parkrun & GRL Reports

parkrun organises free, weekly (Saturday 9am), 5km timed runs in the UK and around the world. They are open to everyone, free, and are safe and easy to take part in

They are great for all abilities, from those just starting out to families of all ages, for the novice as well as the elite runner. Many Joggers regularly take part and volunteer with local events being hosted in Cambridge, Bury St Edmunds, Clare Castle, Haverhill, Brandon, Thetford and Wimpole Park. Once registered you can enjoy them anywhere around the country, in fact around the world!  You are welcome to walk, jog or run these events according to your preference and level of fitness.

Another free weekly timed 5km that has now appeared on the local scene is Great Run Local (GRL), which starts at the bottom of Newmarket Heath’s Warren Hill on a Sunday at 11:15am., see:  There is also the option of a shorter 2.5km run for children and adults.

Newmarket Jogger and keen parkrunner Chris Aylmer has kindly offered to write a weekly report on how the Joggers have got on:-

Newmarket Joggers parkrun Report for Sat 8th Dec 2018

There was a 20mph gusty, westerly wind blowing in the region on Saturday, so this no doubt affected times this week.

The Joggers were in great form at Cambridge parkrun. Sam Sadler (19:09) was first home for the club,11th of 325 overall and 4th of 15 in his age group. Then came Emma Newman (22:22), 4th of 133 female runners and 1st of 14 in her age category, also achieving a course PB. Following on were Rebecca Hannah (29:35), Sarah Kinston (29:36) and Carol Mcintosh (33:45), who all set themselves new all-time parkrun PBs, in the case of Rebecca by just one cheeky second!  It was the first ever sub-30 parkrun for Sarah, so a great milestone achieved and the first sub-34 parkrun for Carol, who also finished 1st of 4 in her age group.

Over at Nowton Park, Bury St Edmunds, six Joggers were in action: Richard Jones (21:40), Neville Clarke (22:47), Ruth Eberhardt (25:40), Malcolm Osbourn (26:50), Alexia Smithson (31:09) and Jenny Osbourn (37:06). Jenny had an excellent run, finishing 1st of 3 in her age group, and Alexia did well on her first visit to this tough course, her all-time PB currently standing at 29:03 and set earlier this year. Malcolm continued in top form, achieving a course PB and finishing 2nd of 5 in his age category, while Ruth also did well to come 2nd of 12 in her category. Neville put in another top run to finish 1st of 8 by age group, with an age grade of 73.59%, while Richard did similarly well, 2nd of 17 by age group with 70.92% age grade.

Up at Brandon Country Park, Mike sales (26:24), Sarah Sales (28:36), Dave Price (29:49) and Kate Warboys (34:48) were taking part. All had good steady runs on this hilly course, not too far from their best times this year, with Sarah having most success in finishing 1st of 10 in her age group. Nearby at Thetford, James Thomson was in action with his daughter in the baby buggy, where there was a large field of 265.  They did very well to finish in 24:23 on this twisting course with 3 different repeated loops. With narrow pathways and lots of lapping going on in the second and third loops, it would have been difficult to steer the buggy clear of trouble and keep up that kind of pace.

James Tweed (21:46), Stephanie Greenwood (29:35) and Alan Thornhill (30:06) opted for Clare Castle parkrun. Alan and Stephanie put in good, steady runs, around a minute from their best parkrun times this year. Alan was the only one in his age group, while Stephanie was 1st of 2 in hers. James finished 6th of 85 overall and 1st of 6 in his age group, so a good effort.

I visited Coldham’s Common parkrun for the 5th time and clocked a PW of 29:28. There was quite a headwind, especially in the starting/finishing straight which we have to do three times. However, it didn’t stop Jonathan Escalante-Phillips setting a new course record of 15:59 and lapping me in the process. That’s the first time I’ve ever been lapped in a 2 lap parkrun! (2 laps + about 320m straight).

Newmarket GRL for Sun 9th Dec 2018

There was quite a Christmassy gathering of Joggers at this week’s Great Run Local with Emma Newman (23:45), Baz Colley (26:48), Malcolm Osbourn (27:57), Jan Holmes (29:46), Sianie Painter (29:51), Sarah Kinston (32:11), Rebecca Hannah (32:11), Caroline Mcintosh (33:56) and Jenny Osbourn (35:24) in action. Emma was trying out the course for the first time and came home first female finisher and 3rd overall, so a top effort from her. Baz did well to achieve a PB, as did Caroline, who beat her previous time by over 5 minutes. Malcolm, Jan, Sianie, Sarah and Jenny all put in good, steady runs close to their best times. It was first time on this difficult course for Rebecca, who clocked a decent time and will gain from the experience.

Good news! Another GRL has just started, about 25 miles away at Walsham le Willows, northeast of Bury St Edmunds. Journey time by car is 38 minutes from Newmarket. It’s a T-shaped 2-lap out & back 5K course (plus a 2K) and starts at 9:15am on Sundays. So the double Sunday GRL is now definitely a convenient possibility.  It’s easy to get to, along the A14 and A143, taking the Walsham Rd just after Ixworth.


Newmarket Joggers parkrun Report for 1st Dec 2018

Paul Dockerill (19:55) ran at Bury St Edmunds this week and grabs the headlines for his very first 1st finish in a parkrun, just 9 seconds short of his all-time parkrun PB and 1st of 212 overall. Paul deserves every credit as he has generously paced his talented young daughter Chloe in all her parkruns since July and this was a rare chance to go for a personal best time. Also running at Bury was Ruth Eberhardt (27:08), a very creditable 2nd of 14 in her age group, despite running in recovery mode after her big 10 mile PB at Bassingbourn the previous Sunday.

Richard Jones (22:14) is well-qualified as a tourist this week with his journey to Cirencester parkrun in Gloucestershire, in the heart of the Cotswolds. Though officially in the Cotswold Hills, this parkrun is a very flat 3-lapper around the grounds of the Royal Agricultural University, over parkland and along field edges. Richard finished 1st of 7 in his age group by over 2 minutes in his first visit here, so in top form. He is dallying over whether to try to do a different parkrun every week until they run out or he conks out, so a camper van might be on his Christmas wishlist. Henry Hamilton (21:29) was also touring with his first visit to Great Notley parkrun in Essex, where he was 3rd of 10 by age category and 17th of 180 overall. This is the parkrun where you are supposed to “Touch the Bird” at the top of the hill in the second lap, which is a metal statue of a kestrel.  You actually touch the plinth of the statue on the way past to make sure you haven’t taken a shortcut over the hill.  It all adds to the fun.

Sarah Kinston (31:35) and Rebecca Hannah (31:36) were at Coldham’s Common parkrun, Rebecca for the first time. They both appear to have had a fairly relaxing run which is a good strategy for getting a PB next time. On your first visit to a parkrun, they never credit you with an official course PB which is a little annoying, especially if you’re on the way down rather than up. That was my mistake at Coldham’s Common and also at Bury St Edmunds, Brandon, Littleport and March. At Bury and Brandon I am still PB-less since my first runs in 2013. I was at Haverhiil this week (29:17) which is beginning to get a bit muddy in places, though still in pretty good condition compared with the waterlogged mudbath of last spring.

Newmarket GRL Sunday 2nd Dec 2018

James Thomson (21:12) put in a top effort in the GRL 5K on Sunday, finishing in 2nd place overall, not far from his PB of 20:23 from 4 runs.


Newmarket Joggers parkrun Report for 24th Nov 2018

Congratulations to Melanie Tindale (22:39), who completed her 100th parkrun and her 12th at Rutland Water, not far from her all-time parkrun PB of 21:45 set at this course.  She finished 1st of 13 in her age group and is currently in great form.

Also in touring mode was Alan Thornhill (30:28) at Pocket parkrun in St Neots, attempting this course for the first time.  He came 1st of 3 in his age group by over 3 minutes.  James Thomson’s 3rd visit to Letchworth parkrun also counts as tourism, where he clocked 21:30 and came 1st of 2 in his age category by nearly 2 minutes, sans baby buggy.  To complete the tourist agenda, I slightly messed up my 3rd visit to King’s Lynn parkrun by arriving late and starting some 10 minutes after all the others, with no warm up, posting an official time of 40:14.  However, it was a more relaxing run without the time pressure.

Cambridge Milton Country Park attracted the most Joggers this week. Stephanie Greenwood had a great run and recorded an all-time parkrun PB of 28:20 and her best ever age grade of 60.65%. She was also 8th of 22 in her age group and moving up the ranks steadily.  Sarah Sales set herself a new course PB of 26:56 and came 2nd of 22 by age category, so also in top form.  Mike Sales (25:50) was very close to his best parkrun time this year of 25:43, though his all-time PB stands at 23:08 in 2014, also at Cambridge.

Chris Howell is a Newmarket Jogger who favours off-road running and competes for us mainly in the Suffolk Winter XC League plus some other multi-terrain club runs. He runs his parkruns under the St Radegund RDC (Running and Drinking Club) banner. [Info: Radegund (Latin: Radegunda; also spelled Rhadegund, Radegonde, or Radigund; c. 520 — 13 August 587) was a Thuringian princess and Frankish queen, who founded the Abbey of the Holy Cross at Poitiers]. So St Radegund wasn’t the patron saint of an army of marauding, beer-swilling Vandals or Visigoths….or maybe she was.  However, she is apparently the patron saint of Jesus College Cambridge and there is a pub with her name nearby, where university rowers and presumably RDCs congregate from time to time. Anyhow, Chris clocked 19:18 at Cambridge parkrun, his best parkrun time and best age grade (74.61%) since 2013, coming 1st of 29 in his age group. Hopefully we may see him in action at Woodbridge XC this weekend.

The rest of the parkrunners this week were lone runners at the various courses. Ruth Eberhardt visited her favourite Bury St Edmunds parkrun and put in a relaxed run of 29:11, finishing a creditable 5th of 14 in her age group. She was no doubt saving energy for the Bassingbourn 10 the next day, where she ran an excellent race and set a new PB by 4 minutes. At Thetford, Giles Macrow (24:38) did well to come 2nd of 16 in his age category, while James Tweed (21:51) tried out Haverhill parkrun for the first time and came 1st of 5 by age group and 6th of 46 overall, so a good performance. The numbers were very low at Haverhill for some reason.  Emma Newman (21:49) can’t do much wrong at present and returned to Littleport parkrun to come home first female finisher once again, 5 seconds from her all-time PB of 21:44. That was the day before her top performance in the Bassingbourn 10.  Richard Jones (20:58) tried out Coldham’s Common parkrun for the first time and did well to finish 4th of 10 in his age group with 73.29% age grade. However, he faced tough opposition, with two of his age rivals posting 18 minute times with age grades over 85%.  That’s nearly as good as Paul Holley so demands respect!

Newmarket GRL 25th Nov 2018

Just two Joggers in action at the GRL this week: Richard Jones (22:26) and myself (30:41). Richard went out like a bullet and came home an impressive first overall finisher in 22:26.  Giles Macrow kindly helped with the timing.  Many thanks to all the volunteers.

Newmarket Joggers parkrun Report for 17th Nov 2018

Starting with a couple of tourists at Chelmsford Central parkrun.  Sarah Sales (27:22) and Mike Sales (28:53) no doubt enjoyed the picturesque route, which wends its way along tree-lined paths beside the River Chelmer, from Central Park to Admirals Park and back again.  However, it was a huge field of 644, which must have caused some crowding early on, depending on how wide those tree-lined paths are.  Mike was running with his brother Matthew in his first ever parkrun, which spared Sarah and himself from a race to the finish, in the true spirit of parkrun. Mike was 13 places ahead of his brother at the finish, so maybe a teeny bit of competition did develop in the final sprint, and why not?!  Sarah was 9th of 34 in her age group so put in a very decent effort.

