Ladies’ Newsletter October 2020

A somewhat wet, windy and muddy month of October has made our runs and training sessions interesting, often ending up a soggy mess, however positivity continues to shine through from the ladies within our club. There appeared to be some light at the end of the tunnel amidst the pandemic with races and events gradually starting to be on offer, which some of you have shared with us via the pinned post on Facebook (see photos below), however sadly it seems these may be short lived with talk of another lockdown looming. If so let’s hope it’s a temporary measure and continue to support each other to stay motivated, to run when we can and most importantly to remain safe and healthy 😊.

Whilst we all love our running, at times it’s just as important to be on the other side and support events with marshalling. Helene Tyler did just that and volunteered to marshal at the Secret Bunker for the Nuclear Races. She camped on site with what could be considered awful conditions as she pitched up in torrential rain and reports seeing more mud in a weekend than she has ever seen. Despite the awful conditions she gave up her time to marshal for 12 hours on both Saturday and Sunday. If that wasn’t enough mud for one month she also took part in the Layer 5 mile trail run, with Bella. Despite going wrong she completed the course in 1 hour – well done Helene you are a trooper!!

October certainly gave us some muddy conditions at the Secret Bunker Nuclear Race & Layer 5 mile trail event which Helene (& Bella) fully embraced.

Another October event was the Hare and Tortoise Running Roman River Trails which offered distances of 10k, half and full marathon and was entered by three GBRC ladies. The route was mixed terrain with some good elevation to challenge entrants. Zoe Reynolds and Magdalena ran the half marathon with Magdalena achieving ladies third place in a time of 1:56:38. I myself had entered the full marathon, 2 laps of the half, but decided just one lap was enough for me on this day so also ran the half distance. Great running Zoe and Magdalena.

Virtual London Marathon

Due to the pandemic the London marathon was only ran by the elite however entrants were able to participate virtually which Helen Carey, Emma Wakeling, Zoe Reynolds & Leonie Harvey took advantage of in what were very wet conditions.

Helen Carey ran a strong time of 4:44:44 attempting to avoid the puddles on route and enjoying finishing a few feet from home where a cup of tea was waiting for her, one of the benefits of not having to travel back from London

Emma Wakeling completed the VLM with Hien, choosing to walk the marathon distance (plus a bit more) due to a knee injury. Despite her injury she finished in under 8 hours which exceeded her predicted time of 8-9 hours. An amazing achievement in those conditions, well done ladies and we hope your knee is recovering well Emma.

Due to lack of training and a foot injury Leoni planned to Jeff the whole VLM, despite this she joined forces with Emma Levett-Welham and completed the distance in 5:43:22, knocking a massive 30 minutes off her previous time.

Fantastic achievement Leoni and well done Emma on completing your first marathon distance, you are both very strong runners.

The marathon clearly wasn’t enough for Leoni as 2 weeks later she completed 2 laps of the Medal Chaser event at Finchingfield.  This event is with Inspire Races and offers entrants the option to complete as many laps of a 5.27k route as possible within 6 hours. Leonie said she wasn’t able to complete more laps due to her ongoing foot issue, we wish you speedy recovery Leonie and well done on the 2 laps you did complete.

The Medal Chaser event was also attended by Anna Young who ran a fantastic 11 laps, a distance of 29 miles. Anna rated the event as being friendly and Covid secure. Anna has also been a busy lady this month finding 2 events this month with the other being the Green Man Toppesfield Trail 7 mile run with Essex Trail Events. Well done Anna, your strength continues to shine through and you are always happy to chat with those who cross your path, offering encouragement and motivation along the way.

Anna and Leonie at the Medal Chaser event in Finchingfield

A few ladies took part in the All Hallows’ Trail on the 31st of October. Donna Harris and Laura Cook teamed up for the night and ran just over 8 miles together. Helene Tyler, Teresa Jones and Anna Young were supposed to run 6 miles of the self-navigating challenge. However, our scary ladies added some moles, (ehem, excuse me) miles to it and ended up clocking 9.6 miles due to getting lost near the end.

Brilliant make up and outfits, ladies!


