Come What May

Before we knew it, we moved onto another month, still observing social distancing, no rain, lots of sunshine and two bank holidays. Usually May is full of attractive running events but let’s not dwell on missing them too much. We seem to cope with substitutes, finding new ways to keep us entertained, active and motivated.

Firstly, I would like to thank everyone who participated in the virtual Micky Edwards handicap thus far keeping Scott super busy, and a massive THANK YOU to Scott who keeps a record of all entrants and calculates scores. Wonderful job!

Please give Justine a shout if you would like to enter Ekiden and you do not have a team in mind.  Justine has kindly offered to arrange that for the club. You should have received an email reference this and Justine set up a Facebook page to keep track of progress there as well. Ekiden relay is scheduled for the weekend: 10-12th July.
For new members, the Japanese word “Ekiden” is a relay race covering long distance. Wikipedia tells me that “the first Ekiden was held in Japan in 1917 as a 3-day, 23-stage run from Kyoto to Tokyo for more than 507 kilometres”. The Ekiden known to our club is organised by Jaffa and covers a marathon distance by 6 team members running legs of 1 x 7.2km, 3 x 5km and 2 x 10km. Our club always makes a superb effort to take part in this.

In the beginning of the month 19 ladies and 22 gents took part in the virtual run called Five Miles Of Smiles. It was a real pleasure to see so many of you making effort and submit (no matter how fast or slow) times along with photos, sharing smiles, grimaces and cakes. Hopefully the smiling contagion successfully passed on to the rest of us.

Special thanks to Eric Shaw who was on standby with beautifully designed virtual and “smiley” certificates for this occasion. Extra smiles go to him!

Emma Wakeling reported that Laci and Brody (known as ducklings) are very passionate about fundraising money for the Colchester School of Gymnastics. They would like to run as much as they can until their gym re-open. They definitely make their mama proud by running more than ever and they even ran 4 miles as their longest distance in a one go and by the 24th May they clocked a total of 26.42 miles by Laci and 21.19 miles by Brody. Super well done to both “ducklings-Wakelings” and to a supermom Emma who is their personal trainer, mentor, and the most creative and energised person I know!

If you would like to support the cause, please use the link below.

Massive brownie points (or Jaffa cakes) to Vicky Presland for a recommendation of the Great Bardfield Social Distancing Trail which was organised by Essex Trail Events. A few GBRC members took part in the self-navigating trail run where instructions were sent to runners via email and the route was rich in scenic Essex countryside. What we found clever is that runners needed to text the organiser at the start and finish point. However, as a bonus and time check there were a few points where runners had to answer questions regarding surroundings of their location. Based on these time penalties were applied. Below is the list of results without any penalties and from what I remember, the table is missing Donna, Mark Harris and Leoni Harvey. I gather the list only shows entrants who texted the organiser whilst en route. I hope I didn’t miss anyone else, but it’s worth a mention that Vicky who promoted this run amongst us, completed it as 3rd lady overall and Charlie Keitch won this trail. Beautiful running. Well done!

Donna Harris is enjoying running with Pippa across the field (photo credit – a proud husband).
Tom is prancing through a field of wheat
A very happy runner – Barbara Law who finally got a chance to run a long missed trail with her buddy Sue Wright (not present on the photo as the one who held the camera 😉)

Leoni mentioned that she was supposed to run the Hangman’s Noose 10k around Lancaster Castle on the 24th May and instead she received the medal so she could run the distance virtually. She took it to the Great Bardfield along with her family members.

If you are interested in taking part in self -navigating trail runs across Essex, please follow the link below (previously shared by Phil Presland on GBRC Facebook page).

Coming back to Micky Edwards there are 49 ladies in the race for this year’s trophy and it’s worth a mention that a few of them managed to beat their baseline times on heat 1 by significant margin and a few kept progressing on heat 2 as well.

Nadia Gibbs smashed her baseline time of 42:56 by 3:36min in 39:20 and she is currently on the very top of the leaderboard with 95 points. Just behind her with 94 points is Sue Sorrell who improved the baseline time by 3:35min in 32:43 and beat this result in heat 2 finishing in 32:14! Marion Simmons smashed the baseline time of 29:01 by 3:09 min in 25:52! These are our top 3 ladies with the highest points for their runs so far. Also, I would like to mention that Lex Carlisle trimmed a significant time of 2:26 min from her baseline Sarah Greenham 2:23 min.
Currently the fastest time belongs to Vicky Presland in 20:55 min.
Brilliant running ladies. We have amazing girls in our club. No doubt.

