Jet Set Joggers: Nathan Brown sets new record in San Diego Pier to Pier, while Paul Holley takes on Pisa Marathon in Italy

Not a great deal of racing action on the home front for Newmarket Joggers over the weekend, but some very good efforts abroad.

Nathan Brown, who is stationed at RAF Mildenhall air base and works for the US Air Force, was enjoying some leave in San Diego, Southern California. His fiancée Isa was due to run in the annual San Diego Holiday Half Marathon on Saturday 16th December and Nathan was there to support. He likes nothing better than setting himself a running challenge. He had decided in advance to attempt a new record for the San Diego Pier to Pier distance, which goes about 32 miles (51.5km) up the coastal road from Crystal Pier to Oceanside Pier. The standing record for an unsupported male runner, known as an FKT (Fastest Known Time), was 3:56:39, achieved in 2021.

On Friday 15th December, Nathan put in a huge effort to slash the record down to 3:36:47, despite taking 2 wrong turnings, which added another mile to his distance. He carried 10 x SIS isotonic gels and 6 salt chews in his running belt, plus an ExoDraw bottle of cool, insulated water in his hand, which could be topped up from water fountains along the way. He managed a phenomenal average pace of 6:33/mi (4:02/km) for the whole distance of 33 miles, including stops. The next day, Nathan ‘recovered’ by running alongside Isa for much of her half marathon.


Above left: Nathan Brown on Oceanside Pier, after his successful record attempt; above right: Nathan and Isa after the San Diego Holiday Half Marathon. Many thanks for the Strava photos.


Over the weekend, Paul Holley was on his way home after spending nearly three months working in Australia and the Far East for his Newmarket horseracing bosses Simon & Ed Crisford. He stopped off in Italy to take part in the Pisa Marathon on Sunday 17th December, which started and finished close to the Leaning Tower of Pisa. It was sunny, cool and near ideal running conditions, though Paul had been unable to put in an ideal training preparation. Nevertheless, he did very well to complete the Marathon in 3:13:25 at an average pace of 7:22/mi (4:35/km). There were 861 in the official Marathon but Paul was actually one of 361 participants in the so-called ‘non-competitive’ marathon, which may have been for late entries. For that reason, there were no official positions given for the non-competitive runners, though they did get chip times.


Top left: the start/finish area of the Pisa Marathon; top right: Paul Holley with his medal and the Leaning Tower of Pisa behind; bottom: Paul, in his Joggers vest, crosses the line. Many thanks for the photos.


On a seasonal note, one piece of action found on the home front was by Jogger Pearl Fay, who ran in the annual N.E.W Wellbeing 5km Santa Run at Newmarket on Thursday evening, 14th December. It started and finished at Tesco Supermarket and donations were given towards Sophie’s Smile charitable fund. See photos below: