Sun Sets on 2020 Virtual Kevin Henry 5K Series

The final fixture of the 2020 Virtual Kevin Henry 5K League took place from the 17th to 20th September, with entrants timing themselves over a local 5km route of their choosing.  Overall there were 416 participants from the 8 clubs involved, consisting of 216 women and 200 men. Newmarket Joggers achieved a good turnout of 48 participants, with 29 women and 19 men taking part.

The setting sun over Burwell Lode, showing Cockup Bridge and the nearby footbridge.

Filling the top 5 places for the female Joggers, with overall position shown within gender, were: Hannah Parsons 10th, 21:01; Lisa Johnson 22nd, 23:55; Ruth Eberhardt 30th, 24:20; Claire Acklam 39th, 25:20; and Francesca Laughton 50th, 25:58. It is thought to be a 5K PB for Parsons, whose best previous time known for Newmarket Joggers was 21:08 in 2019. Also a PB for Lisa Johnson and top runs by Eberhardt, Acklam and Laughton, so very well done to all of those.

For the men, our top 5 were: James Smith 8th, 16:48; Marc Drury 33rd, 19:16; Jamie Rule 35th, 19:20; Paul Holley 47th, 19:46; and Stuart Sowerby 55th, 20:16. A great run by Smith as always and believed to be a 5K PB for both Marc Drury and Jamie Rule, with excellent backup from Holley and Sowerby.

Top 5 on age grade for the women’s team were: Hannah Parsons 74.78%, Claire Acklam 72.30%, Helen Wass 67.05%, Ruth Eberhardt 65.75% and Christine Windsor 64.51%; and for the men’s team: James Smith 82.14%, Paul Holley 76.98%, Marc Drury 74.83%, Stuart Sowerby 71.13% and Stephen Edwards 68.92%.


In order of finishing outside the top 5, for the women: Helen Wass 26:03, Alison McKenzie 27:46, Angela Barnes 27:52, Rebecca Fordham 27:52, Bridget Wallwin 28:29, Alexia Smithson 28:51, Jill O’Grady 29:11, Sianie Painter 29:16, Jo Blackstock 29:28, Ellie Bithell 29:29, Kate Warboys 29:37, Jan Holmes 29:38, Angela Brennan 29:55, Sarah Last 31:01, Joanne Bouttell 32:09, Christine Windsor 32:16, Caroline McIntosh 32:25, Mandy Davis 33:31, Sarah Kinston 33:48, Orla Dockery 33:50, Christine Shand 35:12, Mary Marsh 35:22, Jill Howard 35:28 and Jenny Osbourn 35:37. For the men: Anderson McKeague 22:07, Stephen Edwards 22:25, Baz Colley 24:06, Joe Cormack 25:41, Clive Purbrook 26:02, Malcolm Osbourn 27:10, Paul Roberts 27:58, Robert Kingsley 28:13, Aaron Self 28:21, Brian Rice 28:46, Alan Thornhill 29:14, Jeremy Reader 29:31, Chris Aylmer 31:14 and Alan Shand 31:50. A few notable achievements in the above: It was Anderson McKeague’s best 5km time this year and a best 2020 Kevin Henry (KH) time for Robert Kingsley, Baz Colley and Alan Thornhill. Helen Wass, Bridget Wallwin, Jill O’Grady, Jo Blackstock, Sarah Last and Caroline Mcintosh all achieved their best 5K times this year and it was Christine Windsor’s best KH time.

Newmarket Joggers finished in 7th place of the 8 clubs in the Virtual Kevin Henry League (women’s plus men’s teams combined), with Royston Runners in 8th. So not our best team result by a long way but a lot of enjoyment in taking part and plenty of excellent individual performances to show for it. Winners this year were Cambridge & Coleridge, from Ely Runners 2nd, Saffron Striders 3rd and Haverhill RC 4th, with Histon & Impington Runners tied with Cambridge Triathlon Club in =5th position.

A Huge Thank You to all those representing the club in this virtual Kevin Henry Series, in what must be a surreal and unprecedented year for all of us. Full understanding too, for those loyal and equally valued members of the club who might not be motivated by virtual running, or perhaps not by running in the Kevin Henry League or the Suffolk Winter XC League. They might sometimes prefer to concentrate on their own training plans, working on improving their form and targeting specific races over their preferred distances, or simply need more time to deal with family, work and other life priorities. That is perfectly laudable and understandable. It is important that all Newmarket Joggers feel free to decide how best to use their membership. We can only ask that all members put in their best efforts when representing the club, in the way they prefer and in the races they choose. This has never been in question.

NJ Grand Prix: The Kevin Henry results counted towards the NJ Grand Prix, where positions remain unchanged from last month. Sianie Painter leads the Women’s Grand Prix on 457 points from Christine Windsor on 417 with Jenny Osbourn on 406. In the Men’s Grand Prix, Paul Holley leads on 567 points from Malcolm Osbourn on 519 and Jamie Rule on 446. The Joggers’ committee has not yet decided exactly how to play out the finish of the Grand Prix this year. They are waiting to hear about whether the Framlingham XC will go ahead as normal in November, and if not, whether there will be a virtual race. Also, whether and how to include the Wild Card race is not decided yet. We will keep you informed.

Virtual RNR: A few more Joggers completed their Round Norfolk Relay legs over the past week or so. The times shown here are approximate and taken from Strava. Full results will be published in early October. Sianie Painter completed Leg 11 (12.45mi) in 2:14:58, Richard Jones leg 9 (16.60mi) in 2:21:31, Joe Cormack Leg 13 (13.25mi) in 2:09:54, Clive Purbrook Leg 2 (13.75mi) in 2:05:02, Bridget Wallwin Leg 16 (5.49mi) in 54:17 and Nicole Smith Leg8 (7.52mi) in 1:10:35. Well done to all those.