A weekend of Trail Runs, Beating the Bounds and Plogging for the Joggers

TRAIL RUNS: On Saturday, May 20th, Jimmy Smith and Olivia Carter headed out to the North Wessex Downs of Berkshire, northwest of Reading, for the Compton Downlands Trail Challenge. Jimmy opted for the Marathon and did very well to clock 3:14:36, finishing 3rd of 75 overall, 1st 40+ overall and 1st of 12 in M40. The course had a cruel climb of over 400ft from 13 to 17 miles and a total elevation of 1,650ft, so no easy run.

Olivia decided on the 16-mile trail route (2:28:00, 13th of 52 overall, 4th F of 24) and was well up with the leading female runners. The course included two big, early climbs of 200ft and another of 300ft at halfway, with total elevation of 1,102ft. The beautiful scenery and bright, cool, sunny weather must have been adequate compensation.


Above left: Jimmy Smith, 3rd overall and 1st M40 in the Compton Marathon; above right, the very useful trophy or memento. Thanks to Jimmy for the photos.


Above: Great scenery captured by Olivia Carter during her Compton 16-mile run.


Also in Berkshire, Mark Geddie and Wendy Ancill were drawn to the Royal Windsor Trail Run event, where they opted for the Half Marathon distance, with 10K and Marathon also available. The various routes passed by historical landmarks, including Windsor, Boveney Lock, Bray, Dorney, Maidenhead and Eton, finishing right in front of Windsor Castle. Mark (2:01:25, 112th of 347 overall, 21st of 50 in M50) and Wendy (2:04:38, 33rd F of 155, 5th of 37 in F50) both enjoyed their first half marathons of the year and looked relaxed and happy after the race.


Above: Mark Geddie and Wendy Ancill enjoyed the Royal Windsor HM. Thanks to Mark and Wendy for the nice photo.


BEATING THE BOUNDS: On Saturday, 20th May, a good number of Joggers joined in a circular trail walk/run of 13.4 miles along the boundaries of the ancient, ecclesiastical parishes that are now merged into the civil parish of Exning & Landwade. Times were not recorded officially, though Jonathan Pye seems to have done the fastest time of 1h:47m at a very decent pace. Other runners included Sianie Painter (2h:29m), Angela Drury (2h:28m) and Helen Wass, with Jan Holmes (5h:00m), Jo Bouttell (4h:31m), Suzanne Bailey (4h:13m) and Gillian Green preferring a leisurely walk. Apologies to those missed off. The event was free to enter but donations helped to raise funds for St Martin’s Church Exning.


Above: Joggers enjoying their ‘Beating the Bounds’ run. Angela Drury, Sianie Painter and Helen Wass with Landwade Church in the distance. Thanks for the photo.


Historical note: Landwade used to be a parish in its own right (one of the smallest in England) and still has its own church of St Nicholas, which is privately owned. St Agnes Church in the Bury Road and the knapped flint church of St Philip & St Etheldreda in Exning Road (close to Newmarket Hospital) were also ecclesiastical parishes within the boundaries of Exning. This was long before the large residential expansion of Newmarket town to the northwest, filling in much of the area between Hamilton Road, Exning Road, Fordham Road and Bury Road.


Above: Great shot of the scenery on the Landwade Estate.


‘Beating of the Bounds’ was traditionally done on one of the three Christian Rogation days (rogation = to ask or to pray for), leading up to the feast of the Ascension of Christ, which is held on a Thursday, 40 days after Easter Sunday. Strictly speaking, Rogation days would be days of relative fasting. Parishioners went along the parish boundaries with branches, to beat down the weeds and grass and reaffirm the territory of the parish, the fields of which were so valuable for growing the crops to feed the population. They would also be led by a priest who would stop periodically to pray and beseech God for a good harvest in the fields within the parish. This year, Ascension Day was on Thursday May 18th, so this event was actually two days after the Ascension, for the reasonable convenience of those taking part.


St Nicholas’ Church on the Landwade Estate. Thanks for the great photo.



On Sunday afternoon, 21st May, a small army of loyal volunteer Joggers turned up for a couple of hours to help clear the litter from a stretch of Exning Road from the Leisure Centre down to Rowley Drive. It was led by Brian Munns and they did a magnificent job, as evidenced by the large number of filled plastic rubbish bags. Many thanks to all who helped out on the day.

The army of Ploggers from Newmarket Joggers. Thanks for the photo.


NORWICH 100 RIDE: Aaron Self put in a top effort in this 100 mile cycle ride, which included a pit stop at halfway. It was not a timed race; more a charitable ride. The course went from Norwich and up the east coast from West Somerton, via Sheringham and nearly as far as Wells on the north coast; then back to Norwich via an inland route. His moving time was 5:42:50, with an average cycling speed of 17.6 mph and total climb of 3,688ft. That’s top riding.


EMAC T&F RESULTS Milton Keynes May 10th: The results of the first EMAC (Eastern Masters Athletics Club) track & field meeting of the season are now out. These events are for athletes of 35+ years of age. Newmarket Joggers team included Shane Mcandrew M35+ (100m: 0:15.1, 5th), Phil Blundell M35+ (400m: 0:69.6, 6th), James Smith M35+ (3000m: 10:3.3, 3rd), Paul Holley M50+ (3000m: 10:31.0, 2nd) and Ian Butcher M60+ (3000m: 13:29.1, 3rd). Shane Mcandrew, Paul Holley, Ian Butcher and Phil Blundell also ran in the 4 x 100m Relay in a time of 0:62.1, where they were 2nd of 4 teams. Shane Mcandrew had a go at the shot put (7.97m, 4th). There were no female Newmarket Joggers taking part. At present Newmarket Joggers stand 7th in the men’s table.


Above: The men’s 4 x 100m Relay at EMAC Milton Keynes match. Shane Mcandrew hands over to Phil Blundell. Thanks for the great action photo.