Nineteen North Norfolk Beach Runners were among the 484 who ran the Dereham 10 mile at the weekend, first home among them, as usual, being Neil Adam (M40-44) in 59.00 for 7th place overall but 2nd in category. He was followed, in 8th overall, by Chris Parker (MO) in 59.56 which was good enough for 1st in that younger category, the finishing order nevertheless demonstrating again the health benefits of sea air for the ageing male.
First lady Beach Runner was Chrissie Spooner (F45-49) in 1.17.03 for 180th overall and 6th in category.
Other Beach Runners ranged far and wide, with Colin Stark doing the Ultra Trail Snowdonia, a 53-mile jolly involving a 5.00 am start on the Saturday and 20,000 ft of climbing with two visits to the top of Snowdon. Running for 17 hours, he came 34th out of 206.
More particularly, in a private park in Hampshire, Maria Greaves did the Triple Enduroman Triathlon – a 7.2mile swim, 336 mile bike ride and a 78 mile run, finishing in 59 hours and first in category because she was the only UK female to finish at all. Now that’s what you call a park run.
Author: John Worrall
A sunny Sunday brought out 22 of the flowers that are North Norfolk Beach Runners in a field of 2495 at the Asda Foundation’s GEAR 10k at King’s Lynn in aid of the Jane Tomlinson Appeal http://www.janetomlinsonappeal.com/ .
With some NNBR regulars indisposed by the previous day’s celebrations of recent marathon endeavours, the NNBR field had a middle order look about it although Toby Morrell (M) headed the others by nearly two minutes with a time of 36.23 for 19th place overall. He was followed by Lynton Battrick (M40) in 38.10 for 29th overall and 9th in category.
First lady Beach Runner – though, according to the official results, competing in the male category, which she almost certainly wasn’t – was Zoe Parish (“M”) in 52.49 for 726th overall and 308th in category, though which category is clearly open to conjecture. She was part of a flurry of finishers that included Liz Harris, (F40) in 52.50 for 730th overall and 28th in category.
SuperSeventies – soon-to-be and actual – again made their presence felt, Sam Weller (M60) running 48.21 for 389th overall and 17th in category, while Mike Marshall (M70+ but rising 77) clocked 1.06.58 for 1792nd overall but 13th in category.
Seventeen North Norfolk Beach Runners, along with 427 others, were on the runway at the former RAF Coltishall for Coltishall Jaguars’ Mad March Hare 10k which this year, for added madness, was run in late April.
In a cold and blustery force six and rising, NNBR quickly adopted a strategy of all appendages akimbo on the downwind leg and tucked in on the upward (such variable geometry nevertheless being more Tornado than Jaguar) which resulted in some quick times for the conditions.
First Beach Runner home, merely because he was running, was Neil Adams (M40-44) in 36.40 for 3rd place overall and 2nd in category, followed by Adam Smart (M15-39) moving well, as ever, in 38.07 for 6th and 3rd. First lady Beach Runner was Helen Hagon (F 55-59) in 53.01 for 207th but a very creditable 2nd in category.
The club senior citizens again performed well, SuperSeventy Sam Weller (M68+) clocking 45.48 for 95th overall but 1st in category, to be only just headed by club chairman, Clive Hedges (M 55-59 and rising) wearing his office lightly to record 45.22 for 90th overall and 3rd in category.
All eyes now turn to the Dereham 10 mile in a fortnight.
In the hottest and most brutal London marathon on record, when even finishing amounted to heroism for the 40,000 plus who managed it, the dozen Beach Runners were led home by Charlotte Neale (F18-30) in a time of 3.03.41, for 1368th overall but an outstanding 40th out of 8962 in category. She was followed by Vinnie Purdy (M40-44), (who last year in cooler conditions ran two seconds over three hours), in 3.22.13 for 3220th place overall and 640th out of 4044 in category.
Following them came Fried Fish Sadler (M 50-54) in 3.29.34 for 346th out of 2491 in category; Lisa Oakley (F40-44) in 3.43.44 for 224/2892; Robert Wells (M18-39), 3.46.29 and 2651/11279; Nick Slade, 3.48.43, for 2772/11279, and Euan Prasser (M45-49), 4.01.28 and 1254/3552. Then came SuperSeventy apprentice Derek Sadler (M60-64) in 4.32.41 for 264/659; Hazel Wray (F40-49) in 4.22.58 and 549/2163; Heather Morton, 5.21.58 for 810/1388; Lesley Winston, 5.24.03 and 328/629, and Sara Holroyd, 7.05,51 for 1328/1388. All are still in the club rehydration facility.
Photocredit: Clive Hedges
With the lighter evenings and allegedly warmer days, North Norfolk Beach Runners have been making the transition from winter cross-country to spring-to-autumn road racing with effortless aplomb.
Over the winter, those regularly getting muddy in the 10-race East Anglia Cross Country League included a ladies squad among whom Karen Balcombe finished 7th overall in the series and Louise Pegg eighth. With races taking place on Wednesday afternoons and many runners unable to run them all, the Ladies team prizes eluded the Beach Runners, but those who ran some or nearly all of them included Gemma Woolrych, Rachel Robson, Sue Ilsley Sarah Mapes Shay Boyfield and Ali Lowe.
