A Brief History of Time from the Big Bang to Black Holes including The North Norfolk Beach Runners

Stephen Hawking knew how to capture peoples’ attention, so I thought I’d borrow a tip or two from him in this potted brief history of our running club. I cannot claim to have been in at the start, as by 1989 there were some 25 running club members when I joined. Others from those early days include Robin Rush MBE whom some of you will know from the Ekiden Relay event; Derek Sadler who is performing remarkably well in his 60’s; and Ian Wade who joined around ‘89 and is still holding his own in training sessions today.

The Club began in the mid eighties with an informal group running out of Cromer and East Runton, before settling on Cromer as its base if for no other reason than it was, and still is, a superb place to launch yourself into the north Sea on Boxing Day, a tradition which has grown to the massive event which it is today, raising thousands of pounds for mainly local charities and other good causes.

So, from a focussed racing group of just one tenth of the Club’s current membership, with not a female member in sight, we’ve grown steadily into a running club for all ages and abilities. Our income was frugal, to say the least, coming from modest subs augmented by income from our Holt 5 annual Road Race, later to become a 7 miler for a time before changing again into the 10K it is today. If income was in short supply, club kit was even more rare with the appearance of a new pair of running shoes in the changing room on a Thursday evening tantamount to a blue moon!

But, like many things in this life, you can’t keep a good thing down – the Club grew, and grew while keeping its friendliness, we gained our first two lady members , one of whom was to wed the only Club coach we had ( Graham Davidson) , a female section was to appear , proving only too ready to give the men a real run for their money whilst also making us into a far less chauvinistic membership and a more balanced and agreeable organisation.

So, in 2020 you find one of the best established, and certainly one of the county’s running clubs where you’ll find a genuine welcome as a new member whatever your level of interest or involvement! But if you want to learn more of how we have evolved from modest beginnings, then keep an eye on articles to come which may well surprise and amuse you.

Noel Spruce