The next furthest away was a trip to Wimpole Estate parkrun by Ruth Eberhardt (24:31), Jan Holmes (29:16) and Sarah Kinston (30:09).  Sarah did well to get a new course PB, while Jan put in a top effort to finish 1st of 12 in her age group by nearly 3 minutes. Ruth also ran well, coming 2nd of 27 in her age category in her first attempt at this tough, unforgiving course, where cow-pat avoidance is the key to success.

James Thomson (23:22) took his baby daughter plus buggy to Littleport parkrun north of Ely and clocked another excellent time, his fourth outing with the buggy.  Haverhill remains his baby buggy PB at 23:04, which is some going….7:24/mile.  Meanwhile, Paul Dockerill (28:54) was at Bury St Edmunds, running with young daughter Chloe (28:54), who is now a Junior member of St Edmund Pacers. She finished 1st of 3 in her JW10 age group and continues to progress.

Dave Price (28:58) and Kate Warboys (33:59) had another stab at Brandon Country Park parkrun.  It was Dave’s first parkrun for 4 months and only the 3rd parkrun this year for Kate, so both were probably content to put in steady runs rather than aim for course PBs, which stand at 26:19 for Dave in 2013 and 29:09 for Kate in 2017.

James Tweed (21:42) and Richard Jones (21:09) were at Clare Castle, with James finishing 2nd of 12 and Richard 1st of 8 by age category, with Richard earning 72.66% age grade. Well done to James’s son Bertie Tweed, who was first overall finisher in a time of 18:19.

At Milton Country Park, Cambridge, Brian Munns (23:08) and Jim Withers (26:49) were in action, with Brian 3rd of 16 in his age group and Jim as consistent as ever.  It was their friend and former Jogger Adrian Whittle (21:22) who really stole the show, just 13 seconds outside his all-time parkrun PB, set way back in January 2013.  He also came 3rd of 33 in his age group with his best ever age grade of 70.75%.  We definitely do need him back in the team!

Finally, at Coldham’s Common, Henry Hamilton (22:14), Eadie Brooker (24:49), Jon Brooker (24:51) and Chris Aylmer (28:03) were taking part.  Henry was a first time visitor and did well to come 4th of 16 in his age group.  Junior Jogger Eadie Brooker, just turned 11, was running her second 5K parkrun with her dad Jon Brooker (24:51), already having 12 Junior 2K parkruns under her belt with a PB of 9:50.  It was a 5K PB for Eadie by 11 seconds, following her first run (and first finish!) at Clare recently.  She was also nearly 9 minutes ahead of the other girl in her 11-14 age group, so a great achievement.  Melanie Tindale and Harley Tindale kindly helped marshal at this parkrun.

Newmarket GRL Sunday 11:15am 18th Nov 2018

In the 5K, Greg Davis (20:23), Sianie Painter (30:37) and Andrew Rice (35:18) were participating.  Andrew put in a good, steady run which is great for hill training and fitness.  Sianie appears to have been taking it a little more relaxed than usual for her, but still came home second female, so well done. Knowing Greg, he is probably keen to break the 20 minute barrier at the GRL and surely will do before too long.  As it was, he finished first and knocked one second off his previous PB, so still a top effort.

Newmarket Joggers parkrun Report for 10th Nov 2018

Three out-and-out tourists and two semi-tourists this week.

Giles Macrow (23:17) was down in East London and called in on the Victoria Dock parkrun for the first time, which is a double out & back course going on excursions, in turn, around the north and south dockside paths. It was a good run and Giles was unlucky to finish 4th of 4 in his age group in a relatively small field of 129.  The other two full tourists were James Thomson (19:38) and Richard Jones (20:56) at Felixstowe.  Fortunately there was not too much in the way of wind as can happen on this course, which is also a double out & backer along the promenade, first north, then south.  This was James’s best parkrun time since July 2017 and he was 2nd of 6 in his age group, so good progress…must be all that strength work pushing the baby buggy! Richard was also in top form, 2nd out of 17 by age group with an age grade of 73.41%.

The semi-tourists were Bobby Jackson (20:55) at Salisbury and Melanie Tindale (23:24) at Rutland Water.  Bobby has done Salisbury parkrun 20 times and did well to come 2nd of 12 in his age category.  Melanie is a veteran of 11 parkruns at Rutland Water and came 2nd of 17 in her age category, so an equally good result in her 99th parkrun to date.  A well-deserved black milestone t-shirt just around the corner!

At Cambridge Milton Country Park, Jessica Podd (25:29), Malcolm Osbourn (26:29) and Jenny Osbourn (36:49) were in action.  It was Jessica’s second parkrun and a PB for her, so well done. Malcolm was in unstoppable form as he has been all year.  He finished 1st of 9 in his age group and achieved his best parkrun time since June 2017 as well as a new course PB at Cambridge….really rolling back the years!  Jenny also did very well to come 1st of 3 in her age group.

Meanwhile, in Nowton Park, Bury St Edmunds, Emma Newman (22:36), Ruth Eberhardt (25:27) and Paul Dockerill (25:54) were lining up at the start.  Emma was in great form and equalled her course PB, coming 1st of 8 by age group.  Ruth also did well to come 3rd of 14 in her age group.  Paul ran with his daughter Chloe (25:54), who set a new course PB and equalled her all-time parkrun PB, which was set earlier this year at Thetford, so top running.

Brandon was a big draw for the Joggers this week, with 6 making the trip: Neville Clarke (22:08), Brian Munns (22:45), Jim Withers (26:37), Jan Holmes (28:33), Stephanie Greenwood (29:22) and Sarah Kinston (30:17).  Sarah, Stephanie and Jan were all close to their PBs with Jan coming 1st of 4 by age group.  Jim put in another good consistent run while Brian was in good form, despite his nasty fall the other week, coming 1st of 9 in his age group.  Neville was also first in his age group, finishing 12 minutes ahead of the second and posting an age grade of 75.75%.  Long time former Jogger Adrian Whittle (22:07) was in great form, just 1 second short of a course PB and 1st of 10 by age group. We need you back Adrian!

James Tweed (21:22) put in a decent effort at Clare Castle to come 1st of 7  in his age group, while I managed 28:25 at Thetford, which unexpectedly put me 1st of 4 by age group, so no complaints!

Newmarket GRL 11th Nov 2018

The results are not showing so far on the website and will be added when known.

Newmarket Joggers parkrun Report for 3rd Nov 2018

News story of the week must be that Jon Brooker (25:00) accompanied his 10 year-old daughter and Junior Jogger Eadie Brooker (25:00) to a first female finish in the Clare Castle parkrun….in her first ever parkrun too!  Congratulations indeed.  Apart from an occasional Newmarket GRL, Eadie has never run among adults before.  Her run gives her 69.53% age grade, which is straight into Gold and almost up to 70% Platinum club standard.

Talking of first finishers, Emma Newman (22:36) paid her first visit to Bury St Edmunds parkrun and came home first female of 85, so is firing on all cylinders.  Welcome back to Ruth Eberhardt (27:52) at her home parkrun, who enjoyed a more relaxed run after a self-imposed rest for a few weeks, following a climbing holiday and subsequent niggling illness.

Cambridge parkrun at Milton Country Park was the biggest draw this week.  Chris Gay (20:48) and Richard Jones (22:58) were both kindly acting as volunteer pacemakers this week for 21 minutes and 23 minutes respectively and did a very good job too.  Jim Withers (25:26) did his usual safe, reliable run and has only once ever been 27 minutes or more in all his 117 parkruns from 2010 (in March 2016 he did 27:16).  That’s consistency and remarkable for his MV60 age group.  Carol Mcintosh (35:14) put in a more relaxed, steady run prior to the Lode HM the next day and still finished 1st of 3 in her age category.  Old colleague Adrian Whittle (22:22) was 4th of 24 in his age group so going well.

There are a few tourists this week to report on.  Paul Dockerill (26:27) had a go at Ipswich parkrun with daughter Chloe (26:25), the first time at this course for both of them. This is quite an undulating route, winding around Chantry Park over mainly grassy trail, parkland and around a cricket field, with some hard path, not the easiest of courses with a fair amount of climb. Chloe was 1st of 6 in her age group by over 3 minutes, so well done.

It was quite a surprise to find Neville Clarke (21:08) among the tourists at Cannon Hill parkrun in Birmingham, having only ever run at Bury St Edmunds, Brandon and recently Littleport in his 134 total appearances to date. This parkrun circles Cannon Hill Park, passing by a boating lake and going on an out & back section alongside the River Rea, a very picturesque course.  It’s a huge parkrun with 727 taking part this week.  Neville was nudged out of first place by just 16 seconds in a very high class MV65 age group, achieving an age grade of 79.34%.

Not far away, Giles Macrow was in Rugby with his son for the weekend at a puppet festival and found to his horror that Rugby parkrun was cancelled due to Bonfire Night preparations in the park. So he made his way to Bedworth parkrun, up the M6 towards Coventry. This is a switchback of a 3-lapper around the Miner’s Welfare Park, part hard path, part grassy trail. Giles finished in 24:24 and was 4th of 11 in his age group, straight after a full English breakfast at the Premier Inn in Rugby….takes some doing!

At Thetford, Bobby Jackson (21:01) did well to finish 2nd of 12 in his age group in his third run here, also 12th of 269 overall.  Down at Haverhill, James Thomson (23:04) was in action with buggy and baby daughter again and set a new PB after 3 buggy runs.  That’s some speed to achieve without freedom of arm movement and crouched over a buggy.  I tried out Coldham’s Common parkrun for the third time, clocking a course PW of 28:29 but it was a lovely cool, fresh morning of bright sunshine.

Newmarket GRL 4th Nov 2018

 With the Suffolk Winter League XC fixture at Framlingham and the Bonfire Burn 10K and Lode Half Marathon attracting Joggers to races, there was a low turnout of Joggers to the GRL this week.  Andrew Rice clocked 36:56 in the 5K, so a more relaxed run from him, with his PB standing at 30:13 from 8 runs so far.  There were no Joggers taking part in the 2.5K.

Newmarket Joggers parkrun Report for 27th Oct 2018

Henry Hamilton (19:42) happened to be in Melbourne, Australia over the weekend, no doubt on horseracing business.  He sampled the Albert parkrun, which is a single lap around the beautiful Albert Park Lake.  Henry was 2nd of 28 in his age category and in 34th position of 403 overall, so a great run in a very high class field where 36 runners went sub 20. This parkrun regularly attracts 300-400 runners with a record 647 some weeks ago.   It started life in 2011 and it took a year before the numbers reached 100, but now goes from strength to strength.

Talking tourism,  I was over in Ireland for the Dublin Marathon on Sunday and couldn’t resist trying out the nearby Fairview parkrun the day before, which is to the northeast of the city. The parkrun didn’t start until 9:30am so things are very civilised in Ireland.  I clocked a steady 30:01, hoping to save something for the next day. It’s a very attractive, gently undulating 3-lapper around Fairview Park, over hard path and grass, part of the way alongside the River Tolka.  Attendance is normally a bit under 100, so fairly small but very friendly.

Melanie Tindale (23:26) at Rutland Water and Sarah Kinston (30:18) at Conkers, Leicestershire, can also be classed as tourists, although they know these courses like the back of their hands.  Melanie did well to finish 1st of 14 in her age group at Rutland and Sarah recorded a new course PB at Conkers. It surely can’t be long before Sarah breaks 30 minutes in a parkrun.

Emma Newman (22:44) was again in action at Littleport, joined by Jan Holmes (27:20).  Emma was in top form again, coming 1st of 16 in her age group and 3rd of 80 female runners overall, while Jan also topped her age group.  Meanwhile, at Haverhill parkrun, Danielle Jones (23:46) bagged herself a new all-time parkrun PB, finishing 4th of 32 female runners, with Alan Thornhill (29:07) in consistent form and coming home 1st in his age group.

