Lots of club fun for Joggers in annual Ekiden Relays at Ipswich High School, Woolverstone

Sunday July 7th at Woolverstone, near Ipswich: Newmarket Joggers (NJ) sent 5 teams of 6 runners to the Ekiden Relays, which is one of the club’s favourite annual events; more of a club outing than a serious competition, with the accent on team camaraderie. The sports field 2.5km course at Ipswich High School was lined with gazebos from running clubs all over East Anglia, with 189 teams competing in all; there was a picnic atmosphere, with plenty of drinks, cakes and other treats brought to the event. Each team ran a total of 42.2km (the Marathon distance) made up of 6 legs in the order: 7.2km, 5km,10km, 5km, 10km and 5km; the name ‘Ekiden’ comes from the Japanese word for the event.

The fastest team overall was Colchester Harriers (men’s open), who managed a time of 2:26:59. First to finish for NJ was the men’s open team (3:18:33, 49th of 189 overall, 19th of 26 in category) followed closely by the men’s vet 50+ team (3:19:48, 50th , 5th of 12 in v50+) and the men’s vet 60+ team (3:31:45, 73rd , 3rd of 11 in v60+). The NJ women’s open team did very well to finish 87th overall (3:34:36) and 5th of 14 in their category. They were followed by the NJ women’s vet 35+ in 4:27:08 (11th in their category). The best individual performances for the Joggers were from Lilian Corbett (21:33, 8th of 267 in the women’s 5km), Dan Hutchison (18:59,13th of 300 in men’s 5km), Ellie Bithell (49:03, 28th of 126 in women’s 10km), Chris Burns (44:07, 75th of 252 in men’s 10km), Helen Hilario (34:04, 14th of 82 in women’s 7.2km) and Steve Edwards (31:30, 36th of 107 in men’s 7.2km).

Fen Gallop 10K, Willingham, Cambridgeshire, Sunday July 7th: Helen Wass (55:44, 23rd of 99F, 4th of 35 in F50+) did very well in her age group, despite there being only two age groups in all (U50 and 50+). Caroline Mcintosh (1:11:39, 88th F, 246th in F50+) also put in a good effort but was at a big disadvantage in the age group, being 70+.

J M Finn Friday 5 Series, Friday evening, July 5th, Great Bentley, Essex, 6th and final fixture: 3 Joggers competed in this race. Neville Clarke (35:49, 151st of 389 overall, 1st of 9 in M70+ put in his best time of the series, having already secured the M70+ 1st prize trophy a fortnight ago, after 4 wins out of 4 races. He is in terrific form after a period of injury earlier in the year. Then came Jim Withers (50:02, 363rd, 12th in M65) and Chris Aylmer (56:58, 387th, 9th in M70+), who have been regular supporters of the series.

Moulton Walks, Moulton, Saturday July 6th: Moulton is the village where top race walker (and soon-to-be Paris Olympian) Callum Wilkinson grew up; we were honoured that he was there to present the trophies. Callum’s brother George Wilkinson (39:41, 1st of 32 overall) put in a top performance in the 5-mile walk, while Suzanne Bailey F60 (59:04) was also in good form in the 5-mile, her longest race walk to date, setting an age grade of almost 70%. NJ Sophie Blundell U13G (13:28) competed in the 2km walk, while NJ Lily-Ann Cooper U15G (22:15) did likewise in the 3km, both putting in good times.