Lavenham Old Railway 10K: A popular trail event for Newmarket Joggers

On Sunday Feb 4th, thirteen Joggers turned out for the Lavenham Old Railway 10K, which went part of the way along the old disused railway track between Long Melford and Bury St Edmunds, which was closed down in 1965. The course was quite hilly and muddy with a strong wind, but proved a fun challenge for all the runners. First home for the Joggers was talented junior Cerys Bithell FU17 (50:19, 21st of 154 overall, 2nd F of 74) winning 2nd F trophy. She was followed by club coach Phil Blundell M45 (55:48, 47th overall) and her in-form mother Eleanor Bithell F45 (55:51, 48th, 7th F). Then came, in order of finishing: Martin Smith M45 (1:02:22, 74th), Bridget Wallwin F55 (1:05:42, 90th, 22nd F), Jan Holmes F60 (1:09:43, 115th, 42nd F), Sarah Kinston F45 (1:13:09, 123rd, 48th F), Jackie Henley F55 (1:15:42, 129th, 53rd F), Sarah Last F50 (1:16:04, 130th, 54th F), Caroline Mcintosh F70+ (1:16:10, 132nd, 56th F), Jo Bouttell F60 (1:16:30, 136th, 60th F), Pearl Fay F60 (1:22:52, 149th, 70th F) and Gillie Green F60 (1:27:59, 153rd, 74th F). There were no age category prizes but usual 5-year age groups are shown for comparison.



Above top left: 10 Joggers at Lavenham; top right: The other 3: Ellie Bithell, Cerys Bithell and Phil Blundell plus friend Helen on left; above middle left: Bridget Wallwin; above middle right: Martin Smith; above bottom left: Sarah Kinston; above bottom right: Gillie Green and Sarah Last. Many thanks for all the photos.


Meanwhile, down in Essex, two of our fastest runners took on the Great Bentley Half Marathon, which is a popular preparation race for spring marathons. Mark Hayward (1:14:45, 9th of 320 overall, 2nd of 59 in M40) was bang in form with the fastest half marathon time of any Jogger this year. Then came Paul Holley (1:25:52, 74th, 2nd of 32 in M55), achieving an excellent result in his age group. Both these club members are expected to run in the TCS London Marathon in April, qualifying with Championship Standard (Hayward) and Good for Age (Holley).


Over at Hinchingbrooke Park, Huntingdon, Jeremy Reader took part in the Zig Zag OMG One Mile 2 Go multi-lap event. Each lap was about 5.3km (3.3mi), making 8 laps a marathon. Reader went for a 9-lap ultramarathon, clocking up 30.1 miles on his watch, in a time of 5:09:15. This was his quickest-paced ultramarathon to date, at 10:16/mi (6:23/km).


Above left: Jeremy on the run; above right: Some proper bling. Thanks for photos.


Anglian Schools XC Championships, Burghley House, Lincolnshire, Saturday Feb 3rd: Three Junior Joggers were selected for the regional Anglian Schools XC Championships, after coming through the first two qualifying stages at county level. Lilian Corbett (Intermediate ~U17 Girls) was chosen to represent Cambridgeshire, while Cerys Bithell (Intermediate ~U17 Girls) and Harvey Thomas (Junior ~U15 Boys) were chosen to represent Suffolk.

Lilian Corbett had a great run in her 4km race, finishing 19th of 66 overall in a time of 17:10 and 2nd of 15 among Cambridgeshire competitors. This means she is almost certain to be included by Cambridgeshire in their top 8 for the English Schools XC Championships Final at Pontefract Racecourse on 16th March 2024 (8 to race + 4 reserves), which will be a great honour. Harvey Thomas finished 39th of 67 in his 4km Junior race in a time of 16:01, and was 9th of 15 Suffolk competitors. This means he is very likely to be included as a reserve in Suffolk’s final 12 for the Finals at Pontefract and may well get a run, depending on availability or injury of others in the team. Cerys Bithell was going very well in her 4km race but unfortunately had an asthma attack during the run and had to pull out. Thankfully, she was back in good form the very next day, as reported above in the Lavenham Railway 10K.