Roberts produces remarkable run

JENNIE Roberts spearheaded a remarkable performance from Ipswich Jaffa's ladies' squad at the annual Felixstowe Half-Marathon, staged in perfect running conditions from the promenade on Sunday.

By Carl Marston

JENNIE Roberts spearheaded a remarkable performance from Ipswich Jaffa's ladies' squad at the annual Felixstowe Half-Marathon, staged in perfect running conditions from the promenade on Sunday.

Jaffa filled eight of the top 10 places in the ladies' event, with Roberts taking the plaudits despite turning her ankle at the half-way mark of this 13.1-mile challenge.

Roberts went on to record an impressive victory in 1hr 21mins 58secs. It was a personal best time in what was only her second ever half-marathon.

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Tamara Jordan, of Stowmarket Striders, closed the gap on the second lap to finish 42 seconds behind Roberts in 1.22.40. Jordan had dominated the Friday Five Series over the summer.

Essex-based June Cordwell, from Springfield Striders, followed up her second spot from last year with third place in 1.27.25. It was five minutes quicker than her effort from 12 months ago.

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It was a Jaffa procession after that, with Natasha Belsom in fourth (third last year) and club-mate Jayne Williams taking the top veteran prize with 1.29.09 in fifth spot.

But the Ipswich club did not finish there! Val Jennings and previous winner Maria Davis were second and third behind Williams in the female over-35 rankings, while club-mates Julie Brown (over-45) and Maureen Wright (over-55) topped their age categories.

A bumper field of 455 runners finished the race, and everyone had their own tale to tell. But the morning really belonged to 32-year-old Roberts.

“This is only my first year of serious competition, and I'm feeling stronger with every race,” revealed Roberts, who was born and brought up in Colchester before moving to Ipswich 13 years ago.

“I've been running for a few years, but I only joined Ipswich Jaffa in January.

“Before, I was just running for fun, and I've also had a couple of daughters (Lauren and Katie), so it's been stop-start for me.

“I was going well until I fell off the kerb and sprained my ankle near the sports centre at the start of the second lap. It hurt for a couple of miles, before the adrenalin took over. However, it's swollen a little now, so I don't know whether I will be running at Great Yarmouth (another half-marathon) in a fortnight's time. I ran the first lap in 39 minutes, so I slowed up on the second lap. But I was in the lead throughout,” added Roberts.

It was her fourth win on the roads this year, following previous victories at the Joe Cox Stowmarket 10, Newmarket 10K and Framlingham 10K.

Meanwhile, Springfield Striders notched a marvellous one-two in the men's race. An in-form Paul Molyneux tasted victory in 1.11.43, which was the fastest time on this course since David Miller's effort of 1.10.25 in 2003.

Springfield club-mate Gary Chandler was second in 1.14.31, leaving previous winner Miller back in third spot - the Woodbridge Shuffler is rarely beaten on the Suffolk roads.

The top five was completed by Carl Prewer, of Lowestoft Road Runners, and Jaffa's Gavin Davies. Jaffa team-mate David Laing was the first over-40 veteran in 1.17.37 (Laing was the overall winner in 2005), while another previous champion, Richard Jordan, was first in the over-50 section. The event was sponsored by Mediterranean Shipping Company, and organised by Felixstowe Road Runners. There was also a supporting junior fun run.

Felixstowe Half-Marathon results round-up

Top 40 men: 1 P Molyneux (Springfield Striders) 1.11.43; 2 G Chandler (Springfield) 1.14.31; 3 D Miller (Woodbridge Shufflers) 1.15.16; 4 C Prewer (Lowestoft Road Runners) 1.16.39; 5 G Davies (Ipswich Jaffa) 1.17.05; 6 D Laing (Jaffa) 1.17.37; 7 D Reed (Saint Edmund Pacers) 1.17.50; 8 R Jordan (Stowmarket Striders) 1.18.05; 9 I Day (Ely Runners) 1.18.16; 10 K Sharman (Lowestoft RR) 1.18.42.

