Alison McKenzie succeeds in Beachy Head Marathon

On Saturday 24th October at Eastbourne, Alison McKenzie put in a top effort to record a time of 6:14:25 in the notoriously difficult Beachy Head Marathon, which included 3,750ft of climb over the Sussex Downs, all off-road. She finished 303rd female of 496 in a total field of 1,191 and 97th of 191 in her F45-54 category. This was McKenzie’s first ever marathon, but she already had three half marathons under her belt, including 2:09 at Cambridge in March this year, with a PB of 2:04 in May 2019. Her 50:38 in the Cambridge Town & Gown 10K last October was her best ever age graded performance at 69.32%, high in gold club standard, so she was bang in form when COVID 19 intervened. She continued to train hard in running and strength disciplines following the lockdown and entered this race full of confidence and determination.

Alison McKenzie at the Beachy Head Marathon in Eastbourne.

The November Virtual NJ Winter Handicap takes place from 2nd to 8th November, over any chosen local route of 5km. It may also be run on the normal road route as part of bubble group activities. Then on the weekend of 7th and 8th November is the first event of Jeremy Reader’s Muddy Bubblers XC/Trail Championship, where you can compete virtually with other bubble groups. There are 6 different routes; bubble groups will be allocated the venues where they should run for November. There should be no more than two bubble groups per venue per month. There will be team points for participation and extra points for best photo for each run. In December there will also be extra points for best Jingle outfit. The overall team scoring system is not yet fully decided. Individual age-graded performances will be recorded and also monitored for improvements compared with current age grade to give everyone an equal chance of winning individual series prizes. This depends on submitting a time for the exact distance specified for each route, so ensure that you stop your watch when the distance is reached. All the routes had different distances at the time of writing and do not necessarily start and finish at the same point. The distance displayed on your watch is the key thing to get right. Otherwise the age grades will be wrong. If you do go over the distance, you could crop off the extra distance on Strava to find the correct time to submit to Sianie Painter. Don’t go under the distance!

Emma Reader is now up to 21 of her target of 40 consecutive daily 5km runs in aid of Pregnancy Sickness Support (PSS). She has been kindly accompanied on some of her runs by several Joggers, including those shown below. Thanks to them and well done Emma!