Men’s Newsletter – May 2021

Its the end of May and I’m sat in my garden in the sun typing this months report – after a pretty miserable rainy month the end of May is being really kind to us over the bank holiday. May has also seen the return of races which is great and many of you have been out racing for the first time in over a year which some brilliant results across the board.  

I myself did the Bromley 10k and after reading the English Athletics protocols for COVID compliant races I was interested to see how Harwich Runners would do to meet these.  I must say I thought they did a great job, there are some things that I have heard mentioned around that I think I can help to clarify.  There was no transfer of numbers or runners allowed at Bromley, this is an EA rule each runner has a number and contact information that is set and should there be a need to contact people then this will be the means that Harwich will do so, there is quite a lot of administration required to transfer from one runner to another and ensure that the information is correct in case there is a problem.  The rolling start, EA won’t allow a mass start with the group of runners all stood together in a crowd waiting for the race to start, so all runners were asked for an expected finish time and were allocated a race number in a group of times (another reason why transfers weren’t allowed) so that the fastest runners were set off first (another EA rule) this was to try to limit overtaking on the route.  This was another thing that went well and in fact I thought was better than a normal start as you started running just before the line and could get straight into your stride there was no over/undertaking of runners in that first k as things settle down.  Marshalls had to wear PPE/facemasks and weren’t allowed to shout – again this was an EA requirement but was definitely one that felt a bit odd, certainly when the marshalls were stood on the outside of a corner and the runners on the inside so a good 10 metres apart, but there was some improvisation, Barbara and her bell was a very welcome distraction.  And the finish, you went over the line and then encouraged to return to the car park to get your car and leave – this was probably near to a mile walk at the end of the Bromley race which was ok on the day but would have been miserable had the weather not been as kind.  I think as things progress we will see some adjustments to the rules but it certainly gives food for thought around how races may have to be for a while and like most things post COVID there may be some things that stay with us as they worked particularly well.
Its got to that part of the year where the GBRC trail races start and the 1st June sees race 1 from Ramsey and once again are virtual with one calendar month given to complete each run.  If you haven’t done these before I would encourage you to do so they are great fun and can been done at any speed and have a range of distances to suit everyone.  If you are setting out for your first run it is wise to grab a partner and do it together, whilst the instructions are comprehensive it is very easy to go wrong especially where you are felling tired towards the end.  The rules for the races this year are:

* You must do all 4 rounds to count towards the GBRC championship.

* You will have 1 calendar month to do each round. You can do your run at anytime during the month (e.g. – the first round will be from 1st to 30th June).

* Please follow the Government’s guidance on how many people should run together, ideally no more that 3 together at one time.

* The instructions for each round will be posted on the GBRC website the night before the start date.

* Please be aware that there will be no clipper points or water stations, so take plenty of water with you!

* There will be a free t-shirt for all club members who complete all 4 rounds and a winners t-shirt for the male champ and female champ. 

* As there are no clipper points there will be a couple of questions on each run which you will need to answer, so remember to take along a pen or pencil.

* AT START: when you’re ready to start running you need to text START along with your FULL NAME to Rodger’s phone.

* AT FINISH: when you’ve finished the run, text FINISH to Rodger, along with the following information:


Also starting in June in the Mickey Edwards series – this is on the assumption that lockdown is lifted as planned by the government around the 20th June as we want to run this as an actual event this year and not virtually.  The baseline run will be on the 30th June – this will be where you set your baseline time which will give you your handicap with the aim of the series to run faster in each one and thus gaining points for the overall series.  Each run after that will be at 2 week intervals through the summer with all the details being on the website.

The month started with the Two Castles Marathon which was a narrative trail marathon taking in Clare and Hedingham castles which would suggest a very “undulating” course.  Charlie Keitch and Chris Warren ran this together in 3:43:24 with Rob Dyer and Paul Davison also completing it in 4:38. Paul Davison as you may well know likes a challenge and May also saw him complete the Haughty Park Infinity Run 2hr trail event on a 5k loop – Paul bagged second place with an impressive 6 laps in 2 hours and 18 minutes which accounted for approximatley 17 miles. Phil and Vicky Presland and Paul and Debs Hollidge founded the rambling arm of GBRC in May and walked the Essex Way over 4 days.  The Essex Way takes you from Harwich to Epping which is somewhere inthe region of 80 miles.  The ramblers were joined for 2 days by Derek and Sarah Greenham.

The Colchester Stampede 10k running from the zoo also took place and saw Ryan Day complete a 5 star performance finishing in 34:38,  John Bush also did his first race for over a year and completed the course in 1:11:55.  As mentioned above the Bromley 10k also took place with quite a few Bentley blue out that day:
Jon Mann 10k PB and a 5 Star at Bromley in 37:45
Charlie Keitch 39:18 and 4 stars
Duncan Scott 41:56
Peter Benton 44:12 and 4 stars
Richard Moor 46:32
Paul Carlisle 47:55 and 4 stars
Scott Young 48:22 and 3 stars
Martin West 55:04
Martin Cotton 55:13 and 1 star
Kieron Hayes 59:27
Jack Wicks 1:00:18
John Bush 1:12:35
Phil Presland and Paul Hollidge decided to try running again at the end of the month following their successful ramble and did the Galleywood Gallop an off road narrative trail event in 56:08.  Mark Crittenden made his way over to Ipswich to do the first run in the Ipswich Twilight series at Hilly Christchurch park and Tom Komorowski decided that spreading the Sixathon runs out over a period of time wasn’t the way forward and did the 6 events in a day!
There were some excellent runs with many people notreally knowing what shape they were in as there had been no races for over a year – certainly on the road and remember if you think you have a club star standard to claim you need to email Eric at confirming your name, age group, the race you ran and the number of stars you are claiming – details of the standards are on the website
So runner of the month, you can see that there were some excellent runs in May and its great to see you all back running and enjoying races – long may it continue! We have seen 2 5 star runs one from our Runner of the Month in April, Jon Mann and another from Ryan Day both of which are astonishing runs – well done gents.  However, both Paul and I were in no doubt who should win runner of the month this month and that was Chris Warren who ran the Kempton Park Marathon in 3:02:52.  Chris has been a member of the club for quite a while and he’s one of our runners who sets himself a target for a race and is very scientific in his training to ensure that he gets the best performance that he can on the day and this was some performance.  Eric Shaw managed to find Chris’s 5k splits for the race and they were 21:28, 21:26, 21:24, 21:33, 21:43, 21:59, 21:54 and 21:55 – now I would love a 5k with 21 in the answer but to have 8 in a marathon is just phenomenal whilst the pacing over the race is simply amazing, that is defintely the recipe for a good marathon run.  Congratulations and well done to a deserved runner of the month – Chris Warren.
Chris and his Kempton Park marathon medal