October – a month dominated by marathons and an influx of new members joining our club. There is plenty to cover this month – al lot is going on, so please forgive me if I leave most performances to weekly reports, Caroline, Emma, Lisa, Leoni and Charlie give a lot of effort to cover all fantastic performances on a regular basis.

Welcome, Welcome
This month we were joined by Amanda Ali, Julia Jessop, Donna Day, Deb Chandler, Julia Leonard and Norma Smith in the club. Please give our newcomers a warm welcome and when you see new faces in the club, please say “hello”. New members are always welcomed, and we are happy to see enthusiastic runners whom we train with, race with and most importantly eat well-deserved cakes with 😉 I would like to ensure that all newcomers feel comfortable. In case of doubts and believe me when I say that we all have those, please rest assured that all range of running skills are welcomed. All training sessions, which you can find on the GBRC website under the “Training” tab are for anyone to use. It is down to Leaders (LiRFs and CiRFs) to ensure that all participants are included where no one is left behind.
Also, our Head Coach, Caroline Searle sends a weekly Doodle Poll (usually on Thursday evenings) where members can sign up for sessions there. It is not compulsory to use it, but it is helpful especially to leaders what numbers to expect on each session. Please use it as much as you can.

Although October is traditionally the month filled up with marathons our ladies took part in variety of runs and challenges. If you want to read more about them, please make sure you check our website for the weekly race reports where our dedicated group of reporters are tracking our members’ activities. You will find the reports by clicking link here. You should find details about our ladies taking part in big and small events that are either local or further away. I hope it would give you some ideas for your next year calendar.

One of those we could potentially attack in a bigger format next year is the Essex XC Relays. It’s organised by Billericay Striders and as a part of Essex XC Championship. GBRC was represented by 4 men who had to run 4x5k and women who ran 3x5k. Our ladies placed 12th and gents 14th which was a top half of the field.  

One month, 7 marathons
Happening in autumn for the 2nd year in the row, Virgin London Marathon fell on the 3rd October. Our sole blue lady Deborah Hollidge finally had a chance to experience London vibes whilst running this popular marathon. Deb officially finished in 4:00:20 with a big smile on her face. On the same day Vicky Presland ran a rather niche marathon called Hangers Heroes Challenge 2021 in Dorset. The course was described as multi terrain and hilly and it is designed for runners and walkers. Vicky crossed the finish line first in 4:12:30 beating all girls and boys! Another fascinating lady ventured for the marathon this month – Fiona Gosling decided to pay Loch Ness a visit and she was happy to finish the undulating race in 5:03:18. The organisers state that this race is one of the most stunning marathons in the world. I guess there is only one way to find out, right ladies? Emma Levett-Welham completed Manchester Marathon in 6:02:31. It’s her 2nd marathon in two months as she did Brighton in September as well. Bravo! What are your plans for November, Emma? Sarah Davison was a bit closer to home running Chelmsford Marathon for the first time. As always, the organiser put up a great race. Sarah crossed the finish line in 4:07:47 and Nicola Laverack ran a half marathon on the same day in 2:02:13. Well done ladies! Helen Carey ran the St Ed’s Marathon, which consisted of 2 laps, in 4:29:24. I don’t really like to write about myself, but I am very happy to have done the Beachy Head Marathon and I would like to recommend it within the club and hopefully see more ladies taking this challenge next year. I completed 2 laps (due to a unique situation with flooded areas) in 4:29:20.

Our ladies didn’t disappoint at the parkrun front either. There were some PBs and long paused milestones. How many of us had their parkruns stopped just before hitting the milestone before the certain C word happened? Well, we could witness Caroline Talbot reaching 50th (not birthday!) parkrun this month where Lisa Briggs celebrated 100th (certainly not birthday!) in Highwoods on the same day. Meanwhile Meera Rajoo-Oakley scored 200th parkrun and kept quiet about (your secret is out now 😉)

Tiptree 10 saw a big group of GBRC runners and our ladies resulted in scoring enough points to bring home an award for the 1st female team.

