I write this newsletter after having watched and celebrated the success of another Ladies Squad this afternoon – the Lionesses – and I want to take the time to reflect a little on the value of being in a team. This sport we do is largely individual and there is a risk that a focus on one’s own performance can encourage isolation and distance; I think at some running clubs this effect is likely rife. However, in the years I have been with GBRC, team spirit and community has been promoted and this is oh, so valuable.

I want to thank those in the club who go out of their way to promote community. Whether this be by way of organising meals out (like the men last night, and the ladies a few weeks ago), the guys that put on the drinks at the hall on a Wednesday, or those that turn up to races just to cheer their club-mates on. Sometimes these things can be assumed as normal, but they are not. They are special.

I hope that everyone who reads this newsletter feels a sense of belonging and community from the club as I do.

On that note I will go straight into News and Notices, as the first is very much about club spirit!

News and Notices


Vice-Cappy-Lisa has worked hard to organise this year’s teams and ensure everyone has the information they need to make the day successful. Please ensure you have read the email from her (I think it arrived in your inboxes today) and if you have any questions, ask her (or me) before the day.

Ekiden is a day club fun and I am really looking forward to it. See you there!

Essex Way Relays

Grainne has sent out an email and Facebook post setting out which legs people are running and the time they need to be ready to run. Please let her know if you have any questions and or issues.

We have a mini-bus on the day to help get people to/from their cars (for example I am going to park at the end of my Leg in Good Easter and have the bus take me to my start). Please let Grainne know if you need the bus to help you well in advance of the day.

I also highly recommend doing a practice of your leg. Directions can be found here:


We are seeing a good turnout for training sessions which is great. In lockdown we introduced the Doodle poll system and have continued with this. It really helps the run-leaders to know how many people to expect to a run and plan their sessions and so please fill this in if you can.

For a look further into the future of what is coming up see the PDF schedule here:

Trail Runs

Rodger’s trail runs are continuing and I think round three is out on 1st August. Look for information here:


I have a new stock of GBRC running buffs now available. You may remember that these are not part of the official club kit, but purchased as one-off orders when enough people ask for them. This was a purchase of 50 and likelt the last we can get at this price, which is £6.20 each. If you would like one please let me know. To enable this cost, they are, unfortunately, no longer individually and prettily folded and wrapped.

Our Ladies Squad

A warm welcome to new ladies in our squad: Karen O’Grady and Susanne Watts.

Getting to know you

This month we hear from Claire Poole… one of our multi-sport talents in the Club.

Age category: 50-55?? (I reached my 50th birthday last year )

Occupation: Swimming Instructor, (as well as a little Cleaning and Caring)

How long have you been in GBRC for? I can’t remember exactly but I’m guessing about 6-7 years??

The silliest thing you did on a race: I can’t think of anything silly at a running race? Apart from getting totally lost on one of Rogers trail Runs and adding about 3 miles?? I’ve also racked my bike (at a triathlon in Wales) in the wrong part of transition and they rewarded me a penalty *€#%$#¥

[edit – Claire later remembered this : Just remembered lol 😂. Silliest thing at an event…. At Langham 10k (a few years ago now!) missed the start 🙈 a friend and I watched the kids go off to complete their 2k run, and we were talking and completely missed our start!]

Favourite distance: I prefer longer distances now, at least 10miles.

Best achievement: Running Brighton Marathon! My first proper marathon! It was a warm day but I felt strong and I really enjoyed it!

What’s your ultimate running goal: I’d like to run a half marathon in under 2hours, not by just a few seconds, by a few minutes at least!!

Favourite medal/t-shirt and what for: I like all my medals and t-shirts! I’ve mostly worked hard for them all!

Interests other than running: I love Triathlons, Cycling and swimming are a favourite of mine. No surprise there I’m sure! I also like making cakes although I’m sure that’s an entry requirement for GBRC!

Favourite & Worst events and why: My favourite event was Weymouth Half Ironman last year, I came 3rd in my age group and was actually only 6mins from 1st place! The weather was perfect and I totally enjoyed the whole event. I’m going again this September and my goal is to run the half marathon in under 2hours! And do very well in my age group!

Most challenging event and why: Definitely our Mickey Edwards series! 5k AARRRHHH!! It’s such a good and challenging event for me! I’m not good at speed but it really makes me try! I did improve the last time I entered (last year) and I’m hoping to improve again next year! It really is my biggest headache 🤕

Most useful running information you can share: Every run is specific to how you feel, the weather, running surface, and I’ve tried to accept during my time running, that every run is a good run, because I’ve done it! Setting goals is part of my over competitive nature but at the end of the day finishing well, knowing I’ve tried my best and walking away un-injured is a win! I enjoy my running, it may not be the fastest but I’d encourage anyone who runs to enjoy  the time on your feet, yes push yourself realistically to improve, but never beat yourself up because you’re out there doing it. And remember to stretch lol 😝

This is from 2018 – Claire so often is racing in her tri suit that finding a photo of her in her blue vest was a challenge!

Thank you Claire – there are some very wise words in there.


Each month I hope to highlight some ladies that have personally inspired me for the dedication they put into their training, the fears or obstacles they overcome and their courage to take on new challenges:

This month I am thinking once again about the triathletes – Vicky Presland and Kathy Bishop both took on Half Ironman races. Well done ladies! I also want to give kudos to Debbie Hollidge, who took part in the triathlon relay event. Debbie swam, while Fraser and Paul A took the bike and run legs… which brings me back to appreciating the value of being in a team.

I will salute Suez Wray who came second at this summers “Summer Stumble” proving she can run AND hold her drink (something I have yet to master!).

July saw the end of the Friday 5 races and the confirmation that Sarah Davison came second in her Age Category for her performance in the series. A fabulous achievement Sarah you should be very proud!

July also saw the end of the Mickey Edwards Series. In this series the focus is on improvement and the efforts and successes of our ladies did not escape my notice! Well done to everyone who took part and particular congratulations to Natalie Martin to took over 2 minutes off of her base line run to win the competition.

And another handicap series is the Harwich series. The seafront was witness to Grainne Hallahan grabbing 5k personal bests several times over the series. Well done Grainne!

Runner of the month

This month we applaud a lady who has such a lust for life I feel tired just hearing about her adventures. She smashed her Friday 5 series coming 4th in her age group for the series. She came within the top 10 ladies at the Brantham 5 mile, took on her first ultra at the Summer Poppy Line; had a spiffing run at Ipswich Twilight 10k, and won her age category at Gestwinami Murckowskimi… I’ve probably missed some of her achievements but that will do to demonstrate my point!

Congratulations Magdalena Komorowska, you are this month’s runner of the month!

Closing thoughts

I want to finish this newsletter however thinking once more about community and the friendship that being in this special running club brings to our lives. It still feels unreal that this month we had to wish farewell to one of our number forever; the so very warm and loving Davina. We will miss her.

Davina had been part of the GBRC family for many years and had deep friendships in the club. For me she was someone who was so incredibly kind; and always had something positive to say. Davina made Sunday morning runs, or cross country events, that much better as while we wouldn’t chat extensively, it was always a chat that made you smile.

The club will be honouring her memory with a trail run on 21st of August. I hope that many of you can come.

I will close this newsletter with a photo from January 2022. I think the smiles in this one says it all. Thank you ladies for making GBRC so special.