Forty Newmarket Joggers took part in the Virtual December 5k Handicap, the 3rd fixture in the winter series, which took place on a local route of each participant’s choosing from Monday 7th to Sunday 13th December. Runners were placed according to their improvement over their previous time in the competition. First time runners with no previous time in the competition did not qualify for a position this month, but will do next time they run.
Malcolm Osbourn was a well-deserved winner, finishing in a time of 27:40, 1 min and 51 sec quicker than his previous time in this monthly competition, which began in October. This earned him a gold standard age grade of 65.66%, a great result for our most senior member of the club in terms of age. Next came Mandy Davis in a time of 31:07, 1 min 38 sec quicker than last month, followed by Bethany Broughton in 27:08, 1 min 35 sec quicker.
In terms of time alone, the three fastest male finishers were Chris Gay 16:57, Jimmy Smith 17:17 and Mark Hayward 19:06. Chris Gay holds the best male time overall, with this winter’s competition record of 16:57. For the women, Hannah Parsons put in the best time of 21:57 and still holds the record time of 21:32 for this competition. Then came Claire Acklam 25:10, followed by Jo Blackstock 25:46.
Going by age grade alone, the first 3 men were Jimmy Smith (79.82%), Chris Gay (78.66%) and Stuart Sowerby (74.25%); and for the women: Claire Acklam (72.78%), Hannah Parsons (71.60%) and Helen Wass (64.45%). Well done to all those leading runners and thanks to everybody who participated, putting in their best efforts.
Other finishers in order of improvement on their previous time, whose time is not already given, were: Jan Holmes 28:17, Orla Dockery 32:57, Kate Warboys 27:10, Angela Barnes 26:20, Stuart Sowerby 19:25, Phil Blundell 20:35, Caroline McIntosh 34:19, Emma Reader 34:11, Chris Aylmer 31:40, Jeremy Reader 23:56, Anderson McKeague 22:48, Alan Thornhill 29:05, Joe Cormack 25:15, James Thomson 20:44, Jo Bouttell 31:17, Richard Groom 24:25, Brian Rice 29:44, Helen Wass 27:06, Baz Colley 26:35, Alison McKenzie 29:08, Angela Brennan 28:53, Pearl Fay 35:41, Christine Windsor 36:03, Bridget Wallwin 30:56, Sarah Kinston 33:00, Rob Kingsley 29:27 (first time), Anna Mayhew 26:36 (first time), Rebecca Fordham 27:05 (first time), Clare Kingsley 29:39 (first time), Sophie Adams 29:47 (first time) and Nicole Smith 28:17 (hors concours).
This virtual competition has thankfully survived all the various tier restrictions and lockdowns since October, since it can be done as part of ordinary exercise. Participants can run on their own (if necessary) over any fair 5k route, at a time and on a day of the week that suits them. It is also good news that it will survive the Tier 4 restrictions coming into force in this area after Christmas. These kinds of virtual competitions have been the lifeline and lifeblood of the club during this pandemic.