23rd July 2018

Plenty to report at Newmarket Joggers (NJ) this week with the Kevin Henry League fixture on Thursday July 12th, the Wibbly Wobbly Log Jog at Brandon on Friday July 13th and the Ekiden Relays at Woodbridge on Sunday July 15th.


There was a large contingent of runners representing Newmarket Joggers (NJ) in the Ekiden Relays at Woodbridge School, near Ipswich, on Sunday 15th July.  This is a very popular yearly event, organised by Ipswich Jaffa. where the marathon distance is shared between 6 members of a team, each running one of the 3 x 5K legs, 2 x 10K legs or 1 x 7.2K leg to make the distance up to 42.2K or 26.2 miles.  It’s always an enjoyable atmosphere and a great team event over the Woodbridge School playing fields, with all the running clubs pitching their tents and gazebos along the central part of the course, from where they can cheer on their team mates as they run past on each 2.5K lap.  It should be said in advance that this event is all about participating and enjoying team camaraderie, not so much about winning, though all NJs were clearly trying their very hardest not to let their teams down, despite the sweltering conditions.  The temperature soared during the race from 24°C at the start to over 28°C by the time the last teams were finishing and there was little shelter for the runners from the direct heat of the sun.  The normally lush green playing fields were sadly straw-coloured and bone dry in this rain-starved summer but at least it did make for a fast pace.

NJ fielded 5 teams, a Women’s Open, a Men’s Open, a Veteran 40+ Men’s team and two Mixed teams.  The highest position was achieved by the Women’s Open team, who finished 5th of 16 entries in a time of 3:21:03, while the Men’s Open team were 8th/35 in 2:43:32 and the Men’s Vets 7th /15  in 2:55:36.  The Mixed teams were 40th and 60th out of 80 entries.  On the individual side, Sam Sadler (26:23) put in a great 7.2K first leg, the 8th fastest out of 219 runners.


It was the 4th of 6 races in the Kevin Henry 5K Summer League on Thursday July 12th, which involves 6 local running clubs:  NJ, Haverhill RC, Saffron Striders, Ely Runners, Cambridge Cycling & Tri Club and Cambridge & Coleridge AC.  It was held at Carver Barracks near Saffron Walden, and the course over the old RAF airfield was as flat and fast as ever.  A plethora of 2018 5K PBs was achieved by the 43 Joggers taking part.  Neil Pollard (16:34), Paul Holley (17:33) and Greg Davis (18:38) all achieved the highest club standard of Sapphire (80%+ age grade), while Sam Sadler (17:06), Chris Gay (17:12), Grainne Brennan (19:01) and Hannah Pollard (19:50) all moved up to Diamond club standard (75%+ age grade) as a result of their fine performances in this race.  Other notable performances:  Meera Mahadevan (25:44) and Hannah Parsons (25:02) moved from Bronze to Silver, Tasmin Long (21:14) from Silver to Gold, Adam Maltpress (20:42) from Bronze to Gold and Marc Drury (19:47) from Gold to Platinum, so congratulations to all of them and thanks to the other Joggers in the race who all earned valuable team points for the club.  From  a team perspective, after 4 races, NJ Women stand in 2nd position, NJ Men in 4th position and our combined teams =3rd out of the 6 clubs.  C&C have a very strong men’s and women’s team and are usually well in the lead despite our best efforts!


The Wibbly Wobbly Log Jog was on Friday evening 13th July and is a 5 mile off-road race winding through Thetford Forest and organised by Brandon Fernhoppers.  It gives out no prizes and no medals but has a great atmosphere and is popular with NJs every year.  Jamie Rule (35:31) was first of 13 Joggers home and did well to finish 9th/299 runners overall.  First female Jogger was Nicky Chapman (42:38), 6th /67 female runners overall.  Clive Purbrook (41:59) was first in his MV60 age group.  Other NJ runners to finish were: Brian Munns (39:02), Alan Shand (43:37), Jim Withers (44:58), Emma Newman (45:17), Ellie Bithell (48:11).Jan Holmes (53:46), Sarah Kinston (54:37), Rebecca Hannah (54:37), Karen Andrew (67:52) and Rachel Allen (67:53).


STOP PRESS: On 22nd July, NJs Neil Pollard (34:44) and Hannah Pollard (43:11) both ran in the Regent’s Park 10K and both achieved all-time PBs over this distance.  Neil was 3rd/493 runners overall while Hannah was 4th/238 female runners, a great achievement for both club members.  Meanwhile, in the Edenderry 10 mile race in Co Offaly, Ireland, Henry Hamilton-Gould (69:40) achieved his fastest 10 mile time since 2012, so well worth the journey.