Let the challenges begin!

Do the members of Gt Bentley Running Club like a challenge? Judging by your antics this past weekend I think the answer is an absolute yes. Some of you travelled far and wide, some stayed closer to home, and all set out to achieve something.

Starting close to home, Robin Oakley decided to answer the question burning on everybody’s lips: can a person run two parkruns on a day other than New Year’s Day? And the answer is, yes! Robin started with Highwoods parkrun where he ran up and down the muddy hills before setting off towards Colchester Castle parkrun, where he started a wee bit late but managed to beat the tail-walker.  How cool is that? Will someone else rise to the challenge? Will someone try to do it in reverse? So many questions! Let’s see if they eventually get answered.

Meanwhile in Harwich parkrun Justine Sheekey challenged herself to a new PB and achieved it completing the course in 21:28 as first lady and renewing her club champs claim on the distance. You go girl!

The Remembrance Sunday Challenge took place on, surprise- surprise, Sunday! Several blue vest made their way to Brightlingsea to take part in the timed event organised by Hare & Tortoise Running and completed several distances depending on how many laps they decided to run.  Running two laps and therefore completing a half marathon were John Bush, Belinda Palmer-Barnes, Barbara Hilder Law and Sue Wright. Dave Jones went further and took 4 hours and 4 minutes for his 20 miles. And tackling the marathon distance was Anna Young, who wasn’t feeling well but didn’t let that stop her from having fun and, according to fellow runners, looking strong and happy. All participants agreed that the conditions were great and the medal lovely.

Remembrance Sunday runners

Sunday was also the day when the Stebbing 10 took place. This 10-mile race was this year part of the Essex Road Running Champs and for Charlie Keitch a necessary race, as he aimed to get his hands on the Grand Prix Series Medal, for which runners need to run 5 out of the 6 races. Charlie not only got his hands on the medal, he also achieved a new PB (1:03:36) despite setting off a bit fast, and renewed his claim to the club champs.  Paul Connell (1:10:23) was the other blue vest at the race.

And now we live further afield for the challenge of challenges: The Six Dales. Brrrrr! I’ve got goose bumps just looking at the icicles on those photos! The Six Dales is the first of the four challenges that make up the Chairmen’s Challenge. The brave blue vests were hidden under warm layers as the group of intrepid Bentley runners ran, walked and waddled through rivers. The challenge was a success: nobody seemed to have got lost (must be thanks to Tomasz’s map reading skills) and all enjoyed a night’s camping on the village hall. And by camping I mean sleeping cocooned in a sleeping bag ready to awake as beautiful butterflies. For Marion it was the longest distance ever walked although she forgot her watch so … if is not in Strava, did it even happen!? The group had a great time and made it safely there and back thanks to Paul Carlisle and Rodger Alexander, who both shared the driving, and Fiona Gosling who helps with (mis)translating American English accents from the SatNav.

Tomasz’s kit for the Six Dales Challenge

Anthea and Paul Davison crossing a stream

Mags modelling the latest trends in how to keep warm whilst sleeping in the floor.

Happy faces despite the cold

Challenge completed!

If you are looking for a challenge the next in the series will be The Winter Tanners in January next year. This is in Surrey so not that far from Essex.

Well, as Bugs Bunny used to say, “that’s all for now folks!” I’m looking forward to seeing what you get up to next weekend!