Giles Macrow (24:12) was at his favourite Thetford parkrun, going a little easier than usual and saving something for his Half Marathon the next day in Bury St Edmunds. He still managed 3rd of 12 by age category. Nearby in Brandon, old colleague Adrian Whittle (22:06) got a course PB and his best time of the year, finishing 2nd of 9 by age category.

James Tweed and Paul Dockerill were down at Clare Castle parkrun, with James finishing 1st of 5 in his age group and 4th of 99 runners overall, so a very good effort. He also kindly helped out as a volunteer. Paul helped pace his daughter Chloe to a time of 27:45, which is a new course PB for her. She was also 1st of 3 by age group so well done.

Richard Jones (21:36) and Stephanie Greenwood (29:56) were both first timers at Wimpole Estate.  Richard was 1st of 18 in his age group and 13th of 310 overall, so a top first effort on this tough course. Stephanie did well to duck just under 30 minutes, a good achievement on this hilly course. At Cambridge, Iain Perry (29:15) and Lisa Hillman (29:38) both put in steady runs.

At Bury St Edmunds, Neville Clarke (21:43) continued in unstoppable form.  He finished 1st of 12 in his MV60-64 age group, the day before moving up to MV65-69.  Heaven help the 65 to 69s for the next 5 years!  James Thomson (25:17) was also there with his daughter in the buggy and did an excellent job on this fairly uneven ground, especially through the woods.  Let’s hope his daughter can push him around for old time’s sake in many years to come!

Newmarket GRL Oct 28th   

Big news!  Richard Jones (21:39) was first finisher in the GRL 5K after playing 2nd fiddle to Greg Davis the previous week!  Sianie Painter also ran well in 28:50 on this difficult course, near her best time of 28:30.


Newmarket Joggers parkrun Report for 20th Oct 2018

The big news is another first female finish for Emma Newman (21:44) at Littleport parkrun, not to mention an all-time 5K PB for her by one second!  Emma was 1st of 57 female runners and 1st of 11 in her age group by over 5 minutes.  Sam Sadler (21:44) was generously helping to pace Emma around the course this week.  To think that Emma’s first parkrun in 2013 was 29:24 and that her first run this year was 27:40!

Jessica Podd (25:46) was a tourist this week at Huntingdon parkrun and came 15th of 118 female runners .  It was Jessica’s first ever parkrun, so a fast start to her parkrun career.  She is currently the youngest senior female Jogger in the club and was the only runner in her 18-19 age bracket at Huntingdon.  This picturesque parkrun is set in Hinchingbrooke Country Park, with much of the 2-lap course along pathways through woods and alongside the river-sized Alconbury Brook as well as over some open parkland.  There is plenty of shade for runners in the summer months.

Richard Jones (21:09) chose Clacton Seafront as his tourist destination.  He was 10th of 138 participants overall and came 1st in his age group by over 4 minutes with age grade 72.66%, so a great effort.  This parkrun is a 3 lapper that goes up and down the seafront promenade on the south side of the pier, with an exhilarating view of the sea.  As on other seafront parkruns, there is often quite a wind too, which can play havoc with pacing plans.  The original parkrun in 2016 was a single lap out & back route going the whole length of the seafront, but I’m guessing that it may have been changed to avoid commandeering the whole length of promenade to the detriment of other visitors and residents.

Henry Hamilton-Gould (20:49) plumped for Letchworth parkrun for a spot of tourism, the same one James Thomson visited recently. In his first visit here, Henry did well to finish 2nd of 12 in his age group and 7th of 139 runners overall.

Bury St Edmunds attracted Paul Dockerill (26:48) and Iain Perry (28:26).  After a spell concentrating more on cycling, Iain’s running is improving steadily with training and he is looking more comfortable and confident in all departments.  Paul was running with daughter Chloe (26:46), who performed near her best, not far from her Bury course PB of 26:13 and all-time PB of 25:54 at Thetford.

Talking of Thetford parkrun, Giles Macrow (28:26) ran there with his son Thomas, who unfortunately had to withdraw with a stitch early on.  Giles still came a decent 7th of 18 by age group.

James Tweed (21:25) was at his local Clare Castle parkrun and came 11th of 110 overall and 2nd of 8 by age group, not far from his all-time course PB of 21:04.  James’s son Bertie was first finisher in an impressive 18:04, a new course and all-time PB for him, while younger son Archie also did well to finish 8th overall and 1st of 6 by age group. Quite a family of runners!

Jan Holmes (27:38) and Sarah Kinston (30:08) tried out the new Coldham’s Common parkrun, where the grass was no doubt quite dewy and slippery on the bends.  Jan put in a huge effort to finish 1st of 12 in her age category, near her best parkrun this year.  The distance of this parkrun route is coming up the full 5K on GPS, which is reassuring, despite all the bends, loops and some tree cover.  Sarah did well to match her all-time parkrun PB, so a top effort too.

Lisa Hillman (31:08), Jim Withers (26:36) and Brian Munns (22:08) visited Brandon Country Park to tackle this hilly parkrun.  Lisa has taken the last two parkruns at a more relaxed pace after a string of PBs over the summer and early autumn, which is a good way to consolidate your gains, avoid injury, take off the pressure and enjoy your running unencumbered.  Jim was rock solid as always, while Brian found some extra pace this week and finished 2nd of 7 in his age category, with running buddy Adrian Whittle not far behind in 23:03, 2nd of 10 in his age group.

At Haverhill, it was James Thomson’s first run with his one-year-old daughter in the buggy.  James still did amazingly well to clock 24:32, which I have to admit is better than my all-time parkrun PB. There was no crying, screaming or tantrums from the passenger at all!  I was some way off the pace in 28:48 and soon lost sight of the buggy but I could follow its tracks on the dewy wet grass.

Newmarket GRL 21st Oct 2018

There were 3 Joggers running in the GRL 5K this week: Greg Davis (20:24*), Richard Jones (21:22*) and Sarah Boneham (24:03). This was the first ever GRL for Greg and Sarah and both put in great runs on this difficult hilly course. Greg was first overall finisher and Sarah 2nd female to finish, not far behind the redoubtable local veteran Elke Hausler. Richard came in 2nd behind Greg. In the 2.5K, new club member Eliot Bentley (14:07) was the only known Jogger, finishing 12th in a comparatively large field of 34. It was his first GRL run, so a very good start. Eliot is down as female on the GRL results but is male on our club records.  Please let us know if there is an error, or otherwise let GRL know!    *corrected due to timing error.

Newmarket Joggers parkrun Report for 13th Oct 2018

Richard Jones (21:54) qualifies as a tourist this week by trying out the fairly new (now in its 18th week) parkrun in St Neots, called Pocket parkrun after the name of the main park in the town.  It’s around the same distance away as Huntingdon at about 32 miles, so quite a hike to be classed as a local parkrun.  Richard came 4th of 13 by age group in a high class field of 199.  The route is a very pleasant and varied two lapper, over tarmac paths, grassy meadows and trails, passing alongside the River Great Ouse and by a lake.  Meanwhile, Giles Macrow (24:58) chose his favourite Thetford course and came in a respectable 5th of 15 in his age group, despite taking it easier before his Peterborough HM the next day.

Bury St Edmunds parkrun entertained two Joggers, Ruth Eberhardt (24:55) and James Thomson (21:29).  Ruth has discovered her legs again after a climbing holiday in Italy and ran well to come 2nd of 18 in her age category, while James came 1st of 8 in his, not holding back too much before his HM run at Peterborough the next day.  Stephanie Greenwood (29:09) and Kate Warboys (33:55) were at Brandon parkrun.  It was the second course PB in succession for Stephanie and her second fastest ever parkrun. She also came 1st of 4 by age group.  Interestingly, her time was the same as Kate’s Brandon course PB, achieved in 2017. Kate put in a sound effort in only her second parkrun this year, following nearly a year’s parkrun absence from October 2017.

Jim Withers (25:37) and Brian Munns (23:56) were competing at Cambridge.  Jim was in his usual consistent form and finished 3rd of 10 in his age category.  Unlike Jim, Brian may have decided to take it a little easier with their 10K race the next day at Lakenheath.  He has also had a slight niggling knee injury recently, yet still managed 5th place of 23 in his age group.  Friend Adrian Whittle was able to beat the maestro on this occasion, with a speedy 22:49 time, finishing 9th of 28 by age group.

Littleport parkrun drew 4 Joggers, Sarah Sales (26:21), Mike Sales (25:48), Emma Newman (21:45) and Neville Clarke (20:50).  Congratulations to Emma, who was first finisher of 69 female runners, equalling her all-time parkrun PB set a few weeks ago at this course.  She was also 1st of 9 in her age group, some 5 minutes ahead of the second.  Sarah was in top form, 2nd of 14 by age category in her first run on this course, and Mike also ran near his best this year.  Neville achieved his quickest parkrun time since April 2017 and was 1st of 5 in his age group, with an age grade of 79.28%, so a big effort from him. Littleport maintains its reputation to be one of the best local PB courses to visit!

Melanie Tindale (23:41), Alan Thornhill (29:18) and Chris Aylmer (28:11) visited the new Coldham’s Common parkrun in Cambridge.  It was first time at this venue for Melanie and Alan.  Melanie put in a fast time and finished 3rd of 10 in her age group, also kindly helping out as a volunteer, while Alan was first in his age group and is currently enjoying very good form.

Newmarket GRL  14th Oct 2018

With so many Joggers at races on Sunday there was a small turnout of the club at the GRL and also less availability of helpers.  Thank you to all the volunteers.  There were good performances from Baz Colley (26:53), Sianie Painter (28:30) and Alexia Smithson (32:35).  It was Baz’s first run since receiving his timing card so stands as his official current PB.  Sianie put in a game effort to take almost a minute off her PB and is improving fast after 11 GRLs in total.  With her overall 5K 2018 PB in the GRL, the most difficult run of all, Sianie looks set to improve on that in the club 5K Winter Handicap very soon!  Alexia was very close to her PB of 32:28, so a very good performance


Newmarket Joggers parkrun Report for 6th Oct 2018

Apologies for the belated report!  No tourists to follow around the globe this week….all local Newmarket satellite venues.  Also a relatively small turnout of Joggers with many of the regulars running in races the next day.

There were 4 lone NJ parkrunners:  James Thomson (21:13) at Coldham’s Common (Cambridge), Jon Brooker (22:08) at Clare Castle, Giles Macrow (34:52) at Thetford and Kate Warboys (33:24) at Brandon Country Park.

It was James’s first visit to the new Coldham’s Common parkrun, which was only in its second week. Unlike the first week, conditions were wet and the all-grass course was quite slippery.  James had ordinary road shoes on, so not ideal for the relatively sharp bends, especially going at his speed.  However he put in a decent time in a very competitive field of 264 runners.  Conditions at Clare Castle must have been difficult, maybe a bit slimy on the concrete paths and trails, with only 2 runners breaking 20 minutes.  Jon coped well and finished 3rd of 10 runners in his age group, despite clocking a slightly slower time than usual for him. Giles was generously acting as 35 minute pacer at Thetford and did a good job to come in very close to the time.  This was Kate’s first parkrun of 2018 and she put in a good effort on what was likely wet and drab conditions.

Neville Clarke (21:59) and Lisa Hillman (31:51) tried out Bury St Edmunds parkrun at Nowton Park.  Lisa put in a sound run despite the softest and wettest conditions for a good while, which saps energy from the legs.  Neville coped admirably, with all his experience of the Nowton park mud, and finished 1st of 14 in his age group, so a great effort.

Brian Munns (22:09) and Jim Withers (25:21) plumped for old favourite and granddaddy of our local parkruns, Cambridge at Milton Country Park.  Again, due to the conditions, times were slightly slower than usual but Jim did well to come 2nd of 7 in his age category, while Brian was 1st of 15 in his.  Old colleague Adrian Whittle (22:15) was hot on the heels of Brian and is in ace form at present which is good to see, with his best time at Cambridge since July 2017, 5th of 23 by age group.

