Troi Baxter performed immaculately in the Boston Marathon (US) on Easter Monday (Patriot’s Day in US), with virtually even splits all the way through from start to finish, and a PB by over 4 minutes of 3:09:13. In only her fourth marathon to date, she finished 5,061st of 24,832 finishers overall, 504th of 10,574 female runners and 413th of 4,723 in her F18-39 age group. Of 320 female UK runners, including elite runners like Charlotte Purdue, she finished an impressive 16th. The brutal hills in the second half (including ‘heartbreak hill’) did challenge her slightly but it was only a tiny blip in her pace splits, which averaged 7:13/mi (4:29/km), while her first half and second half splits were 1:34:17/1:34:56; about as good as it gets.
Also putting in a tremendous effort for the Joggers in the Boston Marathon (US) was Caroline Mcintosh F65 (6:19:06), completing her 5th of the 6 Major Marathons, with only Tokyo remaining to be added. She found the hilly course very tough in the second half and had blisters on her feet, but bravely made it to the end. A slight downer was that Caroline missed the strict cut-off time, along with a lot of others, which was 6 hours after the last wave of participants had crossed the starting line. Caroline was allocated to the final start wave, so had very little wiggle room, originally aiming for around 5h:45m. As a result, the race might not count towards the official Abbott World Marathon Majors trophy, though this needs confirmation. However, she did receive her medal and conquered the course in every other respect, so it was undoubtedly a great personal achievement.
Above left: Coaches wait to take runners from Boston to Hopkinton, Massachusetts, for the start of the Boston Marathon; above right: Caroline Mcintosh earlier this year in Portugal, while at a runners’ training camp. Many thanks to Caroline for the photos.
Also on Easter Monday, up in Lincolnshire, three Joggers competed in the Boston Marathon (UK), a much flatter proposition and touted as the flattest marathon course in the UK. Neil Pollard was at the top of his form and first Jogger home in 2:35:53, 7th of 619 runners overall and 3rd of 73 in M40. This was just two weeks after his huge PB of 2:33:03 in the Manchester Marathon on April 3rd. Next came Mark Hayward in a new PB time of 2:41:26, 9th overall and 4th of 73 in M40, which beat his previous PB of 2:42:53, achieved in the same race last year. Paul Holley also put in a huge effort to finish in 2:46:24, 13th overall and 1st of 34 in his M55 age group, earning an age grade of 86.98%. This was Paul’s quickest marathon time since Berlin in 2015 (2:38:32).
On Easter Sunday April 17th, it was the annual Little Bromley 10K in Essex. Jimmy Smith was in excellent form with 35:14, his best time this year. He finished 23rd of 461 overall and 2nd of 42 in M40, earning 79.90% age grade. Next came Brian Munns (47:38, 169th, 14th of 34 in M55), Clive Purbrook (50:47, 231st, 4th of 13 in M65), Jim Withers (58:37, 342nd, 9th in M65) and Nicole Smith (59:06, 118th F of 189, 17th of 31 in F50), all with their best 10K times this year.
On Good Friday, Joe Cormack and Lisa Johnson both took part in the Zig Zag Easter Challenge at Hinchingbrooke Park in Huntingdon. The course was composed of 5.3km (3.3mi) trail laps, with 4 to complete a half marathon, 8 for a marathon and 9 or more for an ultramarathon, the final lap having to start before 6 hours had passed. Joe and Lisa ran together for 9 laps and finished in 6:04:40 for their first ever ultramarathon race.
Also on Good Friday, the 5 mile Bob French Sudbury Fun Run finally took place, the first one for 3 years, with 2020 and 2021 cancelled due to Covid-19. It was a lovely sunny day. The race went on a circular loop from Sudbury town centre via Little Cornard and Great Cornard, finishing in Belle View Park, Sudbury. First Jogger to finish was Clive Purbrook (42:11, 163rd of 436 overall, 9th of 29 in M60+), from Miles Johnson (42:49, 176th, 11th in M60+), Chris Aylmer (50:28, 304th, 16th in M60+) and Emma Reader (1:02:54, 425th). Emma had generously given blood the day before and did very well to finish.
Lisa Jennings took part in the Suffolk Running Centre Easter Triple event in Barrow, near Bury St Edmunds. She did well to complete a half marathon on Good Friday (2:24:31) and on Easter Saturday (2:56:58), both including road and trail sections with attractive scenery. The first was an out and back via Risby and the second followed a hilly, looping course via Burthorpe.