Marathons, Mud, Medals and More

Well I am not expecting writing this week’s race report to be a 5 minute job – I reckon it will take me as long as it would have taken me to run the London Marathon…still gutted I had to defer my place but next year I will run it along with Cathy, Mags and my fellow survivor Helene.

So I am going to start where most race reports start – a Saturday morning at 9 o’clock…the old faithful parkrun. This on its own is enough to keep my fingers tapping for some time!

Clacton Seafront proved the most popular once again with 11 Bentley Blues taking on the course. Mark Jasper was pipped at the post to take 2nd place after his recent run of 1st place finishes (18.24), Ray Baggs (21.09), Bev Shortley was the 1st female Bentley finisher (now a regular occurrence) and 2nd female overall (25.24), Graham Clark (27.24), Kevin James (28.25), Stewart Baggs (37.49), Stephen Cartwright (39.11), David Nugent (42.52), Sandra James (48.19) and Leoni Harvey (49.37)

Highwoods parkrun had 5 representatives with a trio running together (well I assume so going by the times!) Scott Young (27.42), Claudia Keitch (27.43) and Paul Hollidge (27.45), the Farmers completed the Bentley line up with Colin (33.05) and Teresa (34.55).

Harwich parkrun also had 5 club runners with Inga Hayden-Cooper leading the pack for 4th female (24.38), Rachel Giles (26.52), Mark Harris (28.51), Donna Harris (29.33) and Gary Cooper (31.14).

2 runners decided to take on Maldon parkrun this week with Paul Connell (19.10) and Runner of the Month Lisa Briggs as a warm up for her cross country later in the morning! (32.37).

3 parkruns had a solitary Bentley runner this week, Sue Ray took on Mersea Island and picked up a course PB and was 1st in age category (27.40)

Richard Moor ventured to Black Park parkrun in Slough (22.25)– you’ll have to let us know what it was like Richard.

Just 26 runners took part in Damhusengen (Copenhagen) parkrun’s 4th event and one of those was our very own Rob Dyer taking on some true tourism, nabbing 5th place (20.42) however he did wish he has been there for event #3 as that time would have put him in 1st place!

Saturday was not just about parkruns though, oh no far from it. GBRC fielded both a men’s and women’s team at the Essex XC relays, taking place at Weald Country Park. The men’s team included Paul Davison, Chris, Ryan and Charlie Keitch, each running a 5Km leg. The women’s team consisted of Sarah Davison, Meera and the afore mentioned Lisa, also running a 5k leg each. The course measured short so it was actually 4.3kms each! However given the harsh wind and torrential rain there were no arguments from the runners. I have searched for the results for this but to no avail so I am just going to leave you in suspense and get on with the next chapter in this epic report.

What did they do to Charlie?


Now for Paras 10… According to Craig it was a cracking day for Great Bentley on a very challenging and gruelling mainly off-road route with water crossings and a swamp. That actually sounds like my kind of race! Craig came 1st in the canicross category with his dog Boo and 2nd overall runner (1.07:32). Magdalena Komorowska did a totally awesome run and gained herself a first ever win – 1st female home in 1.21:36.

It was a bootyful performance from Jon and his team as he won the Tab Vet 50-59 category in a time of 1:32:00 and placed 8th overall. Issues with the chip timing meant he had to watch a guy who was one hour slower lift the trophy knowing that it should have been coming home with him. Jon had been relentlessly training with 38-50lb every single run for months, and all the training paid off and he can now bask in his trophyless glory. The family team ‘Kiss My Booty’ took the Civvy team Tab win, not bad for three brothers and a merc. They even beat all the military teams!

Kiss My Booty team

Both Dave Jones and Brian Telford also ran in the 35lb tabbing category to make it even harder for themselves (2.20:30 and 2.29:53). As far as I can make out the only other two runners who took part in the ‘bog’ standard no beastly backpack for me category were Frank Gardiner (1.37:40) and Peter Benton (1.29:54). Great job every one of you!

I now head over to Weymouth, Dorset where the Presland Pair took on The Hangars Heroes Challenge 2021. Phil was very pleased with his 4th place in the Half Marathon in 2.18.52. However not wanting to be out done by her husband, Vicky only went and won the full marathon distance outright – girl power. I cannot seem to find the results for this one so apologies Vicky for not adding your time.

Serious bling!


Now for the VLM. Perfect conditions saw Debs Hollidge finally tick London of her bucket list. Not only did she put in a fantastic performance crossing the line in 4.00:20 but she also made it on to TV! I should also say well done to Geraldine Springett (4.35:29) who I have had the pleasure to run with in the past, but Scotland is to far for her to commute for our training sessions now.

I see Debs but it looks like Don has snuck in too!


As far as I am aware 2 runners took on the Virtual London Marathon – David Balfour completed his in 4.08:58 and a big shout out to Mark Crittenden who should not see the 20.5 miles he covered as being a disappointment, rather a significant achievement and listening to your body to prevent long term injury is the right call.


Now surely that must be it I hear you say but no! There is still more to go so moving swiftly on…
Mags, Tom and James Royce covered 18 miles at the well organised as always LDWA Norfolk & Suffolk “Flower of Suffolk” event. According to Tom they had perfect running conditions on a lovely route, lots of food and drinks at checkpoints and hot meal at the end. Overall a great day out.

The true flowers of Suffolk right there


Barbara and Vicki Law continued their goal to complete the Essex Way, taking on the 8 mile Dedham to Bradfield leg of the Essex Way.


Now finally for our juniors taking part in their Sunday parkruns. My little duckling Brody took on Colchester once again just missing his PB by 4 seconds due to a stitch (I told him eating shreddies 40 minutes before running was not wise! (10.33)) and Rodger Ferguson achieved a PB for the 2nd week in a row by a whopping 38 seconds! (11.29).


Super impressive running by all – just to put this into context all those races adds up to 306.1 miles covered by our club in the past weekend – give yourselves a clap! Now please fell free to be lazy and not take part in any races when it my turn to right the race report next please!

Emma out!