Three North Norfolk Beach Runners, Hazel Wray, Andy Kett and Chris Spooner, were among 300 starters who tackled the Centurion Autumn 100 over the weekend of 15-16th October. This 100-mile race in the Thames Valley was made up of four 25-mile out-and-back spurs centred on Goring-on-Thames; it started at 10am on the Saturday and had to be completed within 28 hours.
Hazel had bad luck, feeling unwell before she started and deciding to pull out after 58 miles, a huge achievement in the circumstances nevertheless. Andy for his part stormed round 16.50.28 to finish sixth overall, but then he does this sort of thing most days before breakfast.
Chris was running to raise money towards an electric wheelchair for her niece, Lily Rose, who has cerebral palsy; the chair will give her more independence when she starts high school.
“I really enjoyed the first 50 miles” says Chris. “I felt good and the scenery was beautiful. The biggest high came at about 38 miles, crossing a field with runners all the way across. Everything felt awesome! “But from 50 miles, it got dark and cold and I got very tired; this section was also hillier than I’d expected. My lowest point was approaching the 75-mile checkpoint; I’d forgotten to drink for about eight miles and I was shivering, walking and had no energy. But my crew and the Centurion support team soon sorted me out with loads of extra layers, chilli and cuppa soup. A cuppa soup has never tasted so good!
“At 6am it started to rain and continued for four hours. The organisers had put a load of steps into the last 25 miles and they seemed to take forever. I finally finished at 12pm on the Sunday.
“But the aid stations were great, like oases in the desert, full of hugely positive people and best of all, hot sweet tea. I struggled to eat ‘proper’ food from quite early on, everything seemed too dry and took a lot of chewing. But Watermelon and pineapple went down very well.
“The whole weekend was an amazing adventure and one that I’ll never forget.”
Neither will Lily Rose. Donations can be made at
North Norfolk Beach Runners had 53 starters of all ages among more than 4000 who ran the Perkins Great East Run half marathon at Peterborough at the weekend. Theirs was the second largest club attendance among the many clubs who took part.
In warm conditions, the runners followed a course around the streets of the city with applauding spectators lining the way. Several Beach Runners were running their first half marathon, having come to running fairly recently through the club’s introductory courses or through Park Runs, but the first Beach Runners home were Chris Merrylees (124th place in 1.21.44) and Chris Parker, (125th in 1.21.45), the latter running a personal best. Septuagenarian Mike Marshall who, himself, has been running for only a few years, finished fast to grab 3115th place – and 8th in the 70-79 category – in 2.25.45.
Closer to home, because of the club commitment at Peterborough, only three Beach Runners were among the 330 who ran the Marriott’s Way 10k, although Neil Adams flew the flag by taking first place in 35.55, seven seconds ahead of the second placed runner, and nearly a minute ahead of the third. Sam Weller was first in the Male 60+ group (and 39th overall) in 45.57, more than four minutes ahead of the next in the category. The Beach Runner trio was completed by Ivan Allen who came home in 51.20 for 84th place.
|58||Jenny De Grandis||36:16|
North Norfolk Beach Runner, Carmine De Grandis, took part in the inaugural 185 mile King Offa’ Dyke Race run along the Welsh border country between September 23rd -27th. He finished in 22nd place out 73 starters and 44 finishers in a time of 85 hours 37 minutes, with over 9000m of climbs, several refuelling stops and about seven hours sleep on the way.
“When the inaugural event was announced, I could not resist entering because it would be 80 miles longer than anything I have done before” he said. “Despite being injured since June and having completed very little training I decided to give it my best shot.”
The race, which started at night, had to be completed within four nights and four days and in good Welsh style, the weather “varied from drizzle to wet, to very wet with a little sunshine every now and then”. To ensure that he finished during the morning of the 4th day, he climbed and descended the Clwdian hills in the northern section at night, by that time with “blisters bigger than my feet”, to reaching the finish on Prestatyn seafront.
“The best part was that people kept laughing at the fact that there aren’t any hills in Norfolk to train for this! But Beeston Bump is almost a hill if you run up and down it three times.”
Carmine is welcomed at the finish by Richard Weremiuk race director and founder, of Beyond Marathon. Picture credit: Clive Hevey.
Indeed. And that’s what you call a long weekend. But it seems to be contagious because fellow Beach Runners Andy Kett and Hazel Wray along with Chris Spooner are now attempting the Autumn 100, a Thames Valley 100 mile race on 15th/16th October. Chris is raising money towards an electric wheelchair for her niece, Lily Rose. You can donate at Chris’s crowdfunding page at http://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/chrisruns100miles