parkrun & GRL Reports

parkrun organise free, weekly (Saturday 9am), 5km timed runs 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 to the 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 and Thetford. However once registered you can enjoy them anywhere- around the country, in fact around the world!

Another free weekly timed 5k (Sunday 11am) that has now appeared on the local scene is Great Run Local, which starts at the bottom of Newmarket’s Warren Hill.

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 16th June 2018

There was quite a gathering of NJs for the birthday celebration of Rebecca Hannah at Brandon parkrun on Saturday morning, the scene of similar celebrations recently for her good friend and Jogger Sarah Kinston, who together have motivated each other to a steady stream of parkrun PBs in 2018. At the party were: Rebecca Hannah (32:20), Sarah Kinston (32:20), Sianie Painter (31:10), Jan Holmes (29:00), Dave Price (27:50), Jim Wthers (26:22), Adrian Whittle (24:06) and Neville Clarke (21:26). On this occasion, Rebecca and Sarah were content to go at a more relaxed pace and enjoy the scenery and maybe a treat of coffee and cake afterwards. Sianie, who is on a beginner’s roll and enjoying PBs with almost every race, did it again by setting a new course PB , to beat her very first parkrun time the previous week. Jan put in a steady run and appears to be saving her best efforts for club and other races, which can’t be faulted. Dave gained a 2018 PB in his second 5K run this year, so is improving steadily and recently moved up to Tungsten club standard. Jim and Adrian put in sound efforts while Neville was really on song, finishing 1st of 6 in his age group with a new course PB and an age grade of 77.53%.

There were no runners at all at Cambridge this week for the first time in a long while. Bury St Edmunds parkrun was closed for an alternative event for the 4th time in 5 weeks, this time for a motor show in Nowton Park. Thankfully there are plenty of other parkruns nearby to avoid any withdrawal symptoms.

Meanwhile, there was a handful of lone Joggers dotted around local parkruns and further afield. At Clare Castle, Iain Perry (27:21) put in a good time, not far from his best this year, which stands at 27:03. Perhaps Iain should consider a trip to Perry Hall parkrun in Birmingham…or at least order an apricot t-shirt with Perry Hall personalised on the front! This was where Henry Hamilton-Gould (22:25) made a tourist appearance on Saturday. The parkrun is very pleasantly situated in Perry Hall Park and comes with a picturesque boating moat and the meandering River Tame, surrounded by extensive cricket fields, other playing fields and parkland. The Hall itself is impressive in pictures but was sadly demolished in 1928. It used to be surrounded by the moat….a shame that the moat has lost its noble Hall! The parkrun is quite a flat 3 lapper, staying fairly close to the river and nearly all along hard paths, which protects the playing fields from damage in wet weather. Henry did very well to come 20/169 , though he was probably taking it a little easier by his standards and saving himself for the very hilly Shrewsbury HM the next day, where he ran an excellent race in 1:36:24.
Up at Thetford, Giles Macrow was kindly acting as 30 minute pacer and did an excellent job, coming home in 30:05.
Daisy Glover (18:40) was back in action with a bang at Great Cornard parkrun, coming home first overall finisher out of 140 male and female participants and nearly 3 minutes ahead of the second female home, with a parkrun age grade of 79.29%. That’s going some so well done!

Newmarket GRL Report 17th June.

The new time for the GRL is 11:15 am on Sundays, a little later than the previous 11:00 am start. There was a stiff WSW headwind facing runners coming down Warren Hill towards the finish, which was noted during a prior warm up run on the 2.5K course. It acted as a considerable brake on speed. However, the following wind obviously more than compensated by speeding up the long ascent of the hill and quite unexpectedly led to a spate of PBs on the day, for all the Joggers taking part.
NJs in order of finishing were: James Tweed (22:09PB), Ellie Bithell (24:48PB), Chris Aylmer (29:09PB), Jan Holmes (29:29PB) and Siane Painter (30:58PB). NJ Richard Wilkinson (21:38) also ran very well but was not named in the results. I assume he ran with young Noah Wilkinson (21:37) who shows great promise and posted over 80% age grade for his first attempt at the 5K GRL. Either that or Richard ran with Noah’s timing card! NJ family Alix Jones (25:22) and Mary Tweed (29:09PB) also had great runs, Alix just missing a PB by 7 seconds. Lauren and Cerys Bithell ran well in the 2.5K race, with Cerys 2nd overall finisher so very well done.

Newmarket Joggers parkrun and GRL report 9th June 2018

We’ll start the ball rolling with a look at Richard Jones’ (21:41) tourist run at Homewood parkrun in Surrey, not far from Chertsey. It’s a beautiful course going round a playing field at the start and finish, and following 3 laps of shady wooded trails in between. Notable that this parkrun is in the Surrey district of Runnymede so very aptly situated! It’s the first time Richard has tried this course but he did well to finish 1/8 in his age group and 14/144 overall. Interestingly there were two Richard Jones’s in the field so could get confusing.