It’s usually that time of year we would be pulling our muddy trail shoes out of a bag at the bottom of the cupboard, often to find they have rotted away or are covered in mould (if you’re lazy at cleaning them like the Davison’s are) to start the NESS XC league. Sadly, for us crazy individuals who enjoy XC,  Vicky Presland informed us that these have been cancelled for this year.

Charlie Keitch had kindly signposted us to an alternative XC series on offer through Inspire Races which are a series of 10K trail runs in Haughley Park, Stowmarket, however as we know whilst these events are currently open to enter this could all change at any time.

Trail Run Champs – Final Standings

The last Great Bentley trail run at Stutton and it’s beautiful scenery was enjoyed by many. This series welcomed the strong return of Vicky Presland who secured first place on all 4 of the runs winning the ladies title with a flawless 400 points. Well done Vicky, great to see you running so strong again!!

We also had strong performances from our very own ladies captain Magdalena, who came second with 382 points and Lorna Sharp and Claire Fathers with 374 points and joint third position, well done ladies.

I think we would all agree that the spirit of these amazing trail runs, that Rodger puts so much effort into organising for us, is to enjoy being outside in the beautiful surroundings in the company of our running buddies and family members. So if you ran just one or all four, well done and I hope you got what you wanted out of them, even more so this year. Thank you again Rodger for continuing to arrange these for us year after year, they have been more valuable this year than ever and it has been lovely to see everyone’s photos and hear about their experiences (inclusive of lost keys, trips, rain, darkness, wrong turnings, extra miles and WASPS), they have had with friends and family.

Stuttons beautiful Scenery
Lex, Nina, Sue (& Marion on camera duties) enjoying the Stutton trail run

Reach For The Stars (by Mags)

It appears that this month our blue members were busy running real – actual races, which is fantastic news. This reflected on the October results a little, and we can see that 12 runners attacked their baseline, and 1 person (Inga) joined the challenge setting her own baseline for the next month and scored 4 stars for it!  So, 5 runners improved this month: Leoni Harvey by reducing 1 minute and 27 seconds from her 5k distance. It’s a massive progress on a short distance like that! Ben Myhill, despite facing ankle injury, he beat his baseline on a 10k distance by 1 minute and 12 seconds. Stephen Walsh improved by 57 seconds on the 5 miles distance. Teresa Farmer set her goal firmly and tried to shave a few seconds from a 10 miles distance, and after a few attempts she can be proud to succeed. 7 seconds is still an improvement! Our last lady who progressed on the chosen distance is Caroline Talbot, who consistently has been reducing her time on legs on 15 miles distance. She ran it 9 minutes and 4 seconds faster! Lastly, Tomasz Komorowski earned his first star and reached for it by improving on his marathon distance by whopping 33 minutes and 24 seconds. I’m sure his wife is very proud of him and rightfully so 😉

Well done everyone who took part, those who improved and those who carry on working on their times. Taking under the consideration how tricky this time of the year can be the window for submission your November times will be opened until the 30th November.

I would like to encourage you as much as I can to carry on running. It doesn’t have to be through the Reach For The Stars, although it’s set to keep your minds and legs busy with a little bit of fun I hope, but through running as much as you can to keep your spirits uplifted and work on your level of fitness. Please share your experiences under the November post on Facebook or just send them to your captains and vice captains. Your stories help us work on our newsletters. Also, photos are always welcome 😉

Coaching (by Mags and Sarah)

Based on the Prime Minister’s Saturday update, our already reduced from 7 to 5 members in session rule will have to change, and yet again we are facing a national lockdown. This sad news means that we can no longer continue to accommodate training sessions starting on Thursday – “Remember Remember” the 5th of November.

Caroline, Paul C and Rodger sent a few notifications about these changes via email.

At this point we wanted to say a massive THANK YOU to all the CiRFs and LiRFs who gave up their own time to offer us such fantastic sessions. I’m sure you will agree with us that this is appreciatied so much and we are an extremly lucky club to have so many individuals who work so hard behind the scenes to give us such a variety of training sessions over the weeks in these difficult times.

