Paul Holley set to gain lead in UK M55 Half Marathon rankings with 1:14:46 at Dorney Lake

Paul Holley challenged himself in the Dorney Lake Half Marathon on Sunday 12th December, clocking 1:14:46, his best half marathon time since 2013 and earning himself 91.11% age grade, the highest grade ever achieved by a Newmarket Jogger. He finished 3rd of 161 runners overall and 1st of 25 in the M50-59 age bracket. This performance should put him in the lead of the 2021 Runbritain M55 Half Marathon rankings by 11 seconds, but we need to wait and see if anyone else ran a faster time on the same day or subsequently. Two weeks ago, it was reported on this page that Holley had taken the lead in the 2021 Runbritain M55 5 Mile rankings, with his 27:53 in the Hadleigh 5 on 28th November. Apologies that the announcement was a little premature. Unfortunately for Holley, another M55 runner (Andrew Leach) had posted 27:04 in Milton Keynes on the very same day and therefore took the lead. Holley does however hold 2nd place for M55 over 5 miles in the UK, which is a huge achievement.

On Wednesday 8th December, just 4 days before the Dorney Lake race, Joggers Dan Hutchison and Paul Holley both ran in the Olympic Park Chase The Moon 5K in London. Hutchison achieved an all-time PB of 16:36, finishing 1st of 186 runners overall and 1st of 11 in M35. He only recently joined the club and is making quite an impact already. Holley clocked 17:04, his best 5K time of 2021, coming home in 3rd place and 1st of 4 in M55. All in the space of a few weeks, Holley has raced at his absolute peak over 5K, 5 Mile, 10 Mile and Half Marathon road races, as well as in the Eastern Counties Cross-Country (XC) Championships and Suffolk Winter XC League. That’s dedication and motivation.

Dan Hutchison and Paul Holley with medals at the Olympic Park Chase the Moon 5K. Thanks to Dan and Paul for this great photo.

Newmarket Joggers are gearing up for the renewal of the Suffolk County AA XC Championships on Sunday 9th January at Nowton Park, following the cancellation of the event last January due to Covid-19. We are currently the proud holders of the men’s championship trophy, which was won for the first time in the club’s history at Culford School in January 2020. We confidently expect that all our club runners will be trying their utmost to retain our current trophy and perhaps bring home a women’s trophy too; plus some more bounty, such as individual position and age group prizes. However, win or lose, first or last, there’s always a great atmosphere and it’s an exciting event to take part in. Apparently by popular consensus, the senior women’s race has been reduced back down to 8km for 2022, after being raised to 10km in 2020. The men’s race remains at 10km, having been reduced from 12km in 2020. Entry for the Championships closes on 19th December, so don’t delay if you would like to join the team. Nobody is too fast or too slow. Entries at link below:

From left: Mark Hayward, Jimmy Smith, Paul Holley and Neil Pollard. Remember January 2020 at Culford School? The victorious men’s team after winning the Championship Trophy and also individual trophies. Fingers crossed, the same runners will be able to compete on 9th January 2022 at Nowton Park to help bring the trophy back home.


Suffolk Winter XC League update: The full results of the 2nd fixture at Woodbridge are now out and the 3rd fixture is coming this Sunday, 19th December, at Horseheath, near Haverhill. So it’s all happening. For results of Woodbridge and details of the Haverhill fixture see link below:

SOAR Suffolk Winter League

Newmarket Joggers & Sudbury Joggers (N&S) more or less held their own at Woodbridge. The make-up of our 1st, 2nd and 3rd teams is shown in last week’s report. We had 3 full men’s teams of 7 but our 3rd women’s team was only 2-strong instead of 4, so they were at a disadvantage. The combined men’s and women’s 1st team slipped slightly from 5th to 6th place of 17 club teams overall, with the men’s and women’s 1st teams both holding steady at 5th of 17 and 9th of 15 respectively, so things remain delicately poised. On the individual age group front, Jimmy Smith M40, Paul Holley M55 and Neville Clarke M65 are still leading or jointly leading in their groups. Jackie Hann (SJ) is 3rd in F55 and Mark Hayward 4th in M40, Piotr Bulacz (SJ) 5th in M50. You can peruse the results spreadsheets in detail, including times for every runner. See link above this paragraph for results.