TIP: Upload the “TCS London Marathon 2023 Tracker App” to your phone in order to follow runners’ progress throughout the race. Select those runners you would like to follow by name or bib number; hopefully, also by club name.
BEN BLOWES M50-54
11 Marathons, 8 in London. PB 2:48:51 (London, 2014); more recently: 3:00:24 (Brighton, 2022). Age grade (2023): 82.25%. Ben continues to run at the highest standard, while operating his own VIVO fitness club in Newmarket and achieving amazing fund-raising efforts for local charities.
NATHAN BROWN M20-24.
At least 2 Marathons. PB 2:41:03 (Riverside, Ohio 2022). Age grade: 78.66%. A new, US member of the club, stationed at the US Air Force base in Mildenhall, who has a huge talent and enthusiasm for running. On Monday 17th April he ran in the 127th Boston Marathon (2:48:31) and is set to run again, only 6 days later, in the London Marathon, assuming he is injury-free. That’s a huge challenge.
STEPHEN COUSINS M65-69
16 Marathons, 10 in London going back to 1985. PB 2h:54m (London, 1987); most recent 4:00:55 (Brighton, 2018). Age grade: 71.05%. A calm, softly spoken and conscientious club member, who goes by feel and performs well in his age group. He would no doubt be very pleased with around 4 hours in his first marathon for 5 years.
PEARL FAY F60-64
1 Marathon. PB 5:52:57 (London, 2022). Age grade: 62.57%. Pearl has been lucky to win a London ballot place for 2 years in succession and has been working hard to improve her running over the last few months. She is a keen cyclist and swimmer too, and completed the London Classics trio of Ride 100 miles, Swim Serpentine 2 miles and Run London Marathon last year. She would be happy to beat her time last year but, most of all, she wants to “go out and enjoy the wonderful atmosphere”.
MARK HAYWARD M40-44
8 Marathons, 3 in London. PB: 2:36:40 (London 2022). Age grade: 83.09%. Mark has been throwing everything into his training over the last few months and has raced over 10K (twice), 10 miles, Half Marathon (twice) and 20 miles in his build-up to this race. He says: “I ran London in October last year….and I’m looking to take a few minutes off this year, to get closer to 2:30”.
PAUL HOLLEY M55-59
At least 21 Marathons dating back to 2004, 7 in London. PB: 2:38:32 (Berlin, 2015); most recent: 2:49:35 (London 2022). Age grade 92.12%. Paul deserves his title, ‘The Legend’ with his extraordinary ability to defy the process of ageing. His marathon times have hardly changed over the last 20 years and he is in the top echelon of veteran runners in the UK at all distances from 5k to marathon. In his own words, “I’m hoping to go sub-2:45, which will be tough, as not getting any younger, but will give it a go”.
NEIL POLLARD M40-44
10 Marathons, 3 in London. PB: 2:31:56 (Chester, 2022). Age grade: 86.38%. Neil’s style is to pick and choose every race with care and dedicate himself to preparing for it completely. Since January, he has been putting in around 100 miles per week of training, specifically for the London Marathon. His only prep race has been the Cambridge Half Marathon in March, where he also set a new PB of 1:11:42, the fastest by any club member for many years. He says, “I’ve had a good training block and I’m aiming to better my PB of 2:31:56”.
JONATHAN PYE M35-39
4 Marathons, 1 in London. PB: 2:50:59 (Manchester, 2022). Age grade: 68.62%. Jonathan did the Tarpley 20-mile race in February and the Cambridge Boundary Trail Marathon in March as good long run practice, as well as his own training runs. He seems to be feeling pretty laid-back and determined to enjoy the race, rather than put pressure on himself.
JIMMY SMITH M40-44
28 Marathons, 8 in London. PB: 2:38:06 (London, 2017); most recent: 2:43:41 (London, 2022). Jimmy has been doing a lot of track work, cross-country and trail running, as well as using 10-mile, half marathon and 20-mile races to enhance his build-up to London. He’s been in good form this year and seems quietly confident that he has done enough preparation.
Race Report for W/E 16th April 2023
The first Suffolk County Road Relays for a good number of years took place on Sunday 16th April at Colchester Sports Park, in a shared event with Essex County. There were junior (3 legs x 1.6 miles), senior (3 legs x 3 miles for women; 4 legs x 3 miles for men) and women’s and men’s V40/V50/V60 (3 x 3 miles) team categories. The nearly level, hard path course was 1 mile long, so seniors and vets all had to do three complete laps before handing over to the next person in the team, while juniors did smaller loops.
Above: Pearl Fay and Jimmy Smith in action during their 3-mile legs. Thanks to the team for the photos.