The month ended with Wix 5 and the Witchfinder on a blustery windy day. Well done to everyone who took part and battled tricky weather conditions that day.

I simply couldn’t miss this flashy image from one of our training sessions. Is it bad that I actually recognise some lingerie brands from the distance? This just simply made me laugh, so here – GBRC at its finest 😊

And now something completely different…

Awards Night
I hope you all received communication about this event. Our club is organising the annual awards night on the 4th December. This is the time where we decorate the Village Hall and ourselves 😉 and simply enjoy the fact that we are together, celebrating club’s achievements, having some food and lots of fun.

To help us organise it well, I’d like to know how many members (and plus ones) we should expect. Therefore, please use this link here to notify me.  

We will be ordering pizzas from the local business in Gt Bentley. However, you can always bring your own food, which we could find a room for on the side table.

Please bring your own drinks and glass. There will be £5 of admission fee by the door.

Village Hall has been booked for the afternoon prior to the event and as always, we would like to decorate it for it to look fabulous for the night of awards. Please let me know by using the above form whether you will be able to help decorate the hall on the day.
Also, I can confirm that we will meet in the hall on the following morning for the post awards night run and breakfast. We will send a Doodle Poll nearer the time.
I am still collecting votes by 8pm on 7th November. You can cast your votes here

All VETs can be found here

If you would like to vote but you’re not sure who to choose, you can always refer to captains’ newsletters or race reports for the past year to prompt your memories. However, you don’t have to vote for every category.  

Club Champs and Standards
Please don’t hesitate to claim your race results for the Club Champs. Paul Davison is collecting results up until the 14th November at Eric is already ready to print out certificates for our champs for the Awards Night, and we want him to get busy 😉 If your race falls after that date, its results will count for the 2022.

Also, please let Eric know via the following email address if you believe you are eligible to claim for standards from your races. Official times count only. You can find more details here

Vicky Presland sent a bunch of emails with regards to cross country season. Please refer to those and of course to our website where you can see all XC dates and venues.

In the nutshell I’d like to mention that the XC season, starting on the 7th November in Writtle (by Springfield Striders) is something that our club is passionate about. We like to put up a great effort and XC is something for everybody to all abilities. Yes, fast runners score for the club which we always hope that club stays in the Pool A but it is important for everyone to know that if we have a good turnout there is a chance that our runners will block our competitors. So, I’d like to encourage all to come and play. You don’t necessarily have to be fast to make a difference and what’s more – our club always tries to make the best atmosphere on each race, and we have cakes and hot drinks afterwards. So, please come along, bring a cake if you like and bring a mug with you. There will be flasks with hot water, tea coffee, milk and sugar.  I hope to see many of you there 😊

Vicky is collecting names for adults ( and Emma Wakeling for kiddies (

Please remember to run in the club kit (vest or t-shirt). If you don’t have any of those yet, please contact Barbara Law who usually comes to Wednesday sessions in Gt Bentley. You can contact her by using this link on our website  or through the Messenger if you use FB group page.

Essex Vets XC Championships at Writtle University
The event will take place on 4th December, and it’s yet again being hosted by Springfield Striders. Yes, it falls on the same day before club’s Awards Night. Charlie Keitch is kindly collecting names in our club and if you are interested in taking part please let him know as soon as you can ( Entries will close on 21st November so we will need to have teams ready before this date. 
Race 1 = 10.00am U13 Boys – 3k  – age on 31st August 2021                                                   
Race 2 = 10.15am U13 Girls – 3k – age on 31st August 2021                                                     
Race 3 = 10.30am U15 Boys – 4k – age on 31st August 2021                                                                  
Race 4 = 10.50am U15 Girls – 4k – age on 31st August 2021                                                     
Race 5 = 11.15am M50+ & W40+ – 8k – age on 1st December 2021                                                     
Race 6 = 12.00pm M40 – 8k – age on 1st December 2021                                                         

Fish & Chips Christmas lights run
For those who like a mix of running and eating, we will be having a little run around Great Bentley during which we will (hopefully) admire Christmas decorations in the village followed by fish and chips from the local van in the Village Hall. This will take place on 22nd December and if you would like to order, please let Marion know at, as she will need to pass on the order to the van by 15th December. Ooh, club cannot offer those so please bring your own mug and cutlery. Thank you.

