Well, as we experience the first 'cold snap' of Autumn, and move into the cross country season, time to bring you up to date on what has been another busy month for the club.
As well as our normal parkrun 'obligations', October also saw our second mob match against Metros at Harrow (15th), whilst members also took part in two 10ks., a 10 miler, a half marathon, a marathon, and a spot of Cross country. Away from the sporting action meanwhile, a good number of members attended Russ's funeral on the 7th, whilst we also, again, supported St.Luke's quiz evening at St.Gregory's School (22nd), and there was an end of season Summer League meeting at the Seymour Centre in Marylebone.
The month began with Mary heading north to sample Chester's metric marathon on the 2nd, and continued with Yvonne and Angela taking to the Royal Parks for the half marathon on the 9th (whilst Peter Nagy contested the Herts. 10k.). I then forayed south of the river once more for the Cabbage Patch 10 on the 16th, before the month ended with our annual 'trip to the seaside' where seven hardy souls took to the Sussex Downs for the Beachy Head Marathon, whilst a further quartet settled for the accompanying 10k., Bev, as ever, lending moral support. Tony led our septet home in the longer race in a very respectable 4.48.20, finishing just ahead of Victor and David, after, I understand, Sean had set the early pace, Louis meanwhile took time to properly appreciate the scenery! Good to welcome Asa back for the 10k, where Yvonne led our foursome home, dipping just under the hour, and Tricia set a new FV65 club record. Away from the 'main event' meanwhile, Louis found time for a dip in the briny, whilst a couple of members of "Bucks Fizz" were 'coralled' in a local hostelry. Perhaps we should use it as a selling point - "Join Sudbury Court, and meet the Celebs.", as a certain Mr.Bolt also had the pleasure of sharing a flight back from Jamaica with Kay during the month (no doubt Kay was able to give him a few tips on endurance running, as for the partying it's probably 50/50!).
Away from Eastbourne, Yvonne just missed out on the two hour mark at Hyde Park, with Angela not far in arrears, whilst I was our only representative at Twickenham (a pity, as the Cabbage Patch is a really good race, and I'd thoroughly recommend it if you're looking for a flat, and fast, 10 miler next year).
Moving on to parkrun, we had an excellent turnout of fifteen for our sixth mob match (and second against Metros) at Harrow, with Praveena making her debut for the club. Afraid to say that our 100% record is still intact, Metros' 47 runners scoring an age-graded average of 59.6 to our 57.1 (Nigel Rackham winning the race for the 'yellows' in 17.14 (over a minute clear of the field) and scoring 88.39!), and the search for our first mob match victory goes on. Congratulations to Liz who topped our rankings with 69.68%.On the plus side, we did cut Metros winning margin from 3.7% to 2.5%, so, at the current rate of progress, roll on 2019! As an added attraction, the run also saw Gladstone Park regular, Maurice O'Neill celebrate his 77th birthday with Liz providing the very welcome cake (thanks Liz!). Elsewhere, Colin continued his ramblings at Newby Bridge, Hanbury Hall, Brundall, Porthcawl, and Cannon Hill Park (Birmingham), clocking 19.01 in the Midlands to lower his own club MV35 record by three seconds in his last run as a first claim Sudbury member (his move to Ealing Eaglesbeing ratified from 1st November!). Still, as one door closes, another one opens, and, as we wish colin well with the Eagles, it's a pleasure to give a warm welcome to the club to our latest recruit, Praveena. October also saw another local parkrun added to the circuit with Canons Park holding it's first event on the 8th, Rita flying the flag for Sudbury Court in a field of 117. Rita was then back 'on site' two weeks later when Kay also volunteered as tail runner (explaining the 56.16 which might have had one or two of you raising your eyebrows!).
One or two changes to report following the Summer League meeting on the 20th, though nothing too drastic. All relays will now be run over four legs (which should be a plus from our point of view) whilst the fee for Juniors has been scrapped. The club entry fee meanwhile has gone up by £10 from £30 to £40. Provisional dates for next year's five fixtures (Battersea Park happily having come back on board) are as below:
4th June: Gunnersbury Park
18th June: Harrow
25th June (or pref.) 2nd July: Dulwich
16th July or 23rd July: Regents Park
20th August: Battersea Park
As for the quiz on the 22nd, we fielded a squad of six (Hazel, Derek, Jean, John, Tony and myself) and produced a creditable performance finishing third equal out of a field of fifteen (pretty much on a par with our first effort when we were fourth out of eighteen). For those considering joining us next time round but who may be worried about the difficulty of the questions, don't be, we managed to notch up a score of 84% of the maximum (I rest my case!).
Pleased to say there was an excellent turnout at Chiltern Crematorium on the 7th to celebrate Russ's life, showing the esteem and affection in which he was held by so many. A small donation was sent to the Hospice of St.Francis on the club's behalf in Russ's memory, and we will be looking at a way to suitably commemorate Russ at the club in due course.
Sadly I have another piece of bad news to impart this month, as I recently heard that Richard Smith (a staunch supporter of our club 10k., and who will be known to many of you) had passed away at the age of 63.He, like Russ, will be sadly missed.
Finally this month, if you're looking for a little running inspiration,I give you two names: Ed Whitlock and Ben Smith. Ed recently became the oldest man to break four hours for the marathon, running 3.56.33 in Toronto at the age of 85 (typically, for a runner, Ed was "slightly disappointed" with his time!). Ben meanwhile (last encountered by many of us at Gladstone Park Parkrun) completed his challenge of running 401 marathons in 401 days at Bristol on October 5th, raising £250,000 for his chosen charities, Kidscape and Stonewall, in the process.
Next month: Herbert's Hole 10k., the Watford Joggers Autumn Challenge, and much, much more.......
Good to hear from Graham that his knee operation had gone well, and that he is managing some light exercise. Look forward to seeing you back in action before too long Graham!