Ahead of an exciting Guineas Weekend in Newmarket it was the turn of the 2 legged variety on Thursday night when 190 runners lined up for the 2014 Newmarket Joggers Heath Race. The race has been in existence for many years and the course is on the legendary Heath, by kind permission of Jockey Club Estates, following the horse tracks around the Long Hill and Bury Hill gallops area over a distance of c6k and all completely off road. The race is organised by local running club Newmarket Joggers with all net proceeds going to charity, this year’s beneficiary being the New Astley Club which is soon to become The Racing Centre.
The race has changed its format in recent years to incorporate the Stable and Stud Staff Challenge to encourage local runners to compete and this is open to everyone working within the bloodstock and racing industry, on the night there were declarations from Julia Fielden, David Elsworth, John Ferguson, Juddmonte, Newmarket Equine Hospital, William Haggas, NASS, British Racing School, Rossdales, David Simcock, Marco Botti, Tattersalls, Roger Varian, Clive Brittain, as well as a large team of runners from Darley Hamilton Hill and Dalham Hall. The race was supported this year by students from Newmarket College who helped set up the course and their help was much appreciated, as was the help of all Newmarket Joggers who helped on the night for the Junior and Senior races to ensure everything went smoothly.
There was a deluge of on the night entrants and this was encouraging to the organisers to see so much local support. Sadly entries had to be closed and some people were left disappointed that they couldn’t compete however this is why we have had online entry open since February and we can only allow a limited amount of entrants on the night as we have to input all the details into the computer to ensure the results are accurate and available on the night so we can distribute the awards. We wish we could allow everyone to run and are very grateful for the interest shown but we also have to ensure we follow UK Athletics and England Athletics guidelines as they govern our races and grant us a licence and insurance. To be guaranteed an entry to the race in future we would strongly recommend online pre-entry to avoid disappointment on the night.
The weather conditions saw the going change from good to good to soft in places and with the rain in full flow come the start there was mud galore. Unlike the Rowley Mile on Saturday the start didn’t see any stalls and the huge quantity of runners lined up under starters orders at 7.30pm. The race is very competitive with local athletes and club runners also taking part and first over the line was youngster Michael Bartrum who at 17 is a star for the future as he recently finished 9th overall in the Cross Country Championships which covers all English clubs, his time of 18:33 wasn’t a course record but this was mainly due to the conditions on the night, next home was Newmarket Jogger and former NH jockey and now Assistant Trainer to David Elsworth Paul Holley in 18:42 and in third position was amateur jockey Ross Birkett who recently ran the London Marathon in full jockey gear (including hat and goggles) and now holds the accolade of fastest person to run the London Marathon dressed as a jockey in the Guinness Book of Records, his time was 18:56.
Martyn Taylor was 2nd male for the hosting club finishing 5th overall in 19:55 and first over the line for the women was Odette Robson from St Edmund Pacers in 21:02 with Newmarket Joggers Ursula Ransom who excels in these off road events finishing 2nd Female overall in 21:58 followed by 3rd Female overall NC&TC Maxine Lane in 22:41. 1st Male Junior (u21) was Newmarket Jogger Callum Wilkinson in 20:53 and first Female Junior was also from Newmarket Joggers Lulu Stanford in 22:59. 1st Mv40 went to Darren Sheppard from Framlingham Flyers in 20:01 (6th overall) just pipping Ben Blowes from the home club as he finished in a new PB of 20:07 and 7th overall. Robin Clifford from Newmarket Joggers was 1st Mv45 in 20:25 (11th). Newmarket Joggers scooped the age category awards with 1st Mv60+ Charles Shoolbred in 25:17 (95th) and Caroline Sheehan was 1st Fv55 in 34:27 (182nd) and Jennifer Osbourn 1st Fv60+ in 40:09.
Full Newmarket Joggers results: 2nd Paul Holley 18:42, 5th Martyn Taylor 19:55, 7th Ben Blowes 20:07, 11th Robin Clifford 20:25, 12th Joe Sadler 20:50, 13th Callum Wilkinson 20:53, 29th Ursula Ransom 21:58, 39th Kevin Connolly 22:32, 49th Lulu Stanford 22:59, 52nd Marcus Gynn 23:11, 59th Marcus Hall 23:26, 95th Charles Shoolbred 25:17, 102nd Effie Gray 25:30, 108th Jeremy Reader 25:59, 139th Frances Bastable 28:25, 142nd Rebecca Bhalla 28:42, 146th Claire Wylie 29:13, 150th Svitlana Zinchenko 29:34, 155th Malcolm Osbourn 29:55, 161st Helen Wass 31:00 173rd Kate Warboys 32:24, 181st Gillian Green 34:00, 182nd Caroline Sheehan 34:27, 186th Debbie Town 35:48, 190th Jennifer Osbourn 40:09.
Category Winners: Darley’s Nominations Sales Executive Sebastien Desmontils was 1st male over the line for the Stable and Stud Staff Challenge in a time of 20:25 and 10th overall, 1st Female in the Stable and Stud Staff Challenge was Alexandra Mommersteeg from Tattersalls in 24:34 (82nd). 1st Fv40 was Barbara Jones from Jeremy Noseda in 27:45, 1st Fv45 was Sue Molloy from Newmarket Equine Hospital in 24:33, 1st Mv50 was Mark Watts from St Edmunds Pacers, 1st Fv50 went to Christine Anthony from West Suffolk AC in 23:47. The winning team for the Stable and Stud Staff Challenge was Darley and this consisted of Ursula Ransom, Maxine Lane and Wayne Thomas 23:37 (61st).