Newmarket & Sudbury achieve best ever performance in Suffolk Winter XC League

Suffolk Winter XC League 2022-23: Results and League standings after the 6th and final fixture, organised by Haverhill RC at Horseheath Racecourse on 26th March 2023 over a distance of ~8km. The fairy tale came true at Horseheath for Newmarket Joggers (NJ) & Sudbury Joggers (SJ), who join forces to form ‘club’ N&S in the Suffolk Winter XC League.

Coming into the final fixture, N&S men’s A team of 7 (first 7 to finish on the day) stood 2nd of 19 teams in the league table, their highest standing ever. Their main task was to hold onto that 2nd position in the final fixture at Horseheath. This they achieved admirably, with the highest score of any men’s team on the day. N&S Men’s Team A: James Smith NJ M40 (28:23, 5th of 121 M, 1st M40), Dan Hutchison NJ (29:10, 8th), Joey Bendall NJ (29:10, 9th), Nathan Brown NJ (29:14, 10th), Neil Pollard NJ M40 (29:42, 12th), Piotr Bulacz SJ M50 (31:19, 19th, 1st M50), Stuart Sowerby NJ M45 (33:42, 39th).

 

 

Similarly, the combined N&S men’s and women’s A teams (7 men + 4 women) stood in 3rd position coming into this event and had to try to at least maintain that position. They went one better and moved up to 2nd place. The women’s A team also had a very good day, moving up from 8th to 5th position in the league table. Women’s A team: Sarah Osborne NJ (34:58, 5th F of 53), Sally Bowen SJ F45 (37:02, 13th F), Dina Heggum NJ (40:17, 22nd F), Angela Drury NJ F40 (44:29, 34th F).

 

Combined men’s and women’s A team Table:

 

The strong Saint Edmund Pacers teams took top positions in men’s, women’s and combined league tables but not by a vast amount. In fact, N&S were the top scoring club on the day for men’s and for combined team competitions, as well as having the highest total turnout of runners of all the clubs, showing that they have strength and depth. The cold, dull, rainy weather and the resulting low overall turnout of runners from other clubs was undoubtedly a help to N&S, who only had a short journey to travel and plenty of incentive to do so.

 

 

B & C Teams. Women’s B team: Ruth Cowlin SJ F55 (45:04, 36th F), Helen Wass NJ F55 (46:08, 39th F ), Sianie Painter NJ F55 (47:58, 44th F), Nicole Smith NJ F50 (49:43, 45th F). Men’s B team: Marc Drury NJ M45 (34:07, 40th), Daniel Tee NJ (35:57, 54th), Andy Fryatt NJ 36:40, 58th), Neville Clarke NJ M65 (38:05, 77th, 1st in M65), Tom Elton NJ M50 (39:40, 88th), Rob Hawkins NJ M55 (42:11, 100th), Brian Munns NJ M55 (46:29, 109th). Women’s C team: Jo Bouttell NJ F55 (58:25, 51st F), Caroline Mcintosh NJ F70 (59:02, 52nd F, 1st in F70). Men’s C team: Alan Thornhill NJ M70 (46:48, 110th, 1st M70), Jim Withers NJ M65 (50:57, 114th), Chris Aylmer NJ M70 (54:58, 117th).

Junior 3.5km race (U17, U15, U13, Boys & Girls): Harvey Thomas NJ (14:19, 27th of 60 overall, 7th of 15 in U13 B). Very well done by our Junior Joggers runner, who put in a big effort to achieve his highest ever age grade of 69.65%.

 

Above: Newmarket & Sudbury team members after the Horseheath XC. Thanks to the team for the photo.

Suffolk Winter XC League individual age group prizes: These trophies have now been decided and will be presented in due course. Runners had to compete in at least 4 of the 6 fixtures, with the best 4 positions in their age category counting. Belinda Schofield NJ has had a great season after a long lay-off from running. finishing 3rd of 6 in the F65 category. Sarah Osborne NJ also did well to finish 3rd of 9 in F20-39, the main anchor of the N&S women’s A team. Neville Clarke continues to defy age and finished 1st of 9 in the M65 age group, coming home 1st in all his races. Next season he will hopefully be competing in M70. The equally amazing Paul Holley also won all his age group races, finishing 1st of 23 in M55. Piotr Bulacz SJ had a top campaign, finishing 2nd of 32 in M50, while Jimmy Smith and Mark Hayward were in great form all season and finished 1st and 2nd of 14 qualifiers in the M40 age category. Well done to all those runners for their top efforts during the season.