Also on his own was Giles Macrow (23:47) at Thetford, a little nearer home. Giles was 3/15 in his age group so a good run. Giles is continuing with running at least 5K every day of June, as he did last year. He also has a new play toy by the name of a Stryd Running Power Pod, which fits to his shoe and communicates with his Garmin to tell him how much power he is generating as he runs. Running to pace is all very well along the flat but not so helpful uphill and downhill or in windy conditions, either following or against. The idea is to set a power target and then keep power (=effort/exertion) the same throughout a run including up and down hills and forget about pace. I think the accelerometer in the pod can tell how much force of comes from each stride. So no more attacking a hill and relaxing on the way down…go up more comfortably and come down quicker!

Paul Dockerill (26:23) was the sole Jogger at Haverhill parkrun, though he did have his daughter Chloe (26:22) for company. Chloe was 1/5 in her age group by over 4 minutes so very well done in her first attempt at this course, which was her second best ever parkrun time.

Down at Clare Castle parkrun, regular James Tweed (21:04) was in action as well as Ruth Eberhardt (23:31), who normally stays loyal to Bury St Edmunds parkrun. The latter was cancelled due to the preparation for the Race For Life 5K and 10K events on Sunday, so a little local tourism was in order. Both had great runs with James setting a new all-time parkrun PB and Ruth a new course PB at Clare. James was 2/8 in his age group and 7/136 overall while Ruth finished 1/8 by age group and 3rd female finisher so top running.
Up at Brandon, James Thomson (20:25) put in a fine effort to finish 1/14 in his age category by over 4 minutes. Iain Perry (28:51) has been doing heavy mileage training for a cycling event so enjoyed an easier run at Brandon by his standards, maybe unwinding the legs. Stephanie Greenwood (30:21) posted a brand new all-time parkrun PB by over a minute and in so doing moved up a club standard from Tungsten to Bronze, a great achievement.

Meanwhile, at Milton Country Park Cambridge, Henry Hamilton (21:17), Malcolm Osbourn (26:51), Carol Macintosh (35:14) and Jenny Osbourn (35:26) were limbering up at the start. Jenny and Carol both did well to set new 2018 parkrun PBs and finish 1/2 and 1/3 in their respective age categories, with Jenny over 3 minutes ahead of her rival. Malcolm continued his inexorable progress to post yet another 2018 parkrun PB, only 7 seconds outside his all-time course PB at Cambridge, which was achieved back in November 2016. He was also 1/7 by age group, over 2 minutes ahead of his nearest rival. His best ever parkrun time stands at 26:00, at Thetford in June 2017. Henry was attempting Cambridge for the first time and put in a big effort to finish 8/29 by age group in this big field of 561. Nice to see Carolynn Anderson (25:25), our former club chairperson of several years ago, running as well as ever in her third parkrun, 6/29 by age category.

Great Run Local 10th June 2018

It was a pleasant summer’s morning on Newmarket Heath but not too hot or humid, with the sun hiding behind hazy cloud at 11:00 am. Here is the finishing order of NJs: Nicky Chapman (23:39PB), Bee Chapman (26:46), Malcolm Osbourn (27:46), Giles Macrow (27:59), Chris Aylmer (29:19), Sianie Painter (31:25PB), Andrew Rice (31:26PB) and Karen Andrew (35:09PB). Karen, Andrew and Sianie all had great runs, setting new PBs, with Andrew moving up from Iron to Copper club standard as the result of this run. Giles was late starting so his time can be ignored, but it wasn’t his worst time, which was due to an even later start! That’s the trouble in living too close to your destination….you leave it to the last minute. Giles didn’t manage to catch Malcolm, who was running near his best, just 9 seconds outside his PB here. Bee was running her first GRL 5K and showed great form by coming home 4th female finisher and 2nd Jogger home. She moves up from Bronze to Silver club standard as a result of this fine performance. Nicky achieved a PB by nearly a minute and was first female finisher as well as first Jogger to finish, so a top run.
On age grading the top three women over 5K were: Nicky Chapman (63.28%), Bee Chapman (63.08%) and Sianie Painter (53.74%). The top three men: Malcolm Osbourn (63.69%), Chris Aylmer (57.82%) and Giles Macrow (52.71%).

