Ladies’ Newsletter September

by Anna Lyon

It is so lovely to read the weekly reports and discover what our ladies are achieving – to reach personal goals with a smile at the finish line is a priceless feeling.  In additional to our own reasons for running there are, as we all know, so many other benefits which have included time out in the beautiful warm sunshine September gave us.

With our Captain ‘Marvellous Mags’ continuing to train hard, I apologise in advance whilst writing this newsletter for the first time if I have inadvertently missed anyone’s achievements out – hopefully that caveat covers me.  Firstly, thank you once again to our committed team of weekly lady reporters: Emma Wakeling, Leoni Harvey, Lisa Briggs and Caroline Searle:  you all provide us with such a great synopsis of running events and results.


A warm welcome to the latest Lady Bentley Blues namely: Katie Whymark, Deb Chandler, Sue Wray, Kay Gill and Victoria Primmer – we look forward to reading about your achievements and testing out your baking skills!

Park Runs

Our ladies continue to inspire and represent us in force at Park Runs as these incredible voluntary run weekly events start to increase in numbers as competitive confidence in the field grows once again.  As we read in our weekly reports there are many impressive parkrun times across Colchester, Highwoods, Clacton, Felixstowe and Harwich; Bev Shortley claiming the fastest parkrun time for our ladies this month: 24:34 at Clacton, quickly followed by Vicky Presland 24:42 whilst running alongside her partner in crime Debs Hollidge at Colchester Parkrun – tagging this distance on to a 14 mile training run.  Others meanwhile took the opportunity to try out new tourist routes venturing further afield.  With full tanks Sue Wray claimed 26:47 at Burnham on Crouch, Helene Tyler at Great Notley 32:53, Bee Leamington Spa 30:34, Anna Mills at Thetford 27:52 and Sammy Cotton at Woollaton Hall, Nottingham 31:00.  Meera Rajoo-Oakley meanwhile journeyed even further this month with her blue vest making attending a wedding a viable excuse to try out Congelton parkrun in Cheshire 26:47 claiming 10th female – well done those travelled blues!

Geoff Day Memorial 5k

Whilst on the same distance – for the sixth year running: Geoff Day Memorial 5k.  Congratulations to everyone who took part in this special club race – it really was inspiring seeing you all whizz past; smiles captured on camera proving that everyone enjoyed themselves – obviously realising that otherwise (see facebook photographic evidence) they had tail runner Debs Hollidge to deal with – ouch!  Results in – Justine Sheekey retained her trophy and claimed 1st Female 20:27, Sarah Davison 2nd Female 23:23 well done both of you.  A special mention should also go to Louise Balfour as this was her first race as a GBRC member – 27:27 PB.  Congratulations Louise; blue is definitely your colour!

Justine is going for a win win
Debs Hollidge as a happy tail runner

5 Mile Race

With not too many 5 mile races around it was good to see a ladies blues vest driving over to Ingatestone – Inga finishing 42:47 which we know she was super happy with.

10k Race

The 10ks proved to be a popular distance to run in September – Framlingham Flyers putting on their 36th Framlingham 10k where Lisa Briggs took 10 seconds off her PB time of 53:12. Lisa, in good blue company, was joined with impressive performances on a hilly course by Sarah Davison, Caroline Talbot and Kieron Hayes – well done those ladies.  The scenic 10k London Summer Run – starting in Trafalgar Square and finishing in Whitehall, also saw great achievements from Sammy Cotton 1:06:33 and Belinda Palmer-Barnes 1:04:40.   Closer to home – the Layer 10k saw great tremendous efforts from Louise Balfour and Helene Tyler with Sarah Davidson claiming 2nd female in 54:53: whoop whoop speedie Sarah.  Takely 10k in Uttlesford (I had to look up where that was) once again saw Magdalena running in the company of Claudia Keitch who deserves a special mention smashing her PB and completing the race in an awesome time of 53:30.

Half Marathon Turning now to the Half Marathon distance – once again we saw our own superwoman Janine Simpson carrying Darren in her heart as she ventured back up North putting in another stoic performance at the Great North Run.  At Pleshey half marathon (Essex Half Marathon Championship) a beautiful route through undulating countryside saw Magdalena triumph once again coming in 18th female (9th in her age group) and a new impressive 3 min PB: 1:41:46, Sarah Davidson 1:53:47 and Alison Clarke 2:20:29 – what fantastic blue sheet of results ladies!  Well done also to Yolande Arnold completing the Hever Castle Half Marathon 2:28:53 – 1st in her age category, Sammy Cotton The Robin Hood Half Marathon at Nottingham and Magdalena who tested out Warrington’s inaugural half Marathon gaining herself 1st in her age category – 1:43:38: that was certainly worth the trip to the West Coast.

