Neil Pollard and Jimmy Smith put in top efforts over the weekend

On Saturday, Neil Pollard was in action in the COVID secure Dorney Lake 10k near Windsor in Berkshire. It was his first competitive 10k road race of the year and he clocked an impressive 34:50, finishing 3rd of 63 overall and 1st of 13 in his age group, with age grade 80.81%. This result puts him top Newmarket Jogger in 2020 on 10k time and on age grade performance in a 10k.

On Sunday, Jimmy Smith took on the Goodwood Running Grand Prix multi-lap Marathon and clocked a very creditable 2:52:06, not quite as fast as his time in the Virtual London Marathon in October (2:49:41), though the recorded distance on his watch at Goodwood did come to 26.58 miles. He came 21st of 224 finishers and 3rd of 30 in his MV40 age group, so a good performance in a high class field, with the winner posting a 2:19 time.

Neil Pollard (centre) and Jimmy Smith (right) pictured with their trophies after the Suffolk XC Championships at Culford School in January 2020.

Meanwhile, Jason Beeton and Clive Purbrook had a crack at the Inspire Haughley Park Winter Trail 10k, near Stowmarket. It was basically a tough and muddy cross country route, including craters, ditches and tree root hazards, similar to the usual Suffolk Winter XC League January fixture (cancelled for Jan 2021). It was Beeton’s first known race of the year and he did well to clock 45:45, finishing 18th of 149 runners overall. Purbrook was also in good form, finishing in 52:15, 49th overall and 4th of 6 in MV60, unlucky to be up against some exceptional performers in his age group.

All to play for this week with the NJ Virtual 5k Handicap to be completed from 7th to 13th December. See if you can edge ahead of last month’s time. Then on the 12th/13th December, bubble groups will be enjoying their Muddy Bubblers’ Super 6 Trail Challenges over the various routes designed by Jeremy Reader. Good luck to all.

Seasonal scene after the snow fell in Dullingham on Friday morning, December 4th. There was plenty of it around but it soon turned to slush!