Newmarket Joggers parkrun Report, June 2nd 2018

There was a good turnout of NJs at Milton Country Park in Cambridge to help Jim Withers (26:05) celebrate his 100th milestone parkrun, in a huge field of 597. Jim started his parkrun career in March 2010 and clocked 21:21 for his first ever run, earning an age grade of 71.98%. His all-time PB of 20:40 came in August 2011 giving him his best ever age grade of 75.00% and reaching Diamond club standard in today’s terms. Although continuing to take an active role in the club, Jim had to take a break from competitive running in 2012 and 2013 due to various injury problems, including knees and the dreaded plantar fasciitis. He was back in business and large as life in 2014 and soon competing at a high level, though concentrating more on shorter distance races of 5K to 10K with the occasional 10 mile and half marathon thrown in. Since then he has been a regular and ultra-consistent club 5K and parkrun performer in the 24-26 minute zone, reaching Gold club standard in 2018 so far. Congratulations to Jim on earning a well-deserved black milestone T-shirt! NJs also taking part were: Carol Mcintosh (35:55), Jenny Osbourn (35:48), Malcolm Osbourn (27:01), Richard Jones (23:01), Stephen Cousins (22:35) and Brian Munns (22:13). Well done to Carol and Jenny, who both finished 1/3 in their age groups, with Jenny over 5 minutes ahead of her nearest rival. Malcolm has run four parkruns this year, each time beating his previous 2018 PB, so really in control of his pace and effort now. Richard was kindly volunteering as 23 minute pacer and did an excellent job too. Stephen pulled out his best parkrun time of the year, finishing 2/16 by age category and earning 71.08% age grade. Brian continued in peak form, not far from his 2018 PB, 6/41 by age group. Also nice to see former NJ Adrian Whittle (23:52) running well and finishing 15/41 in his age group.

Over at Bury St Edmunds, 4 Joggers took their places in the field of 231: Alan Thornhill (29:41), Ruth Eberhardt (23:51), Neville Clarke (21:37) and Paul Dockerill (19:56). Alan did well to get a new course PB and finally crack 30 minutes on this testing, undulating route at his 5th attempt….also finishing a creditable 4/10 in his age group. Ruth put in another top effort, 1/20 by age group and 5/88 women overall, while Neville continued in peak form, 1/13 by age group with 76.87% age grade. Joining in the fun, Paul notched up another sub 20 minute course PB by 2 seconds, finishing 1/10 by age group and 2/231 overall, so in splendid form.

Emma Newman (25:57) tried out the challenging Wimpole Estate parkrun for the first time and did very well to finish 2/13 by age category and 21/155 female runners overall in a big field of 371 participants. Meanwhile, Jan Holmes (28:14) travelled further west and battled the constant A14 roadworks to take on Huntingdon parkrun for the first time, an attractive course, predominantly through shady woods alongside a waterway with stretches of open parkland. It was a 2018 PB parkrun for Jan who came a 4/17 in her age group, so not a wasted journey. At Clare Castle, James Tweed (20:58) and James Thomson (21:22) both put in fine efforts, finishing 9th and 6th overall in a field of 113 runners and 2nd and 1st in their respective age categories.

Up at Brandon Country Park, Iain Perry (28:17) returned to the parkrun scene after a short break and showed he was still in good form despite the very humid conditions. Meera Mahadevan (27:48) was also feeling the heat but put on a good show to finish 2/7 by age group in a decent time for this hilly course. Giles Macrow (24:48) put in a solid effort and continued in his aim to run at least 5K every day of June, as he did last year. He calls it RFTS or Run For The Sun, an idea started by a guy on Strava in Australia, where June is wintertime of course (where the winter temperature is probably about the same as most of our Summer!). He found this brought him to peak fitness and tip-top shape in 2017, stopping any laziness and helping him to shed any unwanted weight. The aim is not necessarily to get PBs this month but to get regular, disciplined and steady aerobic base training in preparation for races to come. Anyone care to join him?

Newmarket Great Run Local, June 3rd 2018

There were 11 NJs running in the GRL 5K as follows: Richard Jones (21:57), James Tweed (22:17PB), Giles Macrow (25:10), Ellie Bithell (25:58), Malcolm Osbourn (27:39PB), Chris Aylmer (29:17PB), Siane Painter (32:51), Jenny Osbourn (35:52), Lisa Winnington (36:45) and Karen Andrew (38:21).
Karen had a good run on this testing course, just 21 seconds outside her best time, while Lisa was running her first 5K with young Holly (36:42) so had an enjoyable and more relaxing time in the bright sunshine. Jenny and Sianie put in solid efforts but were slightly outside their PBs, not helped by the humid conditions. Malcolm has run 6 times and has successfully whittled his PB down from 29:08 to his current 27:39, so great progress on this very hilly course. Ellie was 2/21 female runners and first NJ woman home so a good morning’s fun run. Giles was ever present and continued his 5K (at least) run every day of June with another solid performance. James Tweed Sr., snipped 4 seconds off his PB and was 2nd Jogger to finish and 5/50 overall, so a top run. Richard put in his usual big effort to finish 3rd overall and first NJ home. James Tweed Jr., was 1/50 overall in his first ever GRL, in a time of 19:18 and 70.6% age grade, so possibly the fastest of the Tweed family runners to emerge so far! Talking of NJ family, Mary Tweed Sr., clocked 29:19 in her first run and Richard’s wife Alix Jones posted 26:09 in her 4th run, a great PB by 36 seconds.
In terms of age grades the top three NJ women this week in the GRL were: Jenny Osbourn (58.88%), Ellie Bithell (58.73%), Sianie Painter (51.40%) and the top three men: Richard Jones (69.32%), Malcolm Osbourn (63.95%), James Tweed (63.80%), so well done to all of them.