 

World Masters Athletics Championships at Torun, Poland, March 26th to April 1st, 2023: We reported last week that Elke Hausler won a bronze team medal for GBR in the W60 8km outdoor XC event on 27th March. Two days later, she qualified in her heat for the final of the W60 800m indoor track event with a time of 2:56.34, the 3rd fastest time of 14 original entrants. In the actual final of 9 qualifiers, she put in a big effort to clock 2:49.71 but finished out of the medals in 5th position. Undeterred, she then entered the W60 1500m race on Saturday 1st April. She pulled out something special this time to finish in 3rd place of 10 for the individual GBR bronze medal and with an all-time PB of 5:40.44 to boot. This earned her 93.09% age grade, her best ever rating since club records began. It turned out to be a very successful and enjoyable week for Hausler, competing in her first championships in the W60 category.

 

Above left, Elke Hausler with her 1500m bronze medal; above right: in action in the 800m event. Thanks to Alan Ramage for the photos.

 

Schneider Electric Paris Marathon, Paris, 2nd April, 2023: Angela and Marc Drury planned this marathon a good while ago and both thoroughly enjoyed the experience and the race. Angela (4:17:31, 6,120th of 13,040 female runners, 980th of 2,054 in F40) achieved a marathon PB by some 27 minutes, compared with her Yorkshire Marathon in 2022. Marc (3:12:55, 4,598th of 50,801 runners overall, 278th of 4,245 in M50) was taken aback by his own performance, following a troublesome period of niggling injuries. He was only 41 seconds short of his all-time PB at Manchester in April 2022 and now has a good-for-age qualifying time for next year’s TCS London Marathon.

 

Above left: Angela Drury with her Paris Marathon medal; above right: Still life by Marc Drury; some well deserved refreshment after the race. Thanks for the photos.

 

London Landmarks Half Marathon, London, 2nd April, 2023. This hugely popular charity race attracted 17,248 runners in all. Edwina Dickson (1:51:12, 879th of 10,007 F, 96th of 1,240 in F35) put in an excellent time in what appears to be her first ever half marathon race. Sarah Last (2:32:23, 6,878th F, 600th of 993 in F50) has been running better than ever over the last year and is confidently taking on more races and longer distances.

 

Above left: Sarah Last after the LLHM, with medal; above right: Edwina Dickson celebrates after her race. Many thanks for the photos.

 

Jeremy Reader’s Fundraiser for Fen Tigers Speedway and EAAA, Sunday April 2nd: Jeremy Reader, a big speedway fan, took on a personal ultramarathon from King’s Lynn to West Row, near Mildenhall, generously accompanied and supported all the way by fellow Newmarket Jogger Ian Butcher on his bike. The start was at Adrian Flux Arena in King’s Lynn, home to King’s Lynn Stars Premiership speedway team; the finish at West Row Stadium, home to Mildenhall Fen Tigers. The distance was 33.3 miles and the time 6:15:01 according to Ian’s record; a very good time for Jeremy to complete the distance and may have included a pit stop or two. The ultramarathon run was timed to arrive at West Row Stadium for Fen Tigers’ first match of the season, against Kent Royals in the National Development League.  This event was to help raise money for the Fen Tigers, who almost went bust recently, and also for East Anglian Air Ambulance, who do a marvellous job and have rescued speedway riders involved in accidents on occasion.

Above: Ian Butcher and Jeremy Reader at Adrian Flux Arena in King’s Lynn; home to top-flight King’s Lynn Stars speedway club, who are in the Premiership League . Many thanks for the photo.

Zig Zag Running ‘April Fool’s Frolic’, Horseheath Racecourse, Saturday April 1st 2023: Pearl Fay (3:00:41) went for the 4-lap half marathon option, while Jan Holmes (3:26:06) went for 5 laps of about 16.4 miles. The ground was extremely muddy after an overnight storm and both runners found it one of their hardest runs ever.

 

Jan Holmes & Pearl Fay looking very happy at Horseheath Racecourse. Maybe that was before they saw all the mud. Many thanks for the photo.

 

Brighton Marathon, Brighton, East Sussex, Sunday April 2nd: This race started in cool, dull weather but ended in bright sunshine on the Hove Lawns promenade, with hardly a cloud in the sky. Chris Aylmer (5:40:34, 7,762nd of 8,477 overall, 18th of 26 in M70) found it hard going after halfway but was very pleased to make it to the finish, with excellent support from the crowd.

 

Above: Chris Aylmer on Brighton Marathon finishing straight.