We are coming up to the end of the 6th week of lockdown during this strange period and it feels for me, and probably for lots of you too, far longer than that! However, there seems to have been a lot of running going on as many of us make full use of the hour’s daily exercise that we can do. Personally, I have been tying to mix up the exercise a bit doing some running, some virtual bootcamps (which I’d highly recommend), some interactive family HIIT sessions and a bit of rowing on my lads rowing machine.  The dog has also been walked far more than she ever has been before!

The club committee had its last face to face meeting ahead of the lockdown being announced and we decided that we would do a virtual AGM and thanks to Mags for getting that one sorted out.  It amazes me how much as a club we manage to ram into a year and what feats all of you manage to do in this time too.  We also decided that we would try to get Mickey Edwards completed virtually as this would be a great way of getting you all motivated to get out and run – this seems to have hit the mark as I have around 75 – 80 entries into the baseline run so far.  It seems many of you have been keeping yourselves fit and run ready as there are some excellent times being recorded which is keeping Eric Shaw on his toes with those virtual club standards (thanks Eric!).

I have been looking out for Darren Horner’s weekly virtual sessions too – these are absolutely fantastic and if you haven’t done one yet these would come highly recommended from me.  They are straightforward and easy to do with the only piece of equipment needed being a watch, my main problem has been that during the sessions I seem to not be able to read my watch properly and either run for too long or not long enough! I’d like to thank Darren for the time taken to put these together for us.

Many races now have turned into “virtual” races and the first one of these that many of us did was the National Road Relay Championships which Charlie Keitch promoted after finding details about it online.  The sign up process and the uploading your time process were not as seamless as hoped with many people struggling to do this as the website seemed more troublesome than Run Britain which is saying something!  Anyway, well done to everyone who did take part and a double congratulations if you managed to get registered in the Great Bentley team and if you did the triple and managed to record your time award yourself a beer!

The 19th April should have seen one of my favourite races run which is the Harwich Runners Little Bromley “Run into the Graveyard” 10k.  This has been postponed for this year but Graeme Knott the RD at Harwich decided to offer anyone who had entered the opportunity to run a virtual 10k and post their time and again many of us took up the offer.  The official times showed Jon Mann, Richard Moor, Rob Ferguson and myself record times but I know plenty more of you ran a virtual 10k that day – well done everyone!

Looking ahead into May and June will be, hopefully, the lifting of the lockdown and a move back towards what our “new normal” will look like and hopefully getting back to work for the many of you who have been on furlough.  It will be great to be able to get back to the village hall at a Wednesday evening in the relative near future and having a chat and catch up with you all. Whilst we are still running solo Mickey Edwards will now give a nice flow as the runs will come up every 2 weeks with the challenge of running that bit quicker each time if possible.  There is also the virtual “5 miles of smiles” that Mags has posted you have until the 10th May to complete your 5 miles and send in a picture of yourself on your run. I’m sure there will be more virtual events being posted as people continue to be inventive around how to get everyone motivated and staying fit and healthy.

So runner of the month this month was a pretty easy one for Paul and I as this guy had struggled with his health towards the end of last year and the start of this year. Since being given the thumbs up he has lost weight and has started to post some amazing times, during these runs he has also found time to throw himself roughly to the ground!

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[Mark’s running injury]

I have struggled to keep up with the PB’s that he has posted but I believe that these are at 5k, 10k and 5 miles all within the last 2 or 3 weeks so congratulations to Mark Crittenden you are April’s runner of the month.