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Cambridge Half Marathon brings out the best in Newmarket Joggers

Chris Gay led the way for the Newmarket Joggers during Sunday’s Cambridge Half Marathon.

Gay, who was part of a Joggers team that consisted of more than 60 runners in a field in excess of 11,000, was in personal best form as he stopped the clock in one hour, 14 minutes and five seconds. He was also an impressive 9th of 989 in his MV35 age group.

He was followed closely by Mark Hayward (1:15:58), in 69th position and 15th in the same age group; also a PB for Hayward by over a minute.

Suffolk XC Team at Loughborough Finals with Neil Pollard and Jimmy Smith (31340988)
Suffolk XC Team at Loughborough Finals with Neil Pollard and Jimmy Smith (31340988)

James Smith (1:17:39) was the 3rd Jogger home, finishing 98th overall and 11th of 925 in MV40. Smith had also run in the National Cross Country Inter-County finals at Loughborough the previous day, so some feat to perform at this level 24 hours later.

For the women, Joanna Cole was in great form, finishing in 1:37:33, 156th of 4,859 female runners overall and 32nd of 721 in her FV35 age group.

Not far behind came Hannah Parsons (1:40:22), 40th of 805 in FV40 in her first ever half marathon. Third female Jogger home was Ellie Bithell (1:46:43), 82nd of 805 in FV40, a PB for her by nearly 2 minutes.

Also on Sunday, in Rugby, Henry Hamilton-Gould was in good form and took on the Draycote Water 20 mile race, achieving a PB of 2:28:18 and finishing 18th of 156 runners.

Phil Blundell was over in Frankfurt on Sunday for the Half Marathon event, where there were 6,367 runners taking part. He did well to finish in a new PB time of 1:38:38, 151st of 625 in his MV40 age group and 1,055th overall.

Meanwhile, it was the Inspire Thetford Trail Half Marathon in Thetford Forest, with 452 participants. Jamie Rule was first Jogger home in 1:41:04, finishing in 56th overall.

Then came Sarah Boneham (1:53:52), 5th of 35 in FV45 and Ruth Eberhardt (1:54:59), 8th in the same age group. Sheena Runham (2:28:23) also put in a good effort.

The fifth of six fixtures of the Suffolk Winter Cross Country League took place on Sunday in the village of Woodton and was organised by Bungay Black Dog RC.

Newmarket Joggers (NJ) and Sudbury Joggers (SJ) were teamed up together in this League as usual as club N&S. The venue was a new one and went nearly five miles around the fields of a working stock farm; quite muddy and somewhat uneven.

The women’s team comprised 3 NJs and 2 SJs and the men’s team 6 NJs and 2 SJs. Times and overall results have not been published yet, but the overall positions of our runners, out of a total field of about 240 runners, were as follows:

Women: SJ Ruth Cowlin 161st, NJ Sianie Painter 180th, SJ Sheila Buck 220th, NJ Christine Windsor 229th and NJ Jenny Osbourn 232nd.

Men: NJ Charles Jones 43rd, SJ Andy Buck 62nd, SJ Gary Godfrey 82nd, NJ Neville Clarke 92nd, NJ Brian Munns 112th, NJ Malcolm Osbourn 146th, NJ Jim Withers 195th and NJ Alan Thornhill 201st.

On Saturday, it was the Inter-Counties Cross Country Finals in Loughborough, where a total of 550 senior men and women were competing in the colours of 47 county teams across the UK.

Two Newmarket Joggers, Neil Pollard and James Smith, were honoured to be chosen for the Suffolk County men’s team, comprising of nine members of which the first six finishers were to count for points.

Smith clocked 46:25 over the muddy 10K course and finished 2nd home for the team, while Pollard was sadly unable to finish due to injury. Unfortunately only five of the nine team members were present on the day, which meant that Suffolk knew they could not qualify for a team result before the race.

Elsewhere, Elke Hausler was competing in the 3000m indoor race at the British Masters Athletics event at the Lee Valley AthleticsCentre in Edmonton, London, on Sunday.

She put in a top performance to finish 3rd in the W55 age group in a time of 12:03.38, which represents 89.3% age grade. Elke was due to represent GB in the World masters event in Braga, Portugal later this month but it has now been cancelled due to coronavirus.

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