Suffolk Winter XC League: Newmarket & Sudbury men’s 1st team maintain lead after 3rd fixture at Horseheath

3rd fixture at Horseheath, official results: The results recently came out for the 3rd fixture of the Suffolk Winter XC League, which took place at Horseheath Racecourse, near Haverhill, on Sunday, 21st January. Newmarket Joggers (NJ) and Sudbury Joggers (SJ) combine in this league to form team Newmarket & Sudbury [N&S]. We are pleased to report that N&S men’s 1st team of 7 runners consolidated and increased their lead in the table after a very good performance at Horseheath. They currently stand top of the table on 8,092 points, ahead of Saint Edmund Pacers [SEP] on 7,962 and Saxmundham & Woodbridge [S&W] on 7,823, among 20 competing club teams. The N&S women’s 1st team of 4 runners currently stands 8th of 20 teams in their league table; so holding their own well, despite missing some of their fastest runners through injury and other reasons.


Above: Newmarket Joggers at the Pakenham XC. Thanks to Angela Brennan for the photo, who was there to support the team. There are a few missing, who may have been warming up at the time. Also, Rob Dobson and Ellie Bithell were kindly there to support.


4th fixture at Pakenham, report: In the meantime, the 4th of 6 fixtures took place at Nether Hall, Pakenham, on Sunday February 11th, organised by Saint Edmund Pacers of Bury St Edmunds. The average course distance of Joggers on Strava was about 8.1km according to GPS; very slightly over 5 miles. The official results are not yet out but we have some preliminary results. The men’s 1st team of 7 did well, with their first three runners in 7th, 10th and 12th position of about 300 men and women overall. However, the team was unfortunately missing two of its fastest runners due to injury, while some others were unavailable for other reasons, so it seems likely that the points lead will be whittled down, perhaps even disappear, when the official results are released; we’ll have to cross our fingers and wait and see. Whatever happens in the final two fixtures at Southwold (Sunday 18th Feb) and Framlingham (Sunday March 3rd), it will have been an exciting and encouraging season for N&S, with the first taste of a top position in the league.



Above top left: Neville Clarke and Jim Withers chat near the gazebo before the race; top right: At the back of the start, with Pearl Fay (left) and Suzanne Bailey (right); above left: Jimmy Smith climbing from the pond; above right: View from the back, shortly after the start, with Pearl Fay 3rd from right. Many thanks for photos.


Preliminary results at Pakenham: The overall positions of N&S runners were as follows: Men’s 1st team: Joey Bendall NJ MS 7th of ~300 overall; Jimmy Smith NJ M40 10th; Mark Hayward NJ M40 12th; Christopher Underwood NJ MS 56th; Greg Davis NJ M60 62nd; Daniel Tee NJ M40 63rd; Steve Edwards NJ M55 66th. Women’s 1st team: Nicole Smith NJ F50 217th overall; Ruth Cowlin SJ F55 232nd; Belinda Schofield NJ F65 233rd; Helen Wass NJ F55 243rd. Men’s 2nd team: Marc Drury NJ M50 93rd; Neville Clarke NJ M70+ 159th; Tom Elton NJ M55 173rd; Rob Hawkins NJ M55 182nd; Liam Elvidge NJ MS 197th; Steve Cousins NJ M65 210th; Alan Thornhill NJ M70+ 259th. Women’s 2nd team (incomplete): Suzanne Bailey NJ F60 254th; Pearl Fay NJ F60 297th. Men’s 3rd team (incomplete): Brian Munns NJ M60 286th; Jim Withers NJ M65 292nd; Chris Aylmer NJ M70+ 295th.

Juniors Harvey Thomas U15 (17th overall) and Cerys Bithell U17 (28th overall) ran in the juniors’ race, which was around the shorter senior lap of approximately 2 miles/3.3km.


Above top left: Waterlogged course; above top right: Jimmy Smith going through the mud; above left: Pearl Fay going through the pond; above right: Nicole Smith leaves the pond behind. Thanks very much for the photos.

Norfolk Gazelles Valentines 10K, Sunday Feb 11th: New club member Hugh Tawell (34:17, 15th of 894 overall, 9th of 183 in M18-39) put in a tremendous run in this popular, annual race at Easton College in Norfolk, between Norwich and Dereham.


Hugh Tawell finishing the Valentines 10K in Norfolk. Many thanks for the photo.


Marriott’s Way Marathon, Sunday Feb 11th: This trail race followed the disused railway track from Norwich to Aylsham, via Whitwell. Sianie Painter (5:55:45, 114th of 139 overall, 34th F of 47, 6th of 9 in F55-64) achieved her first ever marathon, only 3 weeks after successfully completing The Peddars Way Ultra over 50 miles on January 21st; perhaps an unorthodox approach but it obviously worked well for Sianie. Aware of the tiredness in her legs from her recent ultra, she joined with another runner and they both followed a run/walk strategy from 7 miles, which helped maintain a decent pace all the way to the end, without undue tiredness.


Above left: The Marriott’s Way Marathon medal; above right: Sianie Painter during the marathon. Many thanks for the photos.


Thanks for some nice photos of Moulton Church and Gazeley Church taken by Rachele Cooper: