Jimmy Smith first home in Thurlow 10, supported by a big team turnout.

Thurlow 5 & 10 mile, Sunday June 27th: The Joggers turned out in number for one of their favourite local racing events, which is organised annually by Haverhill Running Club. Normally the event takes place in October, but this was the reincarnation of last year’s event, postponed due to Covid-19. Both races went a rather different route from previous years, with the 10 mile race following a single lap, figure of 8 course, consisting of some new and scenic trail routes, as well as about two thirds on road.

Thurlow 10: Jimmy Smith was first home of 140 runners overall, 1st of 15 in M40, clocking an impressive 58:18 on this challenging course, with its hilly sections and energy-sapping stretches of rough and uneven trail. According to runbritainrankings.com, his official PB remains at 55:30, in the Tarpley 10 in 2017, also a fairly undulating route, but entirely along relatively smooth road surfaces.

Above left: Jimmy Smith first over the finish line in the Thurlow 10. Above right: Thumbs up and all is well. Thanks to Jimmy for posting photos on Strava

Next home for the Joggers was Mark Hayward (1:00:20, 4th overall, 2nd of 19 MSen (Male Senior, i.e. under 40), followed by Stuart Sowerby (1:07:52, 20th, 3rd of 12 M45) and Marc Drury (1:09:43, 24th, 4th M45).  It was a great performance by Mark Hayward, over terrain not particularly to his liking. His official PB remains 58:16 in the Tarpley 10, 2018. It was Stuart’s first known 10 mile race, so a great start; for Marc it was a very encouraging 10 mile PB by 1m:22s.

Olivia Carter was first female Jogger to finish, in a time of 1:19:46, 12th of 53 F (Female) runners overall and 6th of 22 in FSen (Female Senior, i.e. under 40), an excellent debut in her first 10 mile race on record. Then came Wendy Ancill (1:21:47, 14th F, 1st of 4 F50), Danielle Jones (1:25:26, 20th F, 9th of 22 FSen) and Nicole Smith (1:30:32, 29th F, 4th of 10 F45). It was a top performance by Wendy, in her first known race on record, putting her right up to 4th place in this year’s NJ women’s club achievements table. Also a 10 mile PB for Danielle by 1m:16s and a fine performance by Nicole, whose PB remains 1:23:38 in the Great South Run 2016.

Also putting in excellent efforts for the women were: Lynda McCormack (1:38:41, 3rd FV60), Lisa Jennings (1:46:34, 9th F45) and Mary Marsh (1:57:01, 1st F65+); and for the men: Jonathan Ollington (1:15:10, 8th M50), Neville Clarke (1:16:14, 1st M65+), Brian Munns (1:19:06, 7th M55), Tom Elton (1:21:45, 9th M50), Clive Purbrook (1:23:26, 3rd M65+), Miles Johnson (1:29:56, 4th M65+), Alan Shand (1:33:16, 5th M65+), Jim Withers (1:33:45, 6th M65+) and Chris Aylmer (1:48:10, 10th M65+).

Thurlow 5: Three Joggers opted for the 5 mile race. In his first road race since October 2019, Andy Hayward did very well to come home first Jogger in 45:47, 44th of 97 runners overall. He has been taking part in the Saturday track sessions at Bury St Edmunds to help hone his form and speed. Next came Sianie Painter (57:42, 42nd F) and Rachel Allen (64:29 48th F). These were encouraging runs for Sianie and Rachel, in their first competitive races since March 2020, before the first lockdown. Sianie has been troubled by knee injuries over the past year and is now enjoying a gradual recovery. It was a 5 mile PB for Rachel by 2m:36s, so shows she is still in good shape after the challenges of the last year.

Milton Keynes Marathon, Sunday June 27th (postponed from May Bank Holiday weekend, 2021): A week after his preparatory Thetford Trail Half Marathon, Jason Beeton was in fine form in the MK Marathon, clocking 3:51:36 to finish 371st of 847 runners overall. This year is a successful return to competitive running for Jason, whose last known performances were in 2017 over 10k, not counting parkruns. He has previously run in 2 other marathons, with a PB of 3:28:26 in the VLM 2016, plus a good number of half marathons, with PB of 1:27:28 in the Cambridge Half in 2016. So he will no doubt be looking forward to the challenge of testing himself over all the various distances once again, without any undue pressure or expectation.

Jersey Seymour Tower Sprint 10K, Saturday June 26th: Paul Holley was back in his hometown of St Helier in Jersey over the weekend. On the southeast corner of Jersey, he took on the challenge to beat the tide and run to Seymour Tower and back, along the beach and over the sands, which are under the sea for most of the day. He came back first of 47 courageous runners in a time of 40:41, 4m:48s ahead of the next participant. They had 45 minutes to get to the Tower turnaround point across the sloppy sands; no problem at all for Paul of course. He was finished, with his feet up, before he had to reach the tower. A maximum of 100 runners are allowed in this annual race, which raises valuable funds for Philip’s Footprints, a charity which supports parents who lose a baby or child.


Above left: Paul Holley comes home first by nearly 5 minutes in the Seymour Tower 10K Sprint. Above right: Seymour Tower in the distance, as seen from the start point. Thanks to Paul for posting photos on Strava.


Above: Seymour Tower at the bottom right of the map, off the southeast coast of Jersey.