The one where we turned Highwoods blue

The weekend started with a blue bang thanks to the highly successfully GBRC Highwoods parkrun takeover. Organised by Yolande Arnold, with Paul Arnold as the Run Director, the club provided all the volunteers needed to make parkrun happen, as well as a number of pacers.

123 runners took part, with 29 completing that parkrun for the first time and 25 recording new PBs, including club members Ben Myhill (23:03) and Charlotte Hammond (31:16). Jo Weatherall completed Highwoods parkrun for the first time and set a 1km and 1 mile within her run. No doubt some of our excellent pacers and supportive marshals played a role in these achievements. A special shout out also to Emma Wakeling who bravely donned a pacer’s bib and not only paced 35 minutes but also achieved a winter course PB by some margin, finishing in 34:37.

A small selection of our lovely volunteers

Despite the high turnout at Highwoods, we still had club representatives at 8 other parkruns. Jack Wicks flew the flag at Colchester Castle parkrun and was rewarded with a PB of 24:32, whilst David Balfour and the gorgeous Barney flew round Markshall Estate parkrun to bag David a PB of 21:38. Some members also found themselves in a position to enjoy some parkrun tourism (which we all know is the best kind of tourism). Richard Heath was the first finisher at Tamar Trails parkrun (19:34) and Robin Oakley finished 6th at Chopwell Wood parkrun (21:19). Well done to all parkrunners and volunteers this week – and, for our newer members, don’t forget to add Great Bentley Running Club as your club on your parkrun profile, if you haven’t already done so.

Barney stuck his tongue out for the camera

It was a quiet week on the races front before the Spring racing season fully kicks off. Sue Wray completed the Colchester Kawasaki 10 mile self-navigating trail run in 1:47, raising money for Essex & Herts Air Ambulance. I also wanted to mention Inga Hayden-Cooper, who completed the Essex 20 (5 laps around the permitter of Debden Airfield) in an impressive 2:58:40, coming 6th in her age category. Well done also to Jon Mann, who completed the event in an equally impressive 2:22:11. This took place last weekend (Sunday 7 March) but the result wasn’t available until after last week’s report had been published. Great running folks!

Inga – waving, or using her fingers to count laps?