Top form for Joggers in Bonfire Burn 10K

Bonfire Burn 10K, Sunday, November 7th, Impington, Cambridge: Andrew Taylor was first Jogger home in 42:48, close to his all-time PB of 42:25 gained at Bedford Autodrome in 2020. He came 55th of 573 runners overall and 15th of 78 in M40-49. Had the age groups been in 5-year bands he would no doubt have fared better still in M45-49. Second Jogger to finish was Shane Basing (44:39, 76th, 32nd of 87 in M18-39), a fine effort in only his second official race, following his excellent debut in the Cambridge Half Marathon in October. Hannah Parsons was next home and continues in top form, recording a time of 44:44, just 24 seconds outside her all-time PB in the Cambridge Town & Gown 10K in 2019. She finished 77th of 573 runners overall, an impressive 8th F (female) of 284 and 3rd of 105 in her F40-49 age category. She might well have led F45-49, had there been such an age band. In fourth was Sarah Kinston F40-49 (1:07:40, 241st F), who found it tough but was close to her best 10K time this year. She was followed by Sarah Last F50-59 (1:08:40, 243rd F), putting in a sound effort. Next came Caroline McIntosh F60+ (1:09:33, 248th F), who did manage to achieve her best 10K time of 2021, despite very kindly stopping to help a runner who had fallen over ahead of her; so well deserved. She was followed in by Gillian Green F60+ (1:20:18, 278th F), her best 10K time this year by 14 seconds.

Ironbridge Half Marathon, November 7th, Telford, Shropshire: Jan Holmes (2:19:40, 462nd of 587 overall, 71st F of 240, 8th of 18 in F55) had to dig deep in this very hilly road route, which entailed about 700ft of climb. The course plunged over 300ft in the first half, down to the iconic Iron Bridge over the River Severn, and then climbed back up by the same amount in the second half, with further ups and downs along the way, so a very tough journey to the finish line. A big difference from the Cambridge Half Jan completed in 2:09 recently, but very scenic and no doubt good for the soul.

The famous Iron Bridge over the River Severn, erected in 1779 by Abraham Darby III, using the novel cast iron process pioneered by his grandfather at Coalbrookdale, a village in the locality.

Chevington Chase Half Marathon, Saturday November 6th, Suffolk Running Centre, Barrow: Lisa Jennings (2:32:37) did a good job of tackling this hilly road route with about 440ft of climb, which was a circular course, passing through Chevington among other Suffolk villages. There were only 11 runners in this race, mainly sticking fairly close to one another, going by their similar times; no doubt for company and safety.

 Suffolk Winter XC League, Framlingham Castle, Sunday November 7th: Newmarket Joggers turned out in strength for the opening fixture of the Suffolk Winter XC League 2021/2022. This was the first fixture in the League since Covid-19 brought a premature end to the 2019/2020 season in March last year, followed by the abandonment of the whole of the 2020/2021 season. It will be around a week before the full results and times are released. There was a huge overall turnout of around 600 participants from running clubs in, or closely bordering, Suffolk, buoyed by the recent addition of a number of new clubs to the League. It was a bright, sunny day with course conditions near perfect, great for creating a positive atmosphere amongst the runners.

Joggers enjoying the sunshine before the Framlingham XC, with the Castle in the background.

Newmarket Joggers had some of their fastest male and female runners present, with around 35 club members participating altogether, so we look forward to seeing the results in due course. We combine with Sudbury Joggers in this competition and there were at least two Sudbury Joggers running. The headline result of the event is determined by the performance of the top 7 male and top 4 female runners of each club, which represents roughly the proportion of male and female participants. At one time it was 7 + 3. The first 7 male runners of each club to finish, automatically become the men’s 1st team and the first 4 female runners to finish become the women’s 1st team. The combined top 11 runners (top 7 men plus top 4 women) become the club’s combined 1st team. If a club has enough runners on the day, they will automatically form 2nd teams and 3rd teams. These lower tier teams will compete in separate divisions against their counterparts from the other clubs, with their own trophies on offer at the end of the season. That way, nearly everybody has something to play for. The position number of each individual club runner (according to gender finishing order) is subtracted from 401 for men and from 251 for women, so that the first man to finish will score 400 points and the first woman 250 points; and so on down the list of finishers. The points for all team members are totaled up to find the winning club teams.

As well as team competition between clubs, there are also individual competitions according to positions in age groups, covering 5-year bands from 40 to 70+ for men and 35 to 70+ for women. The seniors (20-39 men and 20-34 women) and junior men and women (16-19) have their own categories. There are also junior event categories of U17, U15 and U13, run over a shorter course, though no competitions for U11.