Newmarket Joggers parkrun Report for 26th May 2018

NJs were out and about in abundance for the sunny Saturday parkruns, with 18 participating in all.

Cambridge attracted the largest contingent, with Jenny Osbourn (35:32), Gillian Green (33:12), Niamh McGroarty (31:34), Malcolm Osbourn (27:34), Jim Withers (25:29), Brian Munns (23:01) and Richard Jones (20:49) lining up at the start. Jenny achieved her best parkrun time of 2018 and was 1/3 in her age group by over 5 minutes, so very well done indeed. She also moved up to Silver club standard, which is 60%+ age grade, as a result of her fine effort in the recent Kevin Henry 5K at Witchford. Well done to Gillian, who was in her first parkrun of the year and produced a fine effort to set a new all-time parkrun PB. Niamh took 29 seconds off her best parkrun time of the year and is improving steadily, as is Malcolm, who similarly achieved his best parkrun time of 2018 and has recently moved from Silver to Gold club standard (65%+) as a result of his fine performance in the Newmarket Heath Race earlier in the month. Jim put in another great effort, only 8 seconds outside his 2018 PB at Cambridge parkrun, despite running flat out in the Sudbury Friday 5 the night before. Brian also ran very well in the Sudbury race and may have been feeling the effects and sensibly taking it slightly easier than usual in the parkrun. Richard was in excellent fettle and came 6/37 in his age group with 73.18% age grade.

Over at Brandon, half a dozen NJs enjoyed the challenge of the scenic two lap, undulating route, up and down hills and through woods: Siane Painter (31:46), Stephanie Greenwood (31:30), Lisa Hillman (29:02), Dave Price (27:57), Meera Mahadevan (27:31) and Giles Macrow (24:14). It was Siane’s first ever parkrun and she made a very promising start, with hopefully more runs to come, not to mention milestone t-shirts. This was Stephanie’s first attempt at Brandon and she promptly set herself a new 2018 parkrun PB, only 1 second outside her all-time PB, so a fine effort on a difficult course…maybe not as difficult as Tamborine Mountain parkrun in Australia though, which she tackled twice on holiday! Lisa is a veteran of 16 parkruns and was not far from her all-time PB of 28:21 set at Brandon earlier this year, so is maintaining good form. This was Dave’s first parkrun since March 2017 and no sign of any cobwebs. Dave has been concentrating more on long distance races recently but showed he has maintained a decent pace too, not far from his all-time parkrun PB of 26:19 in 2013, despite the passage of years. In fact this run has raised him a level to Tungsten club standard (50%+ age grade). Meera is getting lots of 5K practice with parkruns, Great Run Local and the club Kevin Henry races. She is steadily improving while maintaining her relaxed style of running, with plenty more improvement bound to come. She finished 3/7 in her age group which is encouraging. Giles also did well to come 3/9 in his age group and is wisely timing his biggest 5K efforts to coincide with the club Kevin Henry fixtures.

At Clare Castle parkrun, Sandra Jaina (28:40) and Jon Brooker (19:59) were competing, while Rob Jaina (41:04) was kindly acting as Tail Walker, seeing the walkers and slower parkrunners safely around the course. Rob and Sandra’s daughter Lyla was also very kindly volunteering. Sandra posted a brand new all-time parkrun PB and was 3/8 in her age group, so a great result. Jon was in super hot form, going sub 20 for the second time this month and earning an age grade of 75.65%. His time of 19:51 earlier in the month had already put him into Diamond club standard (75% + age grade).

James Thomson (21:00) was a first timer at Great Dunmow parkrun in Essex, which only began life in April this year as is already attracting 150-200 participants per week. This is an attractive setting over trail and field, through orchard, criss-crossing and running alongside the River Chelmer. James did well to finish 3/6 by age category and 11/158 overall in his 213th parkrun to date.

