In the Barrow 10K on Sunday, Andrew Taylor came home 8th of 30 in a time of 48:55 in one of the very few local races to take place in East Anglia over the weekend. The village of Barrow, near Bury St Edmunds, is known for the Great Barrow Challenge (GBC) multiple-marathon events, held four times per year, in the summer, autumn, winter and spring. They now also put on half marathons along with the marathon events and just recently, 10Ks and 5Ks have been added on the first Sunday of every month, which alternate between out & back trail and road runs.
Also on Sunday, it was the Woodbridge Suffolk Winter XC League fixture, which started and finished at Sutton Village Hall over a distance of 4.6 miles. In this league, we combine as a team with Sudbury Joggers. It was an abnormally warm day for December at 14°C, with bright sunshine on the journey there and fields emerald green with winter wheat, a very pleasant sight indeed. There was, however, plenty of rain the night before, so quite a lot of large puddles along the course and some mud in places, although the sandy nature of the soil keeps the trails in surprisingly good condition. There was a lovely après-run atmosphere in the village hall, with free tea, coffee and hot chocolate to drink plus a big choice of homemade cakes.
There were 29 runners in our combined team, with Neil Pollard running a great race to finish in 4th overall position of over 300 runners in a provisional time of 25:35. He was 5th overall out of 492 in the first fixture at Framlingham in November, so in great form. The positions of our other male and female finishers at Woodbridge are not yet to hand, with the full results not expected to be out for a week or two. After the first XC at Framlingham, our combined A team of the 7 highest placed men and 4 highest placed women stood in 5th overall position of 20 clubs in the A division, with the B and C teams in 3rd and 4th places in their respective sub-divisions, so holding our own. The next Winter League fixture will be the Stowmarket XC at Haughley Park on January 20th, always an enjoyable 5.3 mile challenge through driving sleet, muddy, slushy woods, down into large craters and hopefully back up again!
On Sunday 6th January 2019, the Suffolk XC Championships will take place in the grounds of Culford School, 4 miles north of Bury St Edmunds, a very attractive venue. Newmarket Joggers usually fields one or two women’s and men’s teams for the Senior Championship races, which are both run over a distance of 10K in 2019 (used to be 8K for women and 12K for men). Age group prizes are awarded and there are also junior races for all ages from U20 down to a 2K race for U11 girls and boys. Entries need to be in by the 16th December, so best to let your team captain know if you would like to take part. If the teams are full, you may also enter as an individual, still representing Newmarket Joggers in your age group and do not have to be part of a specific team. So go ahead and enter if you would like to take part. Entry fees are £8 for seniors, online only: https://www.race-results.co.uk/results/2019/suffolkxce.php
This Tuesday is of course the NJ Winter 5K Handicap, to keep us on our toes and use up some calories before the Christmas Party & Awards Night on Saturday 8th December at the Heath Court Hotel.