photocredit Ross Haddow
Eight North Norfolk Beach Runners were among 450 who ran the Worstead 5-mile on Friday 27th July. It would have been more but NNBR were marshalling the event and most of the membership were tabard-clad and scattered around the lanes of the hinterland.
In a temperature close to 30C, the race, which forms part of the Worstead Festival, was won by Dominic Blake of Reepham Runners in 27.06, with the first Beach Runner home, Chris Parker (SM), claiming 10th place in 29.46. The other Beach Runners were: Adam Smart (SM), 24th in 31.25; Dean Howard (MV45) 63rd, 33.52; Kathryn Head (FV35) 156th, 39,52; Phil King (MV60) 193rd, 41.18; Jen Armstrong, (FV40) 188th, 41.46; Kat Sanders, (FS) 230th, 44.26; and Club President, SuperSeventy and all round good egg, Noel Spruce (MV70+) 303rd , 50.42.
Author: John Worrall
Karen Emery: 20.47
Jim Balcombe: 10.30
Zoe Parish: 12.02
Steve Brown: 11.43= 55.02 (9th)
Janice Hall: 14.38
Eddie Carmen: 11.02
Andy Parish: 12:21
Fish: 10.41 = 48.42 (2nd)
Rob Emery: 13.09
Gemma Woolrych: 12.35\
Gary Hobart: 13.01
Karen Balcombe: 12.19 = 51.04 (5th)
Molly Hobart: 15.26
Andy Blake: 12.54
Nicky Rands: 14.24
Chris Gibbons: 12.09 = 54.53 (8th)
Sally Ryder: 14.13
Ruth Brandon (Guest): 11.29
Vikki Last: 14.00
Jim Hayes: 13.29 = 53.11 (6th)
Reephams Team 1 were the winners in 45.36, Team 2 were 4th in 49.52, Team 3 were 7th in 54.11, Team 4 were 3rd in 48.49 & Team 5 were 10th in 57.35.
On one of the hottest Sundays of an already hot summer, North Norfolk Beach Runners sent three teams to the Ekiden marathon relay organised by Ipswich Jaffa Running Club at Woodbridge.
Ekiden, an idea which began in Japan, is a marathon length race run in six stages of ranging from 5k to 10k. The Woodbridge event, which snakes around the grounds of Woodbridge school and is the only one in the UK, was established over 20 years ago. This year’s involved 200 senior teams which, together with juniors, added up to more than 1600 runners.
NNBR’s squad comprised firstly five female runners and a male competing as Pearls and Dean (he’s a diamond) who lost a lot of moisture in accumulating a time which had still to be confirmed at the time of going to press.
And then, in keeping with the club’s previous two years of participation, the mature end of the membership was represented by the SuperSeventies and SuperSeventies Too squads, which respectively gained second and first places in the over-70s category, not bad for a cumulative age of 891, which is slightly more than Norwich cathedral and yet more mobile.
A significant contributor to that statistic was the legendary and inspirational Malcolm Ball, 84, back on track after a health blip, who knocked off a 5k leg in 30C and hardly raised a sweat. Therein should lie the aspiration of all runners.
Photocaptions (credit: John Worrall – IMYTM (Infinitely More Youthful Team Manager))
The NNBR squad at Woodbridge Ekiden
The legendary Malcolm Ball at Ekiden – and that’s sun cream, not sweat.
North Norfolk Beach Runner and tri-athlete, Tony Witmond, is on the Danish island of Fyn this week competing in the International Triathlon Union’s world championships.
Tony, who coaches the North Norfolk Harriers (athletes in 8-18 age group) and at NNDC’s Sporting Centre of Excellence which is run in conjunction with Gresham’s school, is competing in the Aquathlon involving a 1km swim and 5k run.
Tony does have previous at this sort of thing. He was part of the GB 50-54 age group squad at the European Championships in Slovakia last year when he finished 6th, and of the GB 45-49 squad in France in 2016 when he finished 9th. Last year he was 2nd in age group at the GB national championships. By way of a warm-up for the Denmark gig, he gained age group gold in two of the three races in the recent Wroxham 5k series.
And while he’s in the groove, he’ll be at Peterborough later this month for the GB National Aquathlon championships and then at the European Triathlon Union’s championships in Ibiza in October.
None of this running around comes cheap of course, and it wouldn’t be possible without the support of his sponsors, Saxon Air.
Author: John Worrall
Forty-three Beach Runners were among 590 sweating it out on Wednesday evening at the third race in the Wroxham 5k series, organised by Norwich Road Runners.