1. Louise Pegg, left, and Karen Balcombe.
2. Left to right: Rachel Robson, Sarah Mapes, Karen Balcombe, Louise Pegg and Gemma Woolrych
Meanwhile, the marathon season is now under way and at Manchester on April 8th, among more than 9000 finishers, it was again NNBR ladies to the fore, with Emily Haughan (V35) clocking 3.45.12 for 3050th place overall but 73rd in category, and Rebecca Maun (V45) clocking 3.47.56 for 3274th overall but 45th in category.
Brighton (15th April) and London (22nd April) marathons now follow and NNBR will be well represented at both.
WHAT HAS 24 legs…… and a combined age north of 840?
Why, two squads of NNBR Ekiden SuperSeventies of course – that’s EKIDEN, the marathon-length relay run in six uneven legs, which happens to match SuperSeventies legs, although that wasn’t the original notion.
The original notion is actually Japanese, and of ancient origin, ancient enough indeed to have spawned the nomenclature Nippon – as in “Get a nippon and get a pb”.
Interestingly, in the oriental vein, NNBR SuperSeventy Mike Marshall reports receiving unsolicited team entries to a supposed warm-up event, the Youth-in-Asia meeting. But SuperSeventies’ Infinitely More Youthful Sporting Director suspects Cambridge Analytica and, uneasy at the subliminal, has opted instead for Youth-in-Asda because it’s closer and the trolleys will come in handy when they’re tired.
Preparations are going well, with wrinkles getting ironed out or botoxed, and both squads are approaching peak condition, with at least one member already in pique condition because his Harriers membership renewal has been rejected yet again.
And IMYSDire can announce that NNBR SuperSeventies are this year going fully modern, with the final phasing out of long baggy shorts and hobnails, along with most of those early model Garmin Grandfathers, on which the pendulums were always troublesome and, anyway, there’s enough stuff flapping about already.
So come and support, or even run in one of the apprentice teams – charabanc laid on – and view the sunlit uplands to which you are heading.
Get the date: SUNDAY 15TH JULY
And the place: WOODBRIDGE SCHOOL, Woodbridge IP12 4JH
And be ready to remind any SuperSeventy you see wandering around looking vacant, because they’ve got so much to remember these days and some things get… um….. get……
A dozen North Norfolk Beach Runners turned out, with 359 others, on a spring day at the Wymondham 20 miler, organised by Wymondham AC. Several were tuning up for a marathon – either Brighton on April 15th or London a week later – and a 20 miler fitted in with those schedules.
The first two Beach Runners home – in tight formation for 14th and 15th place respectively but with the same time, of 2.12.44 – were Chris Merrylees and Neil Adams (both M40-44), while similar togetherness was demonstrated by husband and wife Chris and Dave Spooner (F and M 45-59) just two seconds apart on 2.43.12 and 2.43.14 respectively for 119th and 120th, demonstrating either that chivalry is not dead or Dave’s conditioning let him down on the run-in.
NNBR’s other husband and wife combination, Darren and Jen Armstrong, (M & F 40-44) were a bit more spaced out, in 2.33.19 and 3.11.20 for 79th and 238th respectively, but Jen favours ultras of 50+ miles and is barely warmed up after 20.
Two North Norfolk Beach Runners donned a different vest on Saturday as Charlotte Neale and Chris Merrylees represented Norfolk at this year’s Inter-Counties Cross Country event held at Prestwold Hall, Loughborough on Saturday 10th March.
Both of them, in training for marathons next month, are more used to pounding the roads rather than trails and fields, but racing against some of the best athletes in the country, they excelled. Charlotte, running in the third event of the day over an 8k course in what were described as the muddiest conditions ever for an inter-counties event, finished in 39:16 for 124th place out of 271.
Chris was originally there in a managerial capacity; he and Dom Blake of Reepham Runners now manage the Norfolk senior men’s and women’s squads which turned out full teams for the first time for many years. But that did mean Chris getting his shoes dirty and in the final race of the day putting in a solid performance over the 12k course which, having been churned by nine previous races, was by then anything but solid. He clocked 53:01 for 222nd place in what he described as “the toughest conditions I’ve ever raced in”.
This year’s Hunny Bell Cross Country has raised over £8000 for Break Charity, www.break-charity.org.
The annual event, in three categories – Seniors, Juniors and (more leisurely) dog walkers – is sponsored by the eponymous pub, together with C T Baker Group and William H Brown, and run on the Stody Estate at Hunworth as an annual fund raiser the Norfolk charity’s work with vulnerable young people. It is organised by the charity in association with North Norfolk Beach Runners, the Race Director for the last decade having been NNBR club member and Stody Estate manager Ross Haddow, although this was his last year because he is moving away from the area in the autumn. He will be a hard act to follow. Forty NNBR club members provided marshalling around the course.
This year’s race attracted a record entry of 500 who had a cold but sunny day and paid handsomely towards charity funds for the privilege. Winner of the 2.4 mile Junior race was Danny Adams (MU18) in 13.03 while the first girl home, and fourth overall, was Esme Abbott in14.47.
The 5-mile Senior race was won by James O’Neill (M Senior) of Ryston Runners in 26.40 while first female home and 14th overall was NNBR’s own Flic Quinn (F Senior) in 31.46.
In addition to providing marshals, NNBR did have 21runners in the Senior race, first home among whom, and 10th overall, was Nick Slade (M Senior) in 31.17. And more than that, Flic Quinn, Nick Slade and Dean Howard won the Team Trophy for NNBR.