10 Mile Inter Club Road Race
Please reserve date of 9th January 2022 in your calendars. It’s a great opportunity to go for a PB and make a mark in the new year’s Club Champs spreadsheet with this race. Our 10 miler is something that our club organises every year for GBRC and Harwich Runners members only and we meet at the Great Bromley Village. More details to come nearer the time.

GBRC Half Marathon
This is our signature event which falls on 6th February 2022 and which our club prides itself for putting up an excellent hosting work and atmosphere on the day. It is incredible to see that all 750 places filled up under an hour breaking club’s record (but not the servers – YES!). I like to think that runners are not only fans of a flat course and a selection of cakes we offer, but also enthusiastic marshals. We always ask members not to enter the race. If you would like to run it, you need to offer to marshal first. You have to be in it to win it. This is the time where members show their integrity 😊 Once we have enough marshals, there will be a ballot of those who would like to run the race. Please let Scott Young know ( if you can help and if you would like to run it. Thank you to those who had already showed their support.

Questions Of The Month
This month we asked Deborah Hollidge (Debs) our routine questions. She is a truly inspiring lady and a great asset to our ladies GBRC team. Let’s hear from Debs ↓

The photo is after my first half marathon at The Eden Project. I signed up on a whim with a friend who didn’t end up running and I had no idea of the course/elevation!! As u can see from the photo I was really pleased with myself at the end and so my love affair for running began!!!

Age category: 45
​ communications officer for Essex Police
How long have you been in GBRC for? since August 2014​
The silliest thing you did on a race: Going off too fast aka doing a Presland! It’s easy to get carried away and get dragged along by others! I can’t think of a specific race, but I know I have done it more than once 
Favourite distance:​ half marathon (although ask me whilst doing a half if it’s my favourite distance and I doubt I would agree!)
Best achievement: my first marathon which was Manchester. I had a training plan and I stuck to it to the T! I also had a race plan which I also stuck too. Went like clockwork on the day. ​
What’s your ultimate running goal: to continue running for as long as possible and to stay as injury free as I can! I haven’t got any races in mind but I’m sure that will change! ​
Favourite medal/t-shirt and what for: The massive medal I got after the Little Rock marathon! How I didn’t go over my baggage allowance I don’t know! ​
Interests other than running: My dogs, my family and going on holiday!
Favourite & Worst events and why: Benfleet 15 fits this for both! Always a Tough course but due to the time of year it’s held (January) u never know what weather U are going to get! But at least now u get a nice medal the t-shirts are always good. I used to hate XC and getting muddy but now I embrace the mud (as long as I’m in the right footwear 😝)
It’s always one of those races that afterwards I say “never again” but then sign up for when the time comes!
Most challenging event and why: the Cotswolds way 100. Paul and I ran this together in 2017. U run just over 100miles over 4 days. The toughest thing was getting up and running again the next day but it’s amazing what your body can do and we both thoroughly enjoyed it.
Most useful running information you can share:  have a goal but try and enjoy yourself. Life is too short to be hung up on times! Also don’t compare yourself to others. We all run for different reasons and will have good/bad days. Just run your own race! 

Runner of The Month
We saw a few amazing performances this month, but this lady stood out. She made running a trail marathon with over 3,000ft of elevation look easy. Not only did she finish as 1st lady, but she also won the whole race where the 1st male was 9 minutes behind her.
This lady is not only an excellent, strong runner but also a friendly LiRF who leads chatty group of early birds on Friday mornings, and also she is a dedicated ambassadress of XC league. She helps us organise and compile a strong GBRC team, encourages all to take part and enjoy those runs.
For all her hard work and amazing achievements at races the Runner of the Month goes to Vicky Presland. Congratulations.