Sixty North Norfolk Beach Runners were among 594 who dashed around Wroxham in the first race in the Wroxham 5k series organised by Norwich Road Runners on Saturday May 17th.
Outstanding performers included, as usual, Neil Adams, 8th overall but first in the M 40-44 category with a time of 16.35, while not far behind, 3rd in the same category, and 25th overall, was Colin Stark in 17.31. The two of them, with Tony Witmond, 4th in the 45-49s and 39th overall in 17,59, nailed the vets’ team prize.
Chris Parker, meanwhile was 12th in the 17-39s and 20th overall in 17.10.
First female Beach Runner home was Charlotte Neale, 4th in the 17-39s and 73rd overall, while Lisa Oakley was took first place in the 40-44s in 20.37.
Other notable performers in the male categories included John Gay, 3rd in the M 55-59s in 19.06; club president Noel Spruce, 13th in the 65-99s, for which he still qualifies, in 27.06 and octogenarian Malcolm Ball 16th in 29.39.
Brenda Kinch was third in the F 65-99s in 28.56.
The performances of the U-16 North Norfolk Harriers were particularly impressive. In the Female division, Abigail Durand was first U-16 home and 33rd overall in 17.48 while Eliska Watling was second, and 97th overall in 19.12.
The lads were equally successful. with Jamie Stares first home among the U16s and 12th overall in 16.55, while Jacob Stares was 2nd and 16th overall in 17.04, all of which bodes well for the future.
Twenty-six North Norfolk Beach Runners were among the 2100 finishers at the Grand East Anglia Run 10k which took place in breezy conditions at King’s Lynn on Sunday 30th April.
First home among them was Lynton Battrick in 39.21 for eighth place in the 40-44 category and 58th overall. Second Beach Runner was Phil Hurr in 39.45 to take first place in the 60-64s and 67th overall. Another prize winner was John Gay who took first place in the 55-59s and 87th overall in a time of 40.53, and yet another was Sam Weller, third in the 65-69s and 221st overall in 44.41.
First NNBR lady was Becky Garratt in 49.57 for 16th place in the 35-39s and 545th overall.
Special mention must be made of three members of the NNBR SuperSeventies squad, presently preparing for a return to last year’s triumph at the Ekiden marathon relay at Woodbridge, this year’s event taking place on 16th July. At King’s Lynn, Jim Hayes came second in the 70-74 category and 310th overall in 46.37 while Mike Marshall was first in the 75+ category and 1388th overall in a time of 1.00.27. Club president, Noel Spruce, clocked 57.25 for 7th place in the 70-74s and 1116th overall, narrowly missing out on the 70-74 King of the Mountains award.
Sixteen Beach Runners made the trip to the south coast at the weekend to be among 12,561 starters in the Brighton marathon, on what turned out to be the hottest day of the year so far. First Beach Runner home was ultra specialist Colin Stark in 3.12.53 for 280th place overall and 261st male finisher out of 7743. First lady Beach Runner – and 68th lady out of 4818 – was Lisa Oakley in 3.29.48 for 835th place overall. Eight Beach Runners cracked four hours.
Closer to home but, without a sea breeze, even hotter, ten Beach Runners were among 2016 finishers of the Larking Gowen Norwich half marathon organised by City of Norwich AC from Norwich Showground. First Beach Runner home was Tim Francis in 1.46.51 for 331st place, with Natasha Sumner the first Beach Runner lady in 2.05.05 for 936th place. NNBR SuperSeventies runner, Mike Marshall, clocked 2.28.41 for 1668th place, and 18th out of 25 in the 65+ age group although he qualifies for the 75+, and will be part of the team for the Ekiden marathon relay at Woodbridge on July 16th.
North Norfolk Beach Runners were putting themselves about to some effect at the weekend across East Anglia and elsewhere.
Star performer was Andy Kett who led all the way to win the Bungay Black Dog Marathon in a time of 2.55.04. Other Beach Runners in the field of 177 included Ivan Allen (M50-59) in 4.15.01, and Janice Hall and Hazel Wray (both F45-54) who finished together in 4.45.34.
Another nabbing a first was Phil J Hurr who won the V60 category in the Diss (biking and running) Duathlon.
But further afield, and further up the age scale, Jim Hayes (71) came 5th out of 23 runners in the V70 category (and 4110th overall among 8686 finishers) in the Great Manchester Marathon, in an outstanding time of 3.58.42, adding weight to his campaign for a V70 category to be a standard inclusion for all races. Jim will again competing in the Ekiden Marathon Relay at Woodbridge on 16th July as part of the NNBR SuperSeventies team for which he has agreed to run all six stages.
Twenty six North Norfolk Beach Runners were among the 360 who ran the Broadland Half Marathon on Sunday 12th March.
This early season event on the road racing calendar and the premier event organised by Norwich Road Runners, starts and finishes at South Walsham, taking in Ranworth, Woodbastwick and Salhouse on a criss-crossing out-and-back course.
First Beach Runner home was, not unusually, Neil Adams in 1.20.23 for 4th place, with Chris Parker not far behind in 1.22.48 for 8th. Ultra man Vinny Purdy was third in the 40-44 age group and 12th overall in 1.24.49 while in the same age group, Ed Rawlings was 5th and 19th overall in 1.26.26.
Charlotte Neale was the first lady Beach Runner and second female overall in an outstanding time of 1.26.46, paced by Chris Merrylees who finished in 1.26.50.
In ideal cool running conditions, several Beach Runners, some of them still relatively new to running, recorded personal best times and afterwards heaped praise on club coaches who have been helping them towards longer distances, including marathons for some later this year.
Two North Norfolk Beach Runners took part in the first of this winter’s three 10k Horsford cross-country races, a series organised for many years by Norwich Road Runners for club runners and fun runners.
Richard Boyfield finished 4th in the men’s 50-54 category in a time of 71.46 while Carmine de Grandis clocked 49.56 which gave him 1st place in the 45-49 category and indeed beat the winner of the 40-44s by over three minutes.
This 10k race is shorter than Carmine’s usual weekend excursion – he did the inaugural 185 mile King Offa’s Dyke race back in September – but just a touch muddier, with a few water obstacles and tree trunks to be negotiated.
He said the event lived up to expectations. “Superb organisation, fantastic marshals, great company and a chance to go out hard on a very technical course.”
A little too technical, perhaps, because as the photo shows, his puddle avoidance technique needs work.
Four North Norfolk Beach Runners made the metaphorical podium at the Norfolk Cross Country Championships held at Thetford Common on December 4th.
Louise Pegg came second in the Women’s 50-54 category, while Tony Witmond was third in the Men’s 45-49.
Jim Hayes gained third in the over-65s although he would have qualified for the over-70s (over-75s?) category, had there been one, and has stated long and often that race categorisation should keep up with rising longevity.
That sentiment may eventually be shared by star of the team, John Gay, who came first in the 55-59s.
Meanwhile the evergreen and ubiquitous Jim Hayes also turned up at Waveney Valley AC’s 10- mile Turkey Trot just outside Beccles on Sunday 11th where, on a chilly day of hazy sunshine – almost perfect running conditions – he finished in 117th place out of 375 finishers in a time of 77.26 but, more particularly, 1st in the over-65s. One other Beach Runner took part, Ed Rawlings, who finished 52nd in 67.45, but he’s nowhere near as old