Six Newmarket Joggers go under 3 hours in TCS London Marathon

It was a great day for Newmarket Joggers in the TCS London Marathon, despite the dull, rainy weather. All eight runners successfully completed the course, including two with PBs, while six of them achieved a time of under 3 hours. In addition, another Jogger posted a PB time in the Virtual TCS London Marathon. Neil Pollard was expected to go well but unfortunately had to withdraw on the morning of the race due to a bad cold. We wish him a speedy recovery.

First home in a PB of 2:34:45 was Mark Hayward, taking almost 2 minutes off his previous best time. He finished 278th of 48,628 runners overall and 41st of 4,604 in M40-44. Second home was Nathan Brown (2:43:43, 865th, 591st of 12,807 in M18-39), only 6 days after clocking 2:48:31 in the BAA Boston Marathon (USA); a huge achievement. Third Jogger to finish was Jimmy Smith (2:43:56, 885th, 165th in M40-44), just 15 seconds outside his time at London last October but his second best performance in 14 marathons since 2018, so showing no signs of slowing down.


Paul Holley, Mark Hayward and Jimmy Smith after the TCS London Marathon 2023. Thanks to them all for the Strava photo.


Then came ace veterans Paul Holley (2:45:27, 1,009th, 5th of 1,938 in M55-59) and Ben Blowes (2:56:55, 2,330th, 105th of 3,393 in M50-54), both in great form. Jonathan Pye (2:57:40, 2,494th, 1,376th in M18-39) felt no pressure dialling in a sub 3-hour pace and wins the prize for the most even halfway splits of all our runners, taking just 1 minute 16 seconds longer for the second half.


Jonathan Pye, dialling in his marathon pace at the TCS London Marathon Expo 2023. Thanks to Jonathan for the Strava photo.


Stephen Cousins (5:20:23, 39,469th, 296th of 419 in M65-69) clocked a most impressive 1:55:18 in the first half but found the second half challenging. He refused to be beaten though, making it to the finish line intact and with plenty of his age group behind him. Pearl Fay (5:47:55, 16,878th F of 20,144, 449th of 576 in F60-64) also found it challenging in the second half but was helped by the crowd support and the uplifting atmosphere. She succeeded in getting a PB by over 5 minutes in her second marathon, so definitely cause for celebration.

Ellie Bithell (3:50:42, 397th of 4,237 overall, 77th F of 1,971, 15th of 423 in F45-49) enjoyed a tremendous run in the Virtual TCS London Marathon, achieving a PB by nearly 5 minutes compared with her only known ‘real’ marathon at Brighton in 2018 and beating her previous run in the London virtual event (2021) by over 53 minutes. Her splits were the model of consistency.


Ellie Bithell during her Virtual TCS London Marathon. Thanks to Ellie for the Strava photo.


Elsewhere, on the same day, Chris Underwood (41:24, 178th of 6,513 overall, 70th of 967 in SM) and Angela Brennan (1:04:29, 1,687th F of 3,289, 755th of 1,302 in FS) competed in the Zurich Rock ‘n’ Roll Madrid 10K in a huge, high-class field. It was their first 10K runs of the year.


Chris Underwood and Angela Brennan enjoying the sunny weather, with their medals for the Madrid 10K.  Many thanks for the Strava photo.


Lee Valley Velopark 10K, Saturday April 22nd: Hannah Pollard (44:18, 7th of 91 overall, 1st F of 35, 1st of 3 in F40) took the trophy for 1st female in her fastest 10K time this year.


Hannah Pollard after the Runthrough Lee Valley Velopark 10K, 1st F of 35 in her best time this year. Many thanks to Hannah for the photo.


Andrew Taylor (20:24, 2nd of 70 overall, 1st of 5 in M50-59) had a good run in the Northstowe 5K, Cambridgeshire on Sunday April 23rd.