Newmarket GRL 7th Oct 2018

 Newmarket Joggers in the GRL 5K were:  Richard Jones (22:05), Mike Sales (26:14), Sarah Sales (26:40), Bee Chapman (28:56), Giles Macrow (39:00).  Richard had a great run to come home first finisher so congratulations!  It was Mike’s and Sarah’s first run in the GRL and they both coped well and paced themselves perfectly in the long climb up Warren Hill, which normally takes new runners by surprise.  Bee put in a sound effort, with or without dog, while Giles was kindly acting as backmarker.  Good news that Giles has been accepted in the VLM ballot for 2019.  He certainly deserves it with all his help in the GRL and parkuns over the year.

Volunteer acknowledgements: 

6th Oct:  Rebecca Hannah (Bury St Edmunds), Jan Holmes and Sarah Kinston (Cambridge), Giles Macrow (Thetford).  29th Sept: Melanie Tindale (Coldham’s Common). Thanks very much for your help at parkrun.  NJ volunteers at GRL are not currently listed in full but will be credited where known.


Newmarket Joggers parkrun Report for 29/09/2018

It was a sizeable turnout of 363 at the inaugural Coldham’s Common parkrun in Cambridge, almost as many as the 397 at Milton Country Park to the north. On that basis, the extra parkrun is an overall winner for the people of Cambridge, since the total of 760 participants has never been reached at the Milton venue, with 647 the record turnout so far.  Of course the cancellation of Bury St Edmunds parkrun, due to an event there, may have swelled the numbers somewhat. The course is fast, flat and wide and goes twice around a large playing field and a smaller field in a figure of 8 circuit, with lots of room to overtake. It remains to be seen how wet and boggy the ground may get in winter, though that could be good XC fun with the right footwear such as spikes or trail shoes.  Haverhill parkrun is a very similar course and did get muddy and waterlogged early this year, soon after the event began.

Mark Hayward (18:25), Mike Sales (25:43), Sarah Sales (25:54) and Chris Aylmer (27:10) tried out the new course on Coldham’s Common. Mark was in good form, finishing 11th/363 overall and 4th/25 in his age group.  Mike got his best parkrun time of 2018, while Sarah went a stage further and achieved a new all-time parkrun PB finishing 2nd of 25 in her age group, so in great form.

At Milton Country Park, the original Cambridge parkrun venue since 2010, Stephen Cousins (21:57) and Alice Leadbeter  (32:47) were taking part.  It was Alice’s first parkrun since 2015, so a good run after being out of 5K action for a while.  We hope to see Alice at more parkruns.  It was Stephen’s best parkrun time this year and he finished 2nd of 11 by age group, only 5 seconds from being first, so a top effort.

Alan Thornhill (30:51) made a tourist visit to the new Sizewell parkrun which started a couple of months ago and put in a sound run.  It was Alan’s 49th parkrun so next one earns him a Milestone 50 t-shirt.

James Thomson (21:04) was a tourist at Letchworth parkrun for the second time.  He managed to post a course PB by 3 seconds, was 3rd of 6 in his age group and 7th of 126 overall, so a good run.  Letchworth is mainly over gravel, grass and dirt paths in a sort of triangular double circuit, going part of the way along the Greenway, a 13 mile walking route around the town, with rolling fields for attractive scenery.

Two  lone Joggers were Stephanie Greenwood (29:26) at Brandon and Giles Macrow (23:41) at Thetford.  It was a course PB for Stephanie at Brandon, who finished 3rd of 11 in her age group.  It’s the first time she’s been under 30 minutes at this difficult parkrun, with its two long uphill climbs combined with speed-limiting tree root hazards on the descents.  Giles was in solid form on the 6 loop, leg-twister Thetford course, coming in 4th of 13 by age group and putting in a particularly fast final kilometre.

It was Clare Castle parkrun’s very first birthday, which began life on 30th Sep 2017 (I was there!). James Tweed (22:51) had a nice run with his dog, finishing 3rd of 10 in his age group, though probably not too much dog assistance! His daughter Kitty also had a good run in 27:37.  There was a special birthday cake to share among participants afterwards and the excellent Platform One Cafe was no doubt very busy too.

Finally, at Littleport parkrun, Brian Munns (21:06), Jim Withers (25:11) and Isabel Vicente (35:40) were in action.  Brian had a great run, achieving an all-time parkrun PB by 14 seconds and finishing 2nd of 5 in his age group, only 4 seconds behind his leading age rival.  Jim did well too, grabbing a 2018 season’s best parkrun time and also finishing 2nd by age group, just 5 seconds behind the leader.  Isabel ran with her dog and was content to enjoy a relaxing parkrun.  Overall, Littleport parkrun certainly does seem to be a good place to look for a PB time, with its fast, flat course over hard path, grass and trail.

Newmarket GRL 30th Sep 2018

Baz Colley (26:38* from Strava), Giles Macrow (23:12PB!) and James Thomson (20:23PB!) were competing in the GRL on Sunday.  Baz doesn’t seem to have received a chip-timing card yet so no official time is appearing in the results.  However, it’s noticeable on Strava that he achieved PRs in all the segments of the GRL, so well done on a good run.  Both Giles and James had great runs and achieved all-time GRL PBs, Giles by over a minute.  Giles had almost perfectly even Gradient Adjusted Pace splits (GAP as shown on Strava). Basically GAP is the pace you would be going along the flat, putting in the same effort as you are while running uphill or downhill.  This even GAP showed that Giles was putting in a similar effort or power output over the whole run, uphill, downhill and along the flat.    This has clearly worked to give him the best time possible, with a 1 minute PB.  His GAP GRL kilometre splits were: 4:34/4:32/4:34/4:35/4:28 min/km or 7:21/7:18/7:21/7:23/7:12 min/mile.  Contrast that with his run in the flat Thetford parkrun the day before, where he went easier early on (no doubt a deliberate variation) and put a lot more effort into the final kilometre.  It was a good run but did give him a slower overall pace and time compared with the hilly GRL course, when you would expect an advantage on the flat. James put in a great run and PB at a pace that I could only dream of!  He was second finisher, only 13 seconds behind Jason Wing, so a fine run. However, it’s interesting to note that his approach was quite different from that of Giles.  He really attacked the first uphill kilometre at his fastest GAP of 5:56/mi (3:41/km) but then ‘slowed’ to a GAP of 6:31/mi (4:03/km) in the second uphill K and 6:55/mi (4:17/km) in the almost flat third K.  In the slightly downhill fourth K he was still up at a GAP of 6:44/mi (4:11/km) and then down to 6:14/mi (3:52/km) in the final big downhill K.  So, quite a variation in GAP.  Who knows, if James were to even out his effort over the GRL, he might get an extra edge and breach the sub 20 zone sooner rather than later.  Giles’ Stryd Power Meter tells him his power output instantly, but slowing down a little on the uphill, especially in the first K, and saving energy for more speed on the flattish third and fourth K might have a rewarding effect on overall time.


Newmarket Joggers parkrun Report for 22nd Sep 2018

 Daisy Glover (18:04) put in her best ever parkrun time and fastest recorded 5K at Great Cornard, finishing 1st of 50 female runners and 3rd of 132 overall.  That was just 6 days after her huge effort to come second female home in the Great East Run from over a thousand women, beaten only by an international runner from Ipswich, Helen Decker Davies.  The day after the parkrun, Daisy won the top female trophy in the Felixstowe Coastal 10, so firing on all cylinders and guns blazing!

Quite a few special tourist visits to report on this week.  New Jogger Baz Colley (25:27) called in on Sittingbourne parkrun in Kent where he’s done 8 of his 11 parkruns to date.  It’s held in Milton Creek Country Park and is a very pleasant 2-lapper on gravel and trail surfaces.  He was 5th of 14 in his age group and not far from his best time of 24:58.  Baz hasn’t yet added Newmarket Joggers to his parkrun profile, which will help in spotting his whereabouts on a Saturday morning!

Meanwhile, Henry Hamilton-Gould (19:58) chanced upon Kettering parkrun in Northamptonshire, which is a picturesque course inside the well known Wicksteed Park, circling the Model Boat Pond.  Henry did well to finish 2nd of 17 in his age group and 11th of 394 overall.

Next on the tourist list was Richard Jones (20:39), presumably on holiday in the Peak District and making the most of nearby Bakewell parkrun….well you can only take so much backpacking.  The route is out & back along the Monsal Trail and is quite hilly with 140ft of climb.  At least it starts and finishes on the same level unlike a few rogue parkruns.  Richard did well to finish 1st of 9 by age group and 14th of 175 overall, so earned a Bakewell tart or two, though I remember from a visit there once that Bakewell tarts, as most people know them, are not actually considered traditional in the town….just for tourists.

Niamh McGroarty (34:00) was a tourist at Dinton Pastures parkrun just east of Reading, which looks idyllic on a map, meandering around and between two lakes called White Swan and Black Swan in a nature reserve, complete with bird hides along the way if you need to escape from the run.  The parkrun only started in July this year and it was Niamh’s first visit and first parkrun for 4 months.  She PB’d at Cambrdge in May with 31:34, which was her best time for 2 years, so possibly decided on a more relaxing run at Dinton Pastures.

Jan Holmes (27:38) and Stephanie Greenwood (28:37) were at Cambridge parkrun at Milton Country Park.  Stephanie scored a brand new all-time parkrun PB, beating her previous best of 29:43, and is really motoring now.  It’s a great feeling when almost every run or race becomes a PB possibility.  Jan also put in a good run, not far from her best this year and 5th of 21 by age category.

Five Joggers lined up at Bury St Edmunds:  Jenny Osbourn (34:59), Malcolm Osbourn (27:54), Paul Dockerill (26:14), Ruth Eberhardt (23:45) and Neville Clarke (21:22).  It was Jenny’s and Malcolm’s first time here and both put in good efforts. Jenny clocked her best parkrun time of 2018 and she was 1st by age category, while Malcolm was 2nd in his age category.  Paul ran with daughter Chloe (26:13) who gained another course PB at Bury only 2 weeks after the previous one, finishing 1st in her age group, so is improving fast.  Her all-time best remains 25:54 at Thetford clocked earlier this year. Ruth did well to finish 2nd of 12 by age category, while Neville carried on in top form, 1st of 10 against his age rivals, especially notable as Neville is soon to move up an age category.

Brian Munns (22:30), Mike Sales (26:37), Jim Withers (26:48) and Sarah Sales (27:23) were at Brandon parkrun.  Sarah achieved a new 2018 parkrun PB and was 2nd in her age group from 14, so is continuing in very good form.  Jim put in another consistent effort, as did Mike who also achieved his best 2018 parkrun time.  Brian continues at top speed, not far from his best this year and 2nd of 9 in his age group.

At Thetford, Lisa Hillman (29:48) and Giles Macrow (22:38) both did well to finish 2nd of 15 and 2nd of 13 respectively in their age groups, with times close to their best this year.  Bobby Jackson (20:45) earned a new course PB and was 4th of 10 by age group, so going well.

At Clare Castle, James Thomson (20:15) and Chris Aylmer (28:12) were taking part.  James went out like a bullet and achieved a new course PB, finishing 1st of 5 in his age group and taking 3rd place of 111 runners overall.

There was no GRL this week due to the Newmarket Open Weekend


Newmarket Joggers parkrun Report 15th Sep 2018

One tourist to report on this week, not too far away at Swaffham, 12 miles east of King’s Lynn.  Well done to James Thomson (19:58), who was in determined mood and finished first of 63 participants at this Norfolk parkrun, which only began life in May this year. It’s a flat 3-lapper around school playing fields so probably quite a scramble, with some lapping-and-being-lapped going on to add to the excitement.

