The fastest female runner in the club (Troi Baxter), plus four of the fastest male runners (Mark Hayward, Jimmy Smith, Paul Holley and Ben Blowes), will be lining up for the TCS London Marathon on Sunday, October 2nd. The latter four runners have already achieved sub-3 hours in a marathon a good number of times, while there is excitement and anticipation that Troi Baxter might be only the second female Newmarket Jogger ever to achieve this distinction, following the top-class Daisy Glover’s 2:52:17 at Paris in 2018. These five runners are joined by four other members of the club: Pearl Fay, Marc Drury, Richard Jones and Chris Aylmer, who all have their own personal goals to achieve and/or charities to support. Following is a brief profile of each of the runners with some of their thoughts and hopes, not necessarily in speed order. It seems appropriate to present the profiles rather like a form guide to a horse race, such as the Cambridgeshire Handicap, which took place last weekend on the Newmarket Rowley Mile racecourse.
You can download the official TCS London Marathon App to track anyone you wish, including club teams like Newmarket Joggers. Here are the download links:
Just search by name or club on the App; no need for a bib number.
Above: Seven of the Joggers running in the TCS London Marathon, pictured at The Racing Centre in Newmarket. Back row, from left: Pearl Fay. Paul Holley, Jimmy Smith and Mark Hayward. Front row, from left: Chris Aylmer, Richard Jones and Marc Drury. Photos of Troi Baxter and Ben Blowes are included in profiles below.
Age category shown in brackets after name, followed by best % age graded performance of 2022.
Troi Baxter (25-29), 78.69%: A naturally talented runner, who joined the club in 2018. Four marathons under her belt so far, with a PB of 3:09 gained in April this year in the Boston Marathon (US). Hoping for under 3 hours in London; all her training has been geared intensively towards that goal since Boston, while her 1:23 in the London Big Half was excellent preparation a month ago. She couldn’t have trained any harder. Troi made headlines in the London Marathon last year, when, together with her close friend Kerry Bullen, they set a Guinness World Record time of 3:30:08 for two women hand-cuffed together throughout the race.
Above left: Troi in the London Big Half; above right, celebrating her 3:09 in the Boston Marathon (US).
Ben Blowes (50-54), 82.17%: Originally a club member from about 2008-2014, Ben took time out to develop his own fitness company vivooutdoorfitness and is now back in the team. He has run at least 13 marathons, including 8 in under 3 hours. with a PB of 2:48:51 in London 2014. His best time this year was 3:00:24 in Brighton. He has undertaken some amazing fundraising efforts and crowd-funding challenges over the years, including carrying a tumble dryer round the London Marathon in 2017 in aid of Racing Welfare. This year is no exception; he’s going for the Guinness World Record for a runner dressed as a boxer and has been hard at work training for it too. Watch out for him on the TV.
Above left: Ben in his boxing gear, which he will wear in this year’s London Marathon; above right: Ben carrying the tumble dryer in the London marathon 2017.
Mark Hayward (40-44), 82.88%: This will be Mark’s 3rd London Marathon and his 11th overall, with a PB of 2:41:26 in Boston (UK) this year. He is absolutely at the peak of his form with PBs at all distances from 5K to Marathon over the last year. He hopes for a sub 2:40 PB, which would enable him to claim Championship Entry for London next year and enjoy a start nearer the front.
Above left: Mark in the Tarpley 10 last February ; above right: In the Dereham 10 last May.
Jimmy Smith (40-44), 82.74%: Jimmy joined from another club in 2019 and has been running at a top level for over 15 years. He’s run in 7 London Marathons, all in under 3 hours, and completed around 27 marathons in total with a PB of 2:38:06 in London 2017. In particular, he has achieved the famous Abbott Six Marathon Majors…London, Berlin, New York City, Boston (US), Chicago and Tokyo; all but one in under 3 hours. For this marathon he hopes to ensure that his sub 3 hour run continues.
Above left: Jimmy Smith in the Bungay 10K last April; above right: Jimmy and Nicole Smith after the Hampshire Hoppit Trail Marathon 2021, with some Hoppit Ale.
