introducing the legend that is Ken Bench


1. Please briefly introduce yourself.

Ken Bench, I have been a member since 1992 (TGT and BRC). At my second AGM I not only found myself on the race committee, but the Race Secretary. This I did until 2007 and included both the 10k and the SEEXC at Thorndon Country Park. It was a steep learning curve which was overcome with the assistance of a long standing member of the club, Keith Waite, alas no longer with us.

2. What events if any do you have coming up?

Due to a recurring calf problem, I no longer run but compensate with long walks on the Essex footpaths. Involvement now is as a course marshal which keeps me in touch with the running community. I am patiently waiting for the Park Runs to return.

3. What does running mean to you?

Running gave me time to think. Problems which seemed insurmountable from behind a desk, shrank whilst out on the road. Many an issue has been solved by the time I had arrive home.

4. What is your best BRC memory?

There are many memories come to mind whilst away with the club. Breaking the ice during the “Tough Guy”, trying to keep upright in a gale on top of the cliffs in the “Grizzly” and almost flying whilst descending from the top in the “Snowdon Fell Race”. Being a Games Maker with other club members will always be up there. But my best memory is standing at the start of the Rheims Half Marathon, with other club members, in the pouring rain and watching steam rising from all the bodies.

5. Proudest running moment?

Despite having done a number of marathons, including the “Midnight Sun Marathon” at Tromso, my proudest moment has to be my very first, “London Marathon”. I found this exhilarating and satisfying after all the training and support from the club.

6. Best bit of running advice you could give or have been given.

Training should take the form of a saw tooth, gradually building up the intensity then easing off to rest. Resting is just as important as hard running. But don’t sit down, keep moving. Site-seeing after a city marathon is a great idea.


Happy Thursday.

To kick start this sunny morning we bring you another great member profile.

Today it is none other than the lockdown back garden maratjon sensation that is Paul Bailey.


1. Please briefly introduce yourself.

Hi my name is Paul Bailey and I run with Phil & his gang in group B. I’ve always enjoyed running and when I think back to school I always preferred the longer distance cross country, however I never remember my school entering any of the events so I didn’t really do much until I decided to enter the 2011 Brentwood half. Since then, I have completed 4 marathons, 1 back garden marathon (in the first lockdown which involved over 2200 laps of my garden) 2 Ultras, The Essex 20 and numerous other distance races on both road and trails.

2. What events, if any do you have coming up?

I have two events booked in this year; the first is a rearranged Nuclear run in July (my first one) and then the more familiar Chelmsford half marathon in October. I have deferred my London marathon place until 2022 as I wasn’t sure I could fully commit to training over the summer.

3. What does running mean to you?

I know what it means to my wife, a happy husband! I have a lot of energy and I really get cabin fever if I am sat indoors or if I’ve been sat marking for too long. Running allows me to get outside and burn off that energy and clear my head. I love the sense of achievement after a run and I love exploring different routes and trying out different types of runs and training techniques. I have really missed the Wednesday night runs, catching up with all my BRC friends and can’t wait for these to start up again.

4. What is your best BRC memory?

So many great memories, but the two that stand out are; Rehydrating a dinosaur at the BRC water station during the 2019 London marathon, and then winning the best new comer award in 2019. I haven’t really ever won anything so when my name was read out it was very special.

5. Proudest running moment?

I think it would be completing my first marathon in 2013. I knew I was guaranteed a place in the London marathon 2014 so wanted to have a practice run (excuse the pun) so I decided to run Brighton, totally new and naïve to everything, I booked accommodation (nowhere near the start), failed to book a restaurant for the night before (managed to squeeze into an ASK) and after a terrible night’s sleep, (a mixture of loud revellers, a crying baby and run day nerves) I made it to the start line full of excitement. The first half of the marathon went well, but at around mile 16 I forgot to refuel and had a tough 2 miles, but in the final mile, I remember seeing my wife, kids and parents all cheering me along and I suddenly felt invincible and stormed the final few meters, before bursting into tears.

6. Best bit of running advice you could give or have been given.

Advice I’ve taken on-board:

• I remember talking to someone in the waiting area before my first marathon and his advice to me on finding out it was my first marathon was; ‘Your race. Your pace’ and that’s stuck with me. We all know that training and prep never goes 100% to plan, so don’t measure yourself against others; just run your own race.

Advice I would give:

• Dress for mile 2. I find I warm up quickly, but when running in colder weather or early mornings I find wearing cycling sleeves rather than a long sleeve tee or a jacket is great as you can easily roll them down when too hot and they double as sweat bands


BRC tribute.

Dick Hoyt 1/6/1940-17/3/2021

A true running hero has sadly recently passed away.

Famous as one part of Team Hoyt, American Dick Hoyt would enter races and triathlons pushing and pulling his son Rick in a specially adapted wheelchair, boat and on a bicycle.

Rick Hoyt was sadly born with cerebal palsy. In 1977 at the age of 15 Rick asked his Dad to run a race with him.

Dick who wasn’t a runner completed the 5 mile race and they were hooked.

While Rick was at school, Dick would run with his sons wheelchair with a bag of cement in to train.

Over the course of the following years, together they have completed 97 half marathons, 22 duathlons, 7 Half iron mans, 6 full iron mans, 72 marathons and 257 triathlons.

An absolutely incredible feat of fitness, determination and father son love.

Sadly Dick passed at on 17th March 2021 aged 80.

Everyone at team BRC would like to send their love and deepest sympathies to Rick and his family and pay a huge tribute to someone who showed the world what is possible.


Dick Hoyt RIP 💚💚💚



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