GRL Report for 27th May

The Joggers are giving support to the Great Run Local in Newmarket both in participating and helping out. It would be so nice if GRL could list running clubs and other activity groups against participants’ names. Otherwise it seems that we are all rather anonymous. I’m sure we would all be proud to represent our running club or activity group at GRL, just as we do at parkruns.
This week there were 11 Joggers in action, in order of finishing: Richard Jones (21:42), Nicky Chapman (24:36), Malcolm Osbourn (29:08), Jan Holmes (29:38), Emma Bartle (31:24), Sarah Kinston (31:54), Meera Mahadevan (32:03), Jenny Osbourn (36:42), Karen Andrew (38:00), Giles Macrow (40:34, running with son Thomas) and Caroline Macintosh (42:45, kindly acting as backmarker). It was a first official GRL for Nicky, Jan, Emma and Sarah. All put in good runs with Nicky particularly doing well as first female runner home, so congratulations! In contrast to these GRL novices, it was a third GRL for Karen, who produced a fast run to achieve a new course PB, so a good day’s work. It was a fifth GRL for Richard, Malcolm, Meera and Jenny. Richard had a great run as second finisher out of 42 and I note that Charlie Jones (22:30) also put in a fast time…his son I believe, so well done too. The others all put in sound efforts, not quite managing PBs. Giles had an interesting day. He was running with his young son Thomas (40:30) who did well as a first timer at Newmarket. Earlier in the day (9:30am) Giles had run the GRL at Needham Market and set himself a new all-time PB of 23:25, so well worth the journey! At parkrun we only get to do doubles at New Year but with GRL starting at Newmarket at the unusual time of 11:00am, we can do one every week now by dashing down the A14 for a 70 mile round trip. OK don’t all rush at once…..
At the 2K run at Newmarket, Karen Kent (19:11) enjoyed a run with the kids who are currently ‘unknowns’ without timing chips, but well done to them anyway! New member Richard Wilkinson is also officially ‘unknown’ but NJ Strava Club says he ran with his son Noah in approximately 13:21 time, so very well done Noah for a very fast hilly 2K.

Newmarket Joggers parkrun Report 19th May 2018.

Good news from Westmill parkrun near Ware in Hertfordshire, where James Thomson (21:11) was first overall finisher out of 51 participants, 6 seconds ahead of the second finisher. That’s the fifth time that James has led the field home in a parkrun. It’s the first time James has run at Westmill, which started life only in July last year. Apart from its first two weeks, the number of parkrunners here has never reached 100 again, yet the course is a scenic 2-lap treat, meandering through a golf course, around fields and between two lakes.

Meanwhile, over at Great Cornard, near Sudbury, Daisy Glover (18:54) was first female finisher for the third week in a row and 4/140 overall, nearly 3 minutes ahead of the nearest woman and sporting an age grade of 78.31%. That is only 1 week after she led the field home in the Bury to Clare 18 mile Challenge, so an impressive performance.

There was a big knees up at Brandon parkrun where it was Sarah Kinston’s (30:12) birthday celebrations. Sarah ran very well to come 3/11 in her age group and was just one second short of her all-time parkrun PB, as was Rebecca Hannah (30:12), who often partners Sarah for mutual motivation in their parkruns. Other NJ runners at the party were: Emma Bartle (36:18), Karen Andrew (36:07), Jan Holmes (29:06), Jim Withers (25:50), Emma Newman (24:39) and Brian Munns (21:57). Both Emma Bartle and Karen Andrew achieved their best parkrun times this year, Karen by over 5 minutes, so well done to both. Jan had a more relaxing run, possibly recovering from her top performance in the Kevin Henry 5K at Ely on Thursday. Jim put in another sound run in the 25s to bring his parkrun total to 98 and still counting. Emma Newman is improving by leaps and bounds and came 1/8 in her age group with a new all-time parkrun PB. Brian Munns also enjoyed a great run, setting a new course PB at Brandon and 4/12 in his age category.

Alan Thornhill (28:12) was a day tripper to Felixstowe parkrun, where the fast-paced double out & back course along the promenade commands an exhilarating view of the sea. Alan relished his first visit to this venue, posting an all-time parkrun PB by 54 seconds and coming 1/3 in his age group by over 6 minutes, so he does love to be beside the sea.
Another lone Jogger was Giles Macrow (22:06) at Thetford parkrun. This was a top run by Giles, only 3 seconds short of his course PB set earlier this year and finishing 3/12 in his age group.

