Steeplechase Festival, West Suffolk Athletics Arena, Bury St Edmunds, Saturday, 29th April: In her first ever steeplechase event, Newmarket Jogger Elke Hausler has set a new 2000m GB W60-64 record of 8:49:40, which is also believed to be a European Masters record.
In her own words: “In the NJ newsletter a couple of months ago, I read that there would be a 4-hour steeplechase workshop on 22nd April, to learn the technique. Since watching the steeplechase races in World Masters Athletics Championships last summer, I thought I should give this a try. I have never ever hurdled in my life and didn’t really think I’d have the coordination. So this workshop came just at the right time to give it a go. Apart from me, there were only youngsters (juniors and U20) at the session. [Ed. note: plus NJ Adam Maltpress, who unfortunately took a tumble]. I really enjoyed it, so Mike (my husband) encouraged me to enter the 2000m at the Steeplechase Festival, which took place in Bury St Edmunds yesterday. Needless to say, this is something I will definitely be doing again and I will be striving to win another medal at the European Masters Athletics Championships in September later this year. I was completely spent after the race, but recovered quickly. There is so much room for improvement on the water jump and I should be able to shave that time down in the future. This is quite exciting!”
We wish Elke all the best in her new discipline!
Breckland 10K, Croxton, Thetford, Monday, May 1st: Neville Clarke (44:21, 57th of 309 overall, 1st of 17 in M65) was bang in form with his best 10K time this year, earning 80.65% age grade.
68th Three Peaks Race, Horton-in-Ribblesdale, North Yorkshire, Saturday 29th April: Chris Underwood (4:53:39, 351st of 699 overall, 119 of whom didn’t make it to the finish), took on this extremely tough, ~39km/24 mile fell race, which climbs the peaks of Pen-y-ghent, Whernside and Ingleborough in the North Yorkshire Dales, with a total elevation of 5,315ft. At least, the weather was fairly amenable; dry and cool, with no significant wind.
World Aquathlon Championships, Ibiza, Spain, Monday, 1st May: Newmarket Jogger Sarah Osborne was representing GBR in this international aquathlon event and finished in 5th position, just 21 seconds off a podium place. Her event included a ~1km swim (17:32) followed by a 5km run (19:40). The swim was blighted by a boat blocking the view of the finish from the final marker buoy, with a group of them going ~100m further than necessary. This may well have denied her a podium finish, which was frustrating.
Zig Zag Festival of Running, Haughley Park, Stowmarket, Sunday, 30th April: Jeremy Reader (1:59:25, 8th of 40 overall) was up with the leaders in the 4-lap Half Marathon, while Caroline Mcintosh (2:10:50, 1st F of two) did very well to set a new women’s course record for 3 laps (9.8 miles).
Belfast City Marathon, Belfast, Northern Ireland, Sunday 30th April: Chris Aylmer (5:10:40, 3,012th of 3,338 overall, 7th of 10 in M70-74) enjoyed this well organised marathon and the brilliant crowd support. In contrast to previous marathons, and against all expectations, everything seemed to go right this time, with almost even halfway splits (+1 min), no fading in the final stages and the last mile the fastest. This made for an unusually rewarding marathon experience. The total number in the marathon was around 12,000, including over 1,800 relay teams of 5, so around three times as many relay runners as individual marathon runners.