Littleport parkrun attracted Sarah Kinston (30:08), Jan Holmes (27:16) and Emma Newman (21:45).  It was an all-time parkrun PB for Sarah and a 2018 season’s best parkrun for Jan, both of whom were first-timers at this venue. For Emma it was a course PB, all-time parkrun PB and her best ever recorded 5K to date.  She was 1st of 16 in her age group and 3rd home of 93 female runners, so a great performance.

Over at Clare Castle, Meera Mahadevan (25:08) continued her dynamic progress to post another course and 2018 parkrun PB as well as a 5K season’s best time. She was also 1st of 10 in her age group, so a very worthwhile morning excursion. James and Kitty Tweed kindly helped out at this parkrun.

Giles Macrow (29:51) ran at Thetford with his son Thomas (29:48).  Giles was hoping to pace his son to a PB of 26:30 but some essential run/walking scuppered that plan.  There’s no pressure and always a next week at parkrun, which is one of the best things about it.  As it was, Giles needed to conserve energy for the Great East Run in Ipswich the next day, where he ran well.

Mike Sales (27:57) and son Jamie (19:47) called in on Wimpole parkrun, where they have run several times. It was Mike’s and Jamie’s first parkrun of the year, and a difficult one at that. No cobwebs on either of them and Mike put in a solid run while Jamie did very well to finish 2nd of 9 in his age group and 12th of 352 runners overall.

At Milton Country Park, just two Joggers this week with Sharon Woodroofe (34:10) and Iain Perry (27:22).  It was Sharon’s first ever parkrun and a very encouraging start, hopefully with a lot of enjoyment and plenty of PBs to come in the future.  Iain is continuing to improve steadily and is virtually back to the sort of form he showed earlier in the year.

Newmarket GRL Sunday 16th Sep 11:15am

Three Newmarket Joggers were running in the 5K:  Malcolm Osbourn (26:59PB!), Bee Chapman (31:13) and Jenny Osbourn (34:49PB!). Malcolm and Jenny had great runs and continued their steady improvement, both achieving GRL PBs, Jenny by 20 seconds and Malcolm by 10 seconds. It was a first sub 35 for Jenny and first sub 27 for Malcolm on this course. Bee put in a steady run and may have been running with her dog. She has an impressive 26:46 PB this year.  Well done to them all on this difficult course.  Total runners were 21…not a massive turnout.  Come all ye Newmarket Joggers and let’s support our local GRL when we can!

Interesting that more and more local club runners are beginning to come to Newmarket to suss out the GRL.  Jenny Morgan from St Edmund Pacers was there this week and finished first female and 2nd overall, despite being in the  FV60-64 age bracket. Her age grade was given as 81.1% by GRL so a great effort.  She currently does regular 23 minute parkruns. In my opinion, the 10 year GRL age brackets of 36-45, 46-55, 56-65 etc are neither adequate nor helpful when the UKA and parkrun give 5 year brackets 45-49, 50-54, 55-59 etc. The age brackets need to be comparable, not awkwardly incompatible.


Newmarket Joggers parkrun Report for 8th Sep 2018

Giles Macrow (26:00) was up in Newcastle for the Great North Run (GNR), so couldn’t resist trying out the Newcastle parkrun on Saturday morning, which is held on the extensive Town Moor and is basically a clockwise one lap course on hard paths.  It was a very big field of 668 participants.  He sensibly used the run to practice his intended half marathon pace and conserve energy for the GNR the next day, where he ran well and kept a very even pace, despite the tougher than expected course.

Daisy Glover (18:32) decided on Gt Notley parkrun in Essex, the two-lap anticlockwise course in Gt Notley Country Park, where you’re supposed to “Touch the Bird!” on top of a hill in the second lap.  This proves you have not taken a short cut over the hill. This is a metal statue of a kestrel on a plinth.  It’s quite a climb to the statue, which is avoided in the first lap by circling the bottom of the hill.  It all makes the run more fun.  Daisy had the double honour of finishing first female home and setting a new course record for her age group….also 2nd out of 225 overall.

Still fairly far from home, Richard Jones (20:12) chanced upon King’s Lynn parkrun for the first time and took 4 seconds off his current 2018 PB, finishing 1st of 14 by age category with 76.07% age grade, so a good day’s fun run.  King’s Lynn is a quite fast 3-and-a-bit lap course over hard paths in The Walks Park but there is a repeated out & back leg which can slow you down, similar to the parkrun at Clare Castle.  It does give you a chance to say hello to your friends and see who’s creeping up behind you though!

Talking of Clare Castle, James Tweed (21:22) put in a good run to finish 2nd of 8 in his age group, not far short of his course PB.

Also a lone Jogger was Bobby Jackson (22:48) at Thetford, his first attempt at this one.  He finished 4th out of 10 by age group and his all-time parkrun PB remains 20:03, gained  at Salisbury this year.

Brandon parkrun attracted the Three ‘Marketeers,  Jenny Osbourn (35:04), Carol Mcintosh (34:01) and Malcolm Osbourn (28:00).  It was an all-time parkrun PB for Carol and she also came 1st of 3 in her age group, so a great follow up to her big overall 5K PB (~31:30) in the Kevin Henry at Cambridge last Thursday.  Things are also looking good for Jenny, who achieved a course PB and clocked her best parkrun time at any venue since 2015!  Malcolm continues in age defying form, now in earnest preparation for the Perkins Great Eastern Half Marathon in October.

Stephanie Greenwood (29:40), Paul Dockerill (26:34) and James Thomson (20:47) were in action at Bury St Edmunds.  It was a good first time at this course for Stephanie, who clocked an all-time parkrun PB by 3 seconds, having just recently dipped under 30 minutes for the first time.  Paul ran with daughter Chloe (26:32), who achieved a course PB by 19 seconds and her 3rd fastest 5K parkrun ever, so well done.  James continued in top form, 2nd of 21 by age group and 17th of 313 runners overall.

Veteran campaigners Brian Munns (25:25) and Jim Withers (25:36), aka Flanagan & Allen, did a duo run at Cambridge parkrun while humming “Strolling” and pacing out the hopeful speed at which Brian might be able to do the Harlow 10 mile run the next day.  That would have given him about 1:21 to 1:22 in the actual race, in which Jim was running too.  In the event, Brian rolled back the years and did 1:17:05, his best time since 2011, while Jim also managed a 2018 PB of 1:30:54, so great running by them both, especially the morning after the Joggers BBQ at Jeremy & Emma’s.

By the way, no recent news about the proposed  Coldham’s Common parkrun but it is supposed to be trialled this Autumn at some stage….the sooner the better!

Newmarket GRL 9th Sep 2018

The GRL course was back to normal this week after last week’s switch to a 2×2.5K route, when the runners went twice up the Kenyan Hill in front of the woods on Warren Hill.  That was due to horses needing the training ground behind the woods on that particular day.

Five known Joggers were taking part in the run this week: Malcolm Osbourn (27:35), Sianie Painter (29:52), Andrew Rice (32:32), Kate Warboys (33:12PB!) and Jenny Osbourn (35:09PB!).  Jenny managed a course PB by 10 seconds in her first attempt at the 5K for some while, so is in top form. She has been focusing  more on speed in the 2.5K GRL and track sessions at Joggers which seems to be working.  Kate also achieved a course PB, following on from her season’s best 31:26 in the Kevin Henry last Thursday, so this is encouraging. More GRLs might be the way to go with the very useful but challenging hill climbing practice.  Andrew is putting in consistent runs and Sianie is consolidating well after her PB here recently, while Malcolm continues in top form, relishing the inclines.


Newmarket Joggers parkrun Report for 1st Sept 2018

The biggest draw for NJs this week was at Cambridge parkrun in Milton Country Park.  There was a huge turnout of 603 participants in all. There were a few top hats in evidence in anticipation of the marriage next Saturday of a Co-Event Director (Gary Cole) to one of the Core Team (Catriona Curry)…all very romantic. The future bride and groom were running in fancy wedding dress, swanning round together in 37 minutes.

James Thomson (20:01) showed the Joggers the way home and was 6th of 40 in his age group, right back to his best.  James Tweed (20:55) was not far behind and set an all-time parkrun PB by 9 seconds….also 5th of 40 by age category, so in super form too.  Brian Munns (21:45) and Stephen Cousins (22:04) came next, both relishing the ideal ground conditions, achieving 3rd/24 and 2nd/14 in their age groups respectively with age grades of 70.65% and 72.66%.  It was Brian’s 51st parkrun….apologies that his PB 50th went without a mention last week.  Adrian Whittle (23:01) ran well to be 5th/30 by age group and Jim Withers (25:41) was solid and reliable as ever in the 25s. I brought up the rear in 27:20, which I’ll take with both hands.

Over at Bury St Edmunds, Ruth Eberhardt  (25:24) was gladly back in action after a lay off for some weeks due to an ear infection and came 4th of 15 by age group, so shaping up well. Paul Dockerill (27:08) ran with daughter Chloe (27:08) and helped her to her best time since last June.  She’s now hovering on 49 parkruns.

At Clare Castle, Meera Mahadevan (25:56), Iain Perry (28:51) and Alan Thornhill (30:25) were in action.  Alan was fresh back from his Italian trip where he raided Farfalle parkrun in Padua last week. He came 1st in his age group at Clare so a good effort.  Iain is still working hard to get back the running form he had earlier in the year and will surely succeed.  He has been concentrating more on cycling.  Meera clocked her best parkrun time at any venue this year and finished 1st/7 in her age group so is improving rapidly.

There is a string of lone tourists to report on this week:

Daisy Glover (18:43) tried out the new parkrun at Sizewell, only in its second week.  She promptly finished first female home of 55 and 6th out of 113 runners overall, setting a new course record for SW25-29 at this venue.  This was her 15th leading female finish from 15 parkruns in all, which is gob-smacking to say the least.  Sizewell is basically an out & back course along sandy, grassy, coastal paths with a loop at one end around RSPB Minsmere.  It has lovely wide views of the sea and the deserted windswept beaches and sandy banks along the coast, not to mention the Nuclear Power Station of course, which one day may be called iconic.

Giles Macrow  (22:21) also chose a coastal parkrun at Harwich.  He came 1st out of 10 in his age group and is continuing with 350 Watts setting on his Stryd Power Meter, which is working well.  He’s back in business.  This parkrun is basically a fast out & back promenade run with great views of the sea and also takes in historic lighthouses on the way.

Staying with water but moving inland, Melanie Tindale (23:36) visited Rutland Water parkrun, which she has now done 9 times in all with a PB this year of 21:45.  Melanie was 1st of 15 in her age group despite being some way short of her current PB.  These parkruns have gone unnoticed up until now as perhaps Melanie had only recently registered Newmarket Joggers as her parkrun club.  This means that Melanie has leapt from Gold to Platinum standard overnight and now stands in 9th overall position in the Women’s Club Standards Table for 2018….well done indeed!  Rutland is a beautiful out & back course alongside the water reservoir and goes part of the way along the dam at the turnaround stage.

Ever the wanderer, Henry Hamilton-Gould (23:08), called in at Brockwell parkrun in south London for the first time. It’s a 2-lap parkrun round Brockwell Park in Herne Hill, just south of Brixton. Henry was having a more relaxed run the morning after running in the LFOTM 5K (Last Friday Of The Month) in Hyde Park, where he clocked a decent time of 20:03 in a very competitive field.

Sarah Kinston (30:49) called in on Conkers parkrun near Ashby-de-la-Zouch on the Leicestershire/Derbyshire border, which she has done 5 times. Sarah was not far from her PB of 30:11 and had a relaxing run. Conkers is a scenic out & back route along woodland trails and alongside the Ashby Canal for some of the way.  The whole area used to be dotted with coalmining villages and Conkers itself was called Rawdon Colliery, which was mined for 150 years. Now it has been reclaimed as a nature reserve.

