Half a dozen North Norfolk Beach Runners had a mid-week run-out at the first of this year’s three Yarmouth 5K races and, in a field of 619, four of them had top 10 category finishes.

Darren Armstrong (M 45 – 49) was quickest, in 32-58 for 40th overall and 7th  in category,  while John Stares (M 50 – 54) clocked 35.21 for 102nd and 9th . Sam Weller (M 70+), back in action after a lay-off, ran 47.25 for 448th and 5th. Liz Letzer (F 70+) was the other top-tenner, running 51.12 for 519th and 3rd, though some way astern of faster, but younger, Natalie Drake (F 18-35) in 38.39 for 189th and 14th. Jon Folkard (M 55-59) ran sweeper for the day with 1.02.04 for 603rd and 34th, and then found that the doughnut shop had closed.

Meanwhile, in the Norfolk heartlands, the Dereham 10-mile attracted 10 Beach Runners, among 516 starters, who between them  gained five category top-tenners, including a couple of firsts.

First among firsts was usual suspect Neil Adams (M 40-44) in 58.17 for 6th overall and a category 1stout of 39, who only the previous day had run a 4.48 mile to take first in the veteran category over the distance at the Norfolk Track & Field Championship. So there’s a cool dude, if you like. Emma Blake, (F 40-44), confining her efforts to Dereham, settled for 1.05.26 for 93rd and 1st out of 44. Two of the more seasoned performers, Derek Sadler (M 65+) and Jim Hayes (M 65+ a few more than Derek) respectively ran 1.17.51 and 1.20.63 for 202nd and 243rd overall and 5th and 7th out of 16., while Darren Armstrong (M 45 – 49), clearly benefiting from his Yarmouth 5k training session, clocked 1.05.26 for 45 overall and 10th out of 48.

And then down on the south coast, a couple of 40-something Beach Runners and ultra men, Vinnie Purdy and Colin Stark, sauntered round the South Downs Marathon which, as it happened, was the 142nd marathon for each of them. They are still getting the hang of it and the times weren’t exceptional – both have run faster – but really, at a certain time of life and after a certain mileage, all these old boys get to be more interested in going for a run to have a natter.

Author: John Worrall

North Norfolk Beach Runners for NNNews and F&W Times

The past week has seen North Norfolk Beach Runners racing at distances ranging from 5k right up to the ultimate challenge of the London Marathon.

In the heat of last weekend, six members of the Cromer club took on the 5k, five lap circuit of Fakenham town centre. Neil Adams ran a super quick time of 16:57, a great effort round the twisty street course. It was good enough to earn him 3rd place overall and 1st place in the 40-44 age group.

Garry Hobart looks to be running really well this year and clocked 23:28 for 98th place with Jim Hayes not far behind in a time of 24:50. Jim’s run was good enough to give him 2nd place in his category, which we believe is the Over 65 men, not Fastest Men with a Ponytail!

Making up the sextet of Beach Runners were Graham Robson who clocked an excellent 25:47 and the evergreen Mike Marshall. Rachel Robson bravely completed 4 laps despite a fall and was back out training with the club just two days later.

Midweek and a typically chilly evening on the Yarmouth seafront saw the first race in the Yarmouth 5 Mile Series which attracted a huge field of nearly 700 runners. Club coach Darren Armstrong ran well to finish 40th in a time of 31:58 and Natalie Drake had a great race to clock 38:39 for 188th spot.

Sam Weller, who has been plagued by a host of injuries this year, was happy to get round the two lap circuit in 47:25 whilst Elizabeth Letzer was delighted to finish 3rd in her age group with 51:12.

A word too for the ever-present Jonathan Folkard who has run almost every one of the Yarmouth Series over the past twenty years, over 50 races in total.

After the dizzy heights of Fakenham and Yarmouth, the London Marathon could only be something of an anticlimax for the 8 Beach Runners who were amongst the 42,000 runners pounding the London streets from Greenwich to The Mall on Sunday.

