Another top performance by Newmarket & Sudbury in 3rd fixture of Suffolk Winter XC League

Suffolk Winter XC League, Sunday, Jan 21st, Horseheath: Just a week after a fine effort at Haughley Park, near Stowmarket, Newmarket & Sudbury (N&S, the combined cross-country [XC] team of Newmarket Joggers [NJ] & Sudbury Joggers [SJ]) were again in great form at Horseheath Racecourse, near Haverhill, with 18 male runners and 7 female runners tackling the ~7.9km/4.9mi 2-lap course through woods and over heath. The official results of the 2nd and 3rd fixtures are not yet out, but we can report that the men’s 1st team of 7 runners had 6 finishers in the top 12 placings, out of a total field of about 190; this included the outright winner, Robert Dobson NJ, and third place finisher Joey Bendall NJ. It seems most likely that N&S will take the lead in the Suffolk Winter XC League men’s competition out of 20 competing clubs, but we must wait for confirmation. The women’s 1st team of 4 were missing several of their fastest runners, but produced a spirited effort and should hold their mid-table position.

We were fortunate to have Junior Joggers Cerys Bithell FU17 (10th overall) and Sophie Blundell FU13 (17th overall) competing in the ~3.5km juniors’ race. The age group results are not yet known but they both seemed to enjoy the challenge.


Above: Team photo of N&S, from left: Chris Aylmer, Rob Hawkins (kneeling), Belinda Schofield, Neville Clarke, Sam Sadler (rear), Jan Holmes, Daniel Tee (rear), Brian Munns (far rear), Jeremy Reader (front, squatting), Sophie Blundell (behind Jeremy), Cerys Bithell (behind Sophie), Barley Woodcock? (extreme rear), Joey Bendall (front, squatting), Pearl Fay (behind, dark glasses), Jacob Freeborough (rear), Nicole Smith, Steve Edwards? (rear), Helen Wass, Jimmy Smith (kneeling), Steve Cousins (rear), Caroline Mcintosh (dark glasses), Paul Holley, Rob Dobson (kneeling in hi-viz), Rachele Cooper and Liam Elvidge. Many thanks to the team for the photo.


The N&S men’s 1st team, with age groups shown, included: 1st overall, Robert Dobson NJ M40; 3rd Joey Bendall NJ MS; 5th Nathan Brown NJ SM; 8th Jimmy Smith NJ M40; 10th Sam Sadler NJ MS; 12th Jacob Freeborough NJ MS; 28th Paul Holley NJ M55. The women’s 1st team: 135th overall, Rachele Cooper NJ SF; 155th Nicole Smith NJ F50; 159th Belinda Schofield NJ F65; 164th Helen Wass NJ F55. In the official results men’s and women’s position will be shown according to gender, rather than overall.


Above: Paul Holley finishing 28th overall in the Haverhill XC. Many thanks for the photo.


Other finishers for N&S: Women’s 2nd team: 180th Jan Holmes NJ F60; 183rd Caroline Mcintosh NJ F70+; 184th Pearl Fay NJ F60. Men’s 2nd team: 41st Daniel Tee NJ M40; 48th Marc Drury M50; 51st Barley Woodcock NJ M40; 56th Steve Edwards NJ M55; 123rd Rob Hawkins NJ M55; 124th Neville Clarke NJ M70+; 129th Liam Elvidge NJ MS. Men’s 3rd team: 137th Jeremy Reader NJ M50; 145th Steve Cousins NJ M65; 178th Jim Withers NJ M65; 181st Chris Aylmer NJ M70+.


Other race results for Newmarket Joggers:

Farnborough Winter Half Marathon, Hampshire, Sunday Jan 21st: Neil Pollard (1:14:54, 15th of 2,084 overall, 4th of 395 in M40-49) and Hannah Pollard (1:36:59, 41st F of 732, 15th of 258 in F40-49) both put in top class efforts in this race. It was Hannah’s best half marathon time since 2018, before a long term injury intervened; she is now back to her best. Neil continues to perform at a very high standard.


Above: Hannah & Neil Pollard after Farnborough Winter Half. Many thanks for the photo.


Reedham 10 miles, Norfolk Broads, Sunday Jan 21st: Mark Hayward (56:36, 4th of 395 overall, 1st of 45 in M40-44) was in great form and close to his PB of 55:37 gained in 2023. New member Hugh Tawell (57:49, 6th overall, 3rd of 101 in MS) showed an impressive turn of foot in his first race for the club.


Above left: New member Hugh Tawell, and above right: Mark Hayward, finishing the Reedham 10-mile race. Many thanks for the great action photos.


Folksworth 15 miles, near Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, Sunday Jan 21st: Eleanor Bithell (2:05:42, 189th of 420 overall, 32nd F of 157, 9th of 38 in F45-49) ran very well in her main preparation race for the upcoming TCS London Marathon in April, for which she has qualified ‘Good For Age’.


Above: Eleanor Bithell, Phil Blundell and friend Helen, before the Folksworth 15. Phil was unfortunately unable to finish the second lap, likely due to injury. Many thanks for the photo.


Peddars Way Ultra ~50 miles, Saturday, Jan 20th from Knettishall Heath in Suffolk to Holme-next-the-Sea, North Norfolk: Christopher Underwood (9:10:16, 37th of 131 overall, 18th of 35 MU40) and Sianie Painter (12:09:39, 28th F, 3rd F55-59) took on this gruelling challenge, which was about 2 miles longer than its normal 48 miles, due to a detour to avoid a flooded crossing of the River Thet. Christopher Underwood kept masterly control of his pace all the way through, with very even splits and his last mile narrowly the fastest of them all. His attempt last year ended in a DNF, so he will be pleased to exorcise this demon from his mind. Sianie Painter put in a huge effort and must be well pleased with her achievement.



Above left: Sianie Painter during the gruelling Peddars Way Ultra; above right: Photo taken by Christopher Underwood, possibly at the start of the race on Knettishall Heath, as the sun rose. Many thanks for the photos.