Big turnout of Newmarket Joggers for Cambridge Half Marathon: Troi Baxter and Sam Sadler lead the way.

Newmarket Joggers turned out in number for the highly popular Cambridge Half Marathon, which this year saw 9,889 participants cross the finish line and thousands of supporters cheer them on through the City Centre. A number of Joggers were also among the many volunteers, who were crucial to the organisation of this event and helped make it a special day for everyone.

Joggers gather on Midsummer Common, with the NJ flagpole representing a sunflower stem, with blue and yellow balloons for the flower in support of Ukraine, the sunflower being the national emblem of Ukraine. This tribute was conceived by Jeremy Reader, social secretary of the club.

Scene at the start gates


Troi Baxter put in a superb effort of 1:23:30, a PB by almost 3 minutes, compared with her time in the re-scheduled 2021 race last October. She finished 28th of 3,982 female runners and 13th of 634 in her F25 age group, giving her an impressive age grade of 78.08%. Next home for the women was accomplished club veteran Sarah Boneham (1:48:05, 629th F, 27th of 387 in F50), followed by talented new member Vanessa Allen (1:49:40, 739th F, 80th of 523 in F45). For the men, Sam Sadler was bang in form with 1:22:57, 387th of 9,889 overall and 65th of 782 in M35, his best time since 2016, so rolling back the years. He was followed by Marc Drury (1:27:15, 650th, 62nd of 803 in M45), a PB by over 2 minutes, and Jason Beeton (1:28:11, 741st, 122nd of 782 in M35), his best time since 2016.


Above: Troi Baxter going through Kings College grounds (left) and coming into the finish (right). Thanks to Troi and the official race photographers for these great photos.

Newmarket Joggers on Midsummer Common before the race. Many thanks to Jeremy Reader for the photo.

Other female Joggers putting in their best efforts were: Ellie Margetts F40 (1:52:24), Sarah Sales F50 (1:52:38), Wendy Ancill F50 (1:54:09), Ellie Bithell F45 (1:54:11), Helina Salo F25 (1:55:38), Rebecca Fordham F50 (1:55:46), Annie Morris F30 (1:56:07), Bridget Wallwin F50 (2:00:07), Angela Barnes F40 (2:00:42), Cathy Russell F55 (2:02:59), Lynda McCormack F60 (2:14:55), Sarah Martin F40 (2:16:42), Rachael Maltpress F40 (2:18:52), Mandy Davis F55 (2:21:52), Angela Brennan F30 (2:23:01), Lisa Garrand F35 (2:23:32), Sarah Kinston F45 (2:25:22), Suzanne Bailey F55 (2:28:41), Emma Reader F35 (2:30:11), Sarah Last F50 (2:31:13) and Isabel Vicente F50 (3:28:55).  Interesting fact: Our very own Bridget Wallwin managed to weave her way through the field and improve her position by 600 places from start to finish, achieving a 7 minute PB, just 7 seconds over 2 hours. Who would bet against her breaking 2 hours in her next half marathon? Special thanks to volunteer Joggers Gillian Green and Rebecca Hannah and any others unknowingly missed out.

Several nice cake and coffee stalls as well as some jumbo sausage rolls on sale.

Other male Joggers putting in their best efforts were: Andy Fryatt M50 (1:29:03), Shane Basing M40 (1:33:47), Jonathan Ollington M50 (1:34:02), Phil Blundell M45 (1:37:15), Joe Cormack M35 (1:37:50), Adam Maltpress M40 (1:38:43), Marc Geddie M50 (1:39:06), Stephen Cousins M60 (1:48:39), Marc Walker M50 (1:49:24), Jeremy Reader M45 (1:49:37), Miles Johnson M65 (1:54:23), Baz Colley M50 (1:56:46), David McNally M25 (2:02:35), Paul Roberts M40 (2:06:35) and Chris Aylmer M70 (2:15:08). Andy Fryatt finally achieved his dream of a sub 1:30 half marathon, perhaps helped by Jogger Jonathan Pye M30 (1:29:25), who was generously acting as an official volunteer 1:30 pacer.

Scene at the finish of the Cambridge Half Marathon 2022


On the same day, Mark Hayward shaved over 3 minutes off his 20 mile PB with a time of 1:56:57 in the Wymondham 20 in Norfolk, finishing 3rd of 170 runners overall and 2nd of 20 in M40. That earned him 80.85% age grade, his best age performance since our records began in 2018.

Also on Sunday, Paul Holley M55 (2:50:19, 36th of 1,211 overall) put in an ace performance in the Grizzly 20 mile race, a notoriously difficult and hilly course with over 3,000ft of climb, held at Branscombe in East Devon. Lisa Jennings F50 (5:29:09, 396th of 430 female runners) also put in a courageous effort for the Joggers. Jo Pavey (former GB international athlete and European 10,000m gold medallist in 2014 at the age of 40) was the official starter of the Grizzly. Paul Holley met her at the nearby Exmouth parkrun the day before, where she helped her daughter gain a PB time of 32:52, while Holley finished 2nd in 17:03, earning 89.93% age grade, his best age performance this year (slightly over 90% according to the parkrun calculator). Jo Pavey (F45) completed this parkrun in 16:57 in 2020 and 17:28 last year, gaining over 90% age grade both times.

Above: Paul Holley at Exmouth parkrun with Jo Pavey, the day before the Grizzly 20. Many thanks to Paul and Jo for the photos on Strava.

Meanwhile, in the Dalham Half Marathon at the Suffolk Running Centre in Barrow, Caroline Mcintosh F65 clocked 2:46:00 over this hilly course, which is excellent preparation for her planned Boston Marathon (US) in May.