Mark Hayward (18:14 approx) finished in 3rd position of 290 runners at Kesgrave parkrun near Ipswich and was 1st out of 14 in his age group, so a great effort.  Unfortunately, he is registered as ‘unknown’ because his barcode didn’t scan properly.  He is entitled to get the time added as he did not forget his barcode, but he is probably too polite to make a fuss! A strict rule of “no barcode, no time” had to be introduced by parkrun several years ago because of the unreasonable waste of volunteers’ time involved in looking up the details of an ever increasing number of participants forgetting to bring their barcodes. It has worked well….very few people forget them now!

Newmarket GRL 5K  2nd Sept 2018

 The 5K course was altered for a change this week to 2x 2.5K laps instead of the single long lap going behind the woods.  This made it even harder than it was before, as the gradient of the incline is so much steeper, going twice up the infamous Kenyan Hill.  NJs to finish were James Thomson (23:17, first known finisher), Ruby Davis (24:01, first female finisher), Andrew Rice (32:19) and Carol Mcintosh (40:51) who may have been helping as a sweeper.  The leading two times are very fast for the severe difficulty of the course.  Well done to all the participants for taking on the challenge.  Giles Macrow (23:40), so often a valuable helper here, tried out the new GRL at Holbrook near Ipswich, a 5x 1K course around school playing fields. He seemed to enjoy it and found it nice and flat and easy to pace.


Newmarket Joggers parkrun Report for 25th Aug 2018

This week we can report on an authentic piece of parkrun tourism, only about 20 miles from Venice.  Alan Thornhill (30:40) had the pleasure of staying in or visiting the lovely city of Padua in north eastern Italy and tried out the parkrun in Parco delle Farfalle.  He put in a decent time, fuelled perhaps by a decent volume of pasta the night before.  Who should be among the other 18 runners and finishing in first and second position?  None other than two Sudbury Joggers, our Suffolk Winter XC colleagues Will Johnston-Wood and Chris Wells, with Mark Johnston-Wood close behind in 5th.  It really is a small world!

Farfalle parkrun started life in March this year but it must be admitted that it is struggling to awaken the enthusiasm of the local inhabitants…..on only 7 occasions has it managed to attract more than 20 participants and this wasn’t one of them….19 to be precise. Noticeably lacking were any slower, beginner runners or walkers, which is a shame as these are the people who could most benefit from the exercise. Maybe their self-confidence is lacking and they are embarrassed about being too slow. That’s something we have tried hard to overcome in the UK, with the recent ‘tail walker’ initiative for example.

Italy has 13 parkrun venues now but was fairly late to arrive on the scene, with the first one opening in Palermo in Sicily in May 2015 and the second over a year later in Milan.  After 3 years the Palermo parkrun still attracts only 15 to 20 runners per week and the patience of the event organisers to carry on week after week is laudable.  In the meantime, 4 more venues have opened in Sicily and not one can expect more than 20 runners per week, some only 5 to 10.  Only 2 of the 13 venues, in Milan and Florence, have reached the dizzying heights of around 50 participants per week.  We mustn’t spread too much doom and gloom though.  It is very positive for those who are taking part and they can gradually encourage others. Who knows, it could be the ‘in’ thing to do by next year if a few top Italian athletes and film stars can be persuaded to join in.

Henry Hamilton-Gould (20:49) was another parkrun tourist, on this occasion up in Pontefract in Yorkshire…..not quite so romantic as Padua and Venice but a charming town nevertheless.  No doubt Henry was staying in the area on horseracing business, connected with the Ebor Festival meeting taking place nearby at York.  There was also horseracing at the Pontefract racecourse on the previous Sunday.  The parkrun course actually runs beside the rails on the inside of the circular racecourse, which is 2 miles long and the longest flat racing circuit in Europe.  Henry did well to finish 21st of 341 runners and 3/15 by age group.

Yet another tourist was Emma Newman (22:42) at Colby parkrun in Pembrokeshire, southwest Wales. Emma did well to finish 3rd of 83 female runners and 1st of 7 in her age group by nearly 4 minutes.  The parkrun starts in Colby Woodland Garden, a National Trust property close to the Pembrokeshire coast.  It’s a lovely, secluded 3-lap undulating course along trail paths through meadow and woodlands.

James Thomson (20:26) and Richard Jones (20:48) decided on Haverhill parkrun. They finished close together in 6th and 7th position out of 95 starters, with James 2nd out of 7 and Richard 1st out of 6 by age category, with Richard achieving 73.88% age grade.  Paul Dockerill (20:03) and Neville Clarke (21:18) chose Bury St Edmunds parkrun and both put in excellent performances, with Neville 1st/13 and Paul  4th/10 by age group, Neville achieving 78.10% age grade.  Ruth Eberhardt kindly volunteered as a helper at Bury St Edmunds this week, as she has done the last three weeks while unable to run. Thankfully she is now back running again in training.  Neville also generously helped out recently at Bury as a marshal, which went unnoticed in this column at the time.

Giles Macrow (26:01), Iain Perry (29:02) and Stephanie Greenwood (30:22) were in action at Brandon Country Park. They all put in steady runs without threatening their PB status, possibly thrown slightly by the changes in the course which can affect pacing. Stephanie was 2nd/8 in her age group, so a good effort.  The course was recently re-routed slightly to avoid people running over tree roots…apparently not to remove tripping hazards but rather to conserve some of the old beech trees which don’t have particularly deep or robust root systems.  Of course it might prevent the beech trees falling over and taking out a serious number of parkrunners one day in the future, so it could be in the interests of health and safety.

Finally at Cambridge, Brian Munns (21:20, Massive PB!), Danielle Jones (24:22, First Timer!) and Jim Withers (25:25) were all lined up at the start. Brian ran a blinder and took another 7 seconds off his all-time parkrun PB, finishing 3rd/19 in his age group with a parkrun age grade of 72.03%.  Danielle and Jim also ran in top form, 4th/9 and 4th/10 in their respective age groups out of the large field of 488 participants.  Jim’s all-time parkrun PB is 20:40 which he clocked at Cambridge in 2011 and he’s wondering whether Brian might soon improve enough to undercut his time.  Jim would no doubt be the first to buy Brian a celebratory prosecco or better still a pint of his favourite lager in Wetherspoon.

Newmarket GRL Sunday 26th Aug 2018.

Three PBs and a first timer to report from the GRL.  First of all, apologies to Junior Newmarket Jogger Ruby Davis, whose time didn’t record on the scanner and so far doesn’t appear in the results.  We believe she was in about third position in around 22+ minutes but that’s just a guess, so another great effort from her in her second 5K after doing so well last week. First and second finishers were top Sudbury Joggers Emma Drury (20:56) and Sally-Ann Bowen (22:05) though there is an unknown (20:43) shown ahead of them.  Newmarket Joggers to finish were: Stephen Cousins (22:43PB!), Nik Chapman + Dog (28:19, first timer), Chris Aylmer (28:37), Siane Painter (29:29PB!), Andrew Rice (30:13PB!) and Bee Chapman + Dog (32:02).  It was Siane’s first ever sub 30 minute 5K so special congratulations to her on that milestone.  This is a difficult course so every chance of an even quicker time in the fast and flat Kevin Henry race next week at Cambridge & Coleridge.  Thanks to NJ Giles Macrow for helping at the GRL and to all the other volunteers.


Newmarket Joggers parkrun report for 18th Aug 2018

First let’s look at a very special parkrun which James Tweed (26:00) did on Saturday along with the rest of his family. It’s called Whinlatter Forest parkrun in the Lake District near Keswick and it’s by far the most difficult course in the UK.  It’s more like fell running. Not only does it have the greatest amount of climb at 674 ft, which is 221 ft more than any other of the 519 parkruns in the UK, it actually finishes 137ft higher than it starts….just not fair really!  However it is the ultimate challenge for all parkrunners and one to put on the bucket list.  No wonder James took around 3-4 minutes longer than normal to finish it.   It only started in January this year and is attracting around 100 hardy individuals every week.

Bobby Jackson (21:40) chose Salisbury as his tourist destination for his first parkrun in 5 months.  It’s a flat 3 lap course around the attractive Churchill Gardens, going along by the River Avon for some of the way.  Bobby has done this parkrun 19 times and is still in good form, coming  3rd of 8 in his age group, not far from his all-time and course PB of 20:03.

Sara Brown (29:18) ventured up to Holkham on the North Norfolk coast for her first ever parkrun and did well to come second in her age group. Holkham parkrun began in December 2015 and struggled for a year or so to attract 100 runners per week.  However it really started to take off in numbers last year and recently has seen phenomenal growth to around 200-300 per week.  Maybe it is helped now by the regular running and triathlon events Holkham Hall stages, which attract athletes to the area.

Emma Newman (22:20) returned to Littleport parkrun north of Ely and promptly set herself a new all-time parkrun PB, coming 1st of 8 in her age group and moving up from Silver to Gold in the Club Standards Table, which can be found on the left hand drop down list under Club Performance Standards.

Richard Jones (20:42) and Giles Macrow (22:05) slipped over to Haverhill parkrun.  Giles set himself a new PB at the course and almost a new 2018 best time, which is 22:03 so far.  He’s upped the setting on his Stryd power pod to 350 Watts and it’s apparently paying dividends. Richard did well to finish 1st of 6 by age group in his first attempt at this course and achieved 74.24% age grade.

Neville Clarke (21:17) and Paul Dockerill (33:12) chose Bury St Edmunds parkrun.  Neville was in great form coming 1/14 by age group, close to his 21:06 best parkrun time of 2018 and with an age grade of 78.07%.  Paul was running with JW10 younger daughter Abbie (33:10), while older JW10 daughter Chloe clocked 31:59 and finished first in her age group.  Abbie ran very well to earn an age grade of 61.56% in her first ever 5K.  JW10 is parkrun code for a girl of 10 years old or younger by the way.

Mark Hayward (18:28) and Stephen Cousins (22:29) were in action at Cambridge. It was Mark’s first parkrun for over 3 months and he put in a top performance, 1st of 21 by age group and 9th of 501 runners overall, with 71.84% age grade.  Stephen was also in his usual top form, 4th of 12 in his age category with an age grade of 71.31%, only 4 seconds outside his best time this year.

Brandon attracted several NJs: Brian Munns (22:35), Malcolm Osbourn (28:37), Chris Aylmer (29:19), Jenny Osbourn (35:58) and Carol Mcintosh (36:02, not official).  Brian was in excellent form, finishing top of his age group and Malcolm also ran well, especially up the hills which are his speciality. Jenny and Carol ran together and kept good steady pace but unfortunately Carol forgot her barcode which is always very annoying, so gets no official time. Carol was partly saving herself for the Kimbolton Castle Half Marathon where she ran really well the next day to get an all-time PB.

Newmarket Great Run Local 19th August 2018

 There were 4 Joggers in the 5K:  Ruby Davis (22:23), Meera Mahadevan (26:16), Chris Aylmer (28:10) and Lisa Hillman (29:55).  Giles Macrow had been on a long run earlier and was helping, along with all the other priceless volunteers. The star of the run was Ruby, daughter of Greg and Marjie Davis, who came home first finisher of 21 participants in what I think is her first ever competitive 5K.  Meera also had an excellent run, gaining a PB by 28 seconds on this course and looking very relaxed.  It was a first official GRL 5K run for Lisa and she did well to break 30 minutes for her first attempt at this difficult course.  There was an 18mph wind following us up the hill which was a big boost for my dodgy hill climbs and even got me a PB too!


