Fifteen North Norfolk Beach Runners were among 775 who ran the Snetterton Half Marathon on the Snetterton race circuit at the weekend.
In dry conditions, all started on supersoft compound trainers and stuck with them throughout, the first Beach Runner home being Nicholas Dash in 1.40.39 for 82nd place in the M-Senior and 174th overall. First lady Beach Runner was Anita Bullen in 1.49.28 for 18th in the F 40 to 49 and 309th place overall.
Meanwhile, with a similarly nominal motor racing connotation, the Leathes Prior grand prix series – 10 races through the season of which runners have to run at least seven to qualify – culminated in the awards evening on Friday night.
Pictured are Beach Runner winners,
Back row, l-r: Phil Hurr, 1st 60-64; Jim Hayes Gold medal, postal marathon 65+, Chris Parker, 2nd Senior; Neil Adams, 2nd M40-45;
Front row, left – Brenda Kinch, silver medal, postal marathon F 65+; right – Charlotte Neale, 1st F Senior and overall postal marathon County Champion; centre – Sal Ryder, special memento prize for completing all ten grand prix races, one of only three runners to do so.
The receptacles they are clutching are trophies and devoid of alcohol.
Two North Norfolk Beach Runners went long at the weekend, competing in the King’s Forest 50k ultra, organised by Positive Steps over a four-lap off-road course near Bury St Edmunds. Out of 125 finishers in this uncategorised race, Ivan Allen was first Beach Runner home in 83rd place with a time of 5.46.51, while Tony Money took 94th place in 6.00.23.
Meanwhile, two Beach Runners had gone even longer in running the Autumn 100, a 100 mile ultra in the Thames Valley. Out of 242 starters and 178 finishers, Maria Greaves was 89th overall and 13th female in 23.46.30, while Vinnie Purdy claimed a fairly astonishing 22nd place with a time of 19.41.36, but then, as he said, he’d trained for it, running 50-100 miles a week for 18 weeks. You get out what you put in.
This year’s Bakers and Larners Holt 10k organised by North Norfolk Beach Runners on Sunday 29th October attracted a full complement of 450 entries. The race, run in blustery and occasionally showery conditions, was won by Scott Walford (M45-49) of Bure Valley Harriers in a time of 34.34, with Christopher Hollinshead (M50-54) of Cannock and Stafford second in 35.25. Third was Beach Runner Neil Adams (M40-44) in 35.29. Charlotte Neale (FO) was the first female lady Beach Runner home and second female overall in 40.36.
Although about 100 NNBR members were involved in organising the race, 22 members ran in this, the last of the year’s Leathes Prior Grand Prix series. John Gay was second in the M55-59 with a time of 41.00, while Phil Hurr and Gary Linder were first and second in the M60-64 with times of 42.10 and 44.54 respectively. Sam Weller (M65-68 but soon to be a Super Seventy) was second in category in 45.03.
And talking about NNBR Super Seventies, club president Noel Spruce was 4th in the M70+ in 56.25 while septuagenarian Brenda Kinch was first home in the F65+ category in 1.02.35.
Meanwhile, on the previous weekend, two Beach Runners ran the Autumn 100, a 100 mile ultra in the Thames Valley. Out of 242 starters and 178 finishers, Vinnie Purdy finished in 22nd place with a time of 19.41.36 while Maria Greaves was 89th and 13th female in 23.46.30.
A magnificent seven North Norfolk Beach Runner veterans were among the 701 who ran the East Coast 10k at Yarmouth on Sunday, including three of the Super Seventies squad who, trained on sea air, all acquitted themselves well. Club president Noel Spruce (72) clocked 56.21 for 11th place in the M65 category and 376th overall; Mike Marshall (76) 1.02.01 for 18th in category and 500th overall; and Brenda Kinch (72) 1.06.32 for 14th in the F60 and 544th overall.
Well in front of them but younger were Neil Adams, (M vet 40) in 35.58 for 2nd in category and a stonking 4th overall; Sal Ryder (F50), in 54.18 for 9th in category and 326th overall; Phil Hurr, (M60), in 43.17 for 1st in category and 76th overall, and soon-to-be-Super Seventy Sam Weller,(M65) in 46.37 for 3rd in category and 143rd.
