Andrew Taylor achieves 10km PB at Bedford Autodrome.

Andrew Taylor achieved an all-time 10km PB of 42:25 in the Running Grand Prix over the two lap course at Bedford Autodrome on Sunday 18th Oct. He finished 44th fastest of two waves of 244 runners overall, 4th of 14 in his age category and earned 69.08% age grade, his highest ever while a club member. Despite the paucity of real races to choose from, this was Taylor’s second PB over the distance this year, with the previous one at Snetterton Race Track last January, where he clocked 42:45.

Meanwhile, near Aylsham in Norfolk, three Joggers ran to a high standard in the Blickling Half Marathon. Jon Brooker was first Jogger home in 1:39:27, 64th of 368 runners overall and 3rd of 17 in M55-59, 68.49% age grade. Then came Hannah Parsons in 1:49:56, 28th female of 167 and 5th of 43 in F45-49, 63.83%, followed closely by Clive Purbrook in 1:50:46, 156th overall and 2nd of 8 in M65+, 67.62%.

Purbrook also ran well in the Lucky Horseshoe Challenge at Horseheath Point-to-Point Racecourse the day before, clocking 54:34 over 2 x 5.3km laps (completing the quarter marathon distance), though it appears to be wrongly shown as a bare 10km in the results. Two other Joggers ran the following day at the same weekend event, both over the marathon distance, which involved 8 laps around the racecourse on the unforgiving ground. Marc Drury achieved a great marathon PB of 3:30:26 (previous best 3:34:06) and is sure to improve on that time over a firmer, more even running surface. Eliot Bentley clocked a very decent 4:13:31 in what appears to be his first ever marathon.

Last Sunday 11th Oct saw the completion of the first of the NJ Virtual Winter 5km Handicap races, with the results already notified by email to all members by the organiser Sianie Painter. The first week was the chance for all runners to post a baseline time, so that this can be used to calculate how much faster or slower each person runs in the second event in the first week of November. Runners in each succeeding event will be placed in order of the most time improvement down to the least time improvement, compared with their time in the previous week. Although there were no starting handicaps, there are still winners of the first event. It was an opportunity for the fastest men and women to assert themselves and go for top spot.

James Smith ended well in the lead in a time of 17:23, (79.39% age grade), from James Thomson (20:58, 62.96%) and Phil Blundell (21:34, 65.38%), the latter moving into gold club standard for the first time. For the women, it was Hannah Parsons (21:49, 72.04%) from Claire Acklam (24:42, 74.16%) and Nicole Smith (25:49, 62.62%). Two others not so far mentioned got into the top 3 age graded performances within gender. They were Clive Purbrook (24:03, 69.23%) and Belinda Schofield (28:31, 68.32%); quite a dynamic duo! Jo Blackstock is improving rapidly and put in a great time of 26:23 to climb into bronze club standard. Among notable improvers in the men, Jeremy Reader (25:29) achieved bronze standard, while Wayne Hargreaves (26:02) posted a 5km PB time for this year.  We look forward to the November event to find out who manages to improve the most.

Catching up with some virtual race results, Caroline Mcintosh dug in hard to complete the final stage of her Virtual Manchester Marathon on Sunday, as well as the Virtual Run Norwich 10K (1:15:55) into the bargain. The previous Sunday, Oct 11th, Jonathan Ollington clocked a competent 3:44:26 in the Virtual Chicago Marathon and James Thomson completed the Virtual Standalone 10K in a speedy 42:56, while Chris Aylmer posted 6:00:08 in the Virtual Brighton Marathon.

Now that the Suffolk Winter XC League (SWL) has been officially cancelled for 2020/2021, it’s great to report that Jeremy Reader is helping to organise an exclusive Newmarket Joggers winter XC/Trail series. It will be called the “Muddy Bubblers XC/Trail Championships”.  Sianie Painter will kindly be collating the results. A difference from the usual virtual event format is that there will be 5 specific routes from November to March, each planned to cover 5 miles by Jeremy, with everyone tackling one of the courses in their bubbles each month on a Sunday….so it’s more real than virtual. It could actually lead to many more club members participating than normally do in the SWL, thanks to Jeremy.

Also a deserved mention for Jeremy’s wife Emma Reader, who along with some other friends within the charity ‘Pregnancy Sickness Support’, is running 5km per day for 40 consecutive days (each representing a week of pregnancy) to help raise funds for the charity, which helped save her life and that of her child. Link for donations gratefully received:

virginmoneygiving/Emma Reader