Fine victories for both Denys Olefir and Odette Robson at Nowton Park

The Suffolk Winter League cross country meeting held at Nowton Park, Bury St Edmunds. Pictures: ANDY

The Suffolk Winter League cross country meeting held at Nowton Park, Bury St Edmunds. Pictures: ANDY ABBOTT - Credit: Archant

Denys Olefir, of Newmarket Joggers, triumphed at the recent Suffolk Winter League meeting, staged at Nowton Park in Bury St Edmunds.

The main pack at the start of the cross country race at Nowrton Park.

The main pack at the start of the cross country race at Nowrton Park. - Credit: Archant

Representing the composite Newmarket Joggers and Sudbury Joggers team, Olefir covered the two laps of the park in 31mins 19secs.

He finished 18 seconds clear of runner-up Matt Jeffries (31.37) and 29 seconds ahead of third-placed Dominic Oliver, both of Waveney Valley AC.

Ipswich Harriers’ teenager Adel Hamed took third place in 32.00, while Haverhill’s Michael Gilbert completed the top five, just four seconds behind.

Olefir had finished second to Michael Bartram at the third race, held at Haughley Park, Stowmarket, while the consistent Hamed has now recorded two third positions (Nowton Park and Haughley Park), a second slot (at Sutton, Woodbridge) and a fourth at the first meeting held at Framlingham.

The Suffolk Winter League cross country meeting held at Nowton Park, Bury St Edmunds on Sunday.

The Suffolk Winter League cross country meeting held at Nowton Park, Bury St Edmunds on Sunday. - Credit: Archant


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Odette Robson, of the host club Saint Edmund Pacers, was away and clear in the ladies’ race on home turf at Nowton Park.

Over-45 veteran Robson was 28th overall in 35.27, more than a minute-and-a-half quicker than runner-up Sam Lines (36.59), of Waveney Valley.

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Robson has dominated this league in recent seasons, and she has now won three out of four races this campaign, following on from first places at Haughley Park and Sutton. She did not run at the Framlingham meeting, which was won by Bungay’s Jo Andrews.

Angie Joiner-Handy, another Pacers’ over-45 veteran, took third place in 37.33 at Nowton Park (she had finished second at Framlingham), finishing ahead of Newmarket & Sudbury’s Grainne Neary and Waveney Valley’s Rose Nicholson.

Denys Olefir, of Newmarket Joggers, who clocked a swift time at the Cyprus Marathon

Denys Olefir, of Newmarket Joggers, who clocked a swift time at the Cyprus Marathon - Credit: Archant

Over-50 veteran Maureen McCarthy, from West Suffolk AC, ran strongly in sixth, followed by Pacers’ third scorer, Cath Jeffrey, in seventh.

In the team standings on the day, league leaders Waveney Valley increased their overall advantage (combined men and women) with a winning score of 2,393 points, ahead of Newmarket & Sudbury (2,370) and Framlingham Flyers (2,273).

Once again, Waveney Valley’s success was built around their men, who topped the table with 1,989, again ahead of Newmarket & Sudbury (1,948) and Framlingham (1,898).

The Pacers, though, have been the strongest team among the ladies’ ranks. They won their home meeting with 442 points, from second-placed Newmarket & Sudbury (422) and third-placed Waveney Valley (404).

Running through the woods at Nowton Park during the recent Suffolk Winter League race

Running through the woods at Nowton Park during the recent Suffolk Winter League race - Credit: Archant

This was the fourth meeting in this season’s Suffolk Winter League. The fifth and final event is this Sunday, at Fritton Park, near Bungay.

In the overall standings, after four of five races, Waveney Valley are almost assurred of the title. They have amassed 9,468 points, to lead second-placed Framlingham Flyers (9,196) by a commanding 272 points.

Newmarket & Sudbury Joggers (8,877) are just 40 points ahead of Stowmarket Striders (8,833) in third slot, with Ipswich Harriers (8,734) in fifth.

For the men, Waveney Valley (7,875) are in pole position, as are the Pacers (1,717) in the female section.

The ladies are to the fore in this pack at Nowrton Park

The ladies are to the fore in this pack at Nowrton Park - Credit: Archant

Meanwhile, the supporting junior race was dominated by youngsters from Ipswich Harriers and the Pacers.

Joshue Hulse (under-17) was the overall winner in 14mins 00secs, a mere one second ahead of his Harriers’ team-mate Jack Grady (14.01), who was also second under-17.

They were pursued by a quartet of Pacers, spearheaded by Reuben Handy, who was third in 14.03, and Lewis Sullivan (14.15), who was an excellent fourth and first under-13 athlete.

Pacers’ Joe Robson, Odette’s son, was fifth and also first under-15 in 14.33, seven seconds ahead of fellow under-15 and Pacers’ club-mate Ben Bayley (14.40). Harriers’ Tai Elvin-Andrews was third under-15 (14.51), while the top three in the under-13 age group was completed by the Ipswich Harriers’ duo of Oliver Hitchock (15.39) and Tom Frohn (15.50).

Runners battle with the gradual inclines at Nowton Park

Runners battle with the gradual inclines at Nowton Park - Credit: Archant

Lucy Emmett, of Bungay & Beccles Harriers, won the girls’ race by a 20-second margin. She was first under-17 in 16.06.

Harriers’ Katie Challinor (16.26) was second overall and the leading under-15 athlete, while Bungay Black Dog’s Holly Bunn (16.36) was third home and first in the under-13 category.

Not far adrift were fellow under-13 runners Brooke Oram (fourth overall, 16.41) and Harriers’ Mia Dann (fifth overall, 16.54).Framlingham’s Poppy Branton (17.08), also an under-13, was sixth.

There were 320 finishers in the senior race, and 74 juniors.

Runners snake through the trees at Nowton Park. In the background is winning lady Odette Robson.

Runners snake through the trees at Nowton Park. In the background is winning lady Odette Robson. - Credit: Archant

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