On Sunday October 30th, it was the long-awaited return of the Irish Life Dublin Marathon, after 3 years’ absence due to the Covid pandemic. This race is traditionally held during Halloween weekend, which is the equivalent of a UK Bank Holiday weekend, including a public holiday on the Monday. There was a huge field of runners, with 14,829 finishers in all.
Wendy Ancill (4:37:41, 10,458th overall, 365th of 749 in F50) and her husband, Mark Geddie (4:14:51, 7,927th overall, 797th of 1,418 in M50), both put in excellent efforts, after some months of being troubled by niggling training injuries and Covid illness. They enjoyed the atmosphere and the route of this well organised running event and are now looking forward to their holiday in Ireland, planned before the Covid pandemic.
Nearer HQ, the St Ed’s Festival of Running took place in Bury St Edmunds, with adult distances from 5K to Marathon. Sam Sadler was first Jogger to finish the Half Marathon in 1:33:42, 21st of 115 overall and 6th of 17 in M30. He was followed by Chris Underwood (1:59:41, 80th overall, 15th in M30), who was taking an easier run with a friend, his best time this year being 1:32:17 at Cambridge. In the 10K event, Neil Williamson (52:04, 46th of 129, 10th in M40) put in a good effort, near his best time this year. In the Juniors’ Fun Run event over 1.2 miles (according to the race organiser), Junior Jogger Rio Mcandrew did well to clock 08:16 in one of his first competitive runs, finishing 3rd of 6 in MU11. He was accompanied by father Shane Mcandrew (08:18).
At High Lodge in Thetford Forest, Andrew Taylor took part in the Forest Runner 5K event, organised by Forestry England. He was very pleased to take first place of 34 runners in a time of 21:34, winning a fine pair of Merrill trail shoes in the process. His PB this year remains at 19:58.
Up in West Walton, just north of Wisbech in the Cambridgeshire Fens, the Rhodia Fen 10 took place, over ten scenic and (thankfully) more or less flat miles. Chris Aylmer (1:43:03, 180th of 211 overall, 8th of 9 in M70) enjoyed his first 10-mile event of 2022, narrowly beating his best time over the same distance in 2021.
Ryan’s Suffolk Grand Prix 2022: Results are now out for the Suffolk Grand Prix; not to be confused with the NJ Grand Prix. This competition consisted of 7 running events, spread over the year at different venues in Suffolk. This year it was a choice of the Tarpley 10M or 20M event at Bury St Edmunds in February, the Bungay 10K or HM in April, the Kirton (near Felixstowe) and Sudbury Friday 5M races in May, the Framlingham 10K in September, the Martlesham 7M in early October and the Thurlow 5M or 10M in late October. To qualify, runners had to be a member of a club affiliated to England Athletics, with no minimum number of races required to compete in the competition. Each runner’s best 5 of up to 7 race positions counted towards their final total points. Points were awarded by subtracting a runner’s finishing position from 501, so that a runner finishing 1st would score 500 points. Overall finishing positions were used for the club team competitions, and positions within age groups used for individual age group competitions. That’s the rules in a nutshell.
Great news to report that we had 4 trophy winners this year. Jimmy Smith was the only Jogger to compete in at least 5 of the races, two of which he won. He finished 2nd of 47 in the MV40 group with 2,494 points. He was followed in 3rd place by Mark Hayward, who collected 1,999 points from his 4 completed races, three of which he won. In the MV65 age group of 21 runners, Neville Clarke managed to take 2nd place trophy, despite competing in only 3 races, all of which he won, giving him a total of 1,500 points. Also a great result and trophy for Caroline Mcintosh from only 3 completed races. She finished 2nd of 13 in her FV65 age group with 1,494 points. As a combined men’s and women’s team, Newmarket Joggers finished 7th of 19 clubs overall, with 18,343 points compared with 34,299 for the winners Felixstowe RR.