It’s the start of July and that means we are in the month where we should finally (hopefully) see restrictions lifted and things really getting back to some sort of normal. June has seen the number of races that have taken place increase and that has seen some phenomenal performances from you. This month has seen the first run in the 2021 virtual trail run series take place – this one around Wrabness, Rodger seems to find great routes all over the place and this one was no different and that hill twice! The next set of instructions are available on the website for those of you keen to give it a crack, this one is around Capel St Mary starting at the Bypass Nurseries car park which you can see from the A12 as you head down towards Ipswich. Its roughly 7 miles so a little longer than those that we have seen over the last year or so but I am reliably informed that it is another lovely course. Can I remind you all to check that the course notes have all the instructions on them these are numbered, so please check before you start.
Our team of coaches continue to put on some great and varied sessions at various places around and about, look out for the regular Doodle poll from Caroline on Thursday evenings which outline what is coming up in the following week and please get your names down and go along. The sessions I have been to are all very well planned, as hard as you want to make them and of course a great opportunity to catch up with others from the club. Hopefully, in the not too distant future we’ll be back at the club and running together – blimey that really does seem to be an odd concept but one that I am very much looking forward to.
Also starting in July although a little delayed from the original plan is the Mickey Edwards series with the baseline run due to take place on the 21st July with the handicaps following on a weekly basis through July and August – that is other than the last run which has a 2 week break between it and the penultimate run. I just need to remember what the hell I am supposed to do as its been a while since we have had a race, I will also need some marshalls out on the course so please look out for my email a bit nearer to the time.
Well done to those of you who completed the Sixathon, Rob Dyer, Tom Komorowski, Martin West, Mark Crittenden and Don Welsh, take a bow excellent running gentlemen. I need to shout out to Brian Telford who put on his annual 5 mile run for Maisie over on the prom at Clacton, this year saw him raise £770 for the charity which is a great effort, well done Brian. Also raising money for charity was Rob Dyer and many of you took part in his Run:One virtual event, excellent work Rob.
Phil Presland along with Vicky have been out running a few of the Essex Trail Events runs across the county and clocked 53:10 in the Stagger Home event at the start of the month which was run from Little Easton, these are great value runs at £5 to enter £2 of which you get back to spend in the pub – obviously it would be rude not to! Martin Owen did the St Albans half marathon which didn’t lie when its race notes said the course was “challenging” it was also a blisteringly hot day (remember those from the start of the month?) finishing in 2 hours 15. Paul Connell ran the Res at Layer De La Haye taking on the half marathon which is mainly off road finishing in 2nd place overall in 1:34:51. Rob Dyer and Paul Davison ran the Stow Maries Trail Challenge which was on a nice course but hilly and hot Rob completed 45k in 5 hours and 20 minutes whilst Paul Davison did 9 laps in 5:46 finishing second.
As you know John Booty loves a challenge and did the 3 peaks challenge in which the target is to reach the peak of the 3 highest peaks in England (Scarfel Pike), Scotland (Ben Nevis) and Wales (Snowden) within 24 hours including the travel time between them. John completed the challenge in 21 and a half hours – a fantastic effort! Previously in May John had run the Virtual Brecon 10 miler which is a 10 mile run with a 35lb pack making sure that you had elevation of 886m as if you were climbing Pen Y Fan. That elevation is hard in these parts so John went to the Hadliegh mountain bike track in Benfleet and ran up and down the steepest, longest hill he could find 20 times. His team Kiss my Booty managed to bag the first prize in the team event.
Charlie Keitch, Paul Davison and Frank Gardiner ran the Thetford Forest half marathon, Charlie was returning from an injury and was “happy” with his time of 1:30:57 whilst Paul was just ahead of him in 1:51:29 and Frank came home in 2:10:57. The last weekend of the month saw the North Downs run which is about 18 miles and takes place over in Kent, Patrick Reynolds (3:04:45), Rodger Alexander (2:58:43), Paul Carlisle (3:04:43), Jon Mann (2:27:17), Charlie Keitch (2:28:58) and Paul Davison (2:31:02) ran the hilly off road course and posted some great performances well done all.
So runner of the month, there are challenges and then there are challenges and this month Rob Dyer took on the Cotswold Way Challenge, which was advertised as 100km however, Rob will want you all to now that it is in fact 104km! He did this as part of his charity fundraising for the Alzheimer’s Society which now totals over £1,500 which is an awesome effort in itself. So for those of you, like me, watched his progress passively on Facebook and wowed at the 10k updates throughout the day will have seen the effort that Rob put into every second of his 16 hours, 9 minutes and 4 second official time. Rob learned a few things on the day, Stiles are the cruelest invention in the world, the run was harder than childbirth (something that was confirmed at around 52km by a mother of 2!), Cotswold cows are very friendly (a race for you then Critters!), hills really suck and that words of encouragement from friends and family as he progressed were really appreciated. Well from my armchair Rob I was amazed by your effort and neither Paul or I had any doubt as who was runner of the month, congratulations Rob very well deserved!