Mens Newsletter – April 2021

Hello everyone, we are safely through another month and things are starting to return to “some sort” of normal. Just over a month from now we should be free from restrictions which is a welcome but strange concept! This last month has seen the opportunity to take part in races return, on the whole these have some restrictions on them such as turning up just before your start time and running in small groups of up to six people. However, having run some events myself it is very nice to get back to going to events where there are “other people” and be able to socialise once again. I am keeping my fingers crossed that the vaccination programme continues and we are all at a “normal” place.

As we return to normal many of you will have seen that your weekly, free, timed 5k running event otherwise known as Parkrun is looking to return to a park near you on the 5th June. Parkrun are currently in contact with local councils and landowners to get their agreement for the runs to start again which will be great. We have also made a decision on this years Mickey Edwards series which as you know would have normally started by now, however, after a straw poll at some training runs I’ve done it was unanimous that a ‘proper’ and not virtual series was called for. So we have planned for this to start just after the ending of restrictions at the end of June, with the baseline run taking place on June the 30th and then the races every two weeks after that. I’m looking forward to seeing everyone again and pounding their way around the lanes of Bentley. As for other things coming up see VC Paul’s notes below.

The ‘sixathon’ is ongoing with many of you taking part and getting some great runs in across the various distances, a reminder that the series ends on the 31st May so there are still a few weeks left to get your runs in. The runs are 5 miles around Bentley, a 10k at Brightlingsea, 5k in Colchester, a trail in East Bergholt, a lap of Abbey Fields and a 10 mile run between Clacton and Walton. Once you have completed your run just email Rodger with your time.

The Vice Captains month ahead…

The further easing of restrictions means we can begin to look forward to the prospect of more races taking place over the coming months and an increase in numbers at most of our training sessions. Some of May’s race highlights include;

May 2nd Two castles trail marathon Belchamp St Paul, Sudbury 

May 16th Colchester Stampede 10k 

May 24th TriFarm Spring 10k trail run

May 30th Haughley Park 10k 

Closer to home there are two very important events taking place – 1) the recommencement of the GBRC ‘Sixathlon’ series, details of the scoring and course routes are all on the GBRC website. Participants have until 31st May to complete the series, or complete those events which appeal the most. Any times that have previously been submitted for any of the races will continue to stand. Runners who feel inspired to join in the fun and have not yet registered can email Paul Carlisle at with their details. 2) Rob Dyer has done a fantastic job in organising his ‘Run:ONE’ event, it’s a 1mile time trial on a route of your own choosing, with a medal for all participants, best of all it’s only £7 to enter and is raising money for the Alzheimer’s Society. You can run the mile at any time during May and submit the time to Rob. He will produce a results table for you all to study. Good luck to everyone who is taking part and we look forward to reporting on some fast mile times at the end of the month and a fantastic amount of money raised by Rob for a great charity. Contact Rob at to register and he’ll sign you up.

GBRC training Sessions – Its been great to see so many familiar and a few new faces attending my training sessions on a Tuesday evening, the general feedback seems to be an overwhelming delight to be able to run as a small group again. As a club we have more sessions than ever before available each week on the Doodle poll sent out by Caroline on a Thursday evening. There are new coaches and new venues and a variety session styles to ensure that there is something for everyone regardless of experience or pace. If you haven’t been to one of the training sessions before then please support the hard work that goes into organising each session and give it a try. The sessions are designed to cater for all levels of running ability to ensure that no one gets left behind. If you are unsure about attending one of the sessions or have any questions you can always contact the coach/LIRF who is running the session to find out more in advance. 

That’s all from me for this month, keep up the great work, train hard to make the races easier and stay safe (after all we don’t want another lock down do we????!!!!!) 

Racing is back and so is runner of the month and I must say that you’ve come in and given me and Paul a headache straight from the off. There have been some brilliant performances as we have emerged from lockdown and the fruits of all the training that people have put in can be seen. Tim Ballard did a 5 and a half hour trail endurance race and ‘only’ managed 36.5 miles – this was on a 5k loop in Hockley Woods, Tim’s performances always amaze me. Then we have Rob Dyer running the Snetterton 10k which he smashed in a PB time of 43:59 although Rob has said that the race was a bit long and his PB would be 43:27 if it have finished on 10k! Then we turn our attention to Dave Wrights 15 mile race which saw the club trio of Charlie Keitch, David Wright and Paul Davidson all start in a group together which seemed to suit and spur them on. Charlie finished 7th in 1:38:58 a 4* performance, David in 1:41:31 also a 4* performance and Paul in 1:41:59 a massive PB and also a 4* performance! Not only that but all 3 runs were good enough to get onto the clubs top ten performances at that distance. So runner of the month is going to be a tough call, however, the winner isn’t amongst these superb performances!

Jon Mann took himself over to Hebden Airfield to run the Essex Marathon, this was run on a 7k loop on the airfield which loosely resembled an aeroplane. Jon says that the combination of the flat course and conditions helped him to a massive 10 minute PB to finish the marathon in 3 hours and 12 minutes – I have a feeling that Jon’s training may also have had a hand in that great performance. Not content with that the following Sunday Jon did Craigs Layer 5 race and ran a 5 mile PB of 32:12. Two amazing performances in the space of a week in April gives us our runner of the month for April – congratulations Jon Mann!

April’s Runner of the Month Jon Mann