12 of the Best for 2017

This year I’ve been limited to three races in total. I ran Woodbridge 10k, Ekiden (10k segment) and the Ipswich Half Marathon. This was largely done to ensure I wasn’t getting carried away with training and racing, and could focus on my rehabilitation. Sacha (my wife) is still, quite understandably, concerned for my well-being, and remains of the opinion that racing is not something that should occupy 2017; I need to make sure I have some Work/Life/Run balance.

With this in mind I have negotiated the following arrangement terms:

  1. I’m allowed to race up to 12 events during 2017
  2. I’m allowed to race distances up to and including Half Marathon
  3. If I feel unwell before a race, I must DNS
  4. After making my proposition of 12 races, Sacha has veto rights on 6 races at her discretion. This can be based on:
    1. Proximity in time to another race
    2. Over all accumulated distance within a time period
    3. Required training to meet race conditions putting pressure on Life balance
    4. Set Holiday and Leave patterns

So with this in mind, I asked Robin (our illustrious Captain) to devise a schedule of local races that I can compete in that meet these terms… and he kindly came up with the following:

Month Race Distance recommended (miles) Captain’s Comments Jenkyn’s Comments
February 5th Great Bentley half marathon 13.1 A pure, fast runners course. The antithesis of Ipswich. A nailed on PB. Life affirming.  [IN]
March 19th Stowmarket half marathon 13.1 See above. But a laid back Suffolk vibe, usually nicer weather, and an unforgettable finish straight between the new season’s John Deere lawnmowers. A towering colossus of a race. My favourite 13.1 mile smearing.  [IN]
April 2nd Bungay 10K 6.2 How can you not take part in the FRR pilgrimage to the Bungay Festival Of Running? I’ve suggested 10K, but other distances are available……….  JJ: Came up and supported in 2016. Looked like great fun. [IN]
May Heritage Coast 13.1 or 6.2 Kick off with a move back to half distance with the truly unique Heritage Coast event. It’s a beauty. No hope of a PB, but that’s actually part of the appeal. It’s an unspoiled part of the landscape to smear yourself through. Race HQ and general organisation is also beautifully simple with a charm of it’s own. There are few more satisfying post-race pints than after this one.  [IN]
Later May Woodbridge 10K 6.2 Needs little justification. Probably the finest 10K roadrace in the world. Unrivaled support, it’s like Woodbridge is transformed into a boiling cauldron of athletic grimacing for the day. A defining race. JJ: I’ve run this 3 times now, and PB’d each time. Looking forward to the throngs of support in Woodbridge again. [IN]
June Kirton 5 5.0 A fast, flowing course. Many people have it as a PB course, myself included. The finish straight alone makes it probably the most exciting of the 5 series. And it’s a home event! Get out there in a red vest and feel like a king!  [IN]
Later June Capel 5 5.0 A small race with a village fete atmosphere. This is not a criticism. A testing course, with some very fast sections, generally thrilling and satisfying. Plus, an absolute steal to enter and very local. Good to support the tiny clubs.  [IN]
July Ekiden relays 3.1, 4.5 or 6.2 Well, you just have to don’t you?  [IN]
Later July Brantham 5 5.0 Similar to Capel in that it’s a smaller event. Different to Capel in that it’s not actually a running club, it’s a fundraiser for the football team or something. But it’s always slickly organised and a bloody good event. And the course is a beast with a bit of everything.  [IN]
August Twilight 10K 6.2 The local 10K. Your home town. Why wouldn’t you? Plus, it’s brilliant. Very fast course course, great support. A new race. But already a classic.  JJ: I’ve already got my one-way ticket for this event, so I’m hopeful to compete in this. I marshalled in 2016, and it looked fantastic! [IN]
September Coastal 10 10.0 This race is a blinder. A reasonably rare distance, but a great distance to race. Get your tail up and be a bit cockier than you would in a half. It’s basically a pair of Friday 5s. And a home event, the only one of the three in Felixstowe. It should be compulsory.  [IN]
October Saxmundham 5 5.0 A hidden gem. A beautiful multi-terrain course, a very friendly welcome by another one of Suffolk’s small clubs. Tea. Cake. It’s basically a parkrun with numbers. Unmissable.  [IN]

That’s 12. If you wanted a race in November and December I’d suggest Hadleigh 5 / 10 (I’d recommend 10) and the superb Turkey Trot (10 miles) to take you neatly to Christmas!

All good races Cap! Who’s with me?

Interesting stats on this selection:

  • Total mileage picking the furthest distance in each race: 94.1miles
  • Total mileage picking the shortest distance in each race: 84.1miles
  • Total mileage picking the furthest distance in each race, with full 6 race veto applied: 61.7miles
  • Total mileage picking the shortest distance in each race, with full 6 race veto applied: 32.4miles


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3 Responses

  1. Peter says:

    I agree with the captain on most of these, although I suspect Sacha won’t approve all of the halfs.
    Personally though, I would substitute one of the 5s for Little Bromley 10k. A debut in 2016 and already a classic.

  2. Nick says:

    I’d be happy and proud to run any or all of these with you JJ