June greeted us with high temperatures and more sun where days got longer, so we can enjoy running more and stretch our routes more. No surprise there, as this is something we tend to observe every year. However, this year we call our runs “SD” (Social Distance) or “virtual”, often claiming virtual PBs or medals, which we were supposed to get if we physically participated in pre-booked events. One of those virtual events is our own Mickey Edwards.

I found this year’s challenge greater because it’s entirely up to each of us if we do it, and we need to keep our motivation high enough to go out there and try our hardest and  beat our baseline. It’s all without seeing our club buddies. So, a super WELL DONE to all ladies who took part in this challenge. It’s not easy – hats off!

A total of 49 ladies took part in the race for the beautiful Mickey Edwards trophy and by looking at the final results I am absolutely amazed by the high level of commitment and dedication our ladies had this season. Davina Swindell, Caroline Talbot, Emma Welham, Teresa Farmer, Lex Carlisle, Claire Fathers, Alison Clarke, Sarah Greenham, Claire Poole and Sue Sorrell are the top 10 girls who trimmed the most off their time from race to race and so they collected the highest total of points in the handicap. The fastest recorded time of 20:55 belongs to Vicky Presland.
This is absolutely smashing, and you should be very proud of yourselves.
This year, the Mickey Edwards’ trophy will go to a female, and we are pleased to see it’s Sue Sorrell who will have her name engraved on it!
Congratulations Sue!
Once again, thank you so much Scott Young for organising the series for the club! Top man!

Still on the 5k note, I would like to share with you the final results from Opentrack. Caroline Searle encouraged the GBRC team to sign up for another British Masters Virtual 5k Relays which was supposed to be completed between 14th-20th June. The event meant to celebrate road relay championships at Sutton Park, but it was cancelled this year. Out of 4132 competitors we had 5 representatives who completed the distance and uploaded their results to website, as required. Amongst them were Caroline Talbot and Deb Hollidge who waved female blue flag. Well done team. Well done ladies!

We shall see how it goes with this years’ Ekiden relay which we are schedule to take part in between 10th and 12th July. Justine collated all teams together and some of their names sound like they were previously used, but they still are funny:

Ninja Warriors
We’ve Got The Runs
Easier Said Than Run
Pace Makers
Premature Acceleration
S.W.A.T.T (Sprinters, Walkers & Trash Talkers)
Running Like A Well Oiled Bentley
Premature Acceleration
Scrambled Legs

Good luck to all!

In the beginning of June I set up a post on Facebook for you to share things that you do to keep yourselves active – the good the bad and ugly. Thank you for those who shared your activities, which are inspiring and keeping us positive, for sharing your ups and downs when fighting with low motivation, etc.

There are a few ladies who are dealing with injuries or niggles, which can be more challenging to overcome, where we observe so many fascinating runs being shared on Strava or on Facebook page. Ladies, don’t let yourself to feel down. Please concentrate on your full recovery as your health is the most important. Also, please don’t be afraid to reach out, share your thoughts and experience with your friends and if you like, write about it under the post for the next month. Anything that makes you feel happy. We are a running club, but it’s rather obvious that we also are a community and we support one other.

This month we could start forming groups of 6 when still observing 2 meters distance between each other. Therefore, more group outings were noticed to help us gradually feel the normality again. Our lovely Carlisle family for instance shared the experience with running with a few of us, where Paul and Lex took their running buddies through the trail route close to their home. It was quite adventurous to realise that one of the cows turned out to be a bullock. Everyone made a safe escape from the field and later on googled “how to safely walk around cows” or “how to survive a bull charge” 😉 This is probably very obvious to some of you, but it wasn’t to me (I live in a town where I have never had to enquire things like this one). So, I have learnt that bulls are usually OK providing they are in a field with cows. It’s usually when they are on their own, they can be more troublesome. However, never, ever walk in a field where there are cows with their calves! So, here. Every day is a school day.

A friendly herd following runners from one corner of the field to another

2020 Trail Run Champs: Mistley

Rodger Alexander and Paul Carlisle were happy to announce the arrival of their new baby. It has 4 legs and a t-shirt.

Okay, on a serious note. Between 7th June and 6th July our runners had a chance to complete the very first (out of four) virtual, narrative trail run in Mistley. It is a very scenic route, fairly short (oscillating around 4.6 miles), full of history and sudden turns. Some of us even stumbled across a few cows who needed to be chased away as they blocked the way to the exit gate. They must have been so scared of Mark Crittenden to never return, as it appears that no one else reported seeing cows on that field.

Heroic Mark Crittenden, Leoni Harvey, Emma Levett-Welham and Neil Robins having their backs (someone should make a tapestry of this!)

We should hear about the second leg, I mean trail, soon. I’m sure that Rodger and Paul will be in touch with all. However, if you wished to see more information about rules and how to scoop the inaugural trail t-shirt, please refer to our website. It appears that so far, the leaders are Tim Ballard and Melanie Moore. Amazing running!

Davina Swindell was the first lady who ran the Mistley trail and having suffered from earache earlier in the month, she struggled to pick her mood up. She wrote that the reason she loves our sport is that her and Charlie (a furry 4-legged friend) went out and completed the trail instantly feeling cheered up. She recognised a lot of the footpaths and she very much enjoyed the trail. I’m glad it worked, Davina. Keep up the great work and keep smiling!

