This weekend saw the return of our 10 mile inter club road race with Harwich Runners for the first time since 2019. A record-breaking field of 83 runners turned out to contest the coveted winner’s trophy* on the quiet lanes of Little Bromley and Great Bromley.
The first male runner home for Great Bentley was one of our newest members, Ram Osman, who crossed the finish line in 55:17, grabbing 15 valuable bonus points for winning the race. The first male runner home for Harwich Runners was Matthew Friend in 57:41. For the women, Justine Sheekey was the first Great Bentley runner to finish in 1:07:41, whilst Harwich Runner’s Karen Stapleton crossed the line in 1:14:11.
However, this race isn’t just about the faster runners and every single person who completed the course contributed to the points total for their teams. In the end, it was a very closely contended race, with Harwich scoring a total of 1749 points and Great Bentley just pipping them to the post with a total of 1752. Remember to take a look at the full results. Well done to everyone who took part and a massive thank you to all the volunteers who made the race possible.
You’d have thought with so much at stake on Sunday, that Saturday would have been a quiet affair. Well, think again! Meera Rajoo-Oakley represented the club at Saturday’s Essex XC Championships in Basildon, where she finished 72nd on the super slippy course whilst Leoni Harvey completed 10k at Phoenix running’s SG-100 event.
At Highwoods parkrun, Great Bentley secured the first three finishers’ positions thanks to David Wright (20:44), Paul Connel (21:11), and Paul Davison (22:10), who all ran strongly on the undulating off-road winter route. Also running strong was Mark Jasper, who finished Harwich parkrun in 18:27, beating his time from last week by one second and moving one place up the finisher’s list to claim the #1 token.
Elsewhere, Martin Owen ran his 27th different parkrun course at Chilton Fields in 25:23. This three-lap route was boggier than some of the XC route’s Martin has run, but seeing as he’s barely ever at XC due to a mud affliction, I’ll leave you to decide exactly how boggy it may have been. Joining Martin at Chilton Fields was Rob Blackman who finished the course in 21 minutes exactly. Closer to home Dave Jones was amongst our runners at Clacton Seafront, finishing in 29:03, whilst we also had runners at Tilgate, where Martin Steinwand completed the course in 27:47, Markshall Estate, where Simon Leggett completed the course in 22:31, and Colchester Castle, where a total of eight Bentley runners took on the hills of Castle Park.
*Please note, there may not be an actual trophy. I mean, I’ve never seen it if there is.