A look back

I think November really has been a month of club spirit.

We started the month hosting our first XC in many-a-moon, working as a team to ready the course, ready the kitchen, arrange the hall and seating area, get loos sorted, sort the scoring out etc etc. So many played a part in getting the race put on, ad a heartfelt thanks goes to all of you. The feedback we received for our race was unanimously positive from the other clubs and that goes to show how well we worked together to put on a great race experience for everyone.

We ended the month with our annual awards night. This is a great night for us all to socialise together and again took a team effort to put on / clean up after. Thanks to all that helped get the party started, your efforts are again, truly appreciated by us all. And of course congratulations to all who picked up an award. One thing I noticed was the number of different individuals that picked up club champs and awards – a true reflection of the strength and depth of our ladies membership.

In the in-between weeks we saw:

·        Participation in Essex Trail Events from Barbara, Sue and Debs;

·        Emma, Anna and Zoe took part (with some fabulous dress up) in the MoRun, raising funds for men’s health;

·        parkruns around the area being visited by our ladies, and being the venue for a fair few PB runs;

·        our Bentley juniors also taking part in junior parkrun;

·        we ran in remembrance at both Hare and Tortoise events and at Stebbing;

·        there were various pace groups taking on the first of the Chairmen’s Challenge: the Six Dales

·        a spooky run being tacked the day after hallowe’en by Anna Y, Emma L-W; and

·        a celebration of mud at the Winter Nuclear Beast.

A fairly quiet month by our standards, but still loads to celebrate and well done to all!!

A look ahead

So, what is coming up in December? Well first of all we have our 10-miler on Sunday 8th. Scott has sent around the marshal list so please look for that and check you know where you are marshalling! If you are not marshalling, please do try and come for a run. Every finisher helps the team’s score and it would be great if we could once again beat Harwich!

On the social front we have the fish-and-chips run on 18th December. If you are coming to this please let Marion know what you would like to eat in advance. Even if you don’t run please do come along for dinner.

A quick look at the racing calendar to see what’s available in the run up to Christmas and there is a great variety! A few that are relatively local are:

·        the usual 5 and 10k runs at the Olympic park (Stratford) hosted by RunThrough events and TheRaceOrganiser;

o    (

o    (

·        the Dawn to Dusk Sunlight Ultra hosted by Sikhs in the City down in Woodford Green;

·        the Elves 11 Trail in Maldon on Sunday 22 December;


·        boxing day brings the Crown to Crown 5k in Basidon (this is a series throughout the year so perhaps one to try and do more than once?;


·        a popular one – the Witham boxing day 5 may still have places available;


·        if you fancy the longer runs then the Great Barrow Challenge have create the Triple Tipple which starts on 28th December and runs for three days;

·        new year’s eve welcomes the Flitch Way marathon;

·        there is a 10k in Nene park Peterborough (a bit of a drive, but a lovely park to run in so I thought worth a mention);

·        a 10k for new year’s eve in Ely.


I have popped a few links for information in here but a quick google will tell you what you need to know about these races if any tickle your fancy.

And this website is generally quite good for ideas of things to go and run:

Further ahead, don’t forget that if you want a Chairmen’s Challenge medal (or whatever memento they dream up!) you will need to enter the Winter Tanners which is on the 19th of January. You need to enter in advance on line and here is the link:

January also brings the first of our coaching sessions with Olympian Paul Evans. This will be on Sunday 26th and the series of three sessions will focus on 10k racing. The January session is at Arlesford Village Hall. Please let Caroline know (either in the facebook event or by email) if you will be attending.

Finally for XC – the NESS league returns on January 12th at Springfield. And for those that want an extra event, I am currently taking entries for the Essex Championship race on 4th January. Please email me if you want to be entered into that by 19th of December – it’s a great race, so don’t be shy!

And finally, to anyone racing this month: BEST OF LUCK!!

Welcome welcome…

During November we hit 200 members! This is the largest the club has ever been and a really exciting time. Welcome to all our new members.

As always if you want to say hello when I am at club (not as regularly as I would like, sorry!) do just wander over and have a chat. And if you haven’t seen me in a while and want to get in touch drop me a mail or message on Facebook.

It seems a good place to mention here that the committee is still working several projects for the benefit of our membership. As we grow, we need to adapt and, as always, we request feedback from members both old and new to ensure we are thinking about the right things for our members. Please do say something to us (face to face, message, email) if you have an idea about how to make our club better!

One such project in progress is the club standards. To give a quick update: the new standards will be implemented in the new Club Year (when we have the AGM) and are currently being calculated and verified so as to be as fair as possible across gender and age.

What an inspiration!

Each month I hope to highlight some ladies that have personally inspired me for the dedication they put into their training, the fears or obstacles they overcome and their courage to take on new challenges. This month I have three highlights in my mind:

·        all of the ladies that hit 5k pbs this month – Well done! For a distance so accessible to all, 5k is one of the hardest distances to get right. One momentary lapse in concentration and you don’t have enough distance to claw time back ok. So For Teresa F; Chusa; Holly, and Justine: congratulations!

·        Marion Simmons who this month completed the Six Dales challenge, the furthest she has ever travelled on foot. Whilst we are a running club and so marathons seem ten a penny; doing your first one is always daunting. Every completed marathon is special – kudos Marion!

·        And Fiona Gosling has impressed at the Essex Vets XC this month coming 4th in the 60-64 age bracket and 64th overall. Earlier in the month I believe she also completed the Six Dales challenge. Well done Fiona, that is super off-road running.

Runner of the Month

This was a difficult one this month! However, there is one lady who stood out for me.

Having been plagued by an injury during 2018 and juggling running around her work and family life, we have missed her a little around the GBRC camp. She has however used 2019 to enjoy running, completing lots of trail runs around the county, and in October took on a new challenge: the swim-run. October also saw her injury free again and on the start line at XC at Halstead and she backed that performance up at our race on Hilly Fields (after having organised the cakes and kitchen before the race!).

And again on the last day of November she led the ladies team home at the Essex Vets XC Champs with a fabulous 24th place finish.

Someone I have looked up to for a few years now (with the dream of one day being that accomplished!) and someone who embodies the Bentley spirit, please join me and raise a glass to Vicky Presland!