A good turnout of Joggers for Eastern AA XC Championships

The annual EASTERN ATHLETIC ASSOCIATION (EAA) XC CHAMPIONSHIPS took place on Saturday 18th November, at Horseheath Racecourse, near Haverhill. The EAA region includes the counties of Suffolk, Norfolk, Essex, Cambridgeshire, Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire and Lincolnshire. There were inter-club and inter-county team trophies for junior and senior categories. This event was shared with EMAC (Eastern Masters Athletics Club), which is a club for athletes aged 35 and over, involving track, field and XC sports. They had their own trophies for individuals, in 5-year age groups from 35-39 upwards.


Above left: Jimmy Smith (in maroon Suffolk County shirt) crossing the pond on the left; and above right, coming into the finish. Thanks for the photos.


Official results are not yet out but we do have some information to report. Three Newmarket Joggers (Jimmy Smith, Joey Bendall and Mark Hayward) were honoured to be chosen (at very short notice) to represent Suffolk in the men’s senior inter-county competition over the 12km course, joined by a fourth team member from another club. They did well to finish in third place of the 7 competing counties, with the first 3 team members scoring.


Senior men’s NJ team, from left: Joey Bendall, Jimmy Smith, Mark Hayward, Marc Drury and Robert Dobson. Also Phil Blundell, not in photo. Many thanks for the photo.


In the inter-club senior men’s race over 12km, the first 6 to finish counted for team scoring, but unfortunately Newmarket Joggers had only 5 finishers, with own watch times shown where known: Joey Bendall M35-39 (42:44), Jimmy Smith M40-44 (43:34), Robert Dobson M40-44, Mark Hayward M40-44 (45:25) and Marc Drury M50-54 (52:11). Phil Blundell M45-49 completed one lap but sadly had to retire, feeling unwell.

M60+ men ran in the 6km race, together with the senior women. Greg Davis M60-64 (26:51) ran a fast time to finish 2nd in his age category, followed by Chris Aylmer M70-74 (42:07).

In the senior women’s race over 6km, full results are not yet known but the times of Joggers from their own watches were: Hannah Pollard F40-44 (29:30), Nicole Smith F50-54 (34:02), Helen Wass F55-59, Angela Drury F40-44 (36:45), Caroline Mcintosh F70-74 (43:13) and Pearl Fay F60-64 (44:35). Angela Drury did well to win 2nd place in her F40-44 age group.



Above left: Angela Drury splashing through the pond; above right: Angela’s medal for 2nd in her age category. Many thanks for the photos.      


Above left: Helen Wass, Pearl Fay and Caroline Mcintosh before the race. Many thanks for the photo.


HADLEIGH 10M, Hadleigh, Suffolk, Sunday, 19th November: Lisa Garrand (1:35:16, 199th of 259 overall, 51st F of 89, 16th of 23 in F17-39) put in a huge effort to take nearly 5 minutes off her PB, gained only a few weeks before at Thurlow. She has improved rapidly since taking time off to start a family. Jason Beeton (1:10:32, 41st overall, 13th of 38 in M17-39), representing 1st claim Thetford AC, was close to his best time this year.


Lisa Garrand, clearly enjoying her 10-mile race at Hadleigh. Many thanks for the photo.


ST NEOTS RIVERSIDE HALF MARATHON, St Neot’s, Sunday, 19th November: Two Joggers made the trip to this very popular, annual, scenic race: First Jogger home was Tom Elton (1:50:18, 464th of 1002 overall, 78th of 151 in M50-59) in his first half marathon race since 2019 at Cambridge, where he set his 1:43:53 PB. Then came Robert Hawkins (1:50:53. 479th, 81st of 151 in M50-59) in a new PB time, beating his 1:51:35 at Cambridge earlier this year.


To end on a Christmassy note: At RAF Lakenheath on Saturday 18th November, Nathan Brown (19:55) won the 48th Force Support Squadron Turkey Trot 6km race. He graciously settled for some specially gift-wrapped Christmas cheesecake as his prize, there being (apparently) no turkey available. His time earned him an impressive 78.83% age grade, despite running “as slow as possible, without losing”.


Nathan Brown winning the Turkey Trot at RAF Lakenheath. Many thanks for the photo.