Jimmy Smith leads Newmarket Joggers home, in a warm, humid and very sticky Great North Run

GREAT NORTH RUN, Newcastle, Sunday 10th Sept: Jimmy Smith (1:22:06, 251st of 43,281 finishers overall, 34th in M40) sensibly settled into a well controlled pace of around 6:15/mi (3:53/km), somewhat slower than originally intended, due to the close, stifling and almost windless weather conditions, which made control of body temperature difficult. This was compounded by the sheer body heat of all the participants.


Above left: Jimmy Smith at the GNR Start; above right: Jimmy with some of the local brew. Many thanks for the photos.


Next Jogger home was Marc Drury (1:36:26, 1,575th, 84th in M50) who put in an excellent effort and managed to complete his second 10km split 1m:26s quicker than his first; the only Jogger to achieve negative splits. Jason Beeton (1:56:21, 7,941st, 1,143rd in M35) decided early on to take things easier than usual due to the weather conditions and was happy to put in a more relaxed effort. Then came Mike Sales (2:02:44, 11,324th, 459th in M55) in his 5th Great North Run to date. His previous 4 attempts, going back to 2017, were all just slightly under 2 hours (1:55+), but this one was a good effort under more difficult conditions. Angela Drury (2:09:39, 3,574th F of 19,116, 554th in F40) may have hoped for more but can be well pleased with her performance, finishing in the top 20% of female runners overall. Sarah Sales (2:26:45, 8,187th F, 746th in F50) and Lisa Garrand (2:32:26, 9,779th F, 1,385th in F35) both had to dig deep in the closing stages but put in big efforts under the conditions and should bounce back quickly. A lot of runners were struggling and a thunderstorm predictably followed after the race, with a torrential downpour.


Above top: The start pens at the GNR; above middle: Sarah and Mike Sales before the run; above bottom: The flypast by the Red Arrows at the finish in South Shields. Many thanks to Mike & Sarah for the photos.

PLESHEY HALF MARATHON, Essex, Sunday 10th Sept: Mark Hayward (1:14:04, 5th of 414 overall, 1st of 56 in M40-49) was in great form, despite the temperature of around 26°C, finishing just over a minute outside his PB of 1:13:03 gained at Newark earlier this year.

FELIXSTOWE COASTAL 10 MILE, Suffolk coast, Sunday 10th Sept: Robert Dobson (57:18, 1st of 391 overall, 1st of 45 in M40) was flying in this race, just a week after his previous 10-mile race at Sawtry, where he recorded 58:28. His form is rapidly improving.

ICKWORTH SUNSET CHASE, Horringer, near Bury St Edmunds, Friday 8th Sept: In the 10K event, Jason Beeton (44:53, 15th of 225 overall, 6th of 39 in MS) was in good form over this hilly trail course on a very warm evening. He was followed by Suzanne Bailey (1:05:53, 53rd F of 109, 7th of 16 in F55), who enjoyed the course and scenery. In the 5K event, Sarah Last (31:27, 30th of 72 overall, 15th F of 54, 1st of 5 in F50) was in good form to win her age group. She was followed by Gillian Green (39:14, 42nd F, 5th in F60). Both Sarah and Gillian were within seconds of their best 5k times this year.


Above left: Suzanne Bailey’s medal for the Ickworth Sunset Chase 10K; above right: Gillian Green and Sarah Last after the Ickworth Sunset Chase 5K. Thanks very much for the photos.


SHELFORD 5K, south of Cambridge, Saturday, 9th Sept: This big local charity event attracted 376 entries overall, including lots of younger age runners from U11 to U18. Jogger Andrew Taylor (21:43, 56th overall, 3rd of 20 in M50) was first home, followed by Cerys Bithell (22:43, 12th F of 166, 6th of 24 in FU18), Phil Blundell (23:35, 85th, 12th of 29 in M45), Sophie Blundell (29:25, 44th F, 8th in FU18) and Eleanor Bithell (29:28, 45th F, 6th of 21 in F45). The event was very much enjoyed by all.


Ellie & Cerys Bithell, Sophie & Phil Blundell after the Shelford 5K. Thanks for the photo.


BUSHY PARKRUN 5K, Bushy Park, near Hampton Court, SW London, Saturday 9th Sept, 9:00am: Newmarket Joggers went on a club coach trip to Bushy parkrun, kindly organised by club social secretary Sophie Adams. Bushy Park is where the first ever 5k parkrun took place in 2004, with just a handful of runners. Nowadays, the parkrun attracts over 1,000 participants every week and, on this occasion, there were 1,273 participants, including runners and walkers. Our top age graded club member Elke Hausler (F60-64) came on the trip and recorded a time of 22:10 at age 60. She finished 1st of all the 1,273 participants on age grade, earning over 89% and was 1st of 37 in her age group by about 2 minutes. First Jogger home was Chris Underwood, in a time of 19:46, which put him in 63rd place overall. In parkruns, times and positions are not deemed as important as the taking part. However, everyone is encouraged to challenge themselves and to do the best they can. Joggers stayed for some hours to enjoy lunch and to look around Bushy Park, some visiting Hampton Court Gardens and some repairing to local hostelries.

Video of the run included thanks to IngoRuns below. Quite a few Joggers spotted on the video:

Bushy parkrun (#117)


Above top: Joggers at Bushy parkrun before the run; above bottom: The scene at the start, with a very wide spread of runners about to head this way. Thanks to the team for the photos.

Joggers on the trip, in order of finishing, were: Chris Underwood, Lilian Corbett, Elke Hausler, Ian Butcher, Martin Smith, Brian Munns, Angela Brennan, Bridget Wallwin, Ruth Eberhardt, Anna Mayhew, Sophie Adams, Suzanne Bailey, Jan Holmes, Sarah Martin, Chris Aylmer and Jackie Henley, plus former Joggers Rachel Allen and Adrian Whittle. Kate Warboys and Jo Bouttell were unable to run due to injury but were generously there to support the Joggers.