Benidorm with our friends from the North and a Ladies Champion

28 November 2016 - By Anita Grainger

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WRC headed off to warmer climates in Benidorm for the weekend to take part in the annual 10k and half marathon with a little bit of partying thrown in.

The first contingent set off from Southend on Friday on the 7am flight closely followed by a breakaway elite group from Stansted. All arrived safely in Alicante for the coach transfer to Benidorm after enjoying the delights of a new electronic passport system introducing efficiencies or perhaps not.

As is tradition, sunshine and long lunches followed, getting into the relaxed atmosphere of the Costa Blanca leaving wintery weather behind in the UK with shorts being aired for the first time in months.   After some downtime the group congregated in Ron’s bar for Karaoke giving our lungs a warm up for Sunday.

Saturday morning started with the usual early morning run along the seafront for a gentle mile out and back followed by a dip in the sea in running gear. Not all made it to the run with a few sore heads and a few confused watches not being changed to European time. After breakfast we headed off en mass to register and pick up numbers from race HQ followed by coffee and cake or milkshakes with extremely long straws. Colsey and Anita were already trying to psyche each other out comparing straw lengths. The Byford welcoming party headed back to the hotel to wait for our trio from Manchester to arrive and help them settle in. The afternoon was then spent ‘chillin’ in cafes, retail therapy, on the beach or indulging in siestas…. All good race prep.

Sunday….. race day….final party night…..

WRC 10k contingent headed off to the start line for the supposedly earlier race start. Unbeknown to the team the race time had been changed to a joint start with the half marathon. This was a little chaotic but also fun as everyone got to mingle at the beginning of the race. The routes had also been changed from last year. The race started in the same place heading along the flat road parallel to the seafront and then switching back at around 1k before heading through the centre of the shopping area and switching back to go along the seafront.

The course then headed inland and up for the next km before heading back down and then towards the town where the 10km peeled off right to the finish and the half marathon headed through the shopping area again and off towards the other section of seafront. The course went straight past the hotel and then along the front for the next 2 miles before heading up a gradual long climb and then back down, finishing with a sharp descent towards the seafront and the long panoramic stretch back towards the town centre. It was then off through the old town and out onto the other seafront for the last stretch past the local crowds before turning inland and back along the road to the finish and the sneaky last little hill and finish line placed 20metres after the first ‘finish’ arch.

In the 10k race James Crisp was our first finisher fresh back form injury taking it steady to finish in a credible 41.21 Dawn Shilling was our first lady in 58.13 and David Grainger finished his first 10k narrowly missing out on the hour mark.

Over in the Half Marathon Chris Martin was our first male home in 1.23.39 chasing down our new friend Craig Bradbury from Sale Harriers who finished in 1.22.03 closely behind his teammate Robert Dunn in 1.21.46. Helen Armitage wore her Witham vest coming home as our first lady sticking to the 1.30 pacer like glue and getting the better of him at the end in a new PB of 1.29.13. Helen was the 1st V40 lady home and 5th lady overall receiving huge trophies and lots of goodies for both, well done Helen! Unfortunately Colsey had hamsting issues and pulled out of the race after 3.5miles no doubt he’ll be back racing soon. Paul Thomas and Graham Eyre are both going from strength to strength and gave the 1.45 pacer a good run for his money both being rewarded with shiny new PBs with Graham successfully completing his quest for gold standard this year, well done boys! Full results below.

In true WRC tradition a post race dip in the sea followed which was refreshing to say the least! After a quiet afternoon relaxing and recovering an evening meal at Duomos was enjoyed followed by one final trip to Ron’s bar dodging the rain and lightning for a boogie and more karaoke. All great preparation for the early morning start back to the UK on Monday, although everyone made it onto the bus for the airport.

Thanks must go to Martyn for organising another great weekend, entering us all into the races and not losing any of us despite the best efforts of passport control

*Sale Harriers

Name Chip Time
James Crisp 00:41:21
Dawn Shilling 00:58:13
David Grainger 01:00:48
Michelle Leeding 01:06:49
Claire Eyre 01:11:49
Darren Smith 01:12:47
Sue Clarke 01:16:32
Half Marathon
Name Chip Time
Robert Dunn * 01:21:46
Craig Bradbury * 01:22:03
Chris Martin 01:23:39
Nick Webb * 01:28:05 PB
Helen Armitage 01:29:13 PB
Mark Lynch 01:39:59
Bill Smythe 01:43:30
Martyn Byford 01:43:55
Paul Thomas 01:44:23 PB
Graham Eyre 01:45:41 PB
James Montgomery 01:49:06
Anita Grainger 01:52:01
Bob Taylor 01:55:59
Paul Hedger 02:03:51
Colleen Rae 02:08:41
Martin Rae 02:08:40
Tracey Denby 02:09:18
Harry Borley 02:11:26
Jo Smythe 02:18:49
Penelope Clarke 02:25:06
Stewart Waller 02:25:05

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