Haverhill parkrun is really coming into its own now that the drier weather is here. The course is very fast now, so different from the wet, muddy, boggy conditions earlier in the year. The course has also been changed from the 2 small laps + three bigger laps + 1 small lap formula. We now have 3 large laps incorporating all the smaller laps, which makes for more running freedom, less twists and turns and a faster, more enjoyable course. Proving that this course is no longer a stick-in-the-mud, Ruth Eberhardt (22:39) recorded her best parkrun time since October 2016, finishing 1/10 in her age group and second female home with a parkrun age grade of 70.13%, so quite an achievement. Also in great form at Haverhill was Rob Jaina (20:59) with a new course PB and 1/9 in his age group.

James Tweed (22:23) was back at his homerun at Clare Castle this week. He did well to finish 3/8 by age category and was maybe relaxing very slightly after his two big course PBs in the previous two weeks. Henry Hamilton (20:48), veteran of 106 parkruns to date with an all-time PB of 18:44 at Cassiobury, made his first visit to Clare Castle this week. He had an excellent run, finishing 1/11 in his age group and 6/153 overall.

Niamh Mcgroarty (32:03) had a great run at Milton Country park Cambridge and clocked her best parkrun time of 2018, moving up to Copper Standard from Iron, so good progress. Also at Cambridge, Richard Jones (20:43) was running as powerfully as ever and finished 9/39 by age group, posting 73.53% age grade which is in the Platinum range. He has already achieved Diamond Standard of 75.08% for 2018.

GRL Report: 20th May 2018

Twelve Joggers turned out for the GRL 5K on Sunday. In order of finishing they were: Richard Jones (21:33), James Tweed (22:21), Stephen Cousins (23:56), Giles Macrow (24:03), Helen Billis (25:54), Danielle Jones (26:06), Malcolm Osbourn (27:58), Meera Mahadevan (28:49), Chris Aylmer (29:56), Siane Painter (32:03), Andrew Rice (32:16), Jenny Osbourn (35:19). It was a PB for James, Helen, Malcolm, Meera, Siane, Andrew and Jenny so very well done. It’s clear that a bit of experience helps to improve times on this difficult switchback course. It was a first time run for Stephen and Danielle who both appeared to control their pace well. The top three on age grade is a fair way of comparing performance across age and gender. The age grades are from the calculator detailed below, not the published figures by GRL which are extremely unreliable by as much as several % points either way, a lot more inaccurate than parkrun. Maybe GRL just uses your age group, not specific age. The top three women on age grade were Jenny Osbourn (59.79%), Helen Billis (57.98%) and Danielle Jones (56.58 %). The top three men were: Richard Jones (70.61%), Stephen Cousins (66.71%) and Malcolm Osbourn (63.23%). So very well done those people and it’s interesting to see how well some of the older runners are performing when age is taken into consideration.

*It needs to be explained that the parkrun age grades are not fully compatible with the latest widely accepted calculation tables that are used for NJ Club Standards.
Our tables are based on:

Anyone can check their age grade % by feeding in race distance, age, gender and time to this calculator. Let us know if you think it is wrong but bear in mind that a time recorded in 2018 before your birthday, was calculated using your age at the time, not current age. Age grades given by parkrun generally overestimate the % figure by around up to about 1% and a lower figure is usually given in the Club Standard tables. The same calculator has to be used to make it fair across all races and distances. Age allowances were adjusted in 2015 to account for the latest world record performances by age and gender so are a little less generous than the parkrun version…..parkrun states that its own age grading system is “loosely based” on the WAVA system (World Association of Veteran Athletes)…now outdated and superseded and not available for download. The latest calculator, as in the link above, is based on WMA data (World Masters Athletics) updated to 2015.

Newmarket Joggers parkrun & GRL Report for 12/13th May 2018

No parkrun tourist spotted this week, enjoying a romantic 5K rendezvous on an exotic beach…. just plain simple fare, dished up at our favourite local venues.

Let’s start at Great Cornard parkrun, where Daisy Glover (18:20) put in a tremendous effort to finish first female home and 3/117 overall with a course PB of over a minute and age grade of 80.73%. This was her third parkrun in a row at over 80% age grade and she has been first female finisher in all 7 of her parkruns to date. She was only just denied second place by a nose, in horseracing terms. The very next day she went on to finish first of 364 participants in the Bury to Clare Challenge, an 18 mile mainly off-road run or walk over difficult and undulating terrain, along pathways, bridleways and through woods. The challenge was to complete the distance in 8 hours, which Daisy promptly did in 2h:07m:55s, 21 seconds ahead of top Framlingham Flyer Adam Howlett, who had finished first overall in the Great Cornard parkrun the day before. Adam himself posted 83.88% age grade at Great Cornard, so Daisy was up against the highest class of competition in the Bury to Clare Challenge.

