A busy weekend for Newmarket Joggers despite the mounting coronavirus gloom

The Robert Tomlinson Stowmarket Half Marathon took place in the village of Buxhall, in wet and windy weather, with 5 Joggers among the 332 finishers. Mark Hayward (1:17:45) was first home in 5th overall position, closely followed by James Smith (1:19:11) in 7th, both excellent performances just 7 days after their top efforts in the Cambridge Half Marathon. Then came Neville Clarke (1:49:11), 2nd in MV65, Clive Purbrook (1:54:09) and Nicole Smith (2:07:20), all good performances in the windy conditions.

The high profile Bath Half Marathon in Somerset also went ahead, with a total of 6,808 participants. Oliver Daykin (1:22:34) came 25th of 339 in the M U21 category, almost matching his PB time in the Cambridge Half Marathon last week, while Paul Dockerill (1:25:43) finished 42nd of 397 in MV40, beating his PB time by over 2 minutes.

Up in Lincolnshire, Andrew Taylor did well in the wet, windy weather to complete the Sublime Long Sutton 10K in 45:05, coming 4th of 18 in MV45 and 13th of 148 runners overall. Meanwhile, over at Milton Keynes in the MK Running Festival 10K event, Chris Gay came an impressive 2nd of 933 runners overall, clocking 35:21, which is an all-time PB for him by 18 seconds.

Anglo-Saxon bling! The classic new Beowulf medal for West Stow trail events.  Photo from event organiser website: www.positivestepspt.co.uk

New member Anderson McKeague competed in the Beowulf 10K trail race at West Stow Country Park, which included a loop through the Kings Forest and a scenic lap of one of the Lackford Lakes. He did well to come 51st of 315 finishers in a time of 51:11. At the same event, Iain Perry (17:47) enjoyed a run in the Beowulf 5K, which was later adjusted to 3.5K, due an error in course directions. In Northamptonshire, Chris Aylmer (3:46:16) took on the Oundle 20 mile race in very wet weather, a favourite local marathon preparation race, finishing 520th of 604 participants.

The attractive Oundle 20 medal, depicting St Mary and All Saints Church in Fotheringhay, one of the historic villages the route passed through. Photo: Chris Aylmer

On Saturday, 2 Joggers ran in the Ancient Trails 15 mile Challenge, which took place at Fulbourn in Cambridgeshire and went along parts of the local Roman Road, Fleam Dyke and Icknield Way. Sianie Painter (2:54:39) came home a very creditable 10th of 36 female runners and 2nd of 11 in FV50. Gillian Green (3:37:50) also put in a good effort.

Last Tuesday, it was the Newmarket Joggers monthly 5K Handicap race in which 30 club members took part. With a time-staggered start according to estimated finishing times, Rebecca Fordham (25:51) finished in first place from Alan Shand (24:29) 2nd and Giles Macrow (24:38) 3rd, for which all received trophies. On time alone, James Smith (17:17) was fastest male Jogger from Henry Hamilton-Gould (19:17) and James Thomson (19:26). For the women, Joanna Cole (20:27) was fastest female Jogger from Danielle Jones (24:02) and Michelle Seymour (24:48). According to age grade, the top three men were: James Smith 79.36% (Diamond club standard), Charles Jones 77.51% (Diamond) and Stuart Sowerby 72.49% (Platinum); the top three women: Joanna Cole 73.76% (Platinum), Lynda McCormack 67.63% (Gold) and Jan Holmes 67.49% (Gold). Well done to all those Joggers and to everyone who took part, wherever you finished.

NB. In keeping with the recently announced hyping up of coronavirus protective measures in the UK, all training on Tuesdays and Thursdays, including the final 5K Handicap of the winter season, will now be cancelled at least until the end of April. The final Suffolk Winter XC League fixture at Haverhill on March 29th has also been cancelled.