Tough conditions in Bury to Clare Festive 18

The Bury to Clare Festive 18 trail run got away to a COVID-secure staggered start on Saturday 12th December, covering a GPS estimated distance of approximately 18.6 miles, from Nowton Park Bury St Edmunds to Clare Castle Country Park in Clare. The distance was a little longer than usual, due to a detour coming into Clare to avoid the main street access to the park and finish area. There were 150 finishers overall and conditions were very tough. The ground was extremely muddy and boggy in many places, including several trips across ploughed fields, with large puddles and waterlogged areas along the trail route.

Four Joggers represented our club. Ultramarathon runner Lisa Jennings came 30th of 87 female participants and did very well to post the quickest time of 4:18:41, followed by Ruth Eberhardt 32nd F (4:23:25, hors concours), Jackie Henley 37th F (4:36:15) and Jill Howard 40th F (4:46:25). It was a brave effort by Jill in her longest ever run, for which she has been training hard in Stuart’s bubble group, along with Jackie.

Bleak and muddy trails in the Bury to Clare Festive 18, captured by Ruth Eberhardt, with thanks.

On Sunday, Clive Purbrook competed in the Inspire Thetford Winter Trail 10k and finished 32nd of 94 runners overall, achieving his best 10k time this year of 50:20 and earning an age grade of 68.31%. This has been a good running year for Clive.

Down at Carver Barracks in Essex, the Remembrance Day Runs took place, having been postponed from November due to the lockdown. Four Joggers were involved in the 10k event, with conditions very difficult in the wind and rain over exposed terrain. Jamie Rule, currently enjoying top form, put in a great effort, finishing 13th of 145 overall in an all-time PB of 39:13, earning himself his best ever age grade of 68.76%. Then came our consistent 10k specialist Andrew Taylor, 34th in 43:53 (67.34%), also enjoying a top year with an all-time PB of 42:25 in October at Bedford Autodrome. Emma Reader found it hard but, supported by husband Jeremy, put in a courageous run of 1:15:33.

Emma and Jeremy Reader after the Remembrance Day 10k at Carver Barracks.

The December NJ Virtual Winter 5k Handicap took place from 7th to 13th December, over routes of each runner’s choosing. Congratulations to first-placed Malcolm Osbourn (27:40), who beat his previous time by 1 min 51 sec, followed by Mandy Davis (31:07, -1:38) and Bethany Broughton (27:08, -1:35). A fuller report will follow next week, allowing enough time to analyse individual performances.

Over the weekend, lots of Joggers took part in the delayed first instalment of Jeremy Reader’s Muddy Bubblers Super 6s XC/Trail Championships, which was run in socially distanced bubble groups of 6 at six different venues, with no more than two bubble groups per venue. Team and individual results are not yet out, but below are photos of Sianie Painter’s bubble group at West Stow Country Park.