Top performances by Joggers in the Virtual Kevin Henry League

The results are now out for the fourth virtual Kevin Henry 5K, normally hosted by Haverhill Running Club at Kedington. The virtual runs were completed on local routes of each club member’s choosing, from the 20th to 23rd August 2020. The eight clubs participating in the Kevin Henry League were Cambridge & Coleridge (C&C), Ely Runners, Cambridge Triathlon Club (CTC), Histon & Impington Runners, Royston Runners, Saffron (Walden) Striders, Haverhill RC and Newmarket Joggers.

There were 418 runners in the virtual race overall, comprising 217 women and 201 men, of which Newmarket Joggers fielded 21 women and 17 men. Joggers’ first 5 finishers (who scored according to overall position within their gender) were, for the women’s team: Hannah Parsons 21:22 (14th), Claire Acklam 25:08 (44th), Nicole Smith 25:27 (46th), Ruth Eberhardt 25:47 (54th) and Helen Wass 26:11 (61st); and for the men: Jimmy Smith 16:36 (4th), Paul Holley 17:10 (9th), Jamie Rule 19:27 (39th), Stuart Sowerby 20:04 (55th) and Marc Drury 20:24 (65th).

Some fine performances from our leading runners above. It was Hannah Parsons’ best 5K time this year, earning her a club platinum (>70%) age grade of 73.56%; also a platinum age grade of 72.88% for the redoubtable Claire Acklam, who has already attained diamond standard (>75%) this year. There was excellent support from Nicole Smith (63.52%, silver standard >60%), Ruth Eberhardt (62.06%) and Helen Wass (66.71%, gold standard >65%), with the latter gaining another splendid 2020 PB, following her long injury sojourn. For the men, Jimmy Smith put in a dazzling run for his best 5K time this year and his top age grade of 83.13% (sapphire standard >80%); as did Paul Holley, with his 2020 PB earning him a colossal 88.64% age grade (super sapphire >85%). Jamie Rule also achieved his best 5K time and age grade (68.21%) this year, with great backup by the ultra consistent Stuart Sowerby (71.84%) and Marc Drury (70.67%) in 4th and 5th respectively.

Other members contributing valuable points to the Joggers’ total were, for the women: Ellie Bithell 27:45, Bridget Wallwin 28:43, Sianie Painter 28:56, Angela Barnes 29:06, Kate Warboys 29:07, Lisa Jennings 31:43, Sarah Kinston 31:46, Joanne Bouttell 31:52, Christine Windsor 32:22 (64.32%), Caroline Mcintosh 33:27 (60.59%), Mandy Davis 34:30, Jill Howard 34:59, Christine Shand 35:28, Jenny Osbourn 36:07 (60.13%), Emma Reader 36:25 and Rebecca Hannah 39:42; and for the men: Stephen Edwards 20:58 (73.69%), Anderson McKeague 23:14, Brian Munns 24:15 (64.26%), Richard Groom 24:21, Alan Shand 24:30 (67.96%), Joe Cormack 25:57, Malcolm Osbourn 26:56 (67.45%), Aaron Self 28:19, Robert Kingsley 29:07, Alan Thornhill 29:31 (60.70%) and Chris Aylmer 30:17. Thanks to all those who represented the club.

After four virtual events, Joggers currently stand 6th in the men’s competition and =6th in the women’s, though as a combined team we are placed 7th, due to the quirks of the scoring system. C&C men’s team surprisingly lost top league place to Ely Runners, likely due to lacking some of their fastest runners this month. They are now 2nd, with Saffron Striders in 3rd. C&C still leads the women’s and combined competitions from Ely Runners and Haverhill RC.

The top positions in the Newmarket Joggers Grand Prix Championship have stayed the same after the Kevin Henry race. In the women’s Grand Prix, Sianie Painter (398 points) leads from Christine Windsor (353) and Jenny Osbourn (346) , while Paul Holley (491) leads from Malcolm Osbourn (453) and Jamie Rule (378) in the men’s Grand Prix. Well done to all the participants. There will be two more fixtures in the NJ Grand Prix: The last Virtual Kevin Henry 5K race in September and the opening (virtual?) fixture of the Suffolk Winter XC League at Framlingham, which normally takes place at the end of October or beginning of November. Grand Prix contenders should also begin to consider their ‘virtual’ wild card selection, to be raced over their preferred standard distance, such as 5km/5mi/10km/10mi/HM/20mi/Marathon. It needs to be completed before the end of November. Road races give a truer age grade calculation than the more energy-sapping off-road, while shorter distances often result in higher age grades, though not necessarily for experienced runners.

So in September, we have the final virtual Kevin Henry fixture to look forward to, from Thursday 17th Sept to Sunday 20th Sept. This one will decide the final Virtual Kevin Henry League placings.

Also, the Virtual Round Norfolk Relay promises to be the highlight of the month, kindly organised by Jim Withers.

Sianie Painter’s August challenge, the so-called  “NJ not-Barkley Marathons” concluded recently, with the main challenge being to achieve the equivalent of 1 x 5 marathon loops in training miles, with 1 x 3 marathon loops earning a consolation ‘Fun Run’ award; somewhat similar to the real Barkley Marathons in Tennessee, except that the latter event has to be completed in 60 hours. Jimmy Smith managed to achieve an impressive training distance of over 262 miles in one month….that’s equivalent to 2 x 5 = 10 marathons in one month. Henry Hamilton-Gould and Troi Baxter, also admirably completed the 5 loop challenge. Consolation awards went to Jonathan Ollington (who just missed 5 loops by a whisker), Caroline Mcintosh and Sarah Sales, for completing the 3 loop Fun Run. Andy McKeague and Sianie Painter went very close to 3 loops. Well done all who took part.