Men’s March Newsletter

Well what a strange month and there are a few more to come it seems.  It is quite unbelievable that 2 weeks ago I was with many of you at Abbey Fields taking part in the 5k road race relay championships, now here we are following each other carefully on Strava to see who’s run what in isolation!  On that point I must mention Rob Dyer who certainly brightened my day up with some inspirational routes I assume that the artwork was just a fortunate by product of his runs.  If you aren’t on Strava at the moment it may be good to get yourself an account, its a free app, to record your runs as seeing everyone else in the club on the leader board certainly seems to be inspiring a lot of you to run. Whilst out on my runs it has been good to come across Paul and Lex and having a quick social distanced chat as well as the lesser spotted Adam Smith who I crossed paths with today.

It seems that many of the races that you had planned won’t be going ahead this year and that unfortunately includes our Friday 5.  There has been quite the debate going on in the WhatsApp group that the series director has set up but in the end all the clubs in the series were in agreement that the series should be cancelled this year.  The decision was made pretty early so that clubs didn’t start to incur costs for their events that would make refunding runners difficult.  It was agreed that the runners who had signed up to races should get a refund as at this time none of the clubs had incurred too much expense.

As for races this month Tom Komorowski started the month with a mere 27 miles at the Hannington Hike an LDWA event which was quite a challenge on the old legs for Tom as the day before he’d joined myself and Sam Beardsell on the muddiest of 5 miles at the Chilly Chappel Chase (after doing the obligatory Parkrun first!). The following week saw a number of you head of to run the Grizzly which is a mere 20 miles on a very tough course.  This isn’t a race that I have done myself but it must be hard as its the first time I’ve seen a picture of Charlie Keitch at the end of a race looking pretty much how I feel after every one!  Congrats to Tim Ballard, Charlie Keitch, Chris Warren, David Jones and Mark Harris for getting through this one.

So as I mentioned above there was the Essex 5k Road Race Relays (well I say 5k many of you recorded a distance that was slightly more than 5k) which was held at Abbey Fields by Colchester Harriers. We had 6 teams take part and there were some excellent results from the teams and some amazing individual displays – so well done everyone.  I’d like to thank Meera for sorting out the teams and getting everyone organised, its never an easy task to keep everyone happy so thanks.

I would normally tell you what’s coming up at the club, well at the moment the answer is not much I’m afraid.  Please keep an eye out from Mags email with information about the AGM which will be a tad different this year, we are all busy beavering away with some reports for you which will be sent around for you all to read.  Then we have Mickey Edwards, I am currently finalising the rules for this as we are intending to try and do a virtual Mickey Edwards this year so again please keep an eye out for this it would be good to get as many people involved in this as we can.

Hopefully you would have all seen my post in Facebook about the XC runner of the year.  We had 6 different runners voted for Patrick Reynolds, Dave Jones, Mark Jasper, Jason Cook, Jon Mann and Robin Oakley.  All six have performed really well for the club this year so congratulations to you all.  In the end Mark Jasper received the most votes after a number of votes in the middle of the week which saw him pull away from Patrick in the voting – Mark has run consistently for the club at XC over a number of years, he’s a bloody nice bloke and there is no doubt he deserves the award – Well Done Mark.

As for Runner of the month I had a pretty good idea on who was going to win this after watching their performance at the Essex Road Race relay but obviously that was early in the month and any number of things can happen.  Unfortunately with the curtailment of racing for the time being I have stuck with my original runner.  This guy has only recently joined the club and some of you may well have seen him at some of the Wednesday night sessions and he decided that his first outing in his new Blue vest would be at the Essex Relays.  I hope he won’t mind me saying that he had quite a few nerves ahead of the race but I was delighted to see so many of you offering words of encouragement to try and ease these for him.  He completed the 5k in 33:06 and when he handed me the baton for the 3rd leg you could see he had put everything into his run, so well done Gary Cooper you are this months runner of the month.

Gary Cooper

Finally, please enjoy your running as we get through this incredibly odd period, make sure you stay safe and please remember we are a club and if you need help, assistance or just want to hear from some friendly faces we are all here social media, email, text messages, WhatsApp are all great ways to communicate.  So please look out for each other and stay in touch, we’ll be back at the village hall before you know it and can share a cuppa and some cake.