Let us reminiscent with a few photos from the past few sessions.

Hot and very tiring training in August 😊
Finding shade in Highwoods
An eventful hill session in Highwoods
“If I knew this session includes a bonus shower, I would have brought a soap and a sponge!”
Rob didn’t even break a sweat 😉
We gave it all and survived tough hills with coach Darren Horner
Coach Caroline with a team of happy ladies after a hill session
Maybe the ghostly ghouls that joined Mag’s training session (and broke our rule of 6 only at training sessions) can help to fight off this pandemic!!
Who’s that beautiful lady behind the skeleton?
All Saints – Halloween in Wrabness

Who are we? (by Mags)

This month we asked this brilliant girl the same set of questions, and as usual we would like to familiarise all club members with this truly inspiring and genuine lady, who by the way is a good sport and shows a strong fighter’s spirit in many of her running adventures. It’s Leoni Harvey.

Age category:    Under 40 although sadly at the latter end
Occupation: Deputy People Engagement and Development Manager at the University of Essex, Students’ Union – Yes – I know it’s a gobful!
How long have you been in GBRC for?   5 ½ years
The silliest thing you did on a race: Getting half cut and stumbling into a bush after Neil Robins thought it would be a good idea to feed me Stella, 5 pints into the race.  (Ridley)
Favourite distance: 10 Miles. Long enough that you can enjoy the pace and not so far that it hurts.           
Best achievement:  The Grizzly. It was hard as hell and it definitely won but I was pleased to complete it.               
What’s your ultimate running goal: I’m not someone who is overly bothered about speed or distance (good thing I suppose!). I unfortunately spend a lot of time injured so my goal would just to be able to continue running as long as possible and to be pain free. Boring I know!
Favourite medal/t-shirt and what for:    Hare and Tortoise Star Wars interlocking medals.  I’m a bit of a geek at heart 😊
Interests other than running:  I love the LDWA events and have found a new appreciation for hiking. When not running or working I’m generally on holiday somewhere as I love exploring new places.
Favourite & Worst events and why: My favourite event was the Ridley Round – 13 miles of pub stops – what’s not to like?! Worst would be the Clacton Half 2015.  This was my first half marathon and I couldn’t have been more unprepared. I skipped breakfast, didn’t bring fuel or water and it was one of the hottest days of the year. It was awful!
Most challenging event and why: The 6 Dales challenge. I loved this event so it was an enjoyable challenge but as we decided to walk the whole thing we finished in the dark and rain which was pretty demotivating.
Most useful running information you can share:  It’s probably beensaid before but listen to your body. I stupidly ignored a minor injury 5 years ago and still struggle with it today as a consequence.  If it hurts or niggles, it’s telling you something and it’s rare that you can just run through it so get it looked at….Oh and regular Sports Massages definitely help keep me running.

Exercise of the month

Russian Twist

Works: core, obliques

Start seated with knees bent 90 degrees, heels on floor, and hands clasped in front of chest. Engage abs and rotate upper body to the right as if you’re reaching right elbow to floor. Keep your back tall and rotate from your hips. Return to starting position and repeat on left side. That’s 1 repetition. Complete 10 to 12 reps.

Make it harder: Keep your legs straight, lift heels off floor, or add a dumbbell as shown below.


Runner of the month

This month we have chosen a member new to the club this year, who some of us (me included) haven’t had the pleasure of meeting yet. She has an amazing positive attitude that shines through on the Facebook page when she shares her runs and experiences with us. She recently ran 4 events in 4 weeks, of which 2 were in October and included a half marathon and full marathon distance.

Running often demonstrates pure strength, commitment and determination and our runner of the month has personified this with her Hare & Tortoise half marathon run and her VLM. She completed her marathon distance in 9 hours (moving time of 7 hours) which included stops for food, coffee, brandy and a home visit for dry clothes and to take her dog out! What an amazing achievement in such rainy conditions, many of us wouldn’t have been able to achieve this so this is testament to the true grit and determination you have to achieve your goals.

Well done Zoe Reynolds you are our runner of the month and I look forward to meeting you!!!