Newmarket Joggers parkrun report for 11th Aug 2018

We’ll start with congratulations and big milestone celebrations for Jan Holmes (27:50) achieving her 50th parkrun at Telford and Giles Macrow (22:13) his 100th at Thetford.  Don’t say Telford and Thetford together too quickly after a few drinks. Telford parkrun in Shropshire is known for its very attractive setting in Telford Town Park, encircling a lake named Randlay Pool and passing along hard paths and trails through wooded parkland.  Jan was certainly in celebratory mood and finished 1st of 20 in her age group, achieving her fastest parkrun of 2018.

Giles has come to enjoy the 6 dizzying loops of Thetford parkrun, set close to the ruins of Thetford Priory in a relatively secluded area of Thetford known as Priory Gardens, cut in two by the River Little Ouse and connected by a quaint footbridge. He was in top form, coming 3rd of 17 by age group and very close to his 2018 PB time of 22:03 which was set on this course.  Greg Davis (19:19) joined the party for his first attempt at the Thetford course and put in a top performance, 1st of 9 by age category and 5th of 215 participants overall with 80.24% age grade….Sapphire standard again!

Daisy Glover (18:36) dropped by at unsuspecting Rotherham parkrun and livened things up by finishing 1st female home for the 14th time in her total of 14 parkruns and 2nd of 88 runners overall.  She equalled the female course record at this parkrun which has stood since 2014.  Rotherham parkrun is small in numbers but is a fast three lap course all along hard paths in Clifton Park, so ideal for a leg stretcher.  This was of course a warm up for Daisy’s assault on the Draycote Water 10K the next morning, where she was first female finisher of 111 and 5th of 238 overall in a time of 37:29, her best 10K time this year.

At Bury St Edmunds, Lisa Hillman (29:23) and Rebecca Hannah (30:44) were in good form, both achieving course PBs.  Emma Newman (22:46) went a stage further by achieving an all-time parkrun PB at Littleport parkrun and finishing 5th of 57 women overall. Littleport is turning out to be a good place to find your next PB…fast and flat with no sharp twists or turns.  Rob Jaina (23:33) was away on holiday or business somewhere near Grafham Water and dropped in on St Neots Pocket parkrun, a new parkrun which started a month or two ago. He came 3rd of 8 by age group and is getting back into some decent form after a lay-off.

Iain Perry (28:01), James Thomson (21:09) and Jon Brooker (20:41) opted for Clare Castle parkrun. Iain is improving his running steadily after concentrating on cycling for some months. James was just beaten for first place in his age group by 2 seconds so a good effort, while Jon is continuing to impress and came 3rd of 10 by age category with a high-flying 73.09% age grade.

At Cambridge, Stephanie Greenwood (29:43), Jim Withers (25:44), Stephen Cousins (22:27) and Richard Jones (20:38) were in action.  Stephanie did very well to duck under 30 minutes for the first time in her 9 parkruns, so a psychological barrier successfully overcome. Jim was solid as ever in the 25s. Stephen and Richard finished 3rd of 15 and 3rd of 16 respectively in their age groups, with top age grades of 71.42% and 74.47% and are both in great form.

I was at Haverhill parkrun (28:29), where part of my warm up might better be called “pigging” to match the nature of the task….pi-cking up litter while jo-gging, but it’s known as plogging according to wiki.  It’s apparently quite fashionable in Sweden where they call it “ploggning” as the Swedish for picking is plockning and for jogging is joggning. We apparently drop the offending extra ‘n’ and say plogging. But I digress. There was a tent pitched on the course which may have had something to do with the litter but they were friendly wild campers and cleared the tent away before 9am. I think they were more surprised than we were when they realised they were on a racecourse.

Newmarket Great Run Local 12th August

 There were 3 NJs in the 5K field:  Gavin Moody (22:08, not registered yet), Malcolm Osbourn (27:42) and myself (30:26).  Gavin ran well to be second finisher in his first ever attempt and hopefully enjoyed the experience. Malcolm put in another confident run on this difficult course, coping comfortably with the uphill. Giles Macrow was run director for the day, having previously gone for an early morning run, as had Richard Jones who was also generously helping out. Tom Macrow, son of Giles,  was kindly acting as backmarker in the 2.5K. Thanks to all the other volunteers as well. The first 5K finisher was Jason Wing (21:15), veteran of over 250 parkruns, mainly at Brandon but not attached to a club. Lorraine Reeves (23:33) was first female and also not known to be a club member.  In the 2.5k run, Richard Wilkinson (13:05), plus son I think (13:00), Alan Thornhill (15:26) and Jenny Osbourn (18:01) were competing. No PBs to note here but all runs are good runs unless you step in a rabbit hole!

Newmarket Joggers parkrun Report for 4th August 2018

Big news from Milton Country Park in Cambridge:   Brian Munns (21:27) finally achieved a new all-time parkrun PB, 3 years after his previous PB of 21:31 on 8th August 2015!  It is also his highest ever age grade at 71.64% from 48 parkruns in all.  So the maestro is performing at his best ever standard since his first parkrun in August 2014.  He also finished 2nd of 17 in his age group, only beaten by Richard Holland, who did a surreal time of 18:27 for an age grade of 86.18%. That’s nearly up to Paul Holley’s standard, which is definitely unfair competition!  Other Joggers at Cambridge to witness proceedings were Richard Jones (23:01) and Jim Withers (26:04).  Richard was kindly acting as 23 minute pacer and making a fine job of it too.

While talking of pacers, Giles Macrow (32:26, hovering on 99 parkruns) generously volunteered as 32 minute pacer at Thetford parkrun.  Knowing him as an accurate pacer, I would think he was maybe trying to coax the best out of some followers who were slightly slower than 32 minutes, while the faster ones had possibly already gone on ahead. So which venue will Giles choose for his 100th. Watch this space!

Over at Great Cornard, 13 was definitely not unlucky for Daisy Glover (18:13).  In her 13th parkrun to date she was first female finisher for the 13th time in succession with a new course PB into the bargain and age grade of 81.24%.  It doesn’t get much better than that, so well done Daisy!

There are a couple of tourists to report on:  Henry Hamilton (19:42) at Torbay Velopark in Paignton, Devon and Alan Thornhill (30:47) at Colney Lane on the west side of Norwich.  It was the first time at Torbay for Henry and he finished 1st of 9 in his age group by nearly a minute.  This is the 4th time he’s been under 20 minutes in 2018.  The course is basically flat with 2 laps of the hard pathed Velopark followed by one lap of a playing field.  It was also first time for Alan at Colney Lane parkrun, which started life last December.  It’s a lovely course starting at the Sports Pavilion and completing two laps along grass and trail paths.

Carol Mcintosh (35:40), Jenny Osbourn (36:33) and Malcolm Osbourn (27:47) went on an expedition to Wimpole Estate. It’s a while since any Jogger visited Wimpole parkrun, despite being only 25 miles and an easy 35 minute ride from HQ.  Maybe not unconnected with the big killer hill at 2K, not to mention cows and sheep plus their droppings to avoid.  However, it’s an attractive and challenging course and does wonders for your hill climbs, such as the one at Kedington on Thursday and Warren Hill in the Newmarket GRL on Sunday.  They don’t seem so bad after Wimpole.  Jenny clocked her best time here for 2 years while Carol took 1:25 off her course PB.  Malcolm finished 1st of 6 in his age group by one second….that must have been a ding dong battle or maybe a case of stealth from behind, as in the Suffolk XC battle with rival John Cullum last winter.  Malcolm was just 17 seconds off a course PB but previous to this had achieved 6 straight PBs in a row on this course, so in great form at present.

Rebeccah Hannah (31:10), Lisa Hillman (30:01), Ruth Eberhardt (24:56) and Neville Clarke (21:16) were at Bury St Edmunds parkrun.  Rebecca achieved a new course PB, while Lisa did well to finish 3rd out of 8 in her age group in her first visit here.  Ruth was 1/15 in her age category and Neville 1/12 in his, so both in great form, with Neville on 78.13% age grade.

Finally, Clare Castle parkrun was completed by Iain Perry (28:54), James Tweed (23:23) and yours truly (27:44).  I think I saw James running with his dog so a good time, considering that very few dogs actually assist their owners unless trained specifically.  Iain has been doing a lot of cycling with a long charity cycle ride recently but very little running, so will need time to reach peak running fitness.


There were several Joggers running this week in the 5K:  Malcolm McConnell (22:11), James Tweed (22:34), Giles Macrow (26:21), Malcolm Osbourn (27:09) and Sianie Painter (32:16). It must have been tough in the heat and direct sun, close to midday on the Heath, with temperatures around 28°C.  All Joggers put in brave efforts.  Malcolm M did a very fast one in his first recorded run on this course, while Malcolm O put in an extraordinary run under the conditions, taking nearly half a minute off his course PB.  So the practice over the hills at Kedington and Wimpole paid dividends, not to mention a string of successive attempts and PBs over this course in recent months.

Of interest was the first female finisher of the GRL 5K run: Elke Hausler (23:39) F55-59, a top runner for her age in the country belonging to the Eastern Masters Club of Germany. She has been based here in the local area for some years where she runs her own sports therapy and wellness clinics in Newmarket, Bury and Cambridge. Tony Bacon (18:45) of Haverhill RC and a run director at Haverhill parkrun was first male finisher.


Newmarket Joggers parkrun/GRL Report 28/07/2018

Greg Davis (21:16) made a relatively rare appearance in a parkrun on Saturday morning, at Sheringham parkrun, which is one of the toughest courses out of all 500+ parkruns in the UK, with a lot of climb and difficult tree root plagued terrain.  He came 10th of 198 runners, 1st of 12 in his age group and achieved the third highest age grade of all the runners at 72.88%, so well done indeed.

Also on parkrun tour was Henry Hamilton (20:47) at Great Dunmow in Essex, where he was 1st of 3 in his age group.  This is another quite new parkrun course, only started last April.  It’s set in beautiful surroundings, meandering beside the River Chelmer for much of the way and circling parkland and playing fields.

Other lone NJ parkrunners were James Tweed (22:47) at Clare Castle, Daisy Glover (18:30) at Great Cornard, Chris Aylmer (27:16) at Thetford and James Thomson (53:20) at Brandon.

Daisy was in her usual ace form in her 6th parkrun at Gt Cornard, first female home and 2nd out of 117 overall with 80.00% age grade. James Tweed did well to finish second by age group while James Thomson was kindly acting as tail walker….quite a nice, relaxing way of doing a parkrun with plenty of time to take in the scenery and share some conversation.

Neville Clarke (21:26) and Ruth Eberhardt (24:55) were both at Bury St Edmunds parkrun and total no less than 277 parkruns between them on this course, so should know every twist, turn and protruding tree root by now.  Ruth ran well to finish 1st of 14 in her age group, while Neville was 1st of 12 in his, sporting an age grade of 77.53%.

Numbers (441) were a little down on normal at Cambridge, as they were at most parkruns, now that school’s have broken up (not literally hopefully) and the summer holiday season has started.  Giles Macrow (23:00) actually managed a PB at this course, down from his 23:14 in April 2017, while Richard Jones (20:51) was in solid form, posting an age grade of 73.70%.  Adrian Whittle (23:07) was just behind Giles, so these two now have a very similar pace.

At the Newmarket Great Run Local (GRL) 5K on Sunday, it looks like some very fast but unknown runners had descended on the Heath, with the first finisher clocking 15:33 and 2 others in the 16 minute zone. It may be that this was a timing error, which is easily done, or we need to persuade them to join NJ.  Malcolm Osbourn (27:59) is the only Jogger shown in the field, apart from Giles Macrow (38:12) who was kindly acting as backmarker.  Malcolm put in another great effort on this difficult course.


