Mark Hayward comes close to PB in Hadleigh 10

On Sunday, the hilly Hadleigh 5 and 10 mile events took place on the Suffolk/Essex border. Mark Hayward competed impressively in the Hadleigh 10, finishing in 6th position in a time of 58:44, near his PB of 58:16 achieved in 2018. Neville Clarke put in a great performance as always, finishing 2nd in MV65 to the redoubtable Stephen Mead of Stowmarket Striders, in a time of 1:14:41. He beat his friendly arch-rival Arthur Whiston of Colchester Harriers into 3rd position on this occasion, so cause for celebration! Clive Purbrook was next Jogger home in 1:22:58 followed by Jim Withers (1:35:13), who clocked his best 10 mile time this year. Brian Munns sadly had to pull out due to injury. Let’s hope it’s not too serious. In the Hadleigh 5, Belinda Schofield ran well to finish 2nd of 6 in her FV60 age group in a time of 46:10, her first 5 mile race of the year.

Also on Sunday, James Thomson enjoyed an excellent run in the Long Sutton 10K, near King’s Lynn, finishing 58th of 500 runners overall and clocking 42:01, his best time this year by over 3 minutes and not far from his 40:50 PB.

Meanwhile, Phil Blundell took on the St Neots Half Marathon and recorded 1:41:28, finishing 347th in a big field of 1,512 runners. This narrowly beat his Lode HM time two weeks ago and was over 4 minutes quicker than his previous half marathon at Bath, earlier in the year.

At Snetterton Race Track near Norwich on Sunday, it was the multi-lap Half and Full Marathon events, which involved 4.4 mile (approx) laps around the motor racing circuit; 3 for the Half and 6 for the Full. In the Half Marathon, Denis Coman was first Jogger home in 1:44:01, 107th of 375 overall, followed by Joe Cormack (1:55:44), who did well to beat his previous best time this year in the Hackney HM by over 2 minutes. In the Marathon, Chris Aylmer (4:49:58) narrowly missed a PB, finishing 53rd of 67 participants. It was a friendly and well-marshalled event in ideal, cool, dry, running conditions, with very little wind, plus live music and speakers around the course for entertainment.

On Saturday, at Leighton Buzzard in Bedfordshire, two Joggers took on the tough Dirt Half Marathon trail race. Eliot Bentley achieved a PB of 1:46:26 and finished 175th of 809 runners overall, with Mike Haslam (1:48:20) not far behind in 193rd position.

Last weekend, from Friday 8th to Sunday 10th November, Lisa Jennings took part in the Druid’s Challenge, a gruelling 84 mile, 3 day ultra-marathon event of 3 x 28 mile stages, with overnight stays on the Friday and Saturday nights. It was a run or walk challenge along the ancient Ridgeway trail route, from Buckinghamshire to Wiltshire, which included 7,226ft of climb. Jennings completed this formidable test of endurance in 26:12:54, among a field of 112 participants.

CLUB TRIP TO LEE VALLEY: On Saturday, junior and senior members of the club enjoyed a special outing and training visit to Lee Valley Athletics Centre in Edmonton, North London, kindly organised by social secretary Jeremy Reader with support from Emma Reader. This is the largest indoor and outdoor athletics centre in the south of England and athletes of all abilities are welcome to train here on the tracks and in the gym. The facilities are second to none. Our head coach Mick Graham was there to supervise the training both on the indoor and outdoor track, with able assistance from club coaches Stuart Janes and Emma Reader.

Lee valley Athletics Centre: The indoor track, taken by Adam Maltpress

In the words of Jogger Caroline Mcintosh:

“We warmed up together under Mike’s supervision, getting used to an indoor track with inclines at either end and overcoming the challenges of hurdles and cone tracks.
The indoor session for adults consisted of 200m speed circuits and was a tough task for all.
The Juniors started with races on the 200m track and then progressed to skills work upstairs on the 100m track. The adults continued training indoors whilst the Juniors went outside on the 400m track to do more long distance work. Inside the Centre, there are several tracks, a gym and equipment facilities, plus other training opportunities. Outside consisted of a 400m track and a slightly longer bark trail track which some of the adults used as a cool down session. Everyone felt that they had learned a lot and Mike has welcomed any of us to join him again for a Saturday session at the Centre.”

Let’s get another date in the diary!

The 400m outdoor track at the Lee Valley Sports Centre, captured by Adam Maltpress.