What a month June has been! 

A month in which we finally observed temperatures above 20 degrees and, although it might not have been the greatest running conditions, it certainly didn’t stop GBRC ladies putting on their trainers and keep running.
This month has seen many wonderful performances which makes my heart grow. 

There are currently around 80 comments under the Post for June on Facebook. This is exactly what we wanted to see – however with races resuming we would kindly ask again for keen volunteers to help us collate race reports. I know it’s been a long while since the last weekly report was published (just before the 1st lockdown) – do you remember those? I’m sure Scott and I would benefit a lot from this if we resumed weekly reports. As a reminder about what it looked like – reports were mainly done on a rota between about 4 members where the main task was to collate information from facebook GBRC posts between Monday and Sunday each week and, when possible, search for results online too ensuring no one is missed. It would be great to be able to resume these. Caroline Searle used to look after this area before and so she kindly offered to step into that role once again. If any of you shows interest and would like to contribute towards our club glory, please do not hesitate to contact Caroline, Scott or myself. We would appreciate some assistance.

Meanwhile, I will try to zoom through the information our ladies were sharing with us this month.

First off, I have to admit I became a bit travel-jealous when I saw Belinda Palmer-Barnes climbing Snowdon. She described the climb as 9 miles long which took her 3:50 hours. However, the peak could have been a bit more inviting as what Bee saw from it looked a bit milky 🙂

I’m pretty sure you were definitely there, Belinda 😉

On the 6th June a few of us had the pleasure of taking part in a rather hot Stour Valley Half and full Marathon. This event was hosted by the Company of Runners for the very first time this year. The organiser simply took over the already existing concept where runners follow instructions to find their way through scenic parts of the Essex Way, St Edmunds Way and the Stour Valley Path – all combined into one lovely narrative route. The format was pretty much the same, as far as I’m aware, as I’ve never taken part in this before.  The main differences from previous years being that Company of Runners added an option to run a half marathon distance, there was no proof required to get into the marathon and some sections of instructions were changed. The marathon part of it turned out to be a tad longer than described on the website (27.8 miles registered by my watch). 
Debs Hollidge enjoyed a solo half (with occasional appearances from Gemma and Paul H), completing in the heat in 02:04:59 gaining 3rd lady position. It is a pity there were no trophies for our girl, but hopefully the bling and a blue t-shirt were worth the effort.

This smile says it all

SV Half Marathon also saw Emma Levett-Welham, Mel Moore and Sue Wright. All three ladies ran it together, clearly enjoying each other’s company. Emma mentioned that this was her first organised event this year. Hope to see more of you in the near future, fingers crossed. 

a happy trio approaching the finish line

I happened to be the sole Gt Bentley member who ran the marathon distance. It was my first SVM and I was joined by my friend Anna, and at some point – by Tom to keep us company. I enjoyed the route very much and, after receiving a green t-shirt, I declared that I’d love to repeat the challenge next year. I finished the course as 6th lady in 05:28:43. 

Presenting old and new medals – finishers could choose which one to take home

A few days later Vicky and Phil Presland ran The Stagger Home hosted by Essex Trail Events at Little Easton where for just £5 for entry fee they got vouchers for £2 to spend in the pub afterwards. 

Sharing smiles in the sun while it was there

Still on the trail note (don’t we just love those?) some of our ladies went to Chelmsford to run the Stow Marie Trail Challenge which is a 6 hour event made of 3.3 mile loops following footpaths through fields and vineyards. That certainly looks tempting another year. Our club was proudly represented by 3 inspiring ladies, Anna Young, Sarah Davison and Caroline Talbot.
Caroline ran a distance of a half marathon by making 4 laps in 03:02:04, Anna did 8 laps in 06:06:02 3rd lady (around 28 miles in total) and Sarah 9 laps in 06:10:50 (31.5 miles) and 1stlady. 

Very well-done ladies, you did your club proud.

Anna enjoying another longer trail
GBRC team ready to run in the heat

On the same day, but closer to home, 2 ladies represented the club in Run the Res trail race organised by Craig’s Events. Bev Shortley and myself enjoyed the course which led us through footpaths and bridleways along the Abberton Reservoir. The terrain was rather undulating and tricky underfoot in places (especially along bridleways). However, calm and beautiful views compensated such discomfort. Craig’s team did a marvellous job to put this all together in order to help raising funds for the Essex Wildlife Trust. Bev was chuffed having completed the race in the heat, especially as it was her 2nd half marathon. She dug deep and crossed the finish line in 02:25:30. I finished in 01:53:34. 

Wearing a different shade of blue

A week after this Sarah and I visited Thetford Forest and we both ran Thetford Trails Half Marathon where Sarah finished in 1:51:29 and myself in 1:45:36 which we were both chuffed about. The race was well organised with routes leading through incredibly scenic woodland. Marshals were very encouraging and supportive. This is definitely a race to attend in the future. However, the only criticism that we have is that there were only 2 drink stops, 3rd and 6th mile, offering nothing else on the second half of the race. For another time I believe it’s best to run with your own hydration pack. Having said that the medal certainly compensated for all the struggles 😉

Leoni Harvey, Claire Poole and Teresa Jones made their way to Holland-On-Sea to run Hare and Tortoise Cartoon Capers. Leoni and Teresa ran a half marathon distance along the seafront in 2:16:32 and 2:39:23 respectively. Claire chose to run 10k and finished in 01:05:24. It appears that results are still pending; all given times are therefore from the ladies’ personal watches. 
It seems that Teresa was the only person who dressed up for the occasion and although she admitted she didn’t feel too comfortable being alone in that department I think she made a fantastic effort which is worth a warm applaud – or at least 10 minutes off of her final result 😉

Teresa wearing her red cape with a smile
Leoni maybe turned up late for the race, but she certainly didn’t miss a fab bling!

