A look back

Well well, the ladies have started the new year with a bang! This month we have had ladies running in parkruns, including many doing the double on New Years Day; the Stansted Stagger; the Benfleet 15; also at the olympic BMX park: the Hadleigh legacy 10k; the Peddars Way Ultra and the Hercules Labours challenge. In amongst those races were first times, personal bests, an entry into the GBRC all-time top 10 (good work Justine!), more than a few standards, and many many smiles:

Super to see you all enjoying yourselves ladies!

On the XC side there were two events this month: the Essex Championship race, where I am pleased to say GBRC doubled it’s attendance in the ladies race this year! Well done Teresa J for joining me this year and toe-ing the line alongside Olympians and National champions. Maybe next year we will even get a whole team out on the field (three!)?

XC League saw us running at Writtle and the ladies only just missed out on a second place finish after the scores were calculated – amazing! What is great to see is that we were actually the second team to get four ladies home; we managed to get 12 ladies back before the last team manged to get their fourth home; and we were the largest ladies squad out there on that day with 20 runners compared to the next largest squad, Tiptree with 11! Well done to all who have ran an XC so far, you have all been brilliant.

We also had the first of our three sessions with Paul Evans. An Olympian and once-upon-a-time winner of the Chicago marathon, Paul has a wealth of experience to share with us during these sessions. The first seemed to be enjoyed by all, although 90 seconds has never felt so long before! Thanks goes to Caroline for seeing this opportunity and applying to England Athletics on the club’s behalf to set these sessions up.

so… that leads on nicely to:

A look ahead

The next coaching session with Paul Evans is on 16th of Feb with the last of the three on 1st of March. These sessions have been designed with 10k racing in mind so perhaps look for a 10k shortly after the third session to see if they’ve worked. Note that places for the Little Bromley 10k are selling fast, as are places in the Colchester 10k so get in there if you want to run these!

In addition to these coached sessions, we also have our regular training to look forward to. Caroline has put together the schedule and you can see it by clicking the link at the top of the training section of this website. It was great to note that our session with Paul was not that dissimilar to those sessions we have as standard so we surely have knowledgeable coaches putting our training together. Thank you to Caroline and all of the LiRFs that help put this on for our members.

February has two XC events: Abbey Fields on the 9th and Hadleigh on the 23rd. Hopefully we can have a repeat of Writtle and have almost double the number of ladies running as any other club! Both of these events require parking at local (small) carparks so please don’t forget to carshare if you can to help the organisers out. Also don’t forget to take your own mug if you want a cuppa after you’ve finished.

Another event at Abbey Fields in the not-to-distant future is the Essex Road Relays. For the ladies teams this will involve teams of three completing the relay, each runner running 5k. The course this year is two laps of Abbey Fields and finishes on the track. It will be very spectator friendly. We are looking like we will have about 10 teams out on the day so should be a great event. The race is on 15th March. Please email me if you want to be put on the list, or if you want more details. Most information can be found here:

Looking further ahead to March we will see the start of this year’s GBRC Trail series. The first run will be a 5-miler (ish) at Mistley on 22nd. As an added incentive to get to them all, this year a 100% attendance will win you an “I trailed them all” t-shirt. ooh-la-la! (writing this I’ve realised I won’t be sporting one of these babies as Robin and I have planned a holiday in June… oops!)

Also looking into March, please be aware that Nick will be collecting membership subs during March this year (as opposed to April) to ensure everyone is renewed with England Athletics by the deadline on 31/3/2020. We would like people to pay by BACS into the club account if possible as that makes like easier for Eileen; details of this will be sent out in Feb. If you have questions about subs please do speak to any member of the committee in confidence.

Finally the end of March will be the end of this club year and we will hold our AGM at the start of April. At this AGM we will be rolling out the shiny-new club standards. The commitee has taken all of the feedback we received from the survey, from conversations we’ve had with members, and at last year’s AGM and developed something that we think is appropriate for the current membership of GBRC, with goals to aim for at al levels. Hopefully you will like them!

This year’s AGM will also be my last (for the moment 😉 ) as your ladies captain. I have been in this role for two years now and whilst I envisioned a third year; as I really do love following all of your achievements and seeing you progress; my ability fill the role in the way I want to has been reducing recently due to other commitments I have.

Therefore I will be stepping down as captain at the AGM and I am asking you all to consider who you might nominate as your ladies captain for the future. To be considered for the role you need to have a nomination, which is seconded by another member of the club. You can of course self-nominate. Please send nominations / seconds to our secretary Magdalena during Feb / March. If more than one person is nominated we will have a ballot to decide who is appointed.
I am happy to speak to anyone who would like to know more about what being captain might involve.

Additionally to the above, vice captain Debs has also been in her role for two years and has mentioned that should the new captain have a new (willing) vice in mind, she would also appreciate a change and would also step down this year. Nominations process is the same for the vice captain role and, again, please do speak to either one of us about what the role involves.

Welcome Welcome

There have been some new faces around in January, so welcome! I am usually only around on Sunday so hopefully I will meet you all at XC or at our next coaching session with Paul Evans.

Inspirational Ladies

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 raise my glass to:

  • Tonie Wilson – Tonie had an absolutely brilliant run at Writtle XC, proving what dedication to training can achieve. She then went on to be the fastest in her age category at the Benfleet 15 a week later. Well done Tonie, great to see you out there again!
  • I have also had an eye on Holly Colsell this XC season. Holly is starting to develop the same determination that exudes from her mum Anthea and consistent improvement at XC events shows that hard work is paying off. Well done Holly.

Runner of the Month

And so we come to runner of the month… if you recognise these times, you know it’s you:

(the one in the wind) 3:17:18; (the one in the snow) 3:16:18; (the one that was actually quite warm) 3:17:30; and (the super super muddy one, worse than ever before) 3:43:13…

Or perhaps you recall saying you wouldn’t do parkrun because you have no interest in getting up that early on a Saturday?

Well… here you are at Highwoods parkrun:


and looking amazing I must say.

Such an inspiration to so many of us I don’t think there are superlatives enough to describe Barbara’s running.

This month, completing yet another Benfleet 15 in what were the worst course conditions for quite some time, I think Barbara has once again knocked it out of the park.

She also the only lady in the V75 age category at the Writtle XC, competing against ladies that are at least 10 years her junior! I suspect she was also the fastest of the V70s at Benfleet, but the race is too old fashioned to have categories beyond V60 for ladies (next year Barbara!).

Congratulations Barbara, a brilliant start to your running in 2020, you are this months runner of the month!