What a busy month it has been!! May has seen the start of our own GBRC Mickey Edwards series, Harwich 5k series, Friday 5’s, RunONE, and loads of other great local races. It genuinely feels like things are back to normal following COVID ( I hope we haven’t spoken too soon…)

It is great to see so many familiar faces at the club on a Wednesday night and wearing the blue vest with pride at races and other events. Equally great to also see and chat to so many new faces. We are continually growing as a club so a massive welcome to all our new members (and the return of some previous ones), I hope you all feel like you have been made welcome. There is a lot going on and it can be a bit daunting, so if you have any questions or queries then please ask any of the committee members, check the website and Facebook posts or just chat to one of your fellow members who, if they can’t answer any questions, will be able to point you in the direction of someone who can.    

Before we do a quick recap of the month’s highlights, some useful info and reminders for you;

  1. The Mickey Edwards 5k series continues with the next race on Wednesday 8th June. The race will be starting at 7:20 so please ensure you arrive at Gt Bentley Village Hall in plenty of time to be on the line ready for your start time (and don’t forget your number). To enable the races to go ahead we are reliant on marshals to help keep our runners safe. If you are able to marshal at the next, or any future races please get in touch with Fraser at;
  • The ever-popular ‘Rodgers Trail Run’ series starts on 1st June. The format is basically that there are four different self-navigation trail runs, one per month, running from June to September. The instructions are posted at the start of each month on the Great Bentley Trail Runs section on the website, and you can complete the run on any day during that calendar month – and if you run all 4 you get a t-shirt. You do need to let Rodger know when you start/finish so please check the website for the details.      
  • The Friday 5’s are underway, for those that don’t know these are a series of six 5-mile races that take place across Essex and Suffolk, with the last race hosted by GBRC. They are great events, and a nice end to a busy working week for most. The GBRC turn-out has been good, but always great to see more blues. Have a look at the Friday 5 Series website for more details (but don’t enter the final Bentley race, as we ask for volunteers to support the race).
  • As you may be aware Fraser Lewis is running the TCS London Marathon on the 2nd October 2022 in aid of St Helena Hospice.  Fraser is hosting a 6 and 10 mile trail run on Sunday 26th June 2022 at 9am.  If you are interested in joining the event then please donate £12 to the Justgiving page Fraser Lewis is fundraising for St Helena Hospice ( . For your donation you get the joy of a trail run in the North Colchester countryside followed by breakfast and a piece of homemade cake to take away! We look forward to seeing you there! Don’t worry if you cannot make the June date another event will be happening in September 2022.

As mentioned above there have been loads of races this month, and full details of who did what, where and when can be found in the weekly Race Reports on the website and the monthly results post on Facebook.   

Early in the month we had Colchester 10k, with a great turn-out and some impressive times posted by all. Craig Mitchell, Paul Connell and a number of others posted PB’s, and it was good to see Gary Hill back out racing. It is always a really good race and as one of the more local ones always nice to see so many blue vests out on the course. Well done everyone.

Team GBRC limbering up (literally in Paul Connell’s case) before Colchester 10k

On the same day a small (but perfectly formed) GBRC contingent went to run Halstead Marathon. Again, some great performances and another marathon PB for Tom Komorowski, it is becoming a bit of a habit.

The Halstead Marathon runners, enjoying the sunshine before the race

The races kept coming and the following Sunday another great local race, Paras 10, took place. A strong GBRC turnout again with Tim Ballard coming in 4th overall ,and John Booty tabbing with a 35lb pack and coming 12th tabber overall and 1st vet 50-59. Following in his dad’s footsteps Harry Booty also won the under-16 junior’s race.    

The Booty boys celebrating success at the Paras 10

The same day a contingent headed to the Ipswich waterfront for the Twilight 5k. It was a hot afternoon, but again some speedy performances.

A sunny day by the water….lots of smiles after a tough Ipswich Twilight 5k

Just a week after that and GBRC had a large number of runners taking part in Colchester Half Marathon and there were some great performances. It was also nice to see some GBRC runners, now running 1st claim for Harriers, running so well near the front of the pack. Massive respect to all those who ran the race in the blistering heat on the day…it was a real scorcher!

As a club we also took on the challenge of marshalling a 2 mile stretch of the Colchester Half with some busy stretches and road closures needing to be managed. A big well done and thank you to Meera for organising the marshalling activities, and for those that had to deal with the minority of drivers who made it challenging to keep things calm at times. We put on a great show by all accounts in the way that GBRC always does.

Some of the GBRC runners pictured after a hot Colchester Half Marathon

We have now had the Baseline and Race 1 in our Mickey Edwards 5k series, and race results and a round-up of both can be found on the Micky Edwards Series page on the website.  

There have been some great performance at the Harwich 5k series, various parkruns, and the Friday 5’s, and it seems the track sessions, intervals and all the other great training put on by the club is paying dividends with some very speedy running by our boys.

And finally, to Runner of the Month (ROM). So many great performances again this month, making the decision really difficult. There were a few contenders we thought deserved a mention.

Paul Connell has had a storming month, with a 1 second PB at Colchester 10k and some great times running Harwich 5k and Mickey Edwards on back-to-back days, then popping up for a speedy Friday 5 the same week! To cap off a great month, Paul also had a cracking time at Colchester Half.

Daniel Whymark has also had an impressive return from injury. After a break of 9 months or so he  has been consistently working hard at training recently, ran a great Colchester Half and had two PB’s in two Friday 5 races! More improvement to come we hope Daniel?

There are lots more impressive performances and runners we could mention but let’s switch our attention to this month’s winner.

This man has stood out over recent months with massive effort being put in at training and races alike, and consistent improvements being made. This has culminated this month with a great time of 45:56 at Colchester 10k, and a “dreamland” PB of 1:45:58 at Colchester Half Marathon, not to mention two great Mickey Edwards results knocking on the door of sub-22 minutes.

Well done Jonathan Briggs you are Runner of the Month for May 2022 (I hope this doesn’t lead to any further husband/wife rivalry in the Briggs household!)    

Runner of the Month – Jonathan Briggs pushing hard at Mickey Edwards