A good few dreams were fulfilled over the weekend for the Newmarket Joggers who took part in the TCS London Marathon 2022.
Troi Baxter (2:52:32, 53rd F of 16,871 F, 43rd of 7,620 in F18-39) absolutely smashed her target of 3 hours, taking over 16 minutes off her previous PB recorded in the Boston Marathon (US) earlier this year. It was due reward for her six months of intensive training with exactly that aim in mind. She even managed to post a highly-prized and illusive negative split, finishing the second half marathon 38 seconds faster than her first and showing masterly control of pace from start to finish. She singled out praise for her closest running friends, who have helped, encouraged and accompanied her in so many of her training runs. Now she is facing the ultimate challenge of doing it all again just a week later in the Chicago Marathon on October 9th; a Herculean task, for which we will all be wishing her the very best of luck.
Equally fulfilling his dream was Mark Hayward (2:36:40, 202nd of 43,561 overall, 35th of 3,805 in M40-44), with a huge PB by over 4 minutes, which will give him his targeted Championship entry qualification for the TCS London Marathon in April 2023. Mark has been pretty much unstoppable this year, with PBs at all distances from 5K to Marathon.
Jimmy Smith (2:43:41, 472nd overall, 105th of 3,805 in M40-44) was also in top form, with his best marathon time since Tokyo in 2018. He has now extended his record of sub 3 hours to 8 out of 8 London Marathons. Not far behind came Paul Holley (2:49:35, 823rd overall, 9th of 1,700 in M55-59) with another great time and a superlative age-graded performance of 85.35%. Ben Blowes (3:03:26, 2,133rd overall, 193rd of 2,941 in M50-54) put in a top class run and was only 65 seconds outside the Guinness World Record for a runner dressed as a boxer, complete with helmet, gloves and boxing boots, which must have been very cumbersome to say the least. Marc Drury (3:40:08, 7,638th overall, 973rd of 3,426 in M45-49) carried The Racing Centre colours with pride and helped to raise a valuable £620 for this charitable institution. He put in a great effort, despite suffering in the closing stages with cramps and muscle strains. Richard Jones (4:07:05, 14,436th overall, 646th of 1,700 in M55-59) went very well in his first marathon for six years, keeping a very even pace and refusing to weaken in the closing stages. Pearl Fay (5:52:57, 13,798th F, 395th of 529 in F60-64) did a tremendous job in her first ever marathon, holding her own with those in her age group and winning the London Classics medal for completing the Prudential Ride 100 (2019), the Serpentine Swim 2 miles (2019) and the London Marathon (2022). She also raised a fantastic £1,103 for her charity, Breast Cancer Now. Chris Aylmer (5:07:18, 28,841st overall, 84th of 160 in M70-74) produced his best time of three marathons this year and thoroughly enjoyed the experience, finishing close to his 5 hour target.
CHESTER MARATHON: Neil Pollard found some brilliant form in the Chester Marathon, on the same day as the London Marathon took place. He started out at a tremendous pace and achieved a marathon PB of 2:31:56, beating his previous best of 2:33:03 at Manchester in April this year. He finished 6th of 2,404 runners overall and 1st of 297 in his M40-44 age group, earning himself 85.84% age grade. Chris Underwood (3:58:06, 1,077th of 2,404 overall, M18-34) also ran very well in this race, his 9th marathon on record, achieving a PB by over 18 minutes and beating his one attempt at the London Marathon (2019) by 49 minutes.
ABINGTON 10K: Samuel Chapman (40:42, 21st of 164 overall, 8th of 31 in M18-39) clocked his best 10K time this year and is showing rapid improvement since joining the club. Neil Williamson (51:25, 91st, 25th in M40-49) also ran well in his first 10K of the year. In the Abington 5K race of 39 runners, Millie Anderson (32:29. 16th F) and Zara Bailey (32:30, 17th F) ran together, helping Zara to achieve a PB by 6 seconds, so a great result. In the Abington Fun Run ~2K, Junior Jogger Poppy Marsh (09:57, aged 10) ran an excellent race to finish 29th of 180 runners overall, 6th of 75 female runners. Well done, Poppy!