Paul Holley (55-59), 96.46%: Paul is known as “The Legend” with his powerful ability to defy the slowing of his body with the passage of time. He has a lovely efficient stride motion and appears to float along, while his age grade % is going up and up. He was a well-known flat racing jockey in his younger days and still rides out horses regularly in his job, which must keep his legs strong. He has been a club member since around 2008 and has competed in at least 20 marathons, with a PB of 2:38:32 at Berlin in 2015. This will be his 8th London Marathon. His best marathon this year was Boston (UK) in 2:46:24. He says the main thing is to enjoy the race and that he will be happy with under 3 hours.
Above left: Paul Holley after the Dartmoor 50M Ultra; above right: After the Hampshire Hoppit Trail Marathon 2022, with some Hoppit Ale.
Pearl Fay (60-64), 56.29%: A club member since 2014, this will be Pearl’s first ever marathon. In 2019 she completed the Prudential Ride 100 and the 2 Mile Serpentine Swim, leaving only the London Marathon to claim the special London Classics medal; then came Covid to interrupt proceedings. This year she was lucky to be the only Jogger to win a ballot place in the London Marathon. In addition, she is generously fundraising for Breast Cancer Now, which is very dear to her heart. She deserves a good first marathon run. Donations: https://justgiving.com/fundraising/pearl-fay?
Above left: Pearl Fay in her Breast Cancer Now vest; above right: Pearl on the left, behind Jan Holmes, in the Eastern XC Championships last winter.
Marc Drury (45-49), 75.95%: Marc joined the Joggers in 2018 and has run in 3 marathons to date, with a PB of 3:12:14 earlier this year at Manchester, so he’s almost within sight of sub 3 hours. He had failed to win a ballot place for London, 8 years in a row. Then he heard that the Racing Centre in Fred Archer Way (formerly the New Astley Club but still under Jockey Club management) was willing to provide a charity place if he acted as a fundraiser, without a binding commitment to raise a large amount. The Racing Centre is now the place where Newmarket Joggers meet for training sessions, as well as a non profit-making bar, café and gym for the general public. It used to be called the Astley Institute (after Sir John Astley), when it was built in the late 1800s on Vicarage Road, for the charitable benefit of the stable and stud staff of the town; a place where they could meet and socialise.
Above left: The future Marc and Angela Drury after the “Let It Stow” Half Marathon in Stowmarket last December; above right: Marc, while on honeymoon in Rome in the summer.
Richard Jones (55-59), 70.53%: A member since 2010 and has run in 2 marathons, clocking 3:58:34 in London 2010 and 3:36:44 in Dublin 2016; quite a while ago. Richard won the club ballot in 2019 for London 2020 but then Covid interfered and he also had to defer due to injury in 2021. At last, he can take his deserved place. He will be happy with “around 4:15” though his age grade % achieved this year suggests he might be in for a pleasant surprise.
Above: Richard Jones after the Duxford Dash last year.
Chris Aylmer (70-74), 61.79%: Ran his first ever race in 2010 and joined the club in 2011. Has run 16 marathons to date (including 3 ‘virtual’ marathons), with 4:49:23 PB at Milton Keynes in 2019. Qualified ‘Good For Age’ (70-74) for this race in 2021, with 4:53 at Peterborough. Hoping for under 5 hours to qualify again for London in April 2023. His idol was his older brother John, who ran in over 60 marathons, including 12 in London, with a 2:48:30 PB in 1992. He unfortunately had to retire from running in 2011 due to heart rhythm problems, so Chris is carrying the mantle, with continuing brotherly support.
Above left: Chris during his Ekiden Relay 10km leg last August; above left: Near the finish in the Peterborough Marathon 2021.
Club Race Results for W/E 25th September 2022
In the Ickworth Sunset Chase 5K on Friday evening 23rd Sept, Sarah Last did well to finish in 32:09, 36th of 57 overall and 23rd F of 37. This race had been postponed from some weeks ago.
On Sunday 25th Sept, Neville Clarke put in a top effort in the scenic Bure Valley 10, near Aylsham in North Norfolk, clocking 1:13:40 and finishing 79th of 276 overall, 2nd of 6 (by only 14 seconds) in M65-69. This was his first 10 mile race of the year.
Also on Sunday, Caroline Mcintosh wisely used the Ely Runfest Half Marathon essentially as a preparation training run for her upcoming Amsterdam Marathon in October. She clocked an even paced 2:43:54 and was 23rd F to finish in a total field of 45; the only runner in her F70+ category. Her best half marathon time this year remains at 2:36:01 in the London Big Half on Sept 4th.