Seventeen North Norfolk Beach Runners, along with 427 others, were on the runway at the former RAF Coltishall for Coltishall Jaguars’ Mad March Hare 10k which this year, for added madness, was run in late April.
In a cold and blustery force six and rising, NNBR quickly adopted a strategy of all appendages akimbo on the downwind leg and tucked in on the upward (such variable geometry nevertheless being more Tornado than Jaguar) which resulted in some quick times for the conditions.
First Beach Runner home, merely because he was running, was Neil Adams (M40-44) in 36.40 for 3rd place overall and 2nd in category, followed by Adam Smart (M15-39) moving well, as ever, in 38.07 for 6th and 3rd. First lady Beach Runner was Helen Hagon (F 55-59) in 53.01 for 207th but a very creditable 2nd in category.
The club senior citizens again performed well, SuperSeventy Sam Weller (M68+) clocking 45.48 for 95th overall but 1st in category, to be only just headed by club chairman, Clive Hedges (M 55-59 and rising) wearing his office lightly to record 45.22 for 90th overall and 3rd in category.
All eyes now turn to the Dereham 10 mile in a fortnight.
In the hottest and most brutal London marathon on record, when even finishing amounted to heroism for the 40,000 plus who managed it, the dozen Beach Runners were led home by Charlotte Neale (F18-30) in a time of 3.03.41, for 1368th overall but an outstanding 40th out of 8962 in category. She was followed by Vinnie Purdy (M40-44), (who last year in cooler conditions ran two seconds over three hours), in 3.22.13 for 3220th place overall and 640th out of 4044 in category.
Following them came Fried Fish Sadler (M 50-54) in 3.29.34 for 346th out of 2491 in category; Lisa Oakley (F40-44) in 3.43.44 for 224/2892; Robert Wells (M18-39), 3.46.29 and 2651/11279; Nick Slade, 3.48.43, for 2772/11279, and Euan Prasser (M45-49), 4.01.28 and 1254/3552. Then came SuperSeventy apprentice Derek Sadler (M60-64) in 4.32.41 for 264/659; Hazel Wray (F40-49) in 4.22.58 and 549/2163; Heather Morton, 5.21.58 for 810/1388; Lesley Winston, 5.24.03 and 328/629, and Sara Holroyd, 7.05,51 for 1328/1388. All are still in the club rehydration facility.
Charlotte Neale looking cool.
Vinnie Purdy feeling the heat.
Photocredit: Clive Hedges
With the lighter evenings and allegedly warmer days, North Norfolk Beach Runners have been making the transition from winter cross-country to spring-to-autumn road racing with effortless aplomb.
Over the winter, those regularly getting muddy in the 10-race East Anglia Cross Country League included a ladies squad among whom Karen Balcombe finished 7th overall in the series and Louise Pegg eighth. With races taking place on Wednesday afternoons and many runners unable to run them all, the Ladies team prizes eluded the Beach Runners, but those who ran some or nearly all of them included Gemma Woolrych, Rachel Robson, Sue Ilsley Sarah Mapes Shay Boyfield and Ali Lowe.
1. Louise Pegg, left, and Karen Balcombe.
2. Left to right: Rachel Robson, Sarah Mapes, Karen Balcombe, Louise Pegg and Gemma Woolrych
Meanwhile, the marathon season is now under way and at Manchester on April 8th, among more than 9000 finishers, it was again NNBR ladies to the fore, with Emily Haughan (V35) clocking 3.45.12 for 3050th place overall but 73rd in category, and Rebecca Maun (V45) clocking 3.47.56 for 3274th overall but 45th in category.
Brighton (15th April) and London (22nd April) marathons now follow and NNBR will be well represented at both.