Further inland, in fact a lot further inland, was the Hungarian Girl Lash – the 11 lady Beach Runners who went to Budapest variously for the 10k,30k and full marathon races of the Budapest Marathon weekend. First lady Beach Runner among more than 4000 in the 10k was Annette Boreham in 1.01.18 for 1999th place and 1000th female , while the two Beach Runners among 1164 in the 30k were Fiona Morrison (64) in 3.35.41 for 387th female and 870th overall, and Shelley Burton in 3.46.29 for 432nd female and 1047th. In the marathon, Emily Haughan ran 3.51.29 for 197th female and 1474th out of 5413, and Sarah Mapes, 4.26.56 for 690th and 3380th.
Thirty nine North Norfolk Beach Runners were among 4181 who completed the Perkins Great Eastern Run half marathon around the streets of Peterborough on a gloriously sunny Sunday, 8th October.
First home among them was Lisa Oakley in 1.34.05 for 427th place, followed by Euan Prasser in 1.34.14 for 431st. Other notable performers included Super Seventies squad member Mike Marshall in 2.19.11 for 3154th and 60-something Ross Haddow, fresh in from cycling Land’s End to John o Groats, who finished in 2.25.59 and just failed a photo for 3441st.
Meanwhile, eight Beach Runners who weren’t on the coach to Peterborough were among 341 who ran the Marriott’s Way 10k between Aylsham and Reepham. First Beach Runner home was Sam Weller, M60+ (and soon to be Super Seventies squad member) in 47.03.9 for 56th overall and 1st out of 17 in the M60+ category, while first female Beach Runners was Rachel Robson in 54.27.8 for 137th overall and 2nd out of 12 in the F50-54. Super Seventies squad member, Robin Rush, finished in 1.01.37 for 229th overall and 10th in the M60+ category.
North Norfolk Beach Runners have been out and about during September.
On the 9th, Sarah Morter was at the Great North Run and pushed Mo Farah hard before finally having to settle 26,849th place with a time of 2.25.02.
On the 24th September, nine Beach Runners were among 307 finishers of the Jolly Jaguars 10k at Coltishall. First Beach Runner home was Lynton Battrick (m 40-44) in 39.14 for 8th place while the middle order featured a threesome of Stephen Roe(M 50-54) and Adrian Dyde (M 55-59) pacing Becky Garret (F 15-39)to a pb of 49.43.
On the 16th September, meanwhile, Jen Armstrong was among the 300 starters of the Chiltern Wonderland 50 mile, finishing in 11.39.44 for 22nd out of 39 female finishers , and 13th in the F 40-49 group.
But, as has been reported elsewhere, Beach Runner Andy Kett suffered a stroke in the closing stages of this race. Andy, a sports massage therapist who recently became self-employed and has coached club members and treated many for injuries and other afflictions, is no stranger to ultra races. He came sixth in the Autumn 100 (mile) in the Thames Valley last year and won the Black Dog Marathon in the Waveney Valley in April this year. He remains in hospital. The club immediately set up a Go Fund Me page with the aim of raising £3000 to assist Andy and his young family and at the time of going to press, the fund had topped £16,000. To find out more, go to https://www.gofundme.com/6ge56-andys-fund
North Norfolk Beach Runners had two teams in the 31st running of the Round Norfolk Relay at the weekend. The course follows the county boundary over a distance of 198 miles, divided into 17 unequal stages starting and finishing at Lynnsport in Kings Lynn. A staggered start sees the teams leaving Lynn on Saturday morning, the first away at 5.30am, and all of them finishing on Sunday morning before the 29hrs 30min cut-off. For all teams, organisation of support vehicles and accompanying cyclists through day and night is as crucial as running prowess.
This year, 61 teams competed, City of Norwich Athletic Club claiming first place in a time of 20hrs, 23min 40 secs reflecting 6.11 per mile, but NNBR’s A team came fifth – second in the Club category and first in the Association of Running Clubs category – with a time of 22.05.34 at 6.42. Team member Tony Whitmond claimed the Darryl Davis Memorial Trophy for the best age graded performance by a male master, on Stage 4, with a grading of 75.3%.
NNBR’s B Team meanwhile clocked 27.53.36 at 8.27 to grab 48th place overall and 5th in the mixed class.
NNBR also organised two of the changeover points – at Cromer and Mundesley – and at the latter, runners, supporters and back-up teams again enjoyed refreshments provided by the Coronation Hall committee, a long-standing highlight of the race which is gaining legendary status.