I wonder how many of you are watching the Olympic Games 2020? It’s truly inspiring and learning stories about individual athletes is far better than flicking through Netflix (something I got used to doing during lockdowns). Team GBR(C) appears to have Olympic Games of their own. We have so many races in the calendar, it was hard to keep up. On that note I would like to give thanks to Caroline Searle for setting up a weekly group of keen reporters who will help out with collating data from races on weekly basis. As things progress and races seem to slowly emerge from gloomy months behind us (let’s hope for good this time), our club calendar is filled with a higher number of races where athletes conquer new challenges and claim their personal best.
I am happy to report that in the past month the club gained a bunch of keen runners increasing the number of members to 181, including 5 ladies who joined us in July. Please give Emily Donoghue, Jacki Kent, Louise Balfour, Michelle Auer and Debbie Smith a warm welcome, and if you get to see new faces at the next club event, please come and say “hello” 😊.

Having many new members amongst us, I’d like to remind all that if you wish to claim for club standards, please email Eric at and to claim for place in Club Champs (which means that you can have a chance to get award(s) for your performances at the Awards Night by the end of the year), please let Paul Davison know at Please may I remind you all that in order to claim for either: Club Champs or Standards, members must wear club colours (t-shirt or vest). For more details, please refer to our website

So, here is what happened at the GBR(C) Olympics in July:
Leoni Harvey ran Colchester Orbital in 3:11:05. She was accompanied by Neil Robins and Mark Crittenden and together they claimed to enjoy a relaxing long distance in the rain.

it looks a bit wet underfoot

Advertised as the UK’s most beautiful triathlon – Holkham Outlaw offered the following distances on Sunday: 1.2m swim, 56m bike, 13.1m run and a 10k race on Saturday. Yolande Arnold, one of our new ladies in the club took part in the 10k option and she was proud to wear her Gt Bentley T-shirt for the first time and clocked 1:00:03 and received 2 club stars for this. Also, in Holkham was Claire Poole who attacked the triathlon challenge on Sunday. She described as the “swim was ok, bike was amazing, really lovely course! And the run was very very hot and hard going! Still for a change none of the stages were shortened so I actually got to finish it all”. She completed it all in 6:17:58. I know Claire loves her triathlons, but goodness – this is very impressive. Well done to our ladies in Holkham!

Yolande is proudly presenting first medal earned as Bentley blue

The same weekend saw Emma Levett-Welham in Rayne where Bentley blue lady ran a half marathon distance along the Flitchway and the event was organised by Hare and Tortoise.  

A very unique and novel medal which displays names of all participants

A few strong and inspiring ladies entered the 24-hour event at Suffolk Trail Festival. The event is centred in stunning Thetford Forest where participants can camp and enjoy live music during the day and soaking in a relaxing atmosphere whilst trying to test their own fitness at the 5-mile-long course. The event can be entered in different configurations. It offers 3k, 10k distances as well as 6-hour, 12-hour and 24-hour solo or team entries. Please refer to the STF website here:
GBR(C) ladies: Gemma Colling ran 9 laps (45 miles), Helen Carey did 7 laps (35 miles) and Sarah Davison 6 laps (30 miles). Helen and Sarah where a part of the small team called Jolly Trailers with Peter Benton, James Royce and a friend William who isn’t a member of our club. The team came 4th in overall and it was good to see them having a good time.

Between 9th and 11th July a few Gt Bentley representatives took part in a self-navigating trail covering the full length of the Essex Way, starting at Epping and finishing in Harwich. This was something that was organised by our club. A few of us wanted to do this for a quite some time and eventually Matt Laverack came up with a plan which later evolved into a real thing. So, Sarah Davison, Magdalena Komorowska (it’s odd to write about myself) and Helen Carey were 3 ladies who took upon the challenge along with Paul Carlisle, Rodger Alexander and Matt Laverack. For someone who hasn’t run more than 28 miles on a single race I can tell I was terrified as this was such an unknown territory in terms of distances and organising self, giving enough time (if ever) to recover for the next day. All in all, it was a great experience where in total we clocked 80 odd miles (different watches different distances … and including some detours). And yes, certain people had to have their shoes cleaned before the next morning – it was definitely a priority 😉 Depending on a day the group was accompanied by a few other members whose presence was very uplifting, enjoyable, and supportive.

