Twenty North Norfolk Beach Runners were among 521 finishers of the Valentine 10k organised by Norfolk Gazelles from Easton & Otley College, Norwich. This was the second race of 11 making up the 2018 Leathes Prior Grand Prix series and was sponsored by SportLink Running and Fitness.
The first three Beach Runners home were usual suspects, Neil Adams (M40-44) finishing 9th overall and 3rd in category with a time of 35.48, followed by Adam Smart (M senior) moving even better than he apparently does on the dance floor in 37.37 for 30th place overall and 12th in category. They were followed by Charlotte Neale (F senior) in 38.58 for 38th overall and a very impressive 2nd in category.
NNBR’s SuperSeventies were in action, though again categorised as M 65+ and F 65+, club president Noel Spruce clocking 58.59 for 388th overall and 12th in category, while Mike Marshall, 1.03.09, was 434th overall and 13th in category. Brenda Kinch in 1.01.49 was 418th overall and 10th in category. But Sam Weller, shortly to be a SuperSeventy, was quicker in 46.13 for 148th overall and 3rd in category, and will strengthen the squad considerably when he graduates later this year.
Eleven North Norfolk Beach Runners were among 609 finishers (and 750 entrants) in the 25th running of Stamford St Valentines 30k, organised by Stamford Striders and sponsored this year by Rutland Radio. In conditions variously described as “snow/rain/wind” and “……. freezing”, the course explored the undulating lanes north of the eponymous town, commendably staying clear of the A1.
First Beach Runner home was Peter Moor, (MV45) in 188.8.131.52 for 89th overall and an age grading of 68.39% while Stuart Drummond (MV40) wasn’t far behind in 184.108.40.206 for 125th overall and a grading of 62.59%. First female Beach Runner home was Lisa Oakley (FV40) in 220.127.116.11 for 169th overall and a grading of 67.19%.
Meanwhile, after seven races completed out of the ten in the East Anglian Cross Country Winter League (EACCL) which take place on Wednesdays at various locations around Norfolk and Suffolk, Beach Runners are showing well in the female category. Karen Balcombe (F50) is in 18th place – and 18th overall – on 83 points while Gemma Woodrych (F45) is 25th in category and overall on 76 points and Rachel Robson (F50) in 40th in category and 42nd overall on 61 points. Runners have to complete a minimum of eight races to be eligible for awards and the next race will take place at Stowmarket on the 21st February.
Thirty North Norfolk Beach Runners were among the 676 who ran the Bam Nuttall Freethorpe 10 mile, organised by Great Yarmouth & District Athletics Club on the 28th.
In blustery but mild conditions, first home among them was Chris Merrylees, now competing in the M40-44 category in which he came second, and ninth overall, with a time of 59.17. Second Beach Runner home was Chris Parker (M Senior) in 1.01.53 for 24th overall, while first lady Beach Runner was Charlotte Neale in 1.05.00 for 49th overall, with Neil Adams (M40-44) right alongside.
Two Super Seventies squad members were there, club president Noel Spruce (M70+) claiming 5th in category and 523rd overall in 1.37.40 and go-faster tights, while Brenda Kinch, classified in F 65+ though a septuagenarian, gained third in category and 580th overall with a time of 1.43.29.
Sixteen North Norfolk Beach Runners took part in the Norfolk Cross Country Championships at the Charles Burrell Centre, Thetford, at the weekend.
Over the 4.3 mile women’s course, Louise Pegg came second in the Female Masters 50-54 category with a time of 35.17, followed closely by Karen Balcombe in 4th in 35.38. With Rebecca Maun’s 6th place in the Female Masters 45-49 in a time of 34.03, the three of them gained silver in the Female Masters 45+ team competition. Meanwhile, Charlotte Neale ran 28.24 for 5th place in the Female Senior, with Felicity Quinn clocking 29.24 for 12th.
In the Men’s competition, run over 6.8 miles, Chris Merrylees, who turned 40 last week, announced his arrival in the 40-44 category with 3rd place in a time of 41.43, followed by Lynton Battrick in 45.08 for 9th. Tony Witmond, also a recent category entrant – to the 50-54 – gained 2nd in 43.57.
The NNBR Super Seventies were represented by Jim Hayes who was first in the Male Masters 70+ with a time of 58.04, while soon-to-be-Super Seventy, Sam Weller ran 56.10 for 2nd in the Male 65-69.
A dozen North Norfolk Beach Runners were among 634 who ran the New Year’s Day Wymondham 10k, organised by Wymondham Athletic Club. First home among them, 8th overall and 3rd in the M 40-44 category was Neil Adams in 35.56, followed closely by Chris Merrylees (M Senior) in 11th overall with a time of 36,34. Meanwhile Tony Whitmond, new kid on the block in the M 50 to 54, was third in category and 35th overall with a time of 40.03.
First lady Beach Runner home was Charlotte Neale (F Senior) 37th overall and 2nd in category with a time of 40 11, followed by Rebecca Maun (F 45-49) 120th overall and 3rd in category with a time of 45.39.
Meanwhile, soon-to-be-Super Seventy Saw Weller (M 65+) cruised home in 163rd overall but a stonking 1st in category with a time of 47.14, a clear two minutes ahead of the M 65+.
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.