First home among them, Finlay Swanson, was also the youngest, having only recently entered the 17-39 category, his time of 16.52 getting 12th place overall, a performance not entirely down to the coolness of youth because one of his coaches at North Norfolk Harriers, Tony Witmond, clocked 18.38 to take gold in the M 50 to 54 category for the second time in this year’s series. Tony was looking good for the European Championships in Denmark where he will compete this week in the Aquathlon.
Other notable performances at Wroxham came from Adam Smart (M 17 to 39) in 17.51 for 33rd overall, and Charlotte Neale (F 17 to 39) in 18.02 for 39th overall and 2nd in category. Gary Linder (M 60 to 64) ran 20.59 for 4th out of 21 in category. Lady Beach Runners were first and third in the F 55 to 59 category, Karen Balcombe in 22.56 and Rachel Robson in 25.47. NNBR SuperSeventies squad member, Mike Marshall, (M 65 and over – but over a decade into that anachronistic categorisation) ran 29.03 for 17th out of 21 in category.
Spare a thought also for Shay Boyfield (lady veteran 40) who chose this summer for her first ultra, the Ultimate Trails 55k at Ambleside in the Lake District mountains. In temperatures “somewhere between 24 degrees and inferno”, she finished 338th out of 375 in a time which was academic but was certainly hours rather than days. “It was epic” she said. Short sentences are always best when you’re out of breath.
Author: John Worrall
Seven North Norfolk Beach Runners and 332 others braved the heat in the Breckland Badlands to run the Harling 10k on Sunday 1st July.
First Beach Runner home was Neil Adams (M40-44) in 36.29 for 3rd overall and 2nd in category, followed at some distance by Phil King, (M60-64) in 47.51 for 101st overall but 3rd in category. The others in the chase were Kathryn Head (Senior F) in 49.43 – 116th and 9th; Dave Spooner (M 45-49) 51.53 – 135th and 21st; Chris Spooner (Female 45-49) – 51-54, 136th and 9th ; Jen Armstrong – 52.00, 138th and 10th ; and Liz Ashton 1.08.47, 284th and 43rd.
Meanwhile, the day before and closer to Beach Runner home, seven were among the 828 who ran the Holkham 10k with the slight comfort of a sea breeze, if a somewhat disconcerting categorisation system. Alex Curtis (M 30-34) was the first Beach Runner in 49.25 for 11th overall and 3rd in category, followed by Sophie Saunders (F 25-29) in 56.11 for 309th and 13th with Ivan Allen (M 50-54) in close attendance in 56.10 for 308th (on the gun but it’s the chip that counts) and 31st . Others from NNBR were Matt Harmer (M 30-34) in 1.00.34 for 442nd and 35th ; Helen Lewis (F 45-49) in 1.02.14 for 482nd and 25th; Vicky Hampson (F 25-29) in 1.03.45 for 502nd and 20th; and Mrs L M Bygrave (F50-54) in 1.09.00 for 620th and 21st.
At the other end of the spectrum, both meteorologically and geographically, was the marathon in Wellington, New Zealand, where in driving, torrential rain, not unusual in “Windy Wellington” as they call it, the first Beach Runner home, indeed the only Beach Runner home, was Nathan Bayle in 3.37.28.
Author: John Worrall
Forty Seven North Norfolk Beach Runners were among 630 entrants in the 2nd race of the 3-race Wroxham 5k series organised by Norwich Road Runners on Wednesday evenings, counterintuitively in Hoveton but that’s close enough.
First Beach Runner home was Neil Adams (so what’s new?) (M40-44) in a time of 16.26 for 11th place overall and 3rd in category, followed closely in the NNBR order of things by Chris Merrylees (M40-44) in 16.52 for 17thoverall and 4th in category. Two other relatively senior NNBR citizens – Tony Whitmond (M50-54) in 17.48 for 39th overall but FIRST in category, and Euan Prasser, in 18.34 for 85th overall and 11th in category – completed the foursome which carried off the Masters Gold. Somewhere in among them was Chris Parker (M17-39), 17.32 for 29th overall and 17th in category, who’s not yet a master but he isn’t getting any younger.
First lady Beach Runner was Charlotte Neale (again so what’s new?) (F18-39) in 18.06 for 59th overall and 5th in category.
Two NNBR SuperSeventies were there, Mike Marshall clocking 29.17 for 549th, and Liz Letzer, in 33.12 for 599th, but since this was yet another event still not categorizing beyond “65 and over”, category positions are irrelevant because they wouldn’t be comparing like with like.
Author: John Worrall