

Highwoods Parkrun No 35 – The one for Darren.

There was saw a large turnout of blues, in memory of Darren Willey. It was touching for many attending, and was very nice of the race director Paul to mention Darren at the start, and also in the weekly Highwoods parkrun report

The Blues at Highwoods Parkrun

Times were Robin Oakley (22:38), Charlie Keitch (23:09), Chris Warren (23:15), Paul Connell (23:30),Paul Hollidge (26:08),Paul Davison (26:09), Magdalena Komorowska (26:30),Vicky Presland (26:31), Scott Young (26:32) Kathy Bishop (27:09),Sarah Davison (27:10), Sam Beardswell (27:46), Anthea Colsell (27:51) , Tomasz Komorowski (27:52), Fiona Gosling (in a course PB of 28:57),Debs Hollidge (29:11), Anna Lyon (29:20), Frank Gardiner (in a course PB of 29:32), Dave Jones (30:00 ), James Royce (30:46), Emma Levett-Welshman (31:49), Teresa Jones (course PB of 35:16), Belinda Palmer-Barnes (39:34). Additionally running in the blue shirt were Craig Mitchell (1st place in 18:55),Tommy Colsell (2nd place, course PB of 20:06) and Milly Presland in (22:22).

Clacton Seafront Park run.

The returning to running Dave Goldsmith (excellent news) was in 6th place in (21:09). Followed by Ray Baggs (21:55), Patrick Reynolds (23:41), Kieron Hayes (27:39), Alison Clarke (29:57), Laura Warren (33:02), Sandra James (40:04), Dave Nugent (44:25).

Colchester Castle Parkrun

Representative this week was ladies captain Meera Rajoo-Oakley, with (23:20), 33rd place and 5th female.

Harwich Parkrun

Representative this week was Leoni Harvey in (27:10) , 8th place female.

Clacton Junior Parkrun

Clara Jones , course PB in (16:40), George Jones (17:45), Isabella Jones (17:45).

Well done everyone, and especially pertinently this week, stay safe, and look after one another.