Wherever you turned on Sunday there seemed to be royal blue, white and black as the Newmarket Joggers colours were proudly on display at Nowton Park for the 3rd fixture of the Suffolk County Cross Country League. Starting off proceedings and leading by example were the Juniors who complete one lap of the course which is just over 2½ miles. 51 brave souls faced the head wind and Michael Bartrum put in an outstanding performance to finish 2nd overall and a good 20 seconds clear of his nearest rival, Michael is 2nd in his age category of under 15 Boys for the season. Charlotte Jones who had been competing on Saturday in a regional event ignored her tired legs and finished in 34th position with Peter Elsdon-Dean closing in and looking strong to finish in 35th overall.
The pressure was on for the Senior Ladies to maintain their leading league position and they rose to the challenge turning out with their strongest team yet. Jo Gapp ran like lightning at just over 6 minute mile pace to bring the first team points home and set a precedence that was followed by the rest of the team. Ursula White battled off her cold bug to ensure another strong top ten finish and Claudine Butler was 3rd Joggers lady closely followed by Julia Midleton who leads the Ladies vet 60 category. New cross country recruit Philippa O’Brien was next to secure valuable points and Sue Stoten finished very strongly just ahead of Karen Harned who made a very welcome return to the club and was celebrated home to cheers from her adoring support crew. The magnificent efforts of the ladies on the day not only saw them maintain their lead but extend it to 15 points ahead of Stowmarket Striders, all the women put in outstanding performances to ensure that every point counted for the team.
With the Juniors and Ladies performing so well on the day the Men were not to be outdone and Vincent Coogan put in a tremendous finish in 6th to quash the Bury Pacers domination of the top spots. Greg Davis has seen his form get better and better since his Rutland Marathon run in October and Sunday was no exception with a 14th position finish. Brian Munns is another notable performer on the terrain and dominated yet again by finishing ahead of team mates Martin Gear and Steve Edwards. Jim Withers and Neville Clarke ran strongly with Jason Beeton, who has competed in all 3 league events, putting in his best performance so far of the season to finish an incredible 10 places up the ranks. The team welcomed Peter ‘Speedy’ Cotton back and he didn’t let his adoring fans down by finishing strongly in front of latest Jogger member Simon Archer who is using the race as part of his strength Marathon training, Stuart Janes, another in marathon training, was next.