Where do I begin? August appears to be such a busy month and we can see many inspiring performances by our ladies, it’s truly remarkable. You girls make me want to run, run, run, and I hope that many of you feel the same way.

To kick things off I would like to thank our new team of weekly reporters who dedicate their spare time to write about accomplishments made by our members. Especially where parkrunners started to return to their Saturday routine. Isn’t that just nice? So, thanks Leoni Harvey, Caroline Searle, Charlie Keitch, Lisa Briggs and Emma Wakeling for your concise write ups 😊

Also, I would like to report that we are currently have 199 members – that’s 12 more than in the previous month and I’d like you to welcome 5 new ladies: Sue Wray, Kay Gill, Victoria Primmer, Joanne Oxley and Debbie Holt. Welcome!

August offered increased numbers of participants at parkruns in our region. We have a selection of local destinations including Colchester Castle, Highwoods, Great Cornard, Ipswich, Clacton seafront, Harwich, Mersea or Felixstowe where our ladies waved blue flag. 
As our reporting team covers races and parkruns I would like to mention those whose performances stand out the most and therefore are the most impressive and inspiring.

Starting with parkruns, we have Bev Shortly who keeps scoring high times in Clacton and oscillating on a top of leaderboard as 4th lady with time 24.48. A new to the club is Louise Balfour who often chooses to visit Clacton as well and she recently smashed a PB as 1st in age category for time 29.01 and on the Bank Holiday weekend she smashed another one in 28:35. Claudia Keitch scored a PB in Colchester Castle with 26:52, Belinda Palmer-Barnes was 1st in her age category in Mersea Island with time 29.50, Inga Hayden-Cooper came 1st in age category with 23:49 in Harwich and Emily Zethraeus came 2nd lady with 20:36 at Woodhouse Moor. Hélène Tyler visited Great Cornard for her 1st parkrun post-surgery and she completed it in 32:14. Vicky Presland completed her 50th parkrun after a long break in 25:30 at Lanhydrock in Cornwall and Emma Wakeling visited Fell Foot parkrun in Newby Bridge which she completed in 42:47 along with Laci and Brody. Apparently, the course is very beautiful and undulating.

Emma and ducklings waving a blue flag in Lake District

And who said no one likes 5k? Let’s move on to Mickey Edwards. Shall we?
I would like to give thanks to Scott and Tom for organising the series and for all their hard work behind the scenes. Thanks to all marshals who dedicated their free time to make it happen and to encourage runners along the way. Every race in this series had a brilliant atmosphere to it. Many runners were simply happy to get back to the running routine, where setting personal challenges and running in a friendly atmosphere was possible. At last! 

A total of 28 ladies took part in this year’s edition and the Mickey Edwards’ trophy will go to Caroline Talbot who knocked 7 minutes 22 seconds from her baseline which she ran in 33:10 and improved to 25:48!

Some action shots from the series

Apart from our winning gal, there are a few ladies who kept scoring during the series, and so I would like to give a big shout out to those who landed in the top 15 on the leaderboard.

Catherine Ott – Run them all, improvement on every race, 3rd overall, improvement by 3:01;
Michelle Auer – improvement on every race, 4th overall, improvement by 2:47;
Bee Palmer Barnes – Run them all, 5th overall, improvement by 3:53
Alison Clarke – Run them all, improvement on every race, 7th overall, improvement by 2:54;
Fiona Gosling – Run them all, 8th overall, improvement by 2:13;
Bev Shortley – improvement on every race, 11th overall, improvement by 2:41;
Claire Poole – Run them all, improvement on every race, 13th overall, improvement by 1:30.

Congratulations, ladies.

Here are some impressive races our ladies beasted up in August:
Leoni Harvey is training hard towards her marathons and she is keeping her calendar busy with races. In August she ran Mudnificent 7 – yes, that’s right – Apparently it’s in Coventry and I already love the word play there but how much mud is involved in Mudnificent? Leoni wrote that it’s an obstacle course with 7 zones by different race organisers. I wonder how that works but the western styled bling and t-shirt caught my eye – they look unique.

Leoni didn’t rest for long as she chose to enter a 7-hour event called The Uranus Solar Run where in heavy rain and mud she completed a full marathon distance as a preparation to her Brighton road marathon with a 27 minutes PB! This lady is so on fire that it makes me imagine she melted all ice on the coldest planet (Uranus) in the Solar System 😉 What’s more, she ran The Vitality Big Half on 22nd August where she knocked 15 seconds off her previous PB.  Very vital indeed- Bravo Leoni!

With “Are you Shore” and then “Surfs Up” Claire Poole finished her coastal series organised by Hare and Tortoise which resulted in a display of 4 medals which she worked hard on every 10k race they had on offer.

Claire didn’t stop with the coastal series though. She later took part in Clacton 10k with Michelle Auer and finished in 57:27 and 1:01:14 retrospectively. Also at Clacton was Lauiose Balfour who clocked another PB of 1:01:06.
Still at shore, Emma Levett-Welham completed a whopping 20 miles at the Hare and Tortoise coastal challenge in Brightlingsea on 7th August as part on her training for Brighton Marathon. Well done, ladies!

