Thetford Forest was home to two big running events over the weekend. On Saturday there was the Festive Forest Challenge at West Stow Country Park, over 10K, half marathon and 20 mile distances, while on Sunday, the first of a series of three winter 10K trail races took place at High Lodge.
At West Stow, in bitterly cold, windy conditions, Andrew Taylor finished 4th of 132 runners in the 10K race in a time of 47:42. That was his 27th 10K of the year, with one more to come on New Year’s Eve at Ely. Also competing for the Joggers were Caroline Mcintosh (1:12:53) in festive fancy dress, 1st of 3 in her F65 age bracket, and Sianie Painter (1:43:03), who was mainly walking the route with a friend before her race the next day. In the Half Marathon, Ruth Eberhardt was 1st home for the Joggers, 4th of 15 in her F45 age bracket and 10th of 78 women overall in a time of 1:55:30, with Sarah Boneham (1:58:15) not far behind. Chris Aylmer (3:59:05) came 32nd of 37 in the 20 mile race.
At High Lodge on Sunday, Adam Maltpress clocked 44:44 and was first home for the Joggers in the Thetford Trail 10K, 28th of 357 runners overall, with Neil Williamson (45:03) close behind in 31st position and Clive Purbrook (49:43) 83rd. Next home was Belinda Schofield, who did well to finish 2nd of 15 in her F55-64 age category in a time of 59:19, with Sianie Painter very close behind in 59:40 and Ian Woodroffe (1:03:24) and Alexia Smithson (1:04:05) following on.
The results of the Suffolk Winter Cross Country League fixture on Dec 2nd at Woodbridge have just been released but no times have been given for the 4.6 mile race. In all, 20 Newmarket Joggers took part in a combined team with 9 Sudbury Joggers. Neil Pollard was 1st home, finishing 4th of 439 runners overall and 1st of 39 in his M40 age group. Isabella Soro was 1st home for the women’s team and 18th of 115 female runners overall. Other notable performances were from Neville Clarke, who finished 1st of 13 in the M65 category and Malcolm Osbourn, 1st of 10 in the M70+ category. With two races of 6 completed, Newmarket & Sudbury Joggers’ combined A team stands 7th of 20 in its division, with B and C teams occupying lower divisions. Top A team so far is Waveney Valley AC, with Framlingham Flyers in second and St Edmund Pacers in third.