Newmarket Joggers entered 6 teams into the event. The MV40 team (Paul Holley 16:32, Jimmy Smith 16:00, Mark Hayward 15:41; total 48:14) were in great form and finished first of 5 Suffolk MV40 teams and 2nd of 47 vet teams overall, including Essex.
The senior women (Sarah Osborne 18:26, Olivia Carter 21:15, Nicole Smith 24:26; total 1:04:07, 6th in Suffolk) and senior men (Marc Feary 18:41, Daniel Tee 19:07, Andy Fryatt 19:02, Liam Elvidge 21:34; total 1:18:27, 4th in Suffolk) were all on or near their best form this year.
The other vet team members, all putting in their best efforts this year: FV40 (Pearl Fay 31:21, Jo Bouttell 31:15, Sophie Adams 28:17; total 1:30:54, 5th in Suffolk); FV50 (Helen Wass 25:22, Sianie Painter 26:57, Anna Mayhew 26:03; total 1:18:23, 2nd in Suffolk); MV50 (Chris Aylmer 29:26, Rob Hawkins 23:35, Neville Clarke 21:21; total 1:14:23, 3rd in Suffolk).
Above: Men’s senior team of 4, from left: Marc Feary, Daniel Tee, Andy Fryatt and Liam Elvidge. Thanks to the team for the photo.
Above: Men’s V50 team, from left: Neville Clarke, Chris Aylmer and Rob Hawkins. Thanks for the photo.
Adidas Manchester Marathon, Sunday 16th April: Three Joggers had a crack at this race: Mark Geddie (4:16:07, 10,865th of 18,577 overall, 693rd of 1,153 in M50), Wendy Ancill (4:41:06, 3,042nd F of 5,083, 253rd of 488 in F50) and Ian Butcher (4:45:34, 14,125th overall, 44th of 80 in MV65). Mark and Wendy are seasoned marathon and ultramarathon runners from their time in South Africa, whereas Ian was running his first ever marathon. Mark and Wendy both did this race last year, though Wendy had to retire with an injury at about halfway. Mark was within a minute of his time last year, so very consistent, while Wendy will have been pleased to reach the finish line without injury. Ian Butcher put in as good a run as anybody could in their first marathon. He had almost complete control of his pace from start to finish, with no need for any walking. His next marathon could get better still.
Above: Mark Geddie and Wendy Ancill after the Manchester Marathon with the T-shirt on the right. Many thanks for the Strava photo.
Boston (US) Marathon, Monday 17th April (Patriots’ Day in Massachusetts): Two Joggers were involved in this race among a total field of around 30,000.
First home was Nathan Brown (2:48:31, 1,546th overall, 1,207th in M Sen), who enjoyed his run and the fantastic crowd support, despite minimal training for the race. This was mainly due to a muscle injury he picked up at the end of February in the Tarpley 20M near Bury St Edmunds, when he had to retire at halfway and then missed the Cambridge Half Marathon (on March 5th) as a result. He is hoping to attempt the London Marathon 6 days later on the 23rd April, provided he has not picked up more injury. This will be a huge challenge, akin to Newmarket Jogger Troi Baxter’s successful London/Chicago double last autumn.
Above: Nathan Brown after his Boston Marathon.
Jonathan Ollington (3:37:59, 14,381st overall, 719th in M55) was chuffed with his result at Boston and enjoyed every minute of the race. He was only about a minute outside his marathon PB gained in Chicago last autumn. Like everyone else, ‘Heartbreak Hill’ and other hills slowed him down from 16 to 21 miles, but he soon bounced back to finish strongly in the closing stages. This completes his 5th of the 6 Abbott Marathon Majors: London 2015, Berlin 2018, New York City 2019, Chicago 2022 and Boston in 2023, with only Tokyo remaining to be conquered.
Above left: Jonathan Ollington after the Boston Marathon; above right: The medal close-up.
Bungay 10K, Sunday 16th April: 15-year-old junior Jogger Lilian Corbett ran in her first ever 10K event and absolutely smashed it! She clocked 43:38 and finished 31st of 337 overall, 2nd F of 185 and 1st of 10 in her FU22 category. She’ll be well happy with that result and the trophy or two that go with it.
Above: Lilian Corbett 2nd F in the Bungay 10K. Many thanks to Lilian and the organisers for the photo.
Little Bromley 10K, Sunday 16th April: Four Joggers competed in this race. Mark Hayward (33:37 PB, 7th of 512 overall, 1st of 41 in M40) was first Jogger home and achieved another all-time PB, followed by Neville Clarke (45:11, 136th, 2nd of 13 in M65), Brian Munns (52:44, 272nd, 22nd of 36 in M55) and Jim Withers (59:26, 396th, 9th in M65). Mark and Neville went on to run in the Suffolk Relays at Colchester Sports Park in the afternoon.