The sixth and final JM Finn Friday 5-mile race of the series took place at Great Bentley in Essex on Friday, 7th July. Mark Hayward (27:47, 9th of 426 overall, 2nd of 44 in M40) was in great form after a week’s holiday in Majorca and recorded the quickest 5-mile time by any Newmarket Jogger this year. Just three seconds behind came new member Robert Dobson (27:50, 10th, 3rd of 58 in M20-39), who continues to progress, following his fine showing in the Newmarket 10K two weeks ago. Third Jogger home was Jonathan Pye (29:46, 39th, 19th in M20-39), who achieved his best age grade this year in his first known attempt at the 5-mile distance. Then came Neil Williamson (39:41, 246th, 35th in M45), Brian Munns (40:30, 265th, 24th in M55), Jim Withers (47:53, 370th, 10th in M65), Jackie Henley (55:44, 153rd F, 20th in F55) and Jo Bouttell (55:59, 154th F, 21st in F55). The latter five runners have been staunch supporters of the Friday 5 Series and have competed in all, or nearly all, of the 6 fixtures.
There were team and age group awards for the series as a whole, as well as for each individual race. For the team awards, Newmarket Joggers finished 9th of 57 clubs, after adding together all the points earned from participants’ best 4 performances in the series. Of those Newmarket Joggers completing at least 4 fixtures, the best age group achiever was Neville Clarke, who won 3rd place trophy of 30 competitors in M65, with Jim Withers 11th in the same age group. Jan Holmes (10th of 46), Jo Bouttell (11th) and Jackie Henley (12th) all did well in their F55 age group, while Neil Williamson came 23rd of 103 in M45 and Brian Munns 24th of 83 in M55.
Asics London 10K, Sunday 9th July: Among a huge field of 13,420 participants, Shane Mcandrew (43:00, 1,086th overall, 177th of 1,112 in M35-39) put in a great effort to post a 10K PB by over two minutes.
Wendover Woods 10M & Night 50K, near Aylesbury in The Chilterns, Buckinghamshire, Saturday/Sunday, 8th/9th July: The 50K route consisted of 3 x 10-mile laps through Wendover Woods, starting at 22:00 on the Saturday night until the cut-off time on Sunday at 07:00 . The 10-mile event started at 10:00 Sunday morning and consisted of one lap through the woods. Jimmy Smith (5:19:20, 8th of 103 overall, 3rd of 41 in M40) took on the 50K challenge and very much enjoyed the night-time trail experience, joking that he might consider retiring from road running. Nicole Smith (2:13:39, 24th F of 57, 4th of 13 in F50) also had a great time in the 10M event and both were full of smiles at the end of their races.
Above left: Nicole Smith after the Wendover Woods 10M; above right: Jimmy Smith after the Wendover Woods 50K. Many thanks for the photos.
NUTS Pallas-Ylläs 15km trail race, Lapland in northern Finland, Sunday 9th July: Helinä Salo (1:43:36, 57th of 281 overall, 35th F of 183) finished well up the order in this trail race over the rugged Lapland terrain, with plenty in the way of rocky paths, combined with stunning views from the rolling hills and plateaus. She did a 37km version of this race in 2022 but is currently recovering her fitness after giving birth and is very happy with the progress. The choice of race distances goes up to 160km.