Welcome to the brand-new club year which started on 1st April!

To kick off I’d like to express how lovely it is to see easing off the restrictions on 29th March 😊 Things are slowly getting back to normal and it’s great to resume group runs, have a pint in the pub garden and to participate in races! This is something that most of us have been longing for.

There are so many happy ladies in the club who resumed training, races all different kinds of outdoor activities it’s hard to keep up 😉

We greeted many new members throughout lockdown and the most recent female addition to the club is Sammy Cotton. Welcome Sammy, I can see you are already enjoying training with us.

Also, I’d like to welcome Anna Lyon as a Ladies’ Vice Captain who has already attended her first committee meeting (although it’s still happening via Zoom) and keeps an eye on ladies in the club. I’m already enjoying collaboration with this remarkable lady who has been a massive inspiration to me since I’ve joined our club.

Our ladies continue to prove that despite restrictions and limited number of races, they can still make running calendar busy and full of ventures.
Bev Shortley described her way of dealing with lockdown and restrictions through getting more structure in her daily schedule. She is one of those hardcore ladies who inspire others with setting own goals and pursue them. We admire her for having her routine she likes to stick with. Nadia Gibbs is training to complete 5k without stopping. That’s a perfect training for this year’s Mickey Edward Nadia. Fingers crossed you reach your goal!

What’s new in the world of trail?

The usual suspects (The Simmons) joined forces with team Carlisle, Rodger, Sue Sorrell and Scott and ran MEC Easter trail run which happened to be a long-awaited event. Apparently, boys chose to run a longer distance, but this is a ladies’ newsletter, and so our ladies enjoyed a nice cuppa after running 7 miles together. Well done!

Another official event which our ladies had a pleasure to run was Twixmas which was organised by Craig Mitchell and postponed from December 2020.

Bentley blues smashing it!

Marion described it as beautiful with excellent directions too. Please see results below:

It seems like Craig is keeping our runners busy by organising a lot of running events. The next trail in line was a fabulous Layer 5. This is the 2nd edition of a multi -terrain 5 miler in beautiful Layer de La Haye.

I could only find the following results – please see below. Apologies if I missed anyone. If I did, please let me know so I can update the newsletter.

Still on the trail note, Lisa Briggs assisted her friend with her training to 4 marathons by running 15 miles round Alton Water. This was Lisa’s the longest run to date. It’s definitely something to be proud of and I hope you caught a bug to run more trails and Alton Water is one of the most picturesque places to go to in our region. Lisa is fairly new in the club but she has already caught my eye on those few training sessions I had a pleasure to lead. Lisa is a very strong and hard-working lady. I can see her determination and dedication to training will be very fruitful in the near future of that I’m sure!

Meanwhile Emma Welham and Leoni Harvey did the trail around Alresford which was written by Emma Wakeling. It was impossible for me not to share this photo of our two muses in a company of friendly Neil and Mark. It’s such a good photo – it would be rude not to 😉

Then we have a Hollidge-Presland team who join forces to train towards the Essex Way by walking long miles and taking photos where we can clearly see how much they enjoy each others company and unravelling new paths. The super team which call themselves “Great Bentley Ramblers Club” has a plan to walk the Essex Way from Harwich to Epping across four days in May. I can’t wait to see more photos from your challenge and hope you will enjoy every bit of it 😊

Zoe Reynolds appears to be the only GBRC lady who took part in the Brightlingsea Challenge 2021 on 18th April. She ran a half marathon distance and finished in 03:44:52.

I don’t think there is a bigger mud lover than Anna Young. Just look at her and her daughter running OCR at Thrive Outdoor and getting a facial at the same time 😊 Well done, ladies.

…and then we hit the road!

Caroline Talbot set the bar very high this month. Not only did she run a half marathon distance well beating the 2 hours mark in 01:57:57 where she paced herself outside racing opportunities, but also she did an impressive PB on the 10k distance whilst racing at Snetterton in the end of the month, finishing in 53:01. Anna and I are massively impressed by you, Caroline. You are a force to be reckoned with 😊

Our blue ladies had a chance to take part in the postponed from last year “Dave Wright 15 and 7.5 mile” road race. With staggered starts our ladies tackled a rather undulated (lol) one or two laps road race around villages of Langham and Boxted. We could witness strong performances from our ladies this year. Please see the results below.

There was one virtual race that I am aware of called Ratana 10, and it was completed by Hélène Tyler with a support of Janine Simpson. Hélène ran 10k in 01:10:37 and she received a bling for her efforts:

Club Standards

I would like to let you know that there is a slight change of rules when it comes to claim of club standards. From now on all members who believe reached club stars for their performances, they ought to email Eric at with the following details: Date and place of race; age category and time achieved. The full breakdown of standards can be found the GBRC website.


Our Head Coach Caroline sends emails with a link to Doodle Poll every Thursday around 8pm. You can find a variety of training sessions you can chose from. There are intervals, speed work, hill training or social runs carefully organised by our coaching team in their spare time. At this point I would like to thank our leaders for their commitment and engagement because they continue to dedicate their free time for benefit of our club. We value and appreciate your help.  

Having that on mind I would like to emphasise that when the committee and coaching team agreed to increase numbers of participants in each session, please be considerate when booking slots – if you are unable to attend to those sessions, please notify leaders directly in advance if you can or just let Caroline or myself know. I appear to have access to edit Doodle Poll, so I can help you with amending that if needed.

