Grainne Brennan and Chris Gay in command in 5K Winter Handicap.
It was the Newmarket Joggers monthly Winter 5K Handicap on Tuesday 8th Jan, which acts as a club time trial in the winter months from October to April. The 5K anticlockwise circular route starts in Exeter Road near the back of Waitrose car park and goes, via Rayes Lane, up Fordham Road as far as the Tesco roundabout, across to the Exning Road and then back down Exning Road to Exeter Road. The slowest runners start first and the faster runners follow on behind at intervals according to their expected times, so that, in theory, all runners should finish at about the same time. It makes for an exciting finish, encouraging everybody to catch the slower runners in front and avoid being caught by the faster runners coming from behind.
Grainne Brennan was the fastest of the female Joggers in 19:46, from Emma Newman (21:42) and Ruth Eberhardt (23:17), with Newman achieving a new course PB. Chris Gay (17:50) took the honours in the men’s race from Sam Sadler (18:02) and Simon Harris (18:34). Other members achieving course PBs were Jamie Rule (19:46), Craig Ladley (21:04), Daryl Moran (22:23), Hannah Parsons (23:56), Jill O’Grady (26:02), Sarah Kinston (27:35), Iain Perry (28:19), Sianie Painter (28:24), Alison McKenzie (28:33), Ian Woodroffe (29:03) and Orla Dockery (29:57). The best overall age-graded performances were by Jon Brooker (19:51, 76.07%), Simon Harris (75.40%) and Grainne Brennan (74.70%). After the 4th of 7 Handicaps, Brennan is the leading female Jogger with a season’s best time of 19:07, while Gay is the leading male Jogger on 17:09, both times recorded last October.