Ekiden Relays: Newmarket Joggers take 3rd place trophy in Men’s Open

It was the Ekiden Relays at Woodbridge School in Woodbridge, Suffolk, on Sunday 8th August, returning after a two-year absence due to Covid 19, although there were ‘virtual’ events in 2020 and 2021. This is a popular annual event for running clubs in East Anglia and also includes more informal entries from individuals and local companies, with a total of 142 teams competing on this occasion. Each member of the team had to run one leg in the order of 7.2km/5km/10km/5km/10km/5km, to make a total of 42.2km; equal to one marathon. The times of the legs were added up to give the relay marathon time for each team.

The race was entirely within the beautiful grounds of Woodbridge School, with each twisting and turning lap 2.5km in length. It was an enjoyable atmosphere, with club gazebos lining the routes and picnics in progress for runners and supporters. Under the current dry, hot, weather conditions, there was little of the usual green grass to be seen on the sports fields; mainly a paler shade of brown, apart from the sacred, cordoned-off cricket pitches. However, this did make for a fast running-surface, more like a running track than grass. A novel idea this year was to put the timing chips inside the relay batons, rather than fix to the bib numbers, which all worked very well.

Newmarket Joggers’ gazebo; right beside the run route.

Newmarket Joggers entered seven teams of 6 seniors, plus one Junior Joggers team of 4, the latter each running 1.1 miles, to make a total of 4.4 miles.  We had two men’s open teams, one men’s supervet team (50+), one women’s vet team (35+), two women’s supervet teams (45+) and one mixed team.

The main enjoyment of this event was undoubtedly in the taking part and the camaraderie generated amongst all the participants. However, it was a real bonus when our fastest men’s team gained 3rd place trophy in the men’s open category. They finished 4th of 142 teams overall and 3rd of 18 men’s open teams, in a time of 2:29:28. Team members were: Paul Holley, Sam Sadler, Dan Hutchison, Jimmy Smith, Mark Hayward and Stuart Sowerby. The fastest time of all was 2:22:32 by Felixstowe Road Runners men’s open team. Paul Holley (55+) also gained an individual trophy for finishing 2nd of 88 male runners over his 7.2km leg, in a time of 24:36, only 16 seconds behind the Colchester Harriers winner. This earned him a huge 91.73% age grade.


Newmarket Joggers take 3rd place trophy in men’s open category in the Ekiden Relays at Woodbridge School in a time of 2:29:28. From left: Dan Hutchison, Jimmy Smith, Paul Holley, Mark Hayward and Stuart Sowerby. Sam Sadler, the sixth team member, had left at the time of the photo. Many thanks to Jan Holmes for this happy, relaxed and informal photo.

Sophie Adams (5k mixed team) takes the baton from Jimmy Smith (10k). It was Jimmy’s second leg of the day, generously helping to make up numbers for the mixed team, as did Sianie Painter for her team.

All Newmarket Joggers’ senior results in order of finishing:

Men’s Open 1: 1 Paul Holley, 7.2K 24:36; 2 Sam Sadler, 5K 18:01; 3 Dan Hutchison, 10K 35:38; 4 Jimmy Smith,  5K 17:04; 5 Mark Hayward, 10K 34:08 (PB); 6 Stuart Sowerby, 5K 20:02. 02:29:28

Men’s Open 2: 1 Shane Basing 7.2K 31:07; 2 Sam Chapman 5K 19:46; Jonathan Pye 10K 40:24; Jeremy Reader 5K 24:02; Marc Drury 10K 41:38; Robert Hawkins 5K 25:24: 03:02:21

Men’s Supervet: 1 Mark Geddie 7.2K 32:34; 2 Neville Clarke 5K 21:23; 3 Andy Fryatt 10K 45:21; 4 Brian Munns 5K 24:34; 5 Jonathan Ollington 10K 42:32; 6 Steve Edwards 5K 22:09: 03:08:32

Ladies’ Vet: 1 Rebecca Oettle 7.2K 34:05; 2 Ruth Eberhardt 5K 24:38; 3 Hannah Parsons 10K 47:20; 4 Rachel Allen 5K 43:25; 5 Wendy Ancill 10K 51:56; 6 Angela Drury 5K 29:07: 03:50:32

Mixed: 1 Jim Withers 7.2K 41:38; 2 Millie Anderson 5K 36:37; 3 Chris Aylmer 10K 59:11; 4 Andy Hayward 5K 36:39; 5 Jimmy Smith 10K 38:02; 6 Sophie Adams 5K 30:44: 04:02:50

Ladies’ Supervet 1: 1 Suzanne Bailey 7.2K 39:17; 2 Sianie Painter 5K 31:12; 3 Helen Wass 10K 56:38; 4 Kate Warboys 5K 34:08; 5 Sianie Painter 10K 01:09:13; 6 Jackie Henley 5K 33:09: 04:23:37

Ladies’ Supervet 2 : 1 Nicole Smith 7.2K 39:23; 2 Christine Windsor 5K 35:11; 3 Caroline Mcintosh 10K 01:07:18; 4 Pearl Fay 5K 34:12; 5 Cathy Russell 10K 01:00:32; 6 Jo Bouttell 5K 33:00 04:29:38

Wendy Ancill takes over from Rachel Allen, who is seen in the background.

Junior Team results: Very well done by our team of 4 x U11 girls, who did amazingly well to record a time of 35m:24s. That’s an average pace of 8:03/mi or 5:00/km. There were 4 teams in their category and they finished 3rd. Emma and Jeremy Reader, Shane Basing and all the girls’ parents did a great job of looking after the girls, encouraging them during the race and seeing that the changeovers went well.


The U11 Girls team, from left: Imogen Stephens, Isobel Basing, Lilly Basing and Jessica Turner. Many thanks to Emma Reader and the girls for the photo.

U11 Girls
1 Imogen Stephens 1.1M 09:51 (8:57/mi, 5:33/km)
2 Isobel Basing 1.1M 08:18 (7:33/mi, 4:41/km)
3 Lilly Basing 1.1M 08:30 (7:44/mi, 4:48/km)
4 Jessica Turner 1.1M 08:46 (7:58/mi, 4:57/km)
Total time 4.4M: 0:35:24 (8:03/mi, 5:00/km)


Above left: Shane Basing putting the youngsters through their paces; right: Imogen Stephens with Jeremy Reader. Many thanks to Emma Reader for the photos.

Snetterton Race Track 5K and 10K, Wednesday evening, 3rd August: Andrew Taylor did well in the heat to record 20:57 in the 5K, finishing 24th of 148 overall and 3rd of 8 in his M45 age group. Jason Beeton also had an excellent run, clocking 41:19 and finishing 11th of 157 overall and 9th of 53 in M40.