Runners defy rain ty

Mark Westley Photography'Newmarket Journal May 2014'Newmarket Heath race.'Runners and teams. ANL-140205-155220002
Mark Westley Photography'Newmarket Journal May 2014'Newmarket Heath race.'Runners and teams. ANL-140205-155220002

Desperate conditions failed to stop hordes of runners from charging around some of horse racing’s most famous training grounds on Thursday for this year’s Heath Race.

One hundred and ninety runners braved the rain soaked course, which starts at the foot of Moulton Road, to take part in the annual six-kilometre event hosted by the Newmarket Joggers.

Winning this year’s race in a time of 18 minutes 33 seconds was 17 year old West Suffolk Athletics Club member Michael Bartrum.

He was followed home in second by last year’s winner, and Joggers member, Paul Holley in 18.42.

Rounding out the top three was Newmarket Cycling and Triathlon Club member, and amateur jockey Ross Birkett who finished in 18.56.

“We were delighted with the amount of entries as we didn’t think we would get that many due to the weather,” said Carolynn Anderson, co-organiser.

“It was nice to see so many clubs support the race as it makes it more competitive, while there was a lot of local runners turn out which is brilliant to see as it we try and make it a real community event.”

While the battle for outright honours was hotly contested, competition for this year’s Stable and Stud Staff Challenge was equally as competitive with more than 14 teams lining up including ones representing the likes of trainers Marco Botti, Roger Varian, and Julia Feilden.

The challenge, which is awarded to the fastest three team members, including their best placed women runner, went the way of Ursula Ransom, Maxine Lane and Wayne Thomas who were representing Darley.

“The competition in the Stable and Stud Staff Challenge was closely fought as there were some high quality runners who produced some good times.

“It just goes to show how fit the people in racing are,” said Carolynn.

“It was the first time ever that the challenge was won by two women and a man which was good to see as it always the other way round.”

As in previous years the race was run in aid of charity with net proceeds from this year’s event being donated to the New Astley Club, which is soon to be re-named The Racing Centre.

“The whole point of this race is to have a bit of fun and raise money for charity, “ said Carolynn.

“We try and keep costs low so we can give the charity as much as possible.

“Although we have not got a final total yet for this year’s race we think it will be in the region of £2,000.”

n For more results and pictures, turn to Sport – page 77.