Bubble groups prove popular lifeline for Newmarket Joggers training sessions

For the last few weeks at Newmarket Joggers, there have been socially distanced “bubble group” training sessions taking place, led by club members with a Leader in Running Fitness qualification (LIRF). They have been taking Joggers on predominantly off-road runs around the summer training routes on Newmarket Heath, along trails and sometimes on routes starting in nearby villages, such as Moulton and Stetchworth. Leaders are deliberately avoiding running on Newmarket town streets more than is necessary, to limit close proximity to the public. Up until July 28th, the total allowed in a group by England Athletics was 6, including the leader, but it has now been increased to 12 in a group, which is about the size of a normal training group, so very welcome at the club. These runs are proving very popular among members, who have to book a place in advance to ensure the numbers do not exceed 12 per group. Joggers choose a group to run with and stick with that group, which minimises cross contact between club members. At last Newmarket Joggers is beginning to function as a normal club once more.

During July, Joggers were invited by club secretary Sianie Painter to enter the NJ Virtual Decathlon, a mix of 5 running events (One Mile, Kevin Henry League 5K, 5 Miles, Trail 10K and 90 minute run), and 5 more zany challenges (skips or jumps/2 min; sit-ups/2 min; press-ups/1 min; two-legged long jump from stationary; and sock-ball throw “rolled up pair of socks”.

In the words of Sianie Painter: “After 5 weeks of skipping, jumping, throwing and running, the final results are out….congratulations to all the trophy winners and well done and thank you to all who took part. A special mention to Caroline Mcintosh who was doing very well but had to withdraw part-way”.  Overall Winner (female): Francesca Laughton; Overall Winner (male): Jimmy Smith;  FV40: Sarah Kinston; FV50: Alison McKenzie; FV70: Jenny Osbourn; M Open: Andy McKeague; MV60: Chris Aylmer; MV70: Alan Thornhill.

Many thanks to Sianie for keeping us all amused for another month with her enjoyable challenges. In August Sianie has set us the “NJ not-Barkley Marathons Challenge”. The Barkley Marathons is an extremely hilly and notoriously difficult 100 mile ultramarathon race (5 x ~20 mile loops, measured horizontally) in Tennessee, USA, which has had to be cancelled this year. Adding the ups and downs brings each loop to be roughly equivalent to a marathon. If only 3 of the 5 loops are achieved it is jokingly called a 60 mile “Fun Run”. Sianie has set us a target of 5 x 26.2 miles (= 131 miles total mileage over the month) to complete the challenge. If only 3 x 26.2 (= 78.6 miles) is managed then we achieve the “Fun Run”.