Also, there were a few ladies from our club who did parts of the Essex Way in their own time beside club’s event. We could see Sammy Cotton with her husband Martin and Barbara Law with her daughter Vicky and Sue Wright navigating the trails. I would like to highly encourage everyone to explore Essex via using this long-distance footpath. You can read more about it here:

Leoni Harvey was definitely on fire this month. Apart from her runs, she ventured for a 1st duathlon at Gosfield lake on 11th July which consisted of Run 4km, Bike 20km, Run 4km. She claims that most competitors were fit males of whom everyone seemed to have a better bike than her and zoomed past her. I think Leoni being modest needs to give credit to herself. After all she finished in 01:34:34 and 3rd in her age category in her very first duathlon!

Another busy lady – Anna Young appeared to have a lot of fun splashing her way through 5k Bubble Rush which was organised by the St Helena Hospice and then she did Nayland 10k along with Melanie Moore. Anna completed the course in 01:07:23 (registered by her watch as results are nowhere to be found ☹), and she described this year’s edition as quite congested in places but with a nice route and fun family atmosphere.

Melanie Moore looking strong at Nayland 10k

Still on the 10k note, Bev Shortley gave a go another quite popular race at Felsted. She described it as gently undulating and she partnered up with Dave Jones. They probably would have enjoyed it more if the temperature was lower than 31 degrees. Nonetheless, Bev crossed the line in a decent time for these conditions in 59:01.

trying the Felsted 10k flavour 😉

A little bit further afield Debs Hollidge teamed up with the men’s captain Scott Young and visited Dorset for the Cider Races 2021 event where runners had 12 hours to their disposal to run as many laps as possible. Our representatives did our club proud for clocking around 22 miles each in “scorchio” conditions. A long journey home must have been very pleasant making them appreciate the “AC” button on a dashboard.

enjoying pre-race cider in the sun

A week later Sarah Davison visited Writtle with her husband and the couple did 50km of self-navigating trail in 5:51:57. They claimed to enjoy the event as it was well-organised, however it was still very hot for about 26 miles and then the heavens opened, and they got a bit “freshened up” by a torrential rain 😉

Sarah and Paul ready for a new long-distance adventure

The team of 9 including Anna Young and Magdalena Komorowska headed to Haughley Park near Stowmarket for the Medal Chaser event where runners had 6 hours to run as many laps (5.27km each) as possible. Anna did 8 laps getting medals for the marathon distance and Mags did 9 for ultra. This event was well organised and it’s definitely something I’d like to encourage our members to enter in the future. The course offered opened areas as well as footpaths in the woods. It wasn’t boring at all.

At the end of the month Claire Poole took part in another Hare and Tortoise event called Life’s a beach. This was 1st out of 4 coastal series which is 6hr timed or marathon distance to choose from. When completing the whole series, runners can display all 4 themed medals as one. The official result from the 1st race isn’t available yet, but Claire’s watch shows that she ran 6.5 miles in 1:04:11.