Newmarket Joggers parkrun report for 21/07/2018

Henry Hamilton-Gould (19:31) had a nice opportunity to visit Mountlucas parkrun in Co. Offaly in Ireland, presumably lucky enough to be over on horseracing business at nearby Kildangan Stud in Co. Kildare, where he did a training run the day before.  That’s the centre of Sheikh Mohammed’s Darley and Godolphin horseracing operations in Ireland, about 40 miles south west of Dublin.  To the north west of Kildangan, towards Tullamore, is the Mountlucas parkrun, a one-lapper course along trails around a wind farm, fairly flat but surrounded by attractive countryside and perhaps offering an exciting visual perspective on the massive rotating turbines.  It’s a small parkrun, attracting just 36 participants on this occasion, but Henry was in great form and was first finisher for the third time in his 115 parkrun career, clocking his best time since Christmas Eve 2016.


Giles Macrow (22:55) was also a lone tourist, much nearer home in St Neots, Cambridgeshire.  He was in good form and finished 3rd/15 by age category. This venue is called Pocket parkrun after Pocket Park in the centre of St Neots.  It only started about 6 weeks ago, not long before Littleport, but is already attracting around 200 runners a week. St Neots is around 32 miles from Newmarket, only slightly further than Huntingdon, so well worth an occasional visit.  I’m in the St Neots 10K on August 5th so hope to try it out the day before.


Talking of Littleport, a relatively large contingent of 8 Joggers gathered there to try out the new parkrun for the first time, more by chance than design:  Rebeccah Hannah (30:56), Alan Thornhill (28:45), Chris Aylmer (26:47), Jim Withers (25:26), Emma Newman (24:09), Brian Munns (21:49), Richard Jones (20:49) and James Thomson (19:53).  Emma had notable success, coming 1st/12 in her age group, as did Richard who was 1st/6 in his, while James came 2/14 by age and an impressive 6/183 overall to lead the Joggers home. Brian and Richard achieved top age grades of 70.44% and 73.82% respectively.  We were all very impressed by the parkrun, set around a brand new complex of a school and leisure centre with lots of free parking, toilets and changing facilities. There is a lovely, good value cafe to relax in afterwards with outside seating.  The parkrun itself is a flat 2-lapper with an extra loop to make up the distance and offers good PB potential.


Cambridge parkrun was as hot and busy as ever with 536 runners, including 5 Joggers:  Jenny Osbourn (35:24), Carol McIntosh (34:58), Malcolm Osbourn (27:12), Chris Howell (19:51) and Simon Harris (18:51).  Jenny was first in her age group by over 4 minutes, while Carol achieved a new course PB.  Malcolm ran well and was edged into 2nd place in his age category by just 8 seconds. Chris and Simon produced top class age grades of 71.96% and 73.47% respectively, with Simon 2nd/38 in his age group and Chris 3rd/27, so both in great form.


Finally, at Bury St Edmunds, Neville Clarke (21:19), Ruth Eberhardt (24:10) and Sianie Painter (32:15) were in action.  Sianie was not far from her course PB of 31:53 while Ruth ran very well in the heat to finish 1st/17 in her age category. Neville was also 1st of 11 in his age group with a top-notch age grade of 77.95%.


At the Newmarket Great Run Local on Sunday July 22nd, Jason Wing (20:43) took the honours in the 5K, a local Brandon runner and veteran of 251 parkruns to date, most of them at Brandon Country Park.  It was likely his son Callum, who did well to finish 2nd in the 2.5K run in 12:02, behind Tom Wilson (11:38).  Anna Whatling (28:56) of Sudbury Joggers was first female home in the 5K.  NJs Malcolm Osbourn (28:04) and Chris Aylmer (28:41) took on the 5K plus Carol McIntosh (38:17) kindly acting as sweeper. NJ Giles Macrow was also helping among the loyal band of volunteers.  In the 2K, NJ Jenny Osbourn (18:04) was the first and only named female finisher and not far from her best time of 17:54, so congratulations are due!


STOP PRESS!:  A new parkrun is coming soon to Cambridge on Coldham’s Common, which should help to relieve the pressure and overcrowding at Milton Country Park.



Newmarket Joggers parkrun Report 14/07/2018

Brandon was the most popular parkrun among Newmarket Joggers this weekend, attracting Stephanie Greenwood (31:40), Dave Price (27:44), Jim Withers (26:34) and Brian Munns (23:11). Dave set a 2018 best parkrun time, while Brian at last deservedly came top of his age group after two weeks filling the runner-up spot, so well done both of them. Stephanie and Jim also put in good efforts, not far from their best.

Over at Bury St Edmunds, Neville Clarke (21:06) was really on song with his best parkrun time of 2018, finishing 1/11 in his age category with age grade of 78.75%. Ruth Eberhardt (26:37) also ran well taking second spot in her age category, even though she was finding the hot conditions difficult.

Down at Clare Castle, James Tweed (21:31) was near his best form of 2018, coming home 5/78 runners overall and 1/4 in his age group. He also had the extra pleasure of watching his son Bertie come home as first finisher in 19:11, so well done to him too.

Meanwhile, Daisy Glover (18:14) was back at Great Cornard parkrun, showing all but one of the 118 other runners the way home and taking top female spot for the 11th time out of 11 parkruns to date with 81.17% age grade. It was also a course PB for Daisy by 6 seconds. That’s phenomenal running.

Giles Macrow (22:42) and Sianie Painter (32:06) tried out the new parkrun in Littleport, north of Ely. Giles was 2nd in his age group and looking in good form, while Sianie was not far from her all-time parkrun best of 31:10 after 4 parkruns in all. Giles is getting on well with his Stryd power meter, which keeps his effort (rather than his pace) equal up and down hills.

At the Newmarket Great Run Local 5K on Sunday 15th July, Giles Macrow (29:21) was the only Newmarket Jogger, kindly acting as backmarker. A lot of NJs were at the Ekiden Relays in Woodbridge, near Ipswich. There may have been other NJ volunteers at the GRL and a big thank you to them and to all the priceless helpers who keep this delightful and challenging run over Warren Hill training grounds afloat. First finisher was Richard Suswain in 22:40, a local unattached runner who specialises in half marathons. It was likely his son Edward Suswain who was first finisher in the 2K(=2.5K) in a very impressive time of 10:54. Congratulations to him too. First female home was Claire Acklam in a very decent time of 26:17, currently a bit of an unknown quantity to me but obviously a very able runner.

Newmarket Joggers parkrun Report 7/7/2018

Well, well….celebrations are in order! We have another parkrun to choose from now at Littleport near Ely, which seems to have been kept a little bit secret and is already in its third week. It was raided by Daisy Glover (18:06) who put in an all-time parkrun PB, finished 2/136 overall and was first female home from 61 runners, over 4 minutes ahead of the second female home. Very well done indeed and worth an age grade of 81.77%, the highest of any participant in the parkrun.
The course starts at Littleport Leisure Centre and is a 2-lapper going around a football field and an arable field. This is where the Littleport 10K starts and finishes in 2 week’s time. The first event attracted 136 participants and the next two 168 and 136, so holding its own nicely. It’s 20.1 miles from Newmarket by car via the A142, taking 33 min, so about the same as Thetford (19.6m, 25 min) and Brandon via A11 (19.4m, 24 min). The distances/times from Newmarket of other local parkruns for reference are: Cambridge (12.9m, 20 min), Haverhill (15.0m, 26 min), Bury St Edmunds (16.6m, 22 min), Clare Castle (16.6m, 32 min), Great Cornard (25.0m, 53 min), Wimpole Estate (25.4m, 34 min), Huntingdon (31.0m, 47 min), March (33.5m, 52 min). So Littleport parkrun is a new local tourism opportunity.

Talking of tourism, Henry Hamilton (20:21) stopped by at Richmond parkrun, which is a picturesque one-lapper around part of Richmond Park in Surrey, along wooded paths and open parkland. Henry recorded his best time since February and finished 5/23 by age group, so a good effort in the heat. Giles Macrow (28:08) did another of his excellent pacing jobs at Thetford parkrun, this time as 28 minute pacer, bringing his total parkruns to 95 and counting.

Paul Dockerill (19:55) and Sianie Painter (31:53) opted for Bury St Edmunds parkrun. Paul achieved a course PB and was 1/9 by age category so a fine run in the hot conditions. Sianie did well to get close to her best which stands at 31:10 after just 3 runs. Lots more PBs to come from her no doubt.

At Cambridge, Jim Withers (26:25) and Brian Munns (22:17) were in full parkrun mode, despite having both achieved 5 mile season bests in the Great Bentley Friday 5 (the final one of the series of 6 races over the last 7 weeks) in the heat of the evening before. In the heat of the morning after, they were still in top gear and close to their best parkrun times this year. Brian came an impressive 2/22 in his age group for good measure. Despite the very warm conditions, James Thomson (20:15) was also running near his best and led the Joggers home, finishing 6/28 in his age group out of the large field of 454. Adrian Whittle (23:25) was just over a minute behind Adrian and in good form.

Newmarket Great Run Local 8/7/2018…Hot, hot, hot.

Having an 11:15am start, the Newmarket GRL has been getting considerably hotter weather than the local parkruns. According to the Met Office, the temperature was between 25 and 26°C by the time the handful of runners set off on the 5K and 2K course, exposed to the overhead sun nearly all the way.
Here are the Newmarket Joggers 5K results: Richard Jones (21:50), Malcolm Osbourn (27:45), Chris Aylmer (29:02PB). Alix Jones also put in a good effort of 27:16, and has 25:11 as a current PB.
In the ‘2K’ (~2.5K) Jenny Osbourn finished in 18:25, near her PB of 17:54. Helen Wass and Giles Macrow kindly helped volunteer along with a number of other generous helpers, including Debbie Read, Charlotte Read and others whose names are not currently known to me. I think the volunteers deserve a credit on the website every week, just like parkrun volunteers!

This week is the Kevin Henry Carver Barracks 5K club race. It’s a very quick course, probably the fastest of all, so PBs for the taking on Thursday evening! Good luck to everyone.

Newmarket Joggers parkrun Report 30/06/2018

James Thomson (19:46) and Giles Macrow (22:30) were no doubt glad they tested out the superb ground conditions at Haverhill parkrun, which follows three large, beautifully mown laps around the extensive playing field area of Puddle Brook Fields. It was a course record for both of them and a best 2018 parkrun time for James, while for Giles it was his third fastest parkrun of the year. Come all ye who travail and are heavy laden and Haverhill will refresh you with a brand new parkrun PB! James was 5/101 overall and 1/9 in his age group for good measure.

Joe Richer (21:57), veteran of 25 parkruns to date, enjoyed an absolute jaunt in his first attempt at Holkham parkrun, recording his best time since 2016 and finishing 4/25 by age group. Also a lone Jogger was James Tweed (21:25) at Clare Castle parkrun. He was close to his best time here, 2/7 by age group and 7/106 overall, so a fine effort.

Up at Bury St Edmunds, Henry Hamilton (20:49) was trying out the Nowton Park course for the first time. He did well to finish 4/15 in his age category. 19:47 remains his best parkrun time so far this year. Ruth Eberhardt (25:41) appeared to be taking it a little easier in the heat but still came 2/16 in her age group so is in good form.

Over at Milton Country Park in Cambridge Stephen Cousins put in his best parkrun time of 2018, came 2nd out of 15 in his age band and scored an age grade of 71.52%. Brian Munns (22:00) was slightly ahead of Stephen and is also in top form, coming 2/23 by age group, not far from his PB this year. Jim Withers (25:51) put in his usual fast and reliable performance, nice to see after his many injury problems some years back. Adrian Whittle (23:21) was spotted not far behind Brian and running well.

There were no NJs at the Newmarket GRL this week, due to the Marcus Gynn Newmarket 10K race in Stetchworth relying on their support for marshalling and others duties. The run did take place though and regular Stephen Croft (21:21) of Ely Runners came home first with top veteran from Sudbury Joggers, Sally-Ann Bowen (22:39) finishing first female home in her first GRL.