Twist(ers), turns and cliffs

It’s always nice to start a race report with a little midweek madness. There were two occasions this week when I questioned whether I’d had one gin too many while scrolling my Strava feed. The first was Wednesday night, when the Preslands, Hollidges and friends took part in the ‘Tarmac Twister Trail’ in Chelmsford organised by Essex Trail Events . It certainly appeared to live up to its name, and I’m sure it was a fun way for Phil to spend the eve before his big birthday (unless he’s prone to dizzy spells).

Recovering from the Tarmac Twister Trail

The second occasion was Rob Dyer and Caroline Talbot’s tourist parkrun in Bristol (though, just to clear, I hadn’t drunk any gin on a Saturday before 10am). They enjoyed the dizzying experience of Somerdale Pavilion parkrun, finishing in 29:08 and 29:09, and, as a bonus, Rob managed to remain uncharacteristically upright throughout!

Other GBRC members enjoying some parkrun tourism included Charlie Keitch, finishing 6th at Gorleston Cliffs parkrun in a time of 18:46, Rob Blackman finishing 4th at Sizewell parkrun in 19:52 and Helene Tyler completing Belton House parkrun in 30:50. Vicky and Phil Presland took on the notoriously tough Lyme Park parkrun in the Peak District. Vicky was the second female finisher in 24:52 and Phil’s time was 26:09. However, Mark and Donna were certainly our most well-travelled members this weekend, completing Krakow parkrun in Poland in 31:16 and 31:38.

Helene visiting Belton House parkrun in Lincolnshire

At our local parkruns, five members completed Colchester Castle: Robin Oakley in 20:36, Richard Moor in 22:33, Russell Clarke in 24:17, Leoni Harvey in 27:53 and Caroline Searle in 29:24. Ryan Day was the first finisher in his debut at Highwoods parkrun (18:51), with Paul Connell not far behind in 4th position with a fantastic new PB of 19:54. Other Highwoods finishers were Scott Young (25:48), Emma Welham (42:38) and Zoe Reynolds (42:39).

As always, there was a great turnout at the local coastal parkruns. 11 Bentley runners went to Clacton Seafront parkrun. Mark Jaspar and Harry Swinbourne finished in the top 10 (in 18:42 and 21:42 respectively), and David Balfour was quite rightly pleased with his new PB of 23:02. Anna Lyon was the 3rd female finisher in 24:08 (almost pipped at the finish by Ben!) and Bev Shortley was the 5th female finisher in 25:25. Other members completing Clacton were: Dave Jones (25:54), Graham Clarke (27:08), Louise Balfour (27:37), Catherine Ott (29:10), Claire Reynolds (32:42) and Stephen Cartwright (38:41). At Harwich parkrun, both Inga Hayden-Cooper and Martin Owen achieved PBs (Inga in 23:02 and Martin in 23:46). Other Bentley finishers were Debs Hollidge (25:41), Paul Hollidge (26:04), Stephen Walsh (26:05) and Gary C (31:30).

David celebrating his PB at Clacton

Compared with previous weeks, I thought it was looking like a quiet weekend on the local events front, but luckily some of our members travelled far afield to give us something to read about! On Saturday, two brave souls (Mags Komorowska and Frank Gardiner) travelled to Eastbourne for the Beachy Head marathon. With over 2700 feet of elevation on Britain’s highest chalk sea cliff, just finishing this marathon would be an achievement. However, spurred on by the spectacular views and equally spectacular support from Tom, Mags finished in 4:29:20 and Frank in 6:19:33. Congratulations to you both on a great achievement!

There was more great running from Rob Dyer and Caroline Talbot, who completed the undulating Stroud half marathon. Rob reaped the rewards of some major changes to his pre-race day routine from the previous weekend, and finished in 1:35:04. Caroline continued her string of impressive PBs, with a time of 1:56:53.

The things we runners do for a medal!

Well done to all and I hope those of you not running this weekend enjoyed some rest between events. It looks like another busy two days of racing next weekend, and the two-week countdown to XC has officially begun!