Also, I’d like to make it clear to all, but especially to new members, that we are an “all inclusive” club where no one is left behind. It is down to leaders to make sure that everyone can join their sessions feeling comfortable and will not be left out. If you have any doubts and questions, please reach out and ask a leader of your chosen session. We are all here to help.

And here are some jolly photos from recent training sessions 😊


This subject is still ongoing up until 31st May. Scott is still collecting ladies’ times. For those who haven’t done them yet, please see the list of events below. You can do them in your own time. More details are on the GBRC website  

1 lap of Abbey Fields in Colchester
5k – North of Colchester
5 miles around Great Bentley
10k cross country in Brightlingsea
10 miles Clacton to Walton and back
6 mile trail run from East Bergholt

Club’s events on the horizon

I’m sure you received emails with regards to the Essex Way challenge and Mickey Edwards series.

Starting with the Essex Way, Paul Carlisle is still collecting names of keen runners who would like to take part in the challenge by 1st June. The idea is to tackle a whole distance of nearly 82 miles in 3 days between 9th July and 11th July (Friday =26.5 miles. Saturday = 25.2 miles. And Sunday 30.0 miles). At this point I would like to give a shout out to John McKay who kindly offered to drive a minibus for us so this event could be logistically possible to go ahead. It’s a massive and kind help. Thank you, John! For more details regarding this event please refer to the previous communication from Paul C.

A little bit closer in the calendar and very much awaited with a huge anticipation is the club series of Mickey Edwards. Scott as a Race Director did everything he could to make it happen in reality. So, this year, unlike in the past, the series will kick off a bit later on to avoid potential restrictions. The 5k route starts in Great Bentley and it will be supported by marshals. We will be sending further communication reference to this nearer the time. The proposed dates for the series are: 
30th June – baseline
14th July
28th July
11th August
25th August
Please reserve these dates in the calendar.

Still on Mickey Edwards, I’d like to share a photo of Sue Sorrell who won last year’s edition. Sue improved her baseline time by 3m35s. A little bird told me she recently received a trophy with her name engraved on it on one of the training sessions. It is a pity we didn’t get a chance to hold the Awards Night in 2020 where awards like this are properly distributed, but we are hoping to have such chance this year. Yes, let’s hope 😊

May this beautiful trophy and the champion’s smile be encouragement to all for the coming series 😊

Also, please refer to the website with regards to the fast approaching series” I Trailed Them All” carefully prepared by Rodger. This is something that the club is happy to share with keen runners not only within the club. The series was popular last year, giving members a chance to challenge themselves and to simply enjoy beautiful sceneries each trail had on offer whilst socialising with others in the safest possible way. For those who completed the series, received a t-shirt which this year looks like this:

I could never have enough of t-shirts, especially with club’s logo on. I hope this is enough encouragement to you all for the coming trail series.

Questions of The Month

Each month we ask one lady from the club to tell us something about herself so we can get to know each other better. This month we asked Emma Levett-Welham who is one of the most humble ladies I know and whose willpower and perseverance are inspiration to others.

Age Category: 38
Occupation: Registered Manager in Health and Social Care, specialising In Autism
How long have you been in GBRC for?  4 Years
The silliest thing you did on a race: I have a terrible sense of direction and on one of my earliest unmarshalled lapped courses and despite having completed several laps already I took a wrong turn and added on 3 extra miles. What made it worse was that a few other runners were now following me believing that I knew where I was going!
Favourite distance: Half Marathon
Best achievement: Completing challenge to run 12 half marathons in 12 months
Ultimate running goal: To stay healthy and remain active for as for as long as possible
Favourite medal/t-shirt and what for: It was a Winnie the pooh themed event and the medal was amazing it was also one of my first half marathons. T-shirt must be my Grizzly survivor shirt, I felt I earned that one.
Interests other than running: Spending time with family and friends. Walking my dog and reading
Favourite and worst events and why: I don’t really have a favourite I love parkrun and local club events; the support and sense of community is fantastic. Worst event I don’t have one I appreciate the hard work that goes into organising events and that people give up their time to make them happen.
Most challenging event and why: The grizzly 2019, 20 miles of extremely challenging terrain in Seaton Devon, includes running on stone beach, mud and serious hills including a cliff climb called the stairway to heaven.
Most useful running information you can share: I think it would be that you never regret getting out there and going for a run, it can be really hard to motivate yourself sometimes but I find if I just get out and do it, I generally always feel better for it.

Runner Of The Month

This lady is made it really easy for me and Anna to choose our RoM for this month.  At first, I didn’t even know where to begin, I have so much to write about her. I will try to be as concise as possible. She is one of those infectious positive people who is not only my friend but also a friend to others – always ready to offer valuable advice and encouragement. In fact, she is one of the most encouraging people I got a pleasure to know. She is extremely dedicated to training and she works very hard to achieve her goals. I could see how much she trained to this 15 miler. What more, she made me to do extra effort and she gave me the best support I could get. Not only did she do a PB but got herself 3 stars and landed a position in the GBRC top 10 ladies’ performances.

Sarah Davison it’s such a pleasure to see you thrive. You are an incredibly strong and inspiring runner, and we cannot wait to see more of your stunning performances in the near future.
Congratulations, you are our Runner Of the Month for April 😊