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.
Five North Norfolk Beach Runners were among 220 finishers of the Wissey Half Marathon organised on Sunday 3rd September by Ryston Runners on a flatish and roughly circular course starting and finishing at Oxborough just off the Fens in west Norfolk.
First Beach Runner home was Chris Parker (MO) in fifth place overall in 1.25.26, followed by Lynton Battrick (M40-44) in 14th with a time of 1.29.13. Lisa Ward (F40-44), the only lady Beach Runner, finished in 2.39.55 for 212th place.
The other two Beach Runners, both NNBR SuperSeventies squad members, were necessarily competing in the 60+ age category group because the age classifications went no higher. Jim Hayes (71) was nevertheless first home among 14 runners in the category with a time of 1.46.26, while Mike Marshall (76) finished in 2.26.11.
Meanwhile, on a slightly hillier course, Ben Jones completed the Ultra Trail Mont Blanc, a 167km race over two days through alpine goat country with spectacular, and often precipitate, rises and falls. Starting at an altitude of 1000m and not dipping much below that, it involved climbs totalling 10,000m tackled through day and night. His time of 45.28.36 gained him 1638th place out of 2537 starters. 851 runners did not finish.
Twenty seven North Norfolk Beach Runners were among 366 who finished the Reepham 10k, organised by Reepham Runners on Sunday 27th August.
In warm conditions, first Beach Runner home was Adrian Dyde in a time of 45.00 for in 55th position and 9th in the M50-59 category while the first lady Beach Runner was Rebecca Maun in 48.14 for 95th position overall but 4th in F 40-49.
As usual, the NNBR higher age groups showed maturity, poise and not a little pace, with Gary Linder and Sam Weller grabbing 1st and 2nd place respectively in the M 60-69, their times of 45.44 and 46.08 getting 63rd and 67th places overall. And Super Seventies squad representatives were also well in the mix with Jim Hayes 3rd in the M 70+ category and 196th overall in a time of 54.02 and Mike Marshall finishing fast in 01.01.59 for 5th 283rd overall. In the F70+, marathon specialist Brenda Kinch grabbed 2nd in F70+ category and 287th overall with a time of 1.02.28.