It was the much anticipated Cambridge Half Marathon on Sunday, in which 55 Newmarket Joggers were competing among the huge field of over 8,000 participants. Fortunately the weather was warmer than the freeze-up we had last year, though it was overcast and spitting with rain, with a blustery wind developing during the race. For the men, four Joggers ran at the absolute peak of their form to finish inside 1 hour 20 minutes: Chris Gay (1:15:16, PB), Jamie Sales (1:16:09, PB by almost 8 minutes!), Neil Pollard (1:16:12) and Mark Hayward (1:18:49). Gay was 5th of 664 in his M30-34 category and 32nd of 8,356 runners overall, Sales 2nd of 41 in MU20 and 43rd overall, Pollard 3rd of 762 in MV40-44, 44th overall and Hayward 18th of 779 in MV35-39, 78th overall. Also well up with the pace were Simon Harris (1:24:19), 40th of 672 in MV40-44, Sam Sadler (1:24:28), 44th of 664 in M30-34 and Tom McCusker (1:25:01), 43rd of 581 in M25-29.
For the women, Gráinne Brennan (1:29:39) came storming home in 10th position of 562 in her F25-29 category and 33rd of 3,596 female runners overall. She was followed by Emma Newman (1:40:07, PB), 24th of 523 in F30-34, Olivia Carter (1:43:57), 38th of 316 in F20-24 and Sarah Boneham (1:46:24), 25th of 478 in FV45-49. Also right up there were Ellie Bithell (1:50:47), 85th of 620 in FV40-44, Jan Holmes (1:59:45, PB) 20th of 128 in FV55-59 and Sarah Sales (2:02:53), 94th of 281 in FV50-54.
There were lots of excellent performances by the other Joggers in the field, too many to describe them all individually. However, it is worth mentioning some of the older age category performances. Rebecca Fordham (2:05:34) FV45-49, Belinda Chapman (2:05:46) FV50-54, Sianie Painter (2:07:03) FV50-54, Lynda McCormack (2:07:11) FV55-59, Mary Marsh (2:16:35) FV65-69. For the men, Stuart Sowerby (1:33:38) MV45-49, Jonathan Ollington (1:39:52) MV50-54, Richard Jones (1:39:04) MV55-59, Clive Purbrook (1:47:40) MV60-64, Miles Johnson (1:56:32) MV65-69 and Malcolm Osbourn (1:59:21) MV70-74.
Other finishers were, for the women: Sara Brown (2:06:17), Amy Baker (2:08:58), Jessica Podd (2:12:39), Tracey Bolden (2:16:56), Alexia Smithson (2:24:09), Orla Dockery (2:26:49), Gillie Green (2:43:46), Sarah Last (2:43:46) and Isabel Vicente (2:57:16). For the men: Henry Hamilton-Gould (1:31:24), James Thomson (1:31:43), Jason Bevan (1:35:00), Marc Drury (1:35:04), Nik Chapman (1:37:17), Gavin Moody (1:37:47), Adam Maltpress (1:38:02), Mike Sales (1:48:39), Daryl Moran (1:51:51), Giles Macrow (1:52:04), Jeremy Reader (1:54:34), Baz Colley (1:54:58, PB), Iain Perry (2:00:50), John Milne (2:00:58), Robert Wise (2:03:27), Kevin Pearson (2:06:51), Adam Orriss (2:09:11), Oliver Stockmann (2:09:38), Dave Price (2:13:02), Scott Maciel (2:15:01) and Karthik Rajagopalan (2:20:32).
It was also the Roding Valley Half Marathon on Sunday, in which 2 Joggers were competing, both putting in top efforts over the very hilly course. Greg Davis (1:28:57) came home 1st of 59 in the MV50-59 category, 23rd of 354 runners overall, while Neville Clarke (1:40:33) came 1st of 14 in the MV60-69 category. These efforts were particularly notable as the age categories were in 10 year bands, whereas both Greg and Neville would normally be in 55-59 and 65-69 respectively.
In the First-Sunday-of-the-Month 5K and 10K races at the Great Barrow Challenge HQ in Barrow, Andrew Taylor completed the 10K in 47:18, finishing 5th of 13 runners, over a minute quicker than his time last month.