Competition hotting up in Joggers’ Grand Prix Championship.

With the completion of the second virtual Kevin Henry fixture, normally run at HQ on Newmarket Heath, Paul Holley has surged into the lead in the Newmarket Joggers Men’s Grand Prix Championship table with his top age grade of the year of 87.78%. He now stands on 325 points, just ahead of Malcolm Osbourn on 317 points, with Jamie Rule some way back in third position on 243 points. Malcolm earned 68.04% age grade, near his best this year, and could not have tried harder to defend his previous leading position. Rule was in great form and recorded his best age grade this year of 67.17%.

At the top of the Women’s Grand Prix table Sianie Painter wavered slightly but still holds a healthy lead of 55 points on a total of 281. However there was nip and tuck going on between Christine Windsor (226 points) and Jenny Osbourn (225 points), with Christine just managing to leap-frog over Jenny to gain second position by one point in the table. So, none of the top three can really afford to miss any of the remaining four fixtures.

Memories of the Cambridge Half Marathon on March 8th 2020, shortly before the lockdown. Days of innocence….

NJ Virtual Friday 5 Series: The second of the NJ Virtual Friday 5 mile fixtures took place from 19th – 21st June. The round one leader (Paul Holley) side-stepped this fixture, allowing Stuart Sowerby to gain the lead with a time of 34:22 (67.80% age grade) and a total of 135.40 points. This puts him very narrowly in the lead from Ruth Eberhardt (135.23), who clocked an impressive 37:55 (69.49%), over two minutes faster than her first round time. In third position comes Richard Jones on 129.96 points with a time of 38:26 (65.83%), very slightly ahead of Alan Shand on 129.91 points (41:09, 66.83%). All still to play for in this best 3 of 4 fixture competition, based on age grade, where a few seconds either way could swing fortunes. Results should be out very shortly for the third round.

The Ultra NJ Podium Challenge set by Club Secretary Sianie Painter came to a conclusion on 28th June. Club members were invited to clock as much running or run/walk distance as they could over the month of June. There were podium positions to be targeted from copper (27+ miles) to Bronze (50+), Silver (100+), Gold (150+), Diamond (200+) and Platinum (250+). Chris Gay was undisputed winner in Platinum position, followed by Jonathan Ollington, Mark Hayward and Henry Hamilton in Diamond and Troi Baxter in Gold. A special mention for Caroline Mcintosh, who did amazingly well to gain Silver podium position despite her recent stress-fracture injury problems.

Could perhaps have been Newmarket but taken on the outskirts of Coventry in June.

NJ Virtual July Decathlon: We now have a fun new challenge in the shape of a zany decathlon to complete in July. As well as 5 normal running challenges of One Mile, 5K, 5 mile, Trail 10K and “running as far as we can for 90 minutes”, we also have tasks such as a two-legged long jump, throwing a homemade sock ball as far as we can and doing as many press-ups and sit-ups as we can in one or two minutes. Baz Colley should enjoy the latter tasks more than most, though none of his favourite squat jumps, burpees and kettlebell heaving included. If that doesn’t keep us all amused nothing will!