Nathan Brown achieves 1st place in Sandringham Half Marathon

Sandringham Half Marathon, Sandringham Estate, Norfolk, Sunday June 18th: Nathan Brown (1:16:20, 1st of 928 overall, 1st of 232 in M Open) produced a tremendous run in the Sandringham Half Marathon, coming home nearly three minutes ahead of the field. His official, average pace was an impressive 5:49 per mile, despite the warm conditions of around 22°C in the shade, which felt much hotter in the direct sun. Thankfully, a good proportion of the run was along winding trails through shady woods, on a mixture of surfaces from grass to hard path. According to Strava, Nathan’s quickest half marathon remains approximately 1:13:53 (own watch) in the ‘Hafa Half’ on the Pacific island of Guam in February 2022, though that was a downhill course which lost about 500ft of elevation from start to finish; so this race was perhaps a truer test, with no elevation differential.


Nathan Brown (front centre, 1411) leading the Sandringham HM from the start. Thanks to Nathan and Epic Action Imagery for the great photo.


Also running was Chris Aylmer (2:31:01, 606th, 13th of 24 in M65+), who found it tough going in the heat but enjoyed the lovely, scenic trails through the woods and the support of the marshals on the way.


Chris Aylmer in the Sandringham HM, with Sandringham House in the background. Thanks to Epic Action Imagery for the scenic photo.


Shuttleworth hoohaah 10K, Shuttleworth, Huntingdonshire, Sunday 18th June: Five Joggers took part in the third summer hoohaah of four. First Jogger home was Jonathan Ollington (47:26, 24th of 208 overall, 7th of 34 in M50-59), who coped well in the oppressive heat. Very close behind and putting in a huge effort over the hilly terrain was Hannah Parsons (48:04, 27th overall, 3rd F of 103, 1st F of 49 in F40-49), who managed a female podium place and first place in her age group, despite the 10 year age bracket being to her disadvantage. She’s certainly running at her peak this year. Then came Bridget Wallwin (1:09:07, 61st F, 16th in F50-59), Anna Mayhew (1:09:35, 63rd F, 17th in F50-59) and Joanne Bouttell (1:17:03, 86th F, 24th in F50-59), all putting in good efforts under the hot and hilly conditions.


From left: Bridget Wallwin, Anna Mayhew, Jo Bouttell, Hannah Parsons and Jonathan Ollington after the Shuttleworth hoohaah 10K, 18.06.2023. Many thanks for the photo.


Hampshire Hoppit Trail Marathon, Kingsclere, Sunday 18th June: Jimmy Smith (3:10:18, 2nd of 236 overall, 1st of 47 in M40-49) returned to one his favourite events and put in his usual high class performance over very hilly terrain. He made up a lot of ground during the closing stages despite a huge uphill in the final 2 miles involving 380ft of climb. Altogether, the route had 2,172ft of elevation. All his many miles of training over trails are paying dividends.


Above left: Jimmy Smith with trophy for 2nd male finisher in the Hampshire Hoppit  Trail Marathon; above right, on the scenic route. Many thanks for the photos.


Montane Spine Sprint, Edale, Derbyshire, Saturday 17th June: This was the ‘shortest’ of the four, notoriously tough, Montane Summer Spine challenges, which are non-stop ultra races along lengths of the Pennine Way between Edale in Derbyshire and the Scottish Borders. The longest challenge is 268 mi/431km. This race went northwards from the start of the Pennine Way in Edale, Derbyshire to Hebden Bridge in West Yorkshire, a total of ~46 mi/74km with over 6,500ft of climb. The cut-off time was 18 hours. Chris Underwood  (11:02:29, 21st of 84 finishers overall, 14th male of 46) put in a big effort and will be pleased to get this one under his belt.


Above left: Chris Underwood after the Spine Sprint; above right: The pub marking the beginning of the Pennine Way, in Edale, Derbyshire. Many thanks for the photos.


Bury Friday 5, Nowton Park, Bury St Edmunds, 16th June, 7:30pm: This was the 4th of 6 fixtures in the JM Finn Friday 5 Series, with Stowmarket and Great Bentley still to come. We had a large turnout of 15 Joggers for this relatively local fixture.

Putting in a great time for the leading men, in his first 5 mile race of the year, was Mark Hayward (28:15, 8th of 347 overall, 2nd of 35 in M40), just ahead of Joey Bendall (28:26, 10th, 6th of 57 in MSen), with Paul Holley (28:55, 11th, 1st of 33 in M55) close behind and taking the age group trophy. These three Joggers came 2nd in the men’s team of 3 prize. Neville Clarke (35:51, 102nd, 3rd of 16 in M65) was 4th Jogger home and did very well in his age group.