Bev Shortley must have enjoyed running half marathons this month, as after the Run the Res she attacked this distance again when she entered another 6-hour event organised by Hare & Tortoise called Go Gadget. Bev ran incredibly consistent splits and she scooped 3 stars in club standards when completing the challenge in 2:06:01!  

Flying Holland(er)-On-Sea

Vicky Presland took a trip to South Downs and seemed to enjoy a leisurely run with Phil. Thanks for sharing, guys. That must have been a very refreshing hill training session 🙂

In the last week of the month there appeared to be two groups of runners heading either towards seafront in Clacton or hilly fields of the North Downs.
Brian Telford who is a long-standing member of our club organises on a yearly basis a non-official event “Maisie 5”where participants contribute towards the Children’s Brain Tumour charity. This year Brian raised £770 and he is aiming to organise a charity trail later this year. So, keep your eyes peeled for that 🙂

Davina and Bev shared their enthusiasm about the nice turnout of blue vests at the promenade. Davina ran with her fluffy assistant Charlie the dog 😉 and Bev was happy to report that she was the 2nd lady home in 42:12.

The North Downs saw a few of blue vests who proudly represented our club in one of the most popular trail races in the country. This event offers lovely medal, even better t-shirt and most certainly hills. Not sure why the name of the region is called Downs as we saw a lot of ups really 😉 The wording on medals suggest what could be expected from the 30k adventure. It reads “Unique, Iconic, Brutal, Scenic”.  I couldn’t describe it better 😀

GBRC representatives ready for the “uplifting” adventure

First home were Debs and Vicky who ran this course for the first time. They attacked it together landing Debs with an emotional and very happy victory. We all knew she could do a fabulous time and it was great to see her proving this to herself that she could. So, great teamwork, ladies. You did your club proud 🙂
Also, first time on the course was Fiona who was very humble, and she didn’t expect to finish the race under 4 hours. She crossed the line with a smile on her face and a sentiment that she would like to do it again in the future.
Sarah and I enjoyed the hilly course of the North Downs, which we ran for the 2nd time, and we knocked 30 minutes from our previous result 2 years ago. 
So overall it was a good field trip by the GBRC team 🙂

I would like to thank Paul Carlisle for organising a minibus and for driving most of us there!!!

On the same weekend Anna Young made an appearance at ROC 24 and having experienced some problems with asthma she called herself a bit lazy for walking some parts of the 24-hour event. (Oh, I don’t think so, Anna). This lady clocked approximately 71.3 miles in overall and came 3rd on a podium for ladies. 

Congratulations to all ladies who completed the Sixathlon, especially where it looks like we beat our gents by numbers🙂

Questions of the Month:

This time we asked Nina Simmons our routine questions. Hope her answers will hep you get to know her a little more 🙂

Age category: not sure but I’m 28 
Occupation:​student administrative assistant
How long have you been in GBRC for?​About 12 years on and off
The silliest thing you did on a race: dressed up like Kevin from up
Favourite distance: 5 miles​
Best achievement: running the London marathon ​
What’s your ultimate running goal:  Disney World Challenge series ​
Favourite medal/tshirt and what for: Disneyland Paris 1/2 marathon
Interests other than running: drawing, reading, jewellery making
Favourite & Worst events and why: favourite: Colchester half marathon because I ran one of my best races without a watch. Worst = my first cross country because we had to run through ploughed fields and it was soul destroying  
Most challenging event and why: Oundle 20 because it was my first time running that far and because there wasn’t a lot of spectator support – some of the villages were like ghost towns 
Most useful running information you can share: the most challenging aspect of a run is mental, not physical. If you can mentally prepare yourself the rest will come (with good training of course!) 

Trail Run organised by Mr and Mrs Davison
Sarah and Paul are happy to organise a self-navigating trail run from their home back garden. To enter they ask runners to contribute £7 to Kathy Bishop’s fundraising page for The Children’s Liver Disease Foundation (link: If you would like to join and support this fantastic charity, simply go to Kathy’s page, donate your £7, and then let Sarah or Paul Davison know that you are coming. Entry includes a bacon or sausage roll and a cuppa at the end. Start time to be confirmed, likely 9am(ish) on 22nd August. 
(The event will be subject to COVID restrictions being lifted as set out in the latest timetable, should things change we will review and amend the date if needed).

Runner Of The Month

When it comes to this month, our ladies made sure that Anna and I had quite a conundrum over choosing the runner of the month for June.

We had super strong performances from Debs who came 3rdlady at Stour Valley Half Marathon, completed club Sixathlon as 2nd and made a sterling 30k effort at The North Downs.Then we have Bev who ran 2 half marathons in just 2 weeks, having run this distance only once before, and showing that she goes from strength to strength. Bev also did a strong 5 miles to prove she is a versatile runner. Sarah Davison continues to inspire with landing a 1st lady home after running over 30 miles at Stow Marie Trail Challenge, after which she raced Thetford Trails Half marathon and then The North Downs. They all inspire and make us be at awe of their performances. However, after a long debate Anna and I made a decision to appoint Anna Young for this monthly award. Her incredible mileage on trails in a short space of time between the Stow Marie (28 miles), where she was a 3rd lady overall, and ROC24 only show how strong she is and despite going through some ups and downs during ROC 24 she could proudly say that she completed over 71-mile-long run.

Congratulations Anna Young. To us you ROCk !