It is said (by Google at least) that February is the border between winter and spring and also the month of (commercial, fake, enforced – pick the adjective you prefer) love. If that is to be believed then this past weekend we experienced a lovers’ spat between the milder spring temperatures and the chilly winter wind. But a blustery day is nothing to our Bentley runners who went out running in several events, starting with parkrun on Saturday and finishing with the event of the season: our very own half marathon race.
Parkrun attracted blue shirts like our half marathon attracts cake eaters and by the windy coast at Harwich Dave Jones bravely fought the wind to complete the course in 25:51. Justine Sheekey wasn’t feeling 100% but despite a pesky winter cold she finished first lady in a time of 22:02.
Also on the coast Magdalena talked Felixstowe parkrun. She has been neglecting running on tarmac in favour of the mud of Highwoods but we all fancy a change every now and then and Mags decided to give the flat course of Felixstowe a go and encouraged by Paul Davison attained a PB by 14 seconds which came with a Gold Standard and Club Champs place with a time of 22:45. Mags has now achieved six of the available eight Gold Standard distances. Great work Mags!
Meanwhile Charlie Keitch tagged on Highwoods parkrun to a longer training run for Grizzly later in the year and as a consequence arrived 6 minutes after the start. He proceeded to overtake runners to finish 72nd in an official time of 30:48. One runner he could not overtake was Claudia Keitch who crossed the line in 29:27 and therefore beat Charlie fair and square. Phil Presland took to Highwoods in a relaxed manner with Paul Hollidge who graciously let him finish before him in a time of 26:02.
In Ipswich parkrun Martin Owen ran an unexpected time of 23:36 whilst in Clacton Poppy Welham achieved a new PB with a time of 44:43. Well done Poppy! Also on Clacton, the mysterious “Carry on Running” took 4 minutes of her/his time finishing in 34:01.
Also on Saturday some blue vests decided to run with their furry companions and took part in the Fido’s Forest Frenzy event. Davina Swindell took Charlie for what she expected to be a 5k run but ended being almost 4 miles long. They both finished in a time of 30:48. Kim Louise Booty also took to that distance in a sedate way, having not run in what for her feels like ages, and went round in 43 minutes. John Booty went a bit further, just over 7 miles. He finished in second place for that distance and was the first (and only) two dog male entrant.
Sunday saw a sea of blue descend onto Great Bentley for the fantastic, sold-out event that is our very own Great Bentley Half Marathon. A race loved by local runners due to its flat course, the amazing cakes on offer and the no less amazing volunteers that help make it a success, it always sells out fast and is an excellent way for runners to test their fitness form as we enter the peak training season for spring marathons.
As race organisers, the majority of the blue vests tend to be hidden under a sea of hi-viz and dotted around the course as marshals, photographers and water-dispensers, behind the cake stall, in the kitchen, dealing with bags and doing all the bits and pieces needed to ensure that the race goes smoothly. It is thanks to all of you who help on the day that the race is the success it is and you just need to read all the positive comments on social media to realise just how amazing of a job you did. Or should I say we did, as I was also one of the hi-viz-clad people shouting nonsense at the runners.
Other Bentley runners on the course were Matt Julier (01:34:54); Rachel Rodgers (02:02:57) and Debs Hollidge (02:07:48).
Special mention goes to Tonie Wilson who ran so hard that she almost collapsed in the last 50 meter but she kept going to cross the line in a Diamond-standard time. She then crawled out of the way and was attended by medics. She recovered well and made sure here chip was handed back so she would get her time officially recorded. Tonie – you’re an inspiration to us all!