John Fagan was the first Beach Runner across the line in a superb time of 3:01:43. Surely it will not be long before John dips under the magic three hour barrier. Emma Blake was the first lady to complete the 26.2 mile course in a brilliant 3:15:37.

Rebecca Maun had a wonderfully steady run, her pace barely falling off in the second half as she clocked a Good For Age time of 3:40:33 whilst Miles Wigginton, Mearl Brown and Simon Gibson were separated by just five minutes, Miles recording the best time of the trio with 4:11:34.

Further back Nicola Rumsby did well to hold her pace in the gruelling second half of the race as she recorded 5:10:04 and former Holt 10k Race Director Ross Haddow made a rare race appearance to get round the London streets in just over 6 hours.

Author: Jeremy Bolam standing in for John Worrall


North Norfolk Beach Runners fielded a scattering of marathon runners over the weekend, starting with a few out west on the fen edge for the inaugural Peterborough.

Out of 177 finishers, Andy Mclaren (M 50-54) gained 56th place and 5th out of 18 in category with 3.50.06, while Vicky Hampson (F senior) in her first marathon ran 4.26.25 for 127th and 10th out of 15, accompanied by Matt Smith (M 45-49) whose un-chivalrous finishing burst made him half a second faster for 126th and 25th out of 31. Quickest Beach Runner on the day was Tony Money (M 45-49) in 3.39.56 for 39th and 8th .

Libby Ashton (F 35-39) went further, but ran half the distance, in the Rutland Spring Half Marathon, finishing in 2.28.23 for 665th and 56th in category.

Another covey of Beach Runners fled the lazy east wind and took to the south coast for the Brighton marathon along with 16646 others. In finishing order, they were: Karl Harper (M 45-49) in 3.46.02 for 1885th overall and 233rd out of 1602 in category, and having clocked 4.55.00 at his first crack at this course two years ago, the boy shows promise, as even more so does Sarah Keeble (F 40-44) who, in her first Brighton, clocked 3.53.00 for 2392nd and 52nd out of 1053. Mearl Brown (M 45-49) followed on in 4.24.33 for 4846th and 557th out of 1502, with Kirk Price (M 18-39) in 4.35.46 for 5697th and 2317th out of 5478. New Beach Runner Leigh West (M 18-39) in 5.00.53 for 7460th and 2778th out of 5478.

But then further south again and some way east, Fish Sadler (M 55-59) sought out a Grecian spring by running the Rhodes marathon in 3.24.57 for 19th out of 165 overall. There were no age categories in the results, almost certainly in recognition of the agelessness of the aforementioned Fish.

Author: John Worrall


North Norfolk Beach Runners went mob-handed to the Norwich Half Marathon at the weekend, 22 of them starting among 1734 who ran the City hinterland lanes in rain and mist.

In a race won by Piers Arnold of CONAC in 1.17.41, four Beach Runners made their category top ten: Neil Adams (M40) in 1.19.42 for 14th overall and 5th out of 137 in category; John Fagan (M45), 1.24.03 for 41st and 4th out of 144; Derek Sadler (M65), 2.09.42 for 1197th and 5th, and Christine Thorne (F65) 2.16.12 for 1310th and 2nd.

Other notable performers included Daryl London (M35) in 1.28.06 for 75th and 11th out of 167; Elizabeth Goodliffe (F40) 01.46.27 for 464th and 14th out of 125; Natalie Drake (F35) 01:49:05 for 548th and 15th out of 111; and Fish Sadler (M55) 681st and 37th out of 68 with 01:53:26.

The Norwich Half might also have seen marathon and ultra man, Vinnie Purdy, putting in a training run, but after a health scare a few weeks ago, he had decided a week before to ease back in with a gentle marathon – his 140th – at the Daffodil Dawdle from Stradbroke in Suffolk. His positively dawdling – by his standards – five hours nine minutes was just quicker than Chris Gibbons riding shotgun in five hours eighteen.