Many runners longed for the date of 24th July which marked the return of parkrun. It’s great to see parkruns are back and that many ladies took part in different locations. Inga Hayden-Cooper ran a Harwich edition and was second lady home. Clacton Seafront saw Leoni Harvey, Catherine Ott, Emma Welham and Zoe Reynolds. Caroline Talbot was in Ipswich. Junior parkrun which is on Sundays was visited by Albie Welham in Clacton, as well.
(This section is covered by Caroline in the weekly report hence I am avoiding duplications. Please refer to Caroline’s report 😊)

On 31st July Bev Shortley had a strong finish at Clacton parkrun as she came 1st in her age category and scooped a new course PB. First time at parkrun was Michelle Auer and 2nd female in her age category scooping 2 club stars. Louise Balfour got a new PB and came 3rd in age category. In Harwich we had Leoni Harvey and Inga Hayden-Cooper who got a course PB 2nd lady home.
Well done to our new ladies in the club – they’re starting strong 😊

Mickey Edwards
It was amazing to see so many club members who turned up at Gt Bentley Village Hall. It was a sense of normality in action.
Scott and a team are doing a cracking great job to time keep and getting everything ready for Mickey Edwards series. It’s incredible to see how much work it requires to get these done. Thank you!!! Also, the series wouldn’t be possible without marshals. Massive thanks go to those who offered their assistance so far.
Judging by the results from the first race, it appears that ladies are in the lead.
It only goes to show how much the series was anticipated for and how much it means to be physically at the club seeing people and racing 😊

Fastest Female: Justine Sheekey 21:26
Heat 1 winner – Bee Palmer-Barnes
Heat 1 Runner up – Alison Clarke
Heat 1 Bronze – Davina Swindell

Based on Facebook posts I can see that Lisa Briggs and Leoni Harvey got 2 stars and Bev Shortley got a shiny constellation made of 5 for her last ME performance. Please do not forget to let Eric Shaw know if you believe you reached stars for your performances. The email address is at the top of this newsletter.

***If you could possibly marshal for the upcoming Wednesdays, please contact Scott at to let him know. Thank you.***

Trail Runs Champs

We now have two trails behind us, and there are 2 more to go. To grab a t-shirt at the end of the series, all 4 runs must be completed. Details are on the website and instructions for August are now available to all as well.

Questions of the Month

This time I asked Helen Carey if she could answer our routine questions about herself. Helen comes across as a humble but very strong lady who loves ultra-trail running. I had a pleasure to get to know her a bit better through our Essex Way challenge. Helen is a good sport, and she is incredibly positive. That’s contagious.

Age category:    55-59
Occupation:       VAT Consultant
How long have you been in GBRC for?   5 years
The silliest thing you did on a race: tried to drink water from a cup while still running-not a successful move!
Favourite distance: 10 miles
Best achievement: being part of a winning team at the Suffolk trail festival in 2019 and getting my first and only trophy.
What’s your ultimate running goal: I would love to run the West Highland Way
Favourite medal/t-shirt and what for: My first medal for Dedham 10k, the furthest I had run at that time. I had helped with registering runners for years while my children were at Dedham School and always said one day I would run it.
Interests other than running: Walking, cooking, reading
Favourite & Worst events and why: Favourite was Chelmsford marathon as it was close to home, family and friends came to support me and I finally got my London good for age time. Didn’t enjoy my first half marathon, which was Ipswich on the old two lap course and swore ‘never again!’.
Most challenging event and why: The Suffolk Trail Festival 24 hour event, lack of sleep definitely adds another dimension.
Most useful running information you can share: I have only been running for about 6 years so am no expert but for me running new routes, especially on trails, keeps me enjoying my runs and the company of my dogs and an audible book or a good running companion always make it seem a bit easier to keep going once I am out. When I am struggling to find time to run, I try to tie it in with something I need to do, like running to work.

Runner of the Month

This month offered so many wonderful performances. However, the lady that we felt strongly about is someone who has been performing very well for some time now. She had incredible two half marathons in June and she carried on proving to be a versatile runner. From 2 fast Half Marathons (she had only done a few of them – I believe only 3) to fast 5k’s.  She consistently runs at a strong pace. However, her the most recent performance at Mickey Edwards where she finished in 24:07 left us in awe of her …and on top of that, she got a course PB at parkrun in Clacton finishing in 24:35. This was only a few days after her magical Mickey Edwards performance for which she proudly scooped 5 club stars. Congratulations Bev, you are our Runner of the Month.