11 C Cooke (Pacers) 1.18.50; 12 M Horlock (Norwich RR) 1.20.14; 13 M Crook (Springfield) 1.20.31; 14 R Chenery (Jaffa) 1.21.02; 15 N Smith (Clopton Emu Breeders) 1.21.17; 16 B Caisley (Unattached) 1.21.20; 17 J Eve (Un) 1.21.25; 18 K Harper (Witham RC) 1.21.54; 19 J White (Bungay Black Dog) 1.22.14; 20 W Benton (Sudbury Joggers) 1.22.34.

21 T Back (Jaffa) 1.22.42; 22 J Long (Pacers) 1.23.48; 23 J Russell (Thurrock Harriers) 1.24.00; 24 P McClelland (Harwich Runners) 1.24.26; 25 M Pinney (Felixstowe FRR) 1.24.52; 26 N Clarke (Un) 1.25.12; 27 T Taylor (Ipswch Harriers) 1.25.20; 28 P Hudson (Un) 1.25.22; 29 S Harrison (Jaffa) 1.25.47; 30 D Moss (Un) 1.25.53.

31 S Lark (Lowestoft RR) 1.25.57; 32 S Green (Stowmarket) 1.26.15; 33 W Campbell (Jaffa) 1.26.30; 34 D Holt (Un) 1.26.35; 35 A Dick (Jaffa) 1.27.20; 36 A Peck (Gt Yarmouth) 1.27.21; 37 J Weston (Jaffa) 1.27.22; 38 R Disney (Reading AC) 1.27.24; 39 K Peirce (Ips/Harr) 1.27.59; 40 M Greener (Un) 1.28.20,

Top 30 ladies: 1 J Roberts (Jaffa) 1.21.58; 2 T Jordan (Stowmarket) 1.22.40; 3 J Cordwell (Springfield) 1.27.25; 4 N Belsom (Jaffa) 1.27.27; 5 J Williams (Jaffa) 1.29.09; 6 V Jennings (Jaffa) 1.32.01; 7 N Hale (Jaffa) 1.33.25; 8 M Davis (Jaffa) 1.34.21; 9 J Brown (Jaffa) 1.36.17; 10 V Reynolds (Jaffa) 1.36.32.

11 R Jordan (Stowmarket) 1.37.32; 12 H Suttle (Stowmarket) 1.38.09; 13 J Kading (Un) 1.39.25; 14 C Prance (Stowmarket) 1.41.10; 15 N Pyle (Colchester & Tendring AC) 1.42.21; 16 J Taylor (Un) 1.42.28; 17 S Newman (Un) 1.42.46; 18 K Levett (Stowmarket) 1.44.49; 19 R O'Connor (Witham RC) 1.44.52; 20 C Geraghty (Stowmarket) 1.45.14.

21 T Belsom (Stowmarket) 1.45.35; 22 S McDonnell (Un) 1.45.36; 23 P Waggott (Stowmarket) 1.46.00; 24 S Wallis (Un) 1.46.06; 25 K Wooldridge (Jaffa) 1.46.17; 26 A Mallett (Ipswich Tri Club) 1.47.08; 27 B Jack (Stowmarket) 1.47.15; 28 D Lewis (Witham RC) 1.47.28; 29 C Burrows (Un) 1.47.38; 30 D Ghant (Stowmarket) 1.48.04.

Male veterans, over-40: 1 Laing, 2 Reed, 3 Cooke. Over-50: 1 Jordan, 2 Back, 3 Weston. Over-60: 1 V Barltrop (100 Marathon Club) 1.34.12; 2 F Bees (Gt Bentley RC) 1.40.21; 3 R Hobson (Woodbridge) 1.42.15.

Female veterans, over-35: 1 Williams, 2 Jennings, 3 Davis. Over-45: 1 Brown, 2 Wallis, 3 Lewis, 4 B Sanders (Hadleigh Hares) 1.48.49. Over-55: 1 M Wright (Jaffa) 1.52.51; 2 F Humphries (Brentwood) 1.57.19; 3 A Florence (Diss) 2.00.32.

Winning teams, men: Springfield Striders. Ladies: Ipswich Jaffa.

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