Mark Hayward records new PB in Great Bentley Half Marathon

Just over a month since achieving an all-time 10K PB in the Wymondham New Year’s Day event, Mark Hayward pulled off a similar feat in the Great Bentley Half Marathon in Essex, on Sunday 6th February 2022. He clocked 1:15:20, finishing 12th of 609 runners overall and 4th of 66 in M40, taking 38 seconds off his previous PB in the Cambridge Half Marathon 2020. There was a strong westerly wind at Great Bentley, which made the final few miles challenging, but Mark persevered to achieve his PB. His next planned race will be the Stowmarket Half Marathon in March.

On the same day, in the Valentines 10K in Norwich, Marc Walker took over 4 minutes off his 10K PB (Holkham, July 2021) to finish in 48:47, 354th of 760 runners overall, 45th of 71 in M50. Marc took up running only last year and is rapidly improving with every race.


Above left: Mark Hayward in the 2019 London Marathon. Above right: Marc Walker (on left) finishing the rainy Valentines 10K in Norwich. Thanks to Mark and Marc for the photos.

Meanwhile, it was the penultimate fixture of the Suffolk Winter XC League, organised by Saint Edmund Pacers in the beautiful grounds of Nether Hall in Pakenham. Newmarket Joggers (NJ) and Sudbury Joggers (SJ) join forces in this League to make team N&S. The weather was surprisingly calm and sunny for the race, after driving rain and wind had prevailed earlier in the morning. Full results and times will not be out for a week or so but we do know the overall positions of our team members. There were 16 men and 6 women representing N&S out of about 235 runners overall.


Nether Hall, Pakenham, in whose beautiful grounds the Suffolk XC event took place.


For the women’s A team in order of finishing: Sarah Pennock SJ 154th, Bridget Wallwin NJ 178th, Ruth Cowlin SJ 185th and Jan Holmes NJ 212th. The women’s B team: Lisa Garrand NJ 213th, Pearl Fay NJ 229th. For the men’s A team: Jimmy Smith NJ 4th, Paul Holley NJ 5th, Ian Weir SJ 20th, Sam Sadler NJ 39th, Jason Beeton NJ 53rd, Marc Drury NJ 54th and Neville Clarke NJ 84th. The men’s B team: Charles Jones NJ 91st, Brian Munns NJ 117th, Jeremy Reader NJ 125th, Steve Edwards NJ 163rd, Clive Purbrook NJ 171st, Baz Colley NJ 176th and Alan Thornhill NJ 206th. The men’s C team: Chris Aylmer NJ 210th and Andy Hayward NJ 214th.


The N&S team. Front row from left: Baz Colley, Jeremy Reader, Marc Drury, Jason Beeton. Middle row: Charles Jones, Neville Clarke, Brian Munns, Jan Holmes, Lisa Garrand, Ruth Cowlin, Sarah Pennock, Pearl Fay, Bridget Wallwin. Back row: Paul Holley, Steve Edwards, Jimmy Smith, Andy Hayward, Sam Sadler, Clive Purbrook, Ian Weir, Alan Thornhill.


The full results of the Stowmarket fixture, at Haughley Park on January 23rd, are now out. N&S stands 5th of 17 clubs in the combined men’s and women’s A team competition, 4th of 17 in the men’s A team competition and 8th of 15 in the women’s A team competition, so we are holding our own. The strong Saint Edmund Pacers team are leading all three competitions. The B and C teams compete in separate divisions against their counterparts from other clubs, though not all clubs have enough members for B or C teams, so the primary focus is on the A team results.

Three of our members are leading their individual age group competitions: Jimmy Smith NJ 1st of 22 in M40, Paul Holley NJ 1st of 34 in M55 and Neville Clarke NJ 1st of 17 in M65, so there should be several trophies to take away after the final fixture at Woodton on March 13th, organised by Bungay Black Dog RC.