I don’t know how most of you feel, but I feel like time accelerates. I know I am not prof Einstein but the relativity of time applies here when I think that 31 days in May is like a week or two to me. Time goes by so quickly, but with two bank holiday weekends along the way, we kept very busy, and our ladies once again proved how much they like to run and race.

Starting off with the Two Castles Trail on the 2nd May, we have a team of blues doing impressive self -navigating challenge. The race follows a circular route around the villages near Hedingham and Clare castles. Caroline Talbot ran a distance of the half marathon on her own and despite being slightly lost in a few places, she seemed to have a great time by finishing the run in 2:48:15 with massive satisfaction and rightly so. Apparently, this route involved only one castle and by looking at Caroline’s strava I gather it was in Clare.
Also solo there was Vicky Presland who chose to run a marathon which apparently was her 1st one in 2 years. Vicky is incredibly humble about this one and I could sense she was not entirely happy with the fact that she ran 28 miles instead of 26.2 after taking some wrong turns. She maybe made this an ultra-marathon, but no wonder! She ran (or rather flew) at such speed it’s hard to comprehend this. She crossed the finish line in 3:59:00 being 2nd (!!!) woman and 9th overall. Well, Vicky I hope you will have more opportunities to take a marathon distance in the near future. It’s such a pleasure to watch you run/fly like this 😊

Vicky mid air

Our next lady chose two hunks to run with her. Clever girl – Sarah Davison enjoyed the company of Paul Davison and Rob Dyer. The trio finished in 4:38:00 and had enough time to take this fantastic photo.

On the same weekend our youngest female representative took part in Junior Parkrun. Yes, these are on, and Cienna Telford ran her first parkrun this year making her dad and club proud. Apparently Cienna was in shock having to get out of bed for 8am on a Sunday, hence no smile on the photo, but still she’s the cutest little thing!

Anna Young loves marathons and this particular one was undulating and partially on road and trail. She ran the Wickhambrook marathon where sadly she experienced some difficulties with asthma. I’m glad you finished your race, Anna and your time 4:53:32 includes an extra mile where you missed a turning sign.  I hope your health improved since then and pollen let you breathe in full lung capacity.

Leoni Harvey, Davina Swindell and Helene Tyler took upon themselves virtual runs. Leoni did the Star Wars 10 miles, and Davina and Helene 10k with their four-legged friends Charlie and Bella – both separately.

Leoni ran Solo, Han Solo 😉
Davina’s Charlie angel
Helene’s Bella with medal

Stampede 10k
This year’s edition of chasing raging giraffes and warthogs or rather being chased by hungry lions was very successful. Everyone survived and the medal and t-shirt made it worthwhile. They are just beautiful. Like in previous years, the cost of entry includes a ticket to the zoo where you can spend the rest of the day in. Luckily all lions, giraffes and warthogs were locked up so we could do “Awww” and “Ahhh”, instead of “heeeelp!”.

It’s a one lap course, a bit undulating in places it starts and finishes in the zoo. Runners have to face one steep hill before re-entering the zoo. However, the route is picturesque and offers quiet country lanes where you can spot a photographer or two and different forms of encouragement – like this charming man who plays calypso for us every single year. Great stuff.
When it comes to our ladies, it was a proper feast by our beasts. So many PBs and fantastic times- our blue ladies did the club proud.
I’d like to start with Leoni Harvey who ran like a Jedi as the force was definitely with her that day! PB by 21 seconds, Claire Pool a new PB ang got herself 2 stars for this performance, I trimmed 3 seconds from my previous pb as well. However, the biggest PB rocket of us all is Deborah Hollidge who knocked a whooping 4 minutes!!! Deb got 4 stars for this accomplishment (4 stars for 4 minutes 😊). Also, Fiona Gosling collected 4 stars in her galaxy for this race. Bravo ladies!

Still on the 10k note, a week after Stampede we could witness 10 ladies taking part in a long anticipated Little Bromley 10k organised by our friendly neighbouring club Harwich Runners. It’s a flat course known as a potential PB and so it didn’t disappoint. Caroline Talbot fuelled by The Eurovision song contest excitement flew for another PB by 1min 42s. It’s her 2nd 10k in 2 weeks and she recently knocked a PB in Snetterton on this distance in April. I mean – this girl must love it and so it’s brilliant to see her chasing her goals with such passion!
Bev “Wow” Shortley has a massive reason to be proud of completing the race 1st in age category and she scooped 4 stars for her efforts. Next in line is Belinda Palmer-Barnes and Tricia Stacey who achieved 3 stars each, followed by Caroline Talbot, Lex Carlisle – all 2 stars, Sammy Cotton and Nicola Laverack 1 star.

Meanwhile the non-official Great Bentley Rambling Club made of Vicky Presland, Deb Hollidge, Paul Hollidge and Phil Presland completed the whole length of the Essex Way! That is over 82 miles. Yes, the team hiked it in 4 days weather or no weather – well, usually no weather 😉 They had some stormy days, so wind and rain added to the challenge. They were joined by Derek and Sarah Greenham on Wednesday and Thursday who covered 40 miles from Dedham to Pleshey. Phil updated us regularly on facebook page and it was fascinating to see the Rambling Club progressing on their escapade.

Claire Poole shared her disappointment with The Big East Middle Triathlon she had been training for. The swim was reduced to 1000 meters and the bike ride was cancelled due to a traffic incident. On top of that her 20k run was affected by gusty 20mph winds and rain along the sea wall. However, this character-building running challenge didn’t stop her and she completed it in 2:19:08. Congratulations, Claire to keep fighting to the end.

