Paul Holley earns unprecedented 90.70% age grade in Battersea 10K

In the RunThrough Battersea Park 10K on Sunday, the very much in-form Paul Holley recorded 34:35, finishing 5th of 236 overall and 1st of 6 by over 10 minutes in his M55 age group. This performance earned him a phenomenal age grade of 90.70%, the first time any Newmarket Jogger has achieved such a standard since club records began in 2018. Originally, 80-84.99% was considered the maximum likely to be earned and was termed ‘Sapphire’ standard after the blue club colours. Since then, Holley has achieved over 85% regularly and this standard has been termed Sapphire +. Now we have Sapphire ++. Maybe Indigo and Violet would be more deserving terms, with Ultra Violet 95-99.9%.

Also on Sunday, over at the Suffolk Running Centre (SRC) in Barrow, Jonathan Pye took part in the SRC Clover Marathon, a picturesque circular route via Gazeley, Ashley, Lidgate, Wickhambrook, Chedburgh, Hargrave, Ousden and Denham. He did well to come home 1st of 13 runners overall, in a time of 3:18:14, 3 minutes ahead of the 2nd. It must have been a bit lonely out there.

Meanwhile, at Culford School, Andy Hayward competed in the Culford Sprint Triathlon event (0.3km Swim, 21km Cycle, 4.2km Run). He did well to finish 142nd of 203 participants overall, in a total time of 1:17:01, with his best position in the Swim (07:01) at 118th, followed by Run (20:33) 126th and Cycle at (44:15) 140th. His transition time from cycle to run slightly let him down and may explain his lower overall position compared with individual stage positions.

Newmarket Joggers continue their climb up the table in Kevin Henry 5K League

A shaky start to the Kevin Henry 5K League left the Joggers in bottom place of the 8 participating clubs after this year’s first fixture in April 2021. Since then we have improved position with every month and now stand 4th in the table after the fourth fixture in July (as combined men’s and women’s teams). This is thanks to a high overall turnout of club members and excellent performances by our 5 fastest male and female runners for each fixture, the latter being pivotal to the points earned for the club.

In the July KH, our 5 fastest female runners were: Olivia Carter 23:09, Ellie Margetts 23:30, Elke Hausler 23:50, Wendy Ancill 23:52 and Ruth Bell 23:57. That’s a great performance by our women’s team to achieve all 5 fastest times below 24 minutes. To illustrate their improvement over the competition: In the first fixture in April, none of our fastest female runners got below 24 minutes. Our 5 fastest male runners were: James Smith 16:58, Paul Holley 18:01, Mark Hayward 18:04, Jonathan Pye 18:05 and Jamie Rule 18:32. That’s only the second time all 5 of our fastest men have achieved under 19 minutes. So a great all-round performance from our fastest female and male runners and also great support from the encouraging high turnout of all our club members, regardless of speed, who all earned valuable points for the club, hopefully enjoying and benefiting from the experience too.

Two fixtures now remain (August and September), with current leaders being Cambridge & Coleridge from Ely Runners (2nd) and Saffron Striders (3rd). Due to Covid-19 restrictions, this competition continues as a ‘virtual’ league, in the sense that individual runners record their 5K times locally and send them to the league organiser each month. This format has meant that club members have been able to participate in this league, even at times of complete lockdown during 2020 and 2021.