Nicole & Jimmy Smith: Top performances in San Sebastian Marathon

SAN SEBASTIAN MARATHON, near Bilbao, Spain, Sunday, 26th Nov: After many hundreds of miles of autumn training, including a selection of shorter races to keep up the motivation, Nicole and Jimmy Smith took themselves to the sunny Basque coast for a well-deserved short break, culminating with participation in the San Sebastian Marathon, one of the oldest marathons in Spain. Jimmy Smith (2:48:34, 193rd of 2,629 overall, 56th of 824 in M40-49) was in top form, with his 23rd sub 3-hour marathon time, out of nearly 30 marathons in all. His PB remains 2:38:06 at London in 2017. In her first marathon for 6 years, Nicole Smith (4:02:37, 2,161st overall, 239th F of 369, 28th of 52 in F50-59) controlled her pace brilliantly, with her second half split three minutes quicker than the first, achieving her best marathon time since her PB of 3:55:01 at Abingdon in 2017. She has been improving rapidly this year and is clearly enjoying her running more than ever.


Nicole and Jimmy Smith at San Sebastian after the Marathon. Note Jimmy’s impressive Movember growth. Many thanks for the photo.

Observation: The number of female runners, at 369 of 2,629 overall (14%), seems very low compared with a typical marathon in the UK. This might be partly due to the stringent time limits of 5 hours for the marathon and only 2 hours for the half marathon.


BASS BELLE 10M, Bassingbourn, Cambridgeshire, Sunday 26th Nov: Three Joggers took part in this 10-mile race. Gaining a brand new PB was Jonathan Ollington (1:08:59, 24th of 390 overall, 4th of 57 in M50-59), who has been in top form this year. Then came Andy Fryatt (1:11:00, 40th overall, 6th in M50-59), who has made a remarkable recovery, following a relatively minor stroke earlier this year. His PB remains at 1:08:28 in the same race two years ago. Third Jogger home was Phil Blundell (1:27:17, 169th overall, 39th of 56 in M40-49), coping well in his first known attempt at this distance.


Above left: Andy Fryatt and Jonathan Ollington after the Bass Belle 10M; above right: Andy Fryatt in action during the race. Thanks for the photos.


RUN BRECKLAND FOREST 10K, Santon Downham, West Suffolk, Sunday, 26th Nov: Sarah Last (1:11:28, 76th of 98 overall, 33rd F of 50) and Gillie Green (1:25:14, 93rd overall, 47th F) both enjoyed a nice run route through the picturesque, autumnal woods of Thetford Forest, in aid of the Fen Edge & Rivers Partnership.



Above left: Sarah Last after the Run Breckland Forest 10K; above right: her attractive medal and goody bag. Thanks for the photos.


ZIG ZAG TURKEY TROT 10K, Barrow, Near Bury St Edmunds, Saturday 25th Nov: Angela Drury (1:00:51, 11th of 343 overall, 3rd F of 23) chose this 10K as her wild card for the club Grand Prix competition. It was part of a multi-lap event going from 5K to Ultra Marathon. The distance came out very long on her watch at 10.95km. Her adjusted 10.00km time on Strava was 55:27, which is much more on a par with her current form.


Above left: Angela Drury on the right, with fellow competitors; above right: The 10K medal. Thanks for the photos.


EASTERN AA XC CHAMPIONSHIPS, Horseheath, Saturday 18th Nov, update. The official results are now out:

Nothing particular to add to last week’s preliminary report for the seniors. However, apologies for not noting that our juniors Sophie Blundell (17:14, 19th) and Harvey Thomas (12:33, 18th) both ran well for Newmarket Joggers in the U13 Girls and U13 Boys 3km races respectively, where the competition was of a very high standard. Great to see them competing in these club events.


CYPRUS TRAINING CAMP, 23rd to 26th Nov: Jogger Caroline Mcintosh (F70-74) went on a trip to a runners’ training camp, situated in the idyllic, coastal town of Peyia, in the Greek area of western Cyprus. The training included an initial 6km time trial on the first day (Caroline’s time 38:35), followed the next day by a very hilly 11km (1:47:14), including 2,062ft of steep climb. On the third day was a tough half marathon (2:56:37), uphill to halfway with 1,600ft of climb, over an arid, rocky terrain. Caroline said she would never complain about hills again after this trip. On the final day came some relief, with a relatively flat 10K (1:11:58) through the town of Paphos to the south. All in all, a great way of spending an active holiday by the sea. The total time for all 4 events was added together for all the participants. Caroline was one of only two women in her F70-74 age group, with the other one an international veteran runner, so no disgrace to come second.


Top left: The old shipwreck at the 6km finish; top right: The long uphill in the 11km race; bottom left: Caroline near the end of the half marathon race; bottom right: After the final 10km race in Paphos. Many thanks for the photos.