North Norfolk Beach Runners sent five teams to the Jaffa Ekiden marathon relay at Woodbridge at on the 16th July. An idea originating in Japan, the event is for teams of six, each team member covering one of six stages: three of them of 5k, two of 10k and one of 7.5k. Ipswich JAFFA Running Club have for 20 years been organising the only Ekiden to be held in the UK; it takes place in the grounds of Woodbridge school.
This year, 199 teams took part and the first NNBR team home completed the distance in 3.21.29 for 80th place overall and 29th in the Men’s Open category. Next came the NNBR Blister Sisters squad in 3.47.20 for 143rd place and 10th in the Ladies Vets.
The NNBR Ladies Open team finished in 4.03.18 for 127th overall and 17th in category, while the NNBR SuperSeventies clocked 4.10.20 for 183rd overall and second place in the 70+ category.
But stars of the NNBR contingent were SuperSeventiesToo who came home in 4.01.56 for 177nd overall and first in the 70+ category. The team, comprising Jim Hayes, (71), Jean Gowing, (72), Ken Bowman, (70), John Milton (74), Malcolm Ball, (84) and David Hutcheon (73) won a very nice engraved salver. Jim Hayes, it should be noted, hedged his bets on the trophy front by also running a leg for the SuperSeventies following a late withdrawal.