Half Ironman

Taking the half marathon distance even further Claire Poole completed the Weymouth Half Ironman in 6:09:33 gaining 3rd place in the division.  For those of us unfamiliar of what a half ironman entails it is actually also known as the Middle Distance Triathlon or 70.3 km and consists of a 1.9k swim, 90k bike and 13.1 mile (21.2k) run: amazing Claire – for anyone that has not tried coming back from a run and hopping on to a bike its worth doing this to appreciate this transition alone – I am not sure how you tell muscles to then swim?  Well done Claire.

Running Festivals

With Running Festivals making an appearance after two years it was great to see our captain Magdalena Komorowska head over to the land of concrete cows at Milton Keynes for the 20 mile race involving a large double lapped route – Magdalena crossed the finishing line in an impressive PB: 2:50:40.

Unplanned Ultra

For a ‘Marathon and a bit’ – aka ‘an unplanned Ultra’ – it was the Brighton Marathon where Emma Welham and Leoni Harvey had to endure a further sweltering 568 metres before being able to claim their well earnt precious marathon medals: what troopers you both are – when that finish line is moved it really does test the inner strength!

Other Super Achievements

Recognising all our ladies’ achievements is important so a special mention goes out to Rachel Rodgers who ran the 9th stage from Bradfield to Ramsey of the 82-mile Essex Way relay in just over an hour.  Another shout to Leoni Harvey for completing her one mile swim at Serpentine – having only learnt to swim in April this is a truly inspirational.  Another loud cheer goes out to Fiona Gosling who walked 50 miles in 20 hours as part of the Surrey Tops event.  It is learning of these types of achievements that honestly keeps us striving for new challenges and discovering different ways in which to test/break ourselves!

Questions:  Belinda Palmer-Barnes (Bee)

Age category: 61-64
Occupation: Payroll Officer        
How long have you been in GBRC for? 15 years approx   
The silliest thing you did on a race: Silliest thing the chapel trail run – Sam doesn’t like cows and a calf had got under the fence so I lifted up the fence not realising it was electric and got the worst electric shock and Sam, Martin and John was laughing so much and then the calf just walked under the fence!!!        
Favourite distance: 5 miles
Best achievement: London 2014
What’s your ultimate running goal: Just to keep fit and healthy        
Favourite medal/t-shirt and what for: Medal and T-shirt is London
Interests other than running: gardening and walking
Favourite & Worst events and why: Favourite: London marathon 2014 – so pleased I completed it
Worst: Tiptree 10 miles was ill and collapsed at the end over the finish line
Most challenging event and why: Duathlons
Most useful running information you can share: If you get injured don’t keep running

Looking Forward:
Colchester Stampede Half Marathon – 10th October
Tiptree 10 miles – 10 October
Chelmsford Marathon & Half Marathon – 17th October
Springfield XC ‘aka CAKE SESSION’ – 7th November
Stebbing 10 miles – 14 November
Chelmsford 10k – 21 November
Halstead XC ‘aka yet another CAKE SESSION’ – 28th November

Runner of the Month: (by Mags)

In September we saw fantastic performances that Anna and I are inspired by and we would like to give a special shout out to Emma Levett-Whelam who completed Brighton Marathon despite not having much training for. Well done Emma!
Another lady who made an impression on us is new to the club, but from day one she seemed to be keen to actively participate in club’s life: not only did she bring a cake to one of club’s sessions (totally a Gt Bentley girl right from the start 😉) but also she joined the weekly reporting group for our website.
We can often see her working hard on training sessions. She encourages fellow runners offering words of support and she is kind and a positive lady as well as a great assistance to leaders of training groups.
On top of all that she tries to go outside her comfort zone and she ventures for distances she might not necessarily feel so comfortable about. So, it was fascinating to see her running 10k in Framlingham where she got herself a PB and then she flourished at Pleshey getting another fantastic PB at half marathon. We know we will hear much more from this girl, but no pressure. She already is a GBRC gem. Congratulations Lisa Briggs. You are our runner of the month.