Moving to Clare Castle parkrun, the same place that hosted the finish of the Bury to Clare Challenge the following day, local Joggers Rob Jaina (21:19) and Sandra Jaina (28:54) were in action. Both did well to finish second in their respective age groups, with Sandra just 5 seconds outside her course PB. Further to the north at Brandon Country Park, Meera Mahadevan (28:13) managed a creditable third in her age category and was unlucky to find herself up against top Thetford AC athlete Louise White, who was first female finisher by over 3 minutes.

Four NJs were competing at Milton Country Park in Cambridge: Jim Withers (25:43), Brian Munns (21:36), James Tweed (21:32) and Richard Jones (20:52). Jim was in good form and it’s worth noting that he hasn’t clocked a 27+ parkrun time since March 2016, every one being in the 24/25/26 minute zone….that’s consistency.
Brian can’t do too much wrong at present and is in his best form for a good number of years. He was only 5 seconds short of his all-time parkrun PB set in 2014, so the chances are that record will go before we see the year out. For the second week in a row he has been above 70% age grade, 70.52% on this occasion which is his best ever age grade at parkrun and represents Platinum Club Standard. He finished 7/38 in his age group in his best parkrun of 2018 so far.
We welcome James Tweed as a brand new member of NJ and a veteran of 63 parkruns so far, his first in 2015. He generously helped accompany his young children in many of his earlier parkruns but now he can concentrate more on his own running. His local parkrun is currently Clare Castle but used to be Cambridge until Clare Castle began life last September. So it is great he was able to return triumphantly to set a new course PB following on from his new all-time parkrun PB at Clare last week. He certainly is in tremendous form at present and even pipped Brian by 4 seconds!
Richard was in ultra-consistent top form at Cambridge, knocking out yet another sub 21 minute time for an age grade of 73.00% and finishing 6/38 in the same category as Brian.

At Nowton Park in Bury St Edmunds, Ruth Eberhardt (30:08), Neville Clarke (21:10) and James Thomson (21:08) were lined up at the start. Ruth was taking an easier parkrun and presumably saving energy for the Bury to Clare 18 mile Challenge the next day, where she enjoyed a relaxing, scenic run with friends. Neville was in swashbuckling form and ran his fastest parkrun since April 2017, finishing 1/11 in his age category by over 3 minutes and earning 78.50% age grade….a time of 20:39 required for Sapphire Club Standard! Maybe his recent diversions to hilly Brandon parkrun have been good strength training, making the Nowton Park course seem a little easier on his return. James was also in good form and did very well to finish 2/16 in his age group and 21/280 overall.

Great Run Local 13th May

There were a 12 NJs in the GRL 5K on Sunday, which starts at 11:00am at the bottom of Warren Hill on Newmarket Heath, between Old Station Road and Moulton Road. Altogether there were 24 named finishers with no doubt quite a few unknowns running. There were some issues over the timing accuracy of this run so apologies if any results are incorrect. Richard Jones (21:04) was first finisher overall and did well to set himself another course PB, just ahead of Jamie Rule (21:06) in second. Third overall and first female finisher was Lisa Hillman (22:40), which represents a commendable improvement in form compared with her 5K club runs this year. Then came Giles Macrow (23:37) in 5th place overall with a new course PB. He has really learned to master the long hill climb and get his pace optimal. Then came Helen Billis 2nd female (26:55), Malcolm Osbourn 13th overall (28:45), Meera Mahadevan 4th female (29:34), Siane Painter 6th female (32:33), Jenny Osbourn 9th female (35:58) and Karen Andrew 11th female (40:04). Malcolm was just 10 seconds outside his PB and Meera only 5 seconds outside hers so well done both. Sianie and Jenny went further, managing a big PBs over the course so both are coming to terms with the hill climb. Jon Brooker is down as finishing 12th overall in 27:54 but I think this might be his daughter Tianna, as she has still not received her timing card yet. If so, well done Tianna. In the 2K run, Malcolm McConnell (17:38) ran with daughter Arwen (17:39) so well done Arwen.

We should all be geared up for the Kevin Henry 5K at Ely on Thursday now, to put all this parkrun/GRL 5K training to good use!


Newmarket Joggers parkrun Report 5th May 2018

Mary Marsh (31:30) was on tour at Fountains Abbey parkrun, which is one of the most picturesque in the UK. It is set in a secluded valley near Ripon in Yorkshire, starting at the Abbey and going over rustic bridges and alongside a river for the first lap and through the beautiful Royal Water Gardens for the second. Mary did well to come second in her age group, the first being an 80%+ age grader who produced her best run since 2012. This was only Mary’s third parkrun and her first since 2014…. no doubt well worth it for the sporting challenge and the scenery.
Also touring was Danielle Jones (23:56) at Delamere parkrun in Cheshire. This parkrun meanders through Delamere Forest and circles Blakemere Moss Lake for stunning views across the water. Danielle achieved her best time yet and her first sub 24 from her total of 3 parkruns, all in recent weeks, so her running is improving fast.

