Kevin Henry 5K League to go ahead in virtual mode

Here at Newmarket Joggers, after 7 weeks of lockdown, we have some encouraging news that the five remaining fixtures of the Kevin Henry League will now go ahead as a virtual online competition. It will help to keep us all motivated in the coming months. The place of our runs can be anywhere of our choosing, as long as we keep to the government guidelines on social distancing and group activities. It should be a solo run or a run with members of the same household, not a gathering of non-household members. The first of the Kevin Henry virtual fixtures will be the Ely Runners 5K, which will be available to enter from the 14th to the 17th of May. The link is: Kevin Henry Entries 14th to 17th May The results will also count for the Newmarket Joggers Grand Prix.  NJ Lisa Johnson is kindly collating the Kevin Henry results on behalf of our club.  It would obviously be fairest to everyone if the virtual races could start and finish at the same elevation and be completed in one session, with no stopping time allowed.

Talking of virtual runs:  During the lockdown, our club secretary Sianie Painter has been keeping us all motivated and amused with some virtual races and challenges over the last two months, no doubt ably assisted by other Newmarket Joggers, such as Ruth Eberhardt, Jan Holmes and Kate Warboys; apologies to any helpers not mentioned. First of all we had the 5K baseline virtual time trial at the end of March followed by the virtual Newmarket Joggers 5K Handicap at the beginning of April. Then there was the search in April to find and photograph 22 items while out on runs, rides or walks. The most elusive item turned out to be a milk float, which nobody managed to spot. They seem to deliver milk like a gift from Santa Claus, sometime in the middle of the night but nobody ever sees them. Currently we have the “Climb a Mountain” Challenge for the whole month of May. Who can run the most elevation in one month? Jimmy Smith has already conquered Ben Nevis. There is also a search for street names, signs or house names with first letters spelling ‘Newmarket Joggers’ or whatever catchy phrase you want them to spell. Very many thanks to members who are organising and participating in these challenges.


Newmarket Jogger James Tweed was a good friend of Jack Merritt, who was murdered in November last year by a released prisoner, who had been serving a sentence for a terrorist offence. There was massive publicity about this at the time. Jack was at the forefront of a charitable organization called Learning Together, which aims to rehabilitate prisoners by giving them education, encouragement and hope for the future. James Tweed works for a company called Coracle Inside, which provides digital technology and learning solutions for offenders while they are in prison. He had hoped to be running in the Hackney Half Marathon on 17th May to help raise funds for the charity dedicated to the work that Jack was doing. Due to the coronavirus lockdown, the Hackney Half has been postponed to the autumn, so James is organising a virtual run in support of the charity on the same day it would have taken place. If you would like to contribute by taking part in this virtual race over any distance you like at 9am on Sunday 17th May (or whenever you can get the time) please follow this link for information and the Justgiving page:

SUFFOLK WINTER XC LEAGUE UPDATE: The individual age group results of the Suffolk Winter XC League 2019-2020 are now at hand. The final fixture at Haverhill, scheduled for 29th March, had to be abandoned due to the coronavirus lockdown and the results were based on the best 3 results from up to 5 races in all. The individual tables prepared by the league organisers have so far not been sorted into proper finish order, so this needed some scrutiny. Only those who ran in at least 3 fixtures were eligible for age group trophies. We were teamed up as usual with Sudbury Joggers in this league, so their results will also be included.

Neville Clarke won 1st place trophy of 13 runners in MV65, having run in all 5 fixtures, so congratulations to him on a great season. In MV70, Malcolm Osbourn was ultra-consistent and also ran in all 5 fixtures, finishing 2nd of 9 in his group, so a top performance from him too. In MV60, Charles Jones suffered from an injury in mid-winter and only completed 3 fixtures but did a fabulous job to finish 2nd of 18 in his age group and take home a trophy in his first cross country season. Completing the trophy winners for the men was Andy Buck of Sudbury Joggers, who came =3rd of 24 in MV55 on points and should be placed 3rd on head-to-heads from his rival Rob Mackenzie of Framlingham Flyers. Very well done by Andy, who has shown a lot of commitment to the league over the years.

Switching to the women’s competition, Sudbury Jogger Ruth Cowlin, a committed 5 fixture runner, finished =2nd of 18 in the FV55 group on points but will likely be placed 3rd of 18, based on head-to-head results with her tied competitor Sharon Brandon of St Edmund Pacers. It was a very well deserved trophy for Ruth. In the same age group, Elke Hausler just missed a trophy, finishing 4th of 18 and having suffered from injury in her 3rd and final fixture. Better luck for Elke next year hopefully.

Thanks to all the other Newmarket and Sudbury Joggers who represented us in the Suffolk Winter XC League. Those not mentioned above, who qualified for the age group competitions with at least 3 fixtures to their names were: Angela Barnes, Rachel Allen. Kate Warboys, Sianie Painter, Christine Windsor, Jenny Osbourn, Jamie Rule, Marc Drury, Tom Elton, Gary Godfrey, Brian Munns, Rob Hawkins, Clive Purbrook, Jim Withers, Alan Thornhill and Chris Aylmer.