Davina Swindell and Charlie smiling to the camera

Lorna Sharp shared a photo from Mistley, smiling to the camera with Claire Fathers by the Hall Old, I mean Old Hall 😉.

Lorna and Claire

Meanwhile Emma Wakeling and Hien Hoang, after completing Mistley, ran a different trail as both girls didn’t have enough of those “narrative” trail miles. They went to Wissington on a hot day and clocked 9 miles. They admired a beautiful route and gracefully attacked “character building” hills. They went slightly off route on purpose as they didn’t want to miss the Bures Dragon which was hiding nearby.

Hien and Emma on the way to meet the dragon

Fiona Gosling amazes us by her ultra distances which she tends to walk. She should be super proud for completing 100 miles in a week. Fiona took part in the Altra West Highland Way Race where participants have an opportunity to virtually run, walk or crawl a total of 95 miles, which is a distance of the West Highland Way – Scotland’s iconic long-distance trail. At some point Fiona treated herself with a swim stop at Frinton. I’m sure Scottish scenery is greatly missed but the alternative doesn’t look so bad 😉 Brilliant work, Fiona!

When it comes to training, 6 members in a group still applies until we are told otherwise by the England Athletics guidelines. We must be patient there and hope for the best.

By far I took upon some of Darren Horner’s training sessions, as I do realise how incredibly difficult is to motivate and action these oneself. As I tried to explain this in my email to all, I would like to give everyone a chance to participate in these sessions and I will only communicate about these via email (not all members have Facebook account). Until we come up with a better idea, I can think of the “first come first served” way and I would give priority to those who haven’t participated in previous sessions. However, if you do not get a space for the specific day, I will put your name down for the next session and will contact you in due course. We will see how things pan out and I am happy to carry on with these.  

I am very appreciative to Darren Horner and Caroline Searle for their support and contribution. We are very lucky having coaches like them!

Friday hill session in hot Highwoods.

Exercise of the month – Split squats.

I deliberately would like to focus on these as most runners often have weaker hamstrings, which can lead to muscular imbalances and result in developing injuries.

For those who would like to increase the strength of hamstrings I found this exercise which is one of my favourites. They help build up strength in quadriceps, glutes and hamstrings. I would suggest implementing these into your warmups before runs.

  1. Position your feet in a split squat stance
  2. Lower your hips towards the ground (don’t lean forward), keeping the majority of your weight through the front foot.
  3. Once you have lowered down, push off of the ground with your front foot. (Source:

Reference Club Subs:

All members should have received emails from our Chairmen regarding paying club subs. These are dated 14th April and 18th June. Please note that for those who haven’t paid yet, you still have time, as England Athletics have extended the deadline for payment until August this year. However, please remember that by paying club subs you get EA insurance. This is just a gentle reminder without making any pressure on you whatsoever, as the committee realise these are not easy times. I’d rather mention this, in case if it’s simply forgotten. Thank you.  

Who are we?

Every month we ask one lady from our club the same set of questions, and the idea is to bring us closer and to get to know each other better. This month’s victim is ever so fabulous Eileen Shadford, who is a Club’s Treasurer and a very strong runner who we look up to.

Age category:    V50 – – – until the end of the year!
Occupation:       Credit controller for Insurance company
How long have you been in GBRC for? 7 years  
The silliest thing you did on a race: Not happened yet!  
Favourite distance:        10 miles and over
Best achievement:         All 8 marathons that I have run – every one is an achievement in itself!
What’s your ultimate running goal:  To be able to continue running for many more years like Barbara has 😊            
Favourite medal/t-shirt and what for:   Stebbing 10m on Armistice weekend  – lovely Poppy remembrance medal.
Interests other than running: Horses – I am just starting to compete on my horse Theo whom I have bred and trained myself
Favourite & Worst events and why: Favourite – Tiptree 10. I have a love /hate relationship with the 1 mile steep uphill at the end – but for some reason I enter this race every year. I think I have grown to love it! Worse – Any 5 mile race!             
Most challenging event and why: Cyprus 4 day challenge – day 2 was an 11km uphill run with hot temperatures and it was very difficult to pace yourself – it ended up just a long hard walk /run slog. You also needed to save enough in your legs for a half marathon the next day
Most useful running information you can share: Relax, breathe and enjoy😊

Runner Of The Month

It is incredibly hard to pick just one lady each month. Sarah and I observe the progress of our ladies and there are so many who inspire us, I just wish we could celebrate you all.
This lady has caught our eye by simply running all four Mickey Edwards’ races and she progressed significantly on each race by a large margin, including two incredibly hot running conditions. She trimmed 3m35s from baseline time (36:18 to 32:43), then further 29s, 25s and 41s in the last race and completed the ME handicap in a whopping 31:08! Not to mention, this comes from a person who doesn’t necessarily crave to run 5k! …and she won it this year! She is ever so humble and she has always been a consistent runner representing our club for many years with a great attitude, offering support and kindness to her fellow runners. Our Runner Of the Month for June is Sue Sorrell. Incredible running, Sue! Congratulations!