Meanwhile, oop north, seven Beach Runners were among nearly 14,000 who started the Manchester marathon with none among the 400-odd who didn’t finish.

Two cracked four hours: Emily Haughan (V40) in 3.43.10 for 3739th overall and 116th out of 588 in category, and Euan Prasser, (MV45) in an impressive 3.15.56 for 2234th and 235th out of 1360.

But the star of the show – indeed the weekend – and not for the first time this year, was Charlotte Neale who cracked three hours with a truly outstanding 2.56.16 for 589th overall and 8th out of 1413 in category.

Author: John Worrall



A squadron of 21 North Norfolk Beach Runners, along with 629 others, battled a stiff wind during the Mad March Hare 10k organised by Coltishall Jaguars on the former RAF Coltishall airbase, but good flying conditions, down-wind anyway, produced a few notable performances.

In a race won by Callum Simpson, (MO and unattached), in 36.01, NNBR had three in the top 30, two of them of a certain age: John Fagan (M45-49) in 39.33 for 16th overall and 2nd out of 51 in category, and same category Darren Armstrong in 40.59 for 30th and 3rd. But the marginally more hirsute Adam Smart (MO) prevented a bald blokes one-two with an intervening 39.52 for 19th and 11th out of 117.

Maturity nevertheless led the way further down the field, with Christine Thorne (F65-69), now back to competitive running, posting 1.00.10 for 463rd overall and a category 1st, while perennial category winner, Derek Sadler (M65-69), maintained form with 47.58 for 155th overall and a standard procedure 1st.

But neither was the youth wing left in the hangar, Natalie Drake (FO) clocking 49.48 190th and 13th out of 122, and Liz Harris (F 40-44) in 52.18 for 255 and 7th out of 56.

All others returned safely to base.


Author: John Worrall


An unseasonably warm mid-February Sunday saw North Norfolk Beach Runners flourish like spring flowers in four separate events over the weekend.

The biggest bunch – 13 – was to be seen at Norfolk Gazelles’ Valentine 10k to the south and west of Norwich. In a race won by CONAC’s George Gay in 32.59 (he nevertheless with an umbilical connection to NNBR), first Beach Runner home was usual suspect Neil Adams (M40-44) in 35.52 for 10th overall out of 593 and 4th in category, followed by Chris Parker (M Senior) in 36.42 for 15th and 9th. Phil Hurr (M 60 to 64) was first out of 17 in category and 47th overall in 39.36, while first lady Beach Runner was Hilary Peachment (F Senior) in 51.43 for 286th and 24th.

Then in the Marriott’s Way trail marathon, Darren Neale (M 40-44) stormed along the former railway, like HS2 but more cheaply, in 3.02.48 for second place out of 99 finishers but still only 2nd in category because the race was won by similar vintage Cambridge Harrier Mitchell Dann in 2.56.16. Also second in category – but a different one – was Adrian Dyde (M60-64) with 4.28.03 for 48th overall. Lady Beach Runner Rachel Welch F40-44 completed the NNBR triumvirate in 86th and 8th with 5.26.30.

Meanwhile, out west at the Stamford 30k, won by David Hudson of BRG Run and Tri in 1.44.36, leading Beach Runner was Mrs Neale – Charlotte – (Senior Female) in 2.11.49 for 72nd out of 625 but 5th in category, while Beck Maun (FV45) was 244th and 10th with 2.35.06. Karl Harper (MV45) finished fast to grab 345th and 45th with 2.46.46.

And then down south, a long way down south, Nathan Bayle (M18-39), still parading the NNBR blue in an Antipodean late summer flowering, completed the NZ South Island’s Shotover trail half marathon – “some crazy mountains and creek crossings“, (like Roman Camp on a rainy day, then) in 1.59.16 for 10th out of 127 and 7th in category.

Author: John Worrall

New Years Day Fun Run Results

Please note: The names of the runners  were on a sheet of paper that blew way in the wind – never to be seen again!

