Last Tuesday, it was the Joggers’ 5K Handicap race, which acts as a monthly 5K time trial from October to April, keeping all members on their toes with some regular competition during the winter. The faster runners are handicapped by starting progressively later than the slower runners. The idea is to try to catch the slower runners in front and not be overtaken by the faster runners coming from behind. The quickest time for the female Joggers was 21:27 by Isabella Soro, followed by Emma Newman (21:51, course PB) and Ruth Eberhardt (23:19). For the men, Sam Sadler recorded the fastest time of 18:10, with James Thomson (19:41) and Malcolm McConnell (20:38) next. Other course PB times in the Handicap were achieved by: Kevin Pearson (23:59), Lisa Howlett (25:52), Sarah Kinston (27:47), Aaron Burns (27:55), Alexia Smithson (28:50), Orla Dockery (29:58) and Ian Woodroffe (29:36).
Three Newmarket Joggers took the 60 mile trip to Beccles for the Turkey Trot 10 mile race on Sunday, where it was lovely sunny weather, in contrast to the previous year’s freezing temperatures and sleet blizzard, which covered the roads in icy slush. Paul Dockerill set himself a new PB of 1:06:38, finishing 37th of 419 runners overall and 7th of 30 in the M40 age group, with Clive Purbrook (1:20:51) in 166th position and Chris Aylmer (1:33:18) 278th.
At the Newmarket Joggers Christmas Party & Awards Night on Saturday, we were honoured to have David Moorcroft as a speaker and presenter of our awards. He gave an interesting and amusing talk about the highs and lows of his running career. He won the Commonwealth Games Gold Medal for 1500m in 1978 and 1982 and held the world record for 5,000m (13:00.41) from 1982 to 1985, which stood as a British record until 2010, when it was beaten by Mo Farah (12:57.94). He also recounted, amusingly, what it felt like to be overtaken by a banana in the 2006 Great North Run….not too great! He continues to enjoy his running, for pleasure rather than competition, and is now helping to promote parkrun. He generously brought along a signed vest from one of the races he ran in while an international, to be raffled off to help raise money for publishing the diaries of Marcus Gynn, a very popular Newmarket Jogger and young man who loved his running but sadly died of cancer in 2015. The fundraising is kindly being organised by club social secretary Jeremy Reader.
In the award presentations, Jenny Osbourn and Greg Davis won the women’s and men’s Newmarket Joggers Grand Prix competitions respectively, with Jenny also receiving a Club Member award. Neil Pollard was voted Champion Performer of 2018, having achieved the best times in the club for all distances up to half marathon and a close second to Chris Gay in the marathon. Isabella Soro (female New Member of the Year), Emma Newman (female Improver of the Year), Caroline Mcintosh (female Veteran of the Year), Jan Holmes (women’s Team Award), Malcolm McConnell (male New Member of the Year), Chris Gay (male Improver of the Year), Clive Purbrook (male Veteran of the Year), Jim Withers (men’s Team Award) and a number of others also received awards or recognition. This is how it was remembered from a Pepysian eye-view of proceedings, but the beer and wine were flowing….apologies for any errors or omissions.