Another thing to look forward to is the GBRC Virtual Trail Run Champs.
I hope you all received an email from our Chairmen (I continue to remind you to check spam/junk folders in case if club emails happen to land there by mistake) regarding the set of 4 trail events, carefully prepared by Rodger. These are no longer than 5 miles, but remember they are Rodger’s 5 miles – try not to calibrate your watches 😉. Rodger created an event on GBRC Facebook page to help track our progress and the first round will commence on the 7th June. Like every year there will be a special award for the male and female winner of the whole series and a free t-shirt for everyone who completes all 4 trails. Rodger is well-known for putting a massive effort in creating trail runs for us, and his dedication to the club is remarkable. Also, I’d like to mention that I’ve never used such clear instructions like his from all self-navigating runs I participated in. So, I hope to see many of you taking part in the series.

Exercise of the month: Mobilisation before runs (kindly written by Sarah Davison)

In the April’s newsletter we introduced a new chapter dedicated for exercises which can help us to stay motivated. This month we thought it would be a great idea to remind you all of the importance of mobilisation exercise before running. We have had some great input from Caroline and Marion in the hall on Wednesday nights before our training sessions, and lots of laughs at the windmill arms and sexy hip movements!!

The link to the YouTube video below demonstrates some dynamic mobility stretches which will help us all to warm up before a run and contribute to us keeping those niggles and injuries away.

Who are we?

Last month Sarah and I started a new chapter where we would like to introduce one lady from our club per month to bring us closer and to get to know each other better.

This month we asked Sue McKay who is the club’s Vice Chairwoman.

Age category:    70 – 74
Occupation:       retired
How long have you been in GBRC for?   16 years
The silliest thing you did on a race:         Being on the start line knowing that I’ve not done the training and then feeling very frustrated when my goal was not achieved. Luckily no injuries incurred. Message to self – only cross the start line if you are fully fit and prepared.
Favourite distance:        10k
Best achievement:  My competitive spirit took a tumble, quite literally, after a broken ankle in 2015 so most of my achievements are in the dim and distant past.  However, in 2007 I did Brentwood Half (2:16) followed a week later by Colchester Half (2:20)
What’s your ultimate running goal:        Just to keep running for as long as I can…  Whilst following the current guidelines I have been doing some longer walks and would like to take part in one of the LDWA events that the club has become involved with.
Favourite medal/t-shirt and what for:   All mementos have a special place that they disappear in to and provide hours of reflection on a rainy day.
Interests other than running: Under usual circumstances come 1st May I would be found on the bowls green – not this year as yet. Between running and bowls the family are always complaining they can never find us at home!
Favourite & Worst events and why: Favourite:  Wix 5 – great club event.   Colchester 10k on a particularly cold and windy day when I huddled behind the pavilion in an attempt to keep warm before the start.
Most challenging event and why: Mersea Round the Island – multi terrain with a horrible section on the beach when the legs are shot!
Most useful running information you can share:  Listen to your body. It’s very unlikely that the ‘niggle in my hip/ calf/ hamstring’ can be run off. Remember ‘rest days’ are as important as ‘training days’.

Runner Of The Month (kindly written by Sarah Davison)

Once again this has been a difficult decision to make as we have so many wonderful ladies in our club who set their own individual goals and achieve so much in many different ways. This month Mags and I both had the same beautiful lady in mind for many reasons. She is a long-standing member of the club, a previous ladies captain (which she did an amazing job of) and is pivotal to the training sessions that we are so lucky to be able to attend. I have experienced first-hand, as I am sure many of you also have, her welcoming approach to new members of the club and her ability to make people feel included and supported at all times.

She always has a smile on her face and is able to manage us if we become a bit ‘rowdy’ during warm ups in the hall or during training. She is a consistently strong runner over distance and with her pace but this month she stood out to us as she put in an amazing effort with her Mickey Edwards, running a baseline of 29:01 and her first race at 25:52, knocking an amazing 3 minutes and 9 seconds off her time and achieving a fabulous 4 stars!!

Our runner of the month is Marion Simmons….congratulations Marion and thank you for being such a wonderful member of a running club which just wouldn’t be the same without you!!