Position Time Number Name
1 6m 07s 473
2 6m 08s 475
3 6m 09s 462
4 6m 18s 492
5 6m 28s 484
6 6m 45s 466
7 6m 48s 433
8 6m 49s 435
9 6m 59s 435
10 7m 04s 478
11 7m 10s 499
12 7m 12s 465
13 7m 15s 497
14 7m 20s 493
15 7m 33s 453
16 7m 38s 464
17 7m 42s 463
18 7m 53s 458
19 7m 55s 452
20 7m 56s 451
21 7m 79s 472
22 8m 25s 460
23 8m 30s 423
24 8m 31s 424
25 8m 32s 447
26 8m 33s 467
27 8m 34s 470
28 8m 35s 469
29 8m 36s 500
30 8m 37s 468
31 8m 38s 454
32 8m 39s 438
33 8m 45s 457
34 8m 46s 491
35 8m 47s 490
36 8m 54s 439
37 9m 12s 476
38 9m 21s 489
39 9m 22s 487
40 9m 23s 488
41 9m 32s 471
42 9m 33s 483
43 9m 43s 436
44 9m 44s 437
45 9m 45s 480
46 9m 47s 459
47 9m 48s 477
48 9m 50s 430
49 9m 53s 461
50 9m 55s 445
51 9m 57s 442
52 10m 05s 486
53 10m 06s 485
54 10m 08s 421
55 10m 09s 422
56 10m 10s 429
57 10m 11s 428
58 10m 12s 450
59 10m 13s 449
60 10m 33s 448
61 10m 34s 431
62 10m 35s 432
63 10m 36s 455
64 11m 07s 479
65 11m 08s 495
66 11m 10s 494
67 11m 12s 443
68 11m 13s 444
69 11m 46s 446
70 11m 47s 441
71 13m 00s 440
72 13m 01s 482
73 13m 09s 481
74 14m 03s 496
75 15m 29s 474
76 15m 30s 425
77 15m 30s 426
78 15m 31s 427




Fifteen North Norfolk Beach Runners were among 667 who got 2019 off to a flying start by running the Wymondham 10k on New Year’s Day. In a race won by Jack White of City of Norwich Athletic Club on a course with its share of early bottlenecks, Neil Adams (M 40 to 44) stretched his neck to grab 6th place overall and 3rd in category with a time of 35.18, followed in the NNBR scheme of things by Chris Parker (M Senior) in 36.34 for 15th and 8th. Charlotte Neale (F Senior) was, as usual, the first lady Beach Runner, clocking 38.12 for 25th and 3rd.
Club senior citizens again showed good form, particularly Phil Hurr (M 60 to 64) who ran 38.27 for 31st but 1st in category, while not-quite-so-senior Darren Armstrong (M45 to 49) grabbed second in category and 41st overall with 40.96. But back up the age scale, Derek Sadler (M 60 to 64) ran 48.49 for 194th and 7th, while Jim Hayes (M 65+ but rising 73) clocked 50.20 for 236th and 5th (out of 25). And then Mike Marshall, (M 65 + plus a few more than Jim) was 523rd and 17th out of the same 25 in 1.02.47.
Some of this form transferred to the Norfolk County Cross Country Championships at Thetford on Sunday 6th when 13 Beach Runners won four gongs between them, two of them golds.
In the men’s senior race over 10.6 km, won by Logan Smith of City of Norwich Athletic Club in 34.48, Phil Hurr (V60) was again first in category and 46th overall in 43.14, while SuperSeventy Sam Weller (V70) nursing all sorts of afflictions was nevertheless also first in category and 114th overall with a time of 59.18.
Over the U.20s’ 8 km course, Finlay Swanson was third in 28.43, while Karen Balcombe (V55) clocked 34.49 for the 6,4 km women’s course, finishing in 68th and 3rd.


