Crazy Challenges Galore (was there something in the water this week?)

So I start with an apology for the tardiness of this report – I have a work conference and then subsequent internet outage at home to blame for the delay but let’s look at this positively you’ll only have one or two days to get your next race report fix!

I have enjoyed compiling this report – so many different challenges conquered and true Bentley camaraderie throughout, so many of you have done yourselves proud. Rather than going chronologically I am going to start with some of these extreme challenges so you get the kudos you all deserve.

Firstly a massive shout out to Dave Jones – I could see the online support he was getting and valued the regular updates from his fan club whilst he soldiered on to complete the Hamburg Iron Man. This was a gruelling 15 hours and 13 minutes of cycling swimming and running. Dave I’m sure you are super proud of yourself and rightly so– there are not many people in the world who have done a marathon – let alone have to complete one at the end of an Iron Man.

Now for a crazy quartet who took on the epic TRANS-PENNINE 100. This included a trio of men – Paul Davison, Tomasz and Rob Dyer and an incredible lady Fiona Gosling.

The three amigos

This was a flagship LDWA 100M event. Tom described it as brutal (100 miles can’t be anything but brutal in my eyes!) but a very scenic route in Dark Peak area. Very helpful marshals at every of the 16 checkpoints, and great encouragement from the Bentley WAGS!. Whilst only 3 of the 4 completed the full 100 miles due to a foot injury (by all accounts it looked quite a mess) this does not diminish the incredible achievement by all participants. 62.4 miles is not to be sniffed at (neither is that foot I would imagine!)

100 miles with an incredible smile

Now to Steven Cartwright who tackled ‘Round the Herriot Way’. This encompassed 52 miles walking over 4 days. He described some of the scenery as stunning but quite demanding at times (although it would be possible to do this as a run if you were that way inclined). It was notably chilly on the tops of the mounts too. Bravo Steven!

Stunning scenery on Herriot Way

Martin Owen left his comfort zone back at home and tackled the Trail Pursuits half marathon in the Lake District. This was a full weekend festival with races, camping, yoga, guest speakers and movies – sounds like fun! Martin loves a half marathon, and whilst he expected serious hills he actually got even more than he bargained for as they had altered the route from 400m elevation, to 800m, and then 1400m, finishing over the 3 Wainwrights of Red Pike, High Stile and High Crag. It was a busy event and this meant 75% of the route was impossible to run (due to congestion and footing) and mostly ended up as a hike, and was over 15 miles too!

Running in those conditions would be challenging!

On the Jubilee bank holiday Friday the Hare and Tortoise jubilee race took place – a trail 5 mile loop in Brightlingsea. There was an option of 1, 2, or 3 loops. Sue Wray opted for the whole shebang and finished as 3rd lady for that distance – great effort Sue. Apologies if I have missed off anyone else who took part as I was unable to download the results! If you did participate though a massive well done as it was blinking hot that day!

Hare & Tortoise medals are the creme de la creme

Grainne had a whole weekend of running over in Cork. This started with the Glen River parkrun where she just missed out on a top 10 place, claiming 2nd female in 24:43. The following day she ran two legs of a marathon relay (just over ten miles) and her team came in 79th out of 477 teams which is phenomenal. Grainne described it as a brilliant event with an awesome atmosphere and will definitely be back. In fact a little bird tells me she has already found her next marathon relay challenge in Limerick (after Ekiden of course).

Warm up for the main event

So I think I can now finally move on to parkrun updates and due to the epic nature of this report I am going to stick to reporting on the more unusual tourist races but if you want to know all the week’s parkrun results including the regular favourites then you can access them here.

Richard Moor ran Moors Valley parkrun in 21:18 – how cool he found a parkrun that could be named after him. This made me wonder can we all find our namesake parkrun? I did a bit of googling and found the Shelley Junior parkrun in Huddlesfield which was my maiden name – I may have to take the kids one time!

Simon Leggett travelled not so far to Maldon (21:47) and Rob Blackman to Kesgrave (19:04) and an impressive third place. Felixstowe parkrun had 3 Bentley runners – Martin Cotton (28:18), Sammy Cotton (32:14) and Donna Harris (30:24).

Three other parkruns having blue representation were Exeter Riverside by Rob Ferguson (22:27), Sizewell by the Presland Pair – Vicky 22:58 and Phil 25:46 – a shout out to Phil for his furthest run since injury and a cracking time. Finally Robin and Meera ran Leazes parkrun with Robin making the top 10 (22:28) and Meera claiming 1st female (24:17) fabulous!

Also a nod to Mark Jasper who continued his winning streak at Clacton (winning by around 1 minute), cracking out 18:44 in spite of the ridiculously windy conditions along the front (it was bad as I ran this too!)

Finally not forgetting our Juniors who ran Colchester junior parkrun. Ella Simpson was 4th female home (10:08), Rodger Ferguson (10:31) and Xander Briggs in 13:58 and a serious PB (getting the running bug from his parents perhaps?). Brilliant running from one and all – keep up the good work.

That’s all folks!