Jon Brooker (19:51) and James Thomson (20:18) were both at Clare Castle parkrun and put in great efforts. It was an all-time parkrun PB for Jon by nearly a minute and he finished 3/120 overall and 1/8 by age category, so well done. He has obviously recovered well from the VLM. James was also in top form and achieved a new course PB, finished 1/6 in his age group and 5/120 overall.

Meera Mahadevan (28:05) was the lone Jogger at Brandon Country Park and did well to finish 3/8 against her age rivals. Her excellent PB of 24:29 on this course was achieved in 2015 and will be a tough target to beat. Also on his own was Mark Hayward (18:18) at Gt. Cornard parkrun. He has certainly rediscovered his fast-twitch muscle fibres after recuperating from the brutal London Marathon, mainly with some easy swimming and cycling. He came 2/142 overall and 2/7 in his age group, narrowly being thwarted as first finisher by another Mark.

Over at Bury St Edmunds, Ruth Eberhardt (23:56) went sub 24 for the first time since last October and was 2/18 in her age category, so obviously relishing the spring in the ground at Nowton Park now that the mud and bog have receded. She was just ahead of Giles Macrow (23:57), who recorded his best parkrun time since last February. Also at Bury, Neville Clarke (21:33) and Paul Dockerill (30:20) were in action. Neville led his six age rivals by over 2 minutes, recording an age grade of 77.1%, which represents Diamond Club Standard, the second highest achievable. Paul was running with daughter Chloe (30:13) who did well to come third in her age group.

Exciting happenings for Newmarket Joggers at Milton Country Park in Cambridge, where Daisy Glover (18:08) recorded her best parkrun time yet and was 1/209 female runners and 10/556 runners overall in a highly competitive field. She also recorded 81.62% age grade which puts her from Diamond into the coveted Sapphire Club Standard, the highest currently achievable. It just came to light that Daisy also ran in the Montsouris parkrun in France on 7th April and was first female finisher there as well, in a PB (at the time) of 18:21. Astonishing that she was able to run so brilliantly in the Paris Marathon on 8th April, the day following a maximum effort in the Montsouris parkrun. We needn’t feel so guilty now, running a parkrun the day before a race!

Also running at Cambridge were Chris Gay (20:13), Richard Jones (23:04), Iain Perry (28:10) and Lisa Hillman (28:30). It was a new course PB for Lisa, just 9 seconds short of an all-time PB so she is showing steady improvement. Good news that Iain’s calf injury is holding up well and he is right to take it gentler until the recovery is complete. Richard kindly volunteered as a 23 minute pacer in this parkrun (and did a good job too!), before competing in the Fen Drayton 10K the next day, where he clocked a great time of 43:50, finishing 4/34 in his age group. Chris was also generously acting as a pacer, this time for 20 minutes, in his first parkrun for over a year. He still came a very respectable 4/28 in his age group! He may have another race coming up or perhaps needs a little more time to fully recover from the VLM and so was giving himself an easier run as pacer. His PB at this course currently stands at an impressive 17:41, recorded in 2017.

Newmarket Great Run Local 6th May 2018

It was a gorgeous morning on the Heath for the Newmarket GRL….warm with a clear blue sky, bright sunshine and just enough refreshing breeze to stay comfortable. Meera Mahadevan (29:29) was 3rd out of 11 named female runners overall, with Carol Mcintosh (41:00) second Jogger to finish but as a volunteer backmarker I believe. Giles Macrow (23:57) was 5th out of 26 named runners overall, in a new PB time, a lot better than last week, when he was 15 minutes late starting and clocked over 40 minutes! 12th overall was myself, Chris Aylmer(29:23) and 19th Andrew Rice (34:59). Andrew and I were first time runners on this course so a kind of PB each. With The 2000 and 1000 Guineas Meeting taking place over the weekend in Newmarket, the attention of the public was no doubt more on the Rowley Mile than the Warren Hill, so a small turnout of 26 named runners for this GRL, the smallest yet I would guess, despite the ideal weather conditions. ‘Unknowns’ will probably double that number but at the time of writing that figure is, well….unknown! The turnout for the 2K was even smaller with just 14 known participants. I can pick out three Joggers: Helen Billis (13:32), Malcolm McConnell (15:13) and Alan Thornhill (15:45), all adults. Helen and Malcolm were probably either running with family or friends or just having an easy jog, as they normally run at a much faster pace. I certainly wouldn’t see Malcolm for dust or maybe sand on this course. Alan was also taking it easy before his Breckland 10K race the next day.

Happy running to all!