A bit further afield Sarah Davison did 4 laps on trail at the Haughley Park Infinity Run, where runners can do as many laps of just under 5k as they want/can within the window of 2 hours. Sarah came as 5th female out of 43!

Also, two ladies took part in the Ipswich 5k series where they ran 2 laps in Christchurch Park. According to Leoni the event was well organised and included an evil hill. Leoni completed it in 28:05 and Anna Young in 26:37. Well done ladies.

Also, I’d like to shout a “well done” to Claudia Keitch for setting a new time on the (not)parkrun in Colchester Castle Park which she ran in 27:53 and improved it by a minute!

Our superstars from the Rambling Club Vicky and Debs took part in another interesting event – this time they ran a self-navigating trail where tickets are for £5 to enter, and in typical Essex Trail Events style, runners get £2 vouchers for a pint of beer at the end. The event is called Galleywood Gallop and our ladies galloped 6.2 miles to the finish line in 56.08 and were joined 3rd on the podium.

Last but not least we have Sarah Davison who ran Boston marathon (the UK version 😉) in 03:51:50 which is her PB by a minute! Amazing performance on a sunny (at last) day 😊

Run:ONE and Sixathlon results – I will let Rob Dyer and Scott Young update us on these challenges separately.  

Training Sessions

It is with a great pleasure to see many happy members of our club joining training sessions our LiRFs and CiRFs have on offer. Currently our leaders share a lot of photos on facebook recently, but the jolliest ones are these two, which I couldn’t decide which one should win. Perhaps next month we can create a competition ‘who floats best’? Well done all who actively take part!

From the 1st of June our club starts the series of 4 trail runs where everyone is welcome to join. As always, please refer to the GBRC website where you can find more details about the series. In a nutshell we have 4 trail runs which are self-navigating where you let Rodger know when you start and finish and perhaps even have to answer a question or two about certain things along routes. The series ends on 30th September and if you have completed them all you will receive a GBRC t-shirt FOC. However, non-GBRC members will have to pay for their t-shirts.


The committee would like to ask for the keen volunteer who would take the challenge upon themselves and arrange this for the club. It is once more a virtual event, which we realise we might have enough of, plus we are starting to enjoy real events to go ahead, which is great. However, some of us do the Essex Way a part of our club’s challenge and it falls on the weekend between 9-11th July which collides with the Ekiden relay. I haven’t received any response to my previous email about this virtual event. So, it might be the case it simply will not go ahead for us this year. If you are interested to set groups for the club, please refer to the website where it says that “each team has 3 days to complete the challenge. All legs to be completed between 00:01 Friday 9th July to 6 pm Sunday 11th July, with all results to be submitted/uploaded by 7 pm on 11th July”. There are 6 legs in total: 1 x 7.2km, 3 x 5km and 2 x 10km. One person can do more than one leg but the fun is when you form a team and each runner does their bit.  As it is a virtual event, locations and times of completion can be different for each runner as long as they are done within 9th and 11th July.

Questions of the month
This time Anna and I asked Sue Thomas to tell us a bit more about herself. I met Sue a few years ago when joined the GBRC adventure to Somerset. It’s a pleasure to meet a long-standing member of the club who is very humble and yet dedicated to training. 

Age category: F55
Occupation: Data Manager at a Secondary School
How long have you been in GBRC for? A bit over 10 years
The silliest thing you did on a race: Thinking that doing an off-road half would be OK when I hadn’t trained for it and ended up being injured afterwards.
Favourite distance: 5K, because it’s over relatively quickly.
Best achievement: Tarpley 10 mile because I focused on it, trained properly for it and achieved what I was aiming for. 
What’s your ultimate running goal: I run for fitness and health so just to continue as long as possible. (Although a half marathon PB would be nice). 
Favourite medal/t-shirt and what for: Stebbing 10 mile is probably the nicest medal.  I quite like my large collection of Halstead Marathon marshal t-shirts; marshalling is a great way of being involved without the pain of running a marathon.
Interests other than running: Gardening, painting, eating.
Favourite & Worst events and why: Favourite was probably Ipswich Twilight 10K. Running on closed roads always feels a bit special and that particular evening was one of those rare ones where everything fell into place.  Worst was Harwich cross country and the very special type of mud they have over there. 
Most challenging event and why: Every race.  I race don’t very often, partly because I get ridiculously nervous so doing any one is a challenge.
Most useful running information you can share: The nice thing about being part of a club is the encouragement and camaraderie but, particularly if you are relatively new to running, don’t feel you have to do everything. 

Runner of the month

This month had so much on offer that Anna and I had a long debate about this chapter of the newsletter 😉
Amongst absolute wonderful and inspiring performances there are four ladies who stood out. There is Sarah Davison who once again (after such a busy month) flew her Boston marathon and landing herself a PB! Caroline Talbot with her 10k PB after another 10k and a self-navigating half marathon. She doesn’t seem to stop and she continues to progress which is hugely inspirational. Vicky Presland amazed us all by her stunning performance at the Castle to Castle marathon which she completed under 4 hours having run 2 more miles and finishing 2nd lady. After this she took the Essex Way with another sterling lady, Debs – sharing smiles and miles inspiring us all. However, Anna and I would like to give the Runner of The Month to a lady who shed 4 minutes out of her previous PB on 10k distance. This is an achievement and a half! She will most likely be humbled by this choice, but it is a very well deserved one. We can see how much effort Deborah Hollidge puts in her training and she amazes everyone around her. I cannot tell you how many times I recently heard “Deb is doing amazingly well!” from our fellow members. After that 10k run she walked 82 miles along the Essex Way, and then she galloped another trail. She just proves to be versatile on all distances and styles. So, Deborah Hollidge, congratulations and keep on flying, walking, galloping running 😊