For the leading female Joggers, Hannah Pollard (35:56, 8th F of 116, 3rd of 20 in F40) was again first home and in great form, with new member Laura Fletcher (45:08, 71st F, 11th in F40) showing good promise in 2nd and Lisa Garrand (49:58, 92nd F, 3oth in F Sen) fast improving in 3rd place. Jan Holmes (50:23, 94th F, 9th in F55) did well to finish 4th female Jogger, despite suffering a calf injury towards the finish.

Other Joggers putting in good efforts were: Neil Williamson M45 (42:19, 225th), Brian Munns M60 (43:25, 251st), Jim Withers M65 (48:11, 298th), Jackie Henley F55 (58:43, 114th F), Jo Bouttell F55 (58:44, 115th F), Pearl Fay F60 (59:00, 116th F) and Andy Hayward MS (59:22, 346th).

Lotus Test Track 5K & 10K, Wymondham, Norfolk, Friday 16th June: In the 5K event, Andrew Taylor  (20:57, 29th of 114, 3rd of 11 in M50) put in a good effort under the hot conditions, though his best time this year remains at 19:54 in a parkrun. In the 10K, Sarah Osborne (41:19, 47th of 296 overall, 3rd F of 98) was in top form and made the women’s podium in third place. It was her best 10K time according to Strava, though not an official PB, due to a slight discrepancy in distance. Daniel Tee (42:29, 58th overall, 217th of 76 in M Open) also ran well and did manage an official PB time.


Sarah Osborne in the Lotus Test Track 10K. Many thanks for the photo.


Arkwright & Co Summer Series 5K League, Thursday 8th June: The results are now through for the second fixture of the Summer Series 5K League, held on the training grounds behind the Rowley Mile racecourse and organised by Newmarket Joggers. Full results can be found at the following link:

It’s good news for Newmarket Joggers that we are still in 2nd place of the 8 clubs in the  men’s team competition and =2nd in the combined men’s and women’s competition; the best we have ever done in the League. The Joggers’ women’s team maintain 3rd position of the eight clubs; their best ever position too. The leaders are currently Cambridge & Coleridge AC in all three of the team competitions, with their large club membership and powerful lineup of top performers.

We had 46 members competing at the Newmarket fixture; 18 women and 28 men. Our top scoring 5 female finishers were: Sarah Osborne (7th F of 157, 19:39), Lilian Corbett (11th F, 20:00), Cerys Bithell (15th F, 20:12), Rebecca Oettle (26th F, 22:09) and Hannah Parsons (28th F, 22:20). Our top scoring 5 male finishers were: Joey Bendall (5th M of 219, 16:49), Nathan Brown (7th M, 16:51), Jimmy Smith (8th M, 16:55), Mark Hayward (13th M, 17:17) and Denys Olefir (16th M, 17:29). Congratulations to those high achievers. For the results of all our other valuable club participants, please see the link above.

 It’s a complicated scoring system, with the top finishing positions counting as the lowest scores initially. Only read this if you want to be confused. The first 5 women and first 5 men of each club are initially scored according to their overall finishing positions within their gender (e.g. our female team members finished 7th, 11th, 15th, 26th and 28th, so scored 87 points); then, each of the club’s female and male finishers (including the top 5) are counted as 1 negative point to be subtracted from the top 5 totals for their club and gender. So, for our women, 18 (total NJ women) was subtracted from 87 to give 69 points for the NJ women’s team, putting them in 3rd place, with 3rd lowest total of points. That explains why top team C&C collected a negative points score for the men. Later in the calculation, the negative points system is dropped and replaced by positive position points according the where teams rank among the 8 clubs, from 1st to 8th. So, our women were initially 3rd best = 3rd lowest total points on 69. For that achievement, they were awarded 6 ‘new’ points for being 3rd of the 8 clubs. The best club team on the negative points system (C&C in this case) would end up with 8 ‘new’ points, down to only 1 ‘new’ point for the 8th club. The ‘old’ points are no longer relevant after the ranking order is decided. It’s mind-numbing stuff but good for puzzle-solving brains. Basically, it means that everybody scores at least one negative point, to be deducted from their team’s total initial points, bringing the total lower than it would have been. This then helps to give the team higher positive ranking points in the end result. It’s actually quite a clever system to avoid any one team totally dominating the League. No matter how many points a team was ahead in the initial, negative points scoring, they can only be one point ahead in the final scoring, i.e. 8 points to 7 points in the ranking for that fixture.