Oh, we do like to be beside the seaside.

It was another bumper turnout at parkrun this Saturday with runners from GBRC taking on courses across East Anglia and beyond. Chief amongst them were Emma Wakeling and Helene Tyler who both continued their return to running with some inspirational performances. Emma was in the Lake District for a challenging two lap course at Fell Foot parkrun. This was her first parkrun since January 2020 and she crossed the finish line alongside her two children Laci and Brody, who also took on this undulating and multi-surface course. Closer to home, Hélène Tyler travelled to Great Cornard for her first parkrun since March 2020, crossing the finish line in 32.14.

Despite the lack of Bank Holiday sunshine, it was still a good day to be at the beach, and Clacton Seafront parkrun was rocked (pun intended), by a series of outstanding performances from our runners. Leading the pack was our very own Mark Jasper, who picked up the first finishers token for the second week in a row, with a new course PB of 18:39. Mark was quickly followed by Harry Swinbourne, who finished in second position in 18:59, whilst David Balfour (24:13) and Louise Balfour (28:35) both came first in their age categories. Our other finishers included Dave Jones who ran the course in under 25 minutes for the first time, whilst further down the coast Paul Connell took on a slightly altered course at Maldon Prom parkrun, where he finished seventh in 19:13.

Mark and Angel Jasper at Clacton Seafront parkrun.
Mark and Angel Jasper at Clacton Seafront parkrun

Sticking with 5k’s, Mark Crittenden and Leoni Harvey took on what promised to be a fast 5k at the, er, Colchester Fast 5k.  This event took place at Colchester’s new Northern Gateway Sports Park with runners completing five laps of the 1km cycle circuit. Mark and Leoni crossed the line in 26:51 and 28:07 respectively. Also in attendance was Tim Ballard who took on the longer 10k course. Tim had a fantastic run, winning his age category and coming fifth overall in 37:40.

Leaving the shorter distances behind Belinda Palmer-Barnes and John Bush were amongst the runners who took on Outrun 24, the first 24-hour race from Hare and Tortoise Running, at Layer Marney Tower.  Runners completed as many 2.5 mile laps as they could over the course of the event, with John completing a total of 15 laps (37.5 miles), and Bee completing one more to take her to 16 laps and a total of 40 miles. Amazing stuff.