Joggers come through tough challenge in Rob Burrows Leeds Marathon

Four Joggers were among 8,366 participants in the inaugural Rob Burrows Leeds Marathon on Sunday May 14th, named in honour of the former Leeds Rhinos rugby league player, who was diagnosed with motor neurone disease in 2019 and is currently fighting the disease. Rob was pushed round the Marathon in a wheelchair by former Leeds Rhinos teammate Kevin Sinfield, who carried him over the line at the finish. Sinfield has done so much to raise awareness of the disease, with his charitable fundraising efforts from sponsored marathon and ultramarathon runs.


Above left: Marc Drury, looking happy to be at the finish; above right: Jessica Bird smiling, with friend and medals. Thanks to both for the photos.


The Marathon course was very tough, with 1,486ft of climb, including 400ft of continuous incline from 16 to 20 miles; just the point when energy is already beginning to wane. First home in his first ever marathon was Sam Sadler (3:22:41, 285th of 8,366 overall, 141st of 2,333 in M18-39), a great effort over the difficult terrain. Then came Marc Drury (3:30:48, 404th, 43rd of 1,096 in M50-59) with an equally impressive performance, despite increasing calf and hamstring discomfort. He was followed by Jessica Bird (4:50:17, 984th F of 2,939 overall, 415th of 1,013 in F18-39) and Jan Holmes (5:39:55, 2,261st F, 499th of 726 in F50-59), both putting in huge efforts in their first known marathons and very happy to reach the finish line in Leeds Rhinos Headingley Stadium.


Jan Holmes, very glad to reach the finish of the marathon in Leeds Rhinos Headingley Stadium. Thanks to Jan for the great photo.


On the same day it was the Dereham 10-mile race in Norfolk: Neville Clarke (1:14:29, 131st of 375 overall, 3rd of 15 in M65) ran his first race over the distance this year, achieving an impressive 78.99% age grade.

In the Eye 10K, near Peterborough in Cambridgeshire, Neil Pollard (33:58, 5th of 420 overall, 1st of 39 in M40) came very close to his all-time 10K PB of 33:49, which was achieved in the Newmarket 10K in 2022. This effort earned him 84.20% age grade.


Neville Clarke finishing the Dereham 10-mile race. Thanks to Neville and Total Race Timing for the action photo.


Suffolk County Track & Field Championships, Bury St Edmunds Leisure Centre, Sunday May 14th: Jimmy Smith clocked 9m:56.1s in the 3,000m Senior Male track race, which earned him a silver medal and an age grade of 79.89%, with Scott Williams of Saint Edmund Pacers taking gold in 9m:35.3s. Together with a 3,000m M40 track race (10m:03s) at the EMAC (Eastern Masters Athletics Club) in Milton Keynes on May 10th, these were his first track races for 4 years.


Above left: Jimmy Smith in action in the 3,000m track race; above right: Jimmy on the left with silver medal, Scott Williams in the centre with gold medal and the bronze medallist on the right. Thanks to Jimmy for the photos.


Race for Life 10K, Norfolk Showground, Norwich, Sunday May 14th: Anna Mayhew (57:28, unofficial) put in her best 10K time of the year.

Ride for Helen, Essex, Essex Roads Cycling Club, Hatfield Peverel, Sunday May 14th: This ride is a cancer charity fundraiser in memory of Helen Rollason, a former journalist and BBC sports presenter (including Grandstand in the 1990s), who sadly died of cancer in 1999. Newmarket Jogger Gillie Green (F60-64) bravely took on the 65-mile ride, the longest of 6 options available, and duly completed the ride in 5h:49m; a huge achievement.

Gillie Green’s medal for the Ride for Helen. Thanks to Gillie for the photo.