Good turnout by Newmarket & Sudbury Joggers for Stowmarket XC at Haughley Park

It was the 4th of 6 fixtures of the Suffolk Winter XC League on Sunday 23rd January, over a 2-lap, 5 mile, mainly wooded trail course in Haughley Park, near Stowmarket. It was dry weather at about 3°C with only a few muddy areas, so conditions were quite good underfoot, though fallen leaves were hiding some of the many tree root hazards. There was a good turnout of 22 men and 10 women from Newmarket Joggers (NJ) & Sudbury Joggers (SJ), who join forces in this league. Full results, with times, are not due out for a few days but we do know the overall finishing positions of our runners. The men’s and women’s A, B and C teams are all decided solely by finishing position, with 7 to a team for the men and 4 to a team for the women. They compete with their counterparts from the other clubs in separate divisions. Points are decided on gender finishing position, not overall position, but the gender positions are not yet available. Incomplete teams still count but obviously score lower.

Above left: Chris Aylmer (NJ), going through Haughley Park woods over leafy trails with plenty of tree root hazards. Above right: Ruth Cowlin (SJ) ahead of the pack on some open grassland between the two wooded laps. Many thanks to Stephen Linden and Ruth Cowlin for photos.

First home for our women’s A team was Olivia Carter NJ in 121st overall position of about 335 runners, a huge effort among high class competition. Then came Jackie Hann SJ 199th, Sarah Pennock SJ 227th and Ruth Cowlin SJ 245th, all putting in great runs. The women’s B team finishers were: Bridget Wallwin NJ 270th, Lisa Jennings NJ 295th, Polly Hill NJ 317th, Jo Bouttell NJ 324th. The C team: Rachel Allen NJ 331st. Angela Barnes NJ unfortunately injured her ankle and had to retire from about halfway. We wish her a speedy recovery. Well done to all, including new NJ member Polly Hill in her first cross-country run for the club.

First home for the men’s A team was Jimmy Smith NJ in 10th overall position; a great run, just edging out Mark Hayward NJ in 12th, the latter having already run nearly 7 miles to Haughley Park as a warm up. Then came another top effort by Paul Holley NJ in 16th, with excellent support by Ian Weir SJ 37th, Charles Hann SJ 55th, Marc Drury NJ 76th and Jem Smith SJ 96th. Good to see some top Sudbury Joggers in action for the team.  B Team finishers were: Neville Clarke NJ 110th, Charles Jones NJ 113th, Mark Salisbury SJ 117th, Brian Munns NJ 147th, Marc Walker NJ 163rd, Jeremy Reader NJ 173rd, Steve Edwards NJ 178th. The C Team: Steve Cousins NJ 203rd, Rob Hawkins NJ 213th, Clive Purbrook NJ 229th, Jim Withers NJ 266th, Alan Thornhill NJ 283rd, Rob Kingsley NJ 286th, Chris Aylmer NJ 304th. Also representing Newmarket & Sudbury: Andy Hayward NJ 330th, supporting Rachel. Well done all those runners.

It looks likely that Jimmy Smith M40, Paul Holley M55 and Neville Clarke M65 will have consolidated their positions at the top of their respective age groups but we will need to wait for confirmation. Also, Charles Hann M55 and Jackie Hann F55 look set be in the top three of their age groups. Well done for those achievements.

Sudbury Joggers running for our joint XC team: Front from left: Jackie Hann, Sarah Pennock. Back from left: Charles Hann, Ian Weir, Jem Smith, Ruth Cowlin, Mark Salisbury. Many thanks to Ruth Cowlin for photo.