Inga and Meera where the only club representatives at Chelmsford track where they ran miles of miles completing 1 mile distance in 6:41 and 7:11 retrospectively. Brilliant running, ladies!

Barbara and Vicky Law have been running parts of the Essex Way this summer and they completed the 7th section consisting 11.6 miles between West Bergholt and Dedham. Ladies have now left a section from Dedham to Harwich and they are getting closer to the end of it. Well trailed, ladies!

Sarah Davison keeps on trailing too. She did a magnificent 50k along Stour Valley Path with the assistance of Paul Davison and Peter Benton and placed 25th with time 5:57:03. What’s more, Sarah did the Outrun 24, but she entered the 12hour option where she clocked another 50k (well, 56k really) finishing 8th in overall and 4th female in time 7:04:45.
A few more ladies chose a 24hour option at this event and so we could see Yolanda Arnold who finished 42.5 miles in 23:09:36, Belinda Palmer-Barnes 40 miles in 23:12:19, Sammy Cotton 30 miles in 22:39:59 and Donna Harris 25 miles in 23:25:58. Congratulations to all – I hope you truly enjoyed it, especially where some bird told me it wasn’t the easiest terrain to run on.

Our ladies at Outrun 24

On the 22nd August Kathy Bishop, Sarah and Paul Davison organised a self-navigating 10-mile trail from the Davison’s Headquarters. It was great to see many members taking part and supporting a worthy cause (Children’s Liver Disease Foundation) – link to Kathy’s just giving page here.
After trailing for 10 miles and learning about the infamous “divorce hill”, runners were welcomed with sausage rolls and a cuppa. Great event – Thank you all.

What’s on the horizon?
Our club is looking to enter teams for the Essex Cross Country relay on 2nd October in Brentwood.  Participants will run 5k lap each and depending on type of team there will be either 3 legs or 4 legs per team. If you are interested in taking part, please give a shout to Ryan Day as soon as possible as entries close on Sunday 19th September.
Also, there are a few races which are quite popular and places fill quickly. There is Chelmsford 10k on 21st November and Stebbing 10 miles on 14th November.

The below are races which can still be entered (I checked) in Essex in September and October:
INGATESTONE 5 miles road race on 12th September – short notice but it currently has 275 spaces available.
Pleshey Half Marathon on 19th September
Stansted 10k fun run on 19th September
Colchester Stampede Half Marathon 10th October
Tiptree 10 miles on 10th October
Chelmsford Marathon & Half Marathon on 17th October

Questions of the Month

This lady and I joined the club in the same month. We quickly became friends. Well, it’s hard not to – Emma Wakeling is one of the most positive people I had a pleasure to get to know and her strength and positivity is contagious. Going through a hardship of the past 10 months Emma kept active and positive. She made us all in awe of her for her courage and despite having health issues she still offered help with marshalling at Mickey Edwards races along with her children (ducklings) and the trio were encouraging runners to go faster, and she was back to running at the last Mickey Edwards melting our hearts with a smile on her face. I am lost for words when it comes to this lady. She amazes me. Here it is Emma Wakeling and her answers to our routine questions for this month.

Age category: 40-44
Occupation: Head of Business Engagement and Knowledge Transfer at the University of Suffolk
How long have you been in GBRC for? 4 and a bit years
The silliest thing you did on a race: Dressed as a cat for my only marathon as raised money for Cats Protection
Favourite distance: Prior to surgery this was 10 miles
Best achievement: My solo 24hr attempt – I think I did 50 miles?
What’s your ultimate running goal: To complete London Marathon Oct 2022 and to run it all, raising money for MacMillan
Favourite medal/t-shirt and what for: I love my Virtual London Marathon medal and my Grizzly Tee Shirt
Interests other than running: I love bootcamp, cooking and speaking Spanish
Favourite & Worst events and why: Worst was my 1st ever half – Marlow. At 7 miles in you hit a hill which is more like a mountain and it goes on for a mile. I looked up to see what looked like ants at the top but they were runners! My favourites are the Cross Countries. I love trail and I love mud so win win! I once did Nuclear Races and it was so much fun
Most challenging event and why: The Yorkshire 3 Peaks 3 years ago….middle of August yet the weather was rancid, it rained the whole time, was cold and you couldn’t see more than 10 feet in front of you. I hit a wall, I cried, I swore, I shouted to myself out loud but I completed it.
Most useful running information you can share: Don’t live by your watch – run as you feel and enjoy it – that is actually how I got my best times.

Runner of the month  

This lady has been brewing a RoM title for a very long time. She has constantly been mentioned as inspiring, determined, progressive and strong. She is one of those girls who can’t stop fighting until they score result they can be happy with. She is simply very inspiring and on top of things she is a brilliant and friendly young woman whom I have pleasure to know. I am so pleased to see how much effort she put into recovery from her ankle injury back in June and that she progressed the most at Mickey Edwards series and won this year’s title. The Mickey Edwards’ trophy will come her way at the Awards Night but for now it is my pleasure to congratulate Caroline Talbot for becoming our Runner of The Month for August. Congratulations!