Author, John Worrall


…… be jolly and North Norfolk Beach Runners have been finding jolly things to do, starting with the three who battled a howling icy wind to take on the Festive Forest Challenge organised by Positive Steps at West Stow Country Park in aid of St Nicholas Hospice Care in Bury St Edmunds.

Three options were available – 10k, half marathon and 20 miles – and two Beach Runners were among 132 who went for the sprint, Sal Ryder (F50-54) covering the 10k in a very creditable 53.40 for an even more creditable 13th overall and 1st in category. Libby Ashton (F35-39) was mid-table at 64th and 5thwith a time of 1.07.27. The 10k winner was Simon Wright (M35-39) of Norwich Road Runners in 39.43.

Jim Hayes (M70+(4)), never one to do things by halves, opted for the 20-miler and claimed a very impressive 15th out of 37 overall and, naturally enough, 1st in category, with a time of 3.14.11. Race winner, paradoxically, was Jim Last of Framlingham Flyers in 2.12.50.

Meanwhile, on a jollier, not to say sillier, note, a dozen Beach Runners were among 215 who tackled the even more challenging – because it was in seasonal dress – 5k Buxton Santa Run sponsored by Sportlink in aid of Autism Anglia and organised by Norfolk Gazelles in and around the eponymous village.

First Beach Runner home, but only because his Santa hat fell off, was SuperSeventy Sam Weller (M65+(5)) in 23.32 and 1st in category, followed by Garry Hobart (M55-59) and his dog (M-4 legs) for joint 25th (with dog) and 4th (and 1st) in categories. Category podium finishes were also achieved by Natalie Drake (FO) in 24.16 for 29th and 1st; Helen Hagon (F55-59) in 25.28 for 33rd and 1st; Fiona Morrison (65+) in 33.11 for 105th and 2nd , Carl Neale (M50-54) in 24.16 for 29th and 3rd, and Rachel Welch (F40-44) in 28.05 for 52nd and 3rd.

Meanwhile, in sunnier climes, Beach Runner Robbie Britton ran 2.29.31 for the Valencia Marathon, his first sub-2.30 and the fastest by some way that an NNBR vest has covered the distance, the superior aerodynamics of the svelte new design achieved by club kit manager, Peter Eaton, having, he said, played a significant part.

Author: John Worrall



Photocredit: Nathan Bayle.

Five North Norfolk Beach Runners were among 566 who ran the Snetterton Half Marathon at the eponymous race track on Sunday. In fine and dry conditions, all five opted for super soft compounds and a no-stop strategy and spread themselves evenly down the field.

In a race won by Ben Spratling of City of Norwich AC in 1.12.15, Beach Runner Neil Adams (M40-49) claimed 8th overall and 2nd in category with 1.38.26 while Alex Curtis (Male Senior) ran 1.38.26 for 99th overall and 49th in category. Next in the NNBR order of things was Miles Wiggington (M 40-49) in 1.51,03 for 231st and 70th, followed by Richard West (M 40-49) in 2.10.46 for 406th and 158th . Libby Ashton (F Senior) kept an eye on the chaps from astern with 2.14.50 for 438th and 76th out of 117 in category.

Meanwhile down south, in fact a long way south, Nathan Bayle (M 20-29) ran the wonderfully scenic Queenstown marathon in New Zealand in 3.48.23 which made him 253rd out of 2150 finishers, 63rd in category and officially a PB (Pommie Bastard). From the photograph, it seems to have been a hair-raising experience.

Going longer again but closer to home, Beach Runners Vinnie Purdy and Colin Stark ran the Marriott’s Way Ultra, 37.4 miles from Norwich to Reepham and back, finishing together in 5.28.54 for joint 3rd, although Vinnie in particular admitted to blowing hard all the way on the return leg. Trains used to have the same problem on that line. But in his case, it was part of his preparation for the Great Union Canal Race at Whitsun, involving 145 miles along the canal from Birmingham to London without a narrowboat, running as he will be mostly on the bank because it is of course a bank holiday.

Author: John Worrall