NNBR XC Race 3 (Bacton Woods) – 27.12.2019

1 Darren Armstrong 48:34
2 Daryl London 50:35
3 Dean Howard 52:56
4 Gavin Payne 52:57
5 Harry Haughton 54:49
6 Stephen Haughton 56:28
7 Zac Last 56:59
8 Josh Craske 57:21
9 Karl Neale 57:53
10 John Stares 57:53
11 Eddie Carman 57:53
12 Kevin Ames 58:17
13 Gemma Woolrych 1:01:48
14 Jim Hayes 1:02:27
15 Ian Wade 1:04:34
16 Jen Armstrong 1:04:53
17 Lisa Ward 1:06:12
18 Vicky Last 1:08:52
19 Andy Toogood 1:08:52
20 Liz Rayner 1:15:35
21 Emma Culley 1:17:15



……..to 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

Fourteen North Norfolk Beach Runners were among 273 who finished the Broadland Half Marathon, organised by Norwich Road Runners on Sunday 4th November. The race, on a course through autumn leafiness south of the River Bure with three water stations and Woodfordes Brewery, was won by Joe Skipper (M Senior) in an impressive 1.13.03, more than three minutes in front of second placed Dominic Blake (M40-44) in 1.16.18.

But Beach Runner Darren Neale (M40-44) was 8th in 1.21.55 for 3rd in category, while the first lady Beach Runner home, Beck Maun (F 45-49), ran 1.39.37 for 64th overall and 2nd in category. Another notable performer was the always notable Derek Sadler (M60-64) in 1.46.00 for 96th overall and 2nd in category.

Meanwhile, down in Suffolk, at the Endurancelife CTC Suffolk marathon, more notable again was Beach Runner Charlotte Neale (FO) who was first female home and a hugely impressive third overall in an even more impressive course record of 3.30.15.

And then closer to home, on 28th October, five Beach Runners were among 569 at the Trowse 10k organised by City of Norwich Athletic Club on a course centred around Whitlingham Broad where two senior Beach Runners demonstrated yet again that old Beach Runners never die, they just lose their pebbles. In a race won by CONAC’s Ben Spratling (M Senior) in 31.44, the first Beach Runner was Gary Linder (M 60-64) for 141st and 5th in category, while septuagenarian Sam Weller, officially the fastest 70-year-old in the county, as evidenced at Run Norwich 10k back in the summer, but at Trowse categorised as 65+, clocked 46.53 for 148th but 2nd in category, beaten by a younger man.

Letting those old men – but not just any old men – go first were three lady Beach Runners, (all F 15-39): Kathryn Head in 50.26 for 234th ; Libby Ashton, 58.35 for 425th and Vicky Hampson, 58.40 for 427th

Author, John Worrall

NNBR XC Race 1 (Holt) – 28.10.2019

Name Position Time
Vinnie Purdy 1 35.18
Sean Robson 2 37.22
Eddie Carmen 3 39.07
Dave Spooner 4 40.39
Gary Hobart 5 41.54
Ian Wade 6 42.26
Phil King 7 42.51
Jim Hayes 8 42.59
Chris Spooner Joint 10 43.08
Rebecca Maun Joint 10 43.08
John Stares Joint 12 43.10
Derek Sadler Joint 12 43.10
Adrian Dyde 13 44.12
Martin Eden 14 45.12
David Dawber 15 45.15
Andy Toogood 16 47.33
Karen Balcombe Joint 18 48.43
Gemma Barnes Joint 18 48.43
Janice Hall 19 51.48
John ? 20 52.52
Catherine Young 21 55.16
Emma Culley 22 55.32



Fifteen North Norfolk Beach Runners were among the 3500 or so who got their motors running for the Perkins Engines Great Eastern Run on Sunday on one of the wetter days of this autumn so far. And there was a bit of Mister and Missus about their endeavours, because kicking up spray at the front of the NNBR pack were Mr Darren Neale (M40) who ran 1.18.50 for 89th overall and 11th in category and Missus Charlotte Neale (F Sen) in 1.24.18 for 159th and 13th. Somewhere between them in the NNBR order of things, but in no way disrupting domestic bliss, was Chris Parker (M Sen) in 1.21.44 for 123rd and 85th.

A mention in dispatches goes to Darren Armstrong (M40) who also flew the flag for the older male with a time of 1.25.43 for 190th and 28th.

Equally rained upon were the three Beach Runners who finished the Leicester marathon along with 566 others, first home among whom was Vinnie Purdy (M40) in 3:10:45 for 28th overall and 10th out of 121 in category, Tony Money, also M40, ran 3:39:32 for 117th and 33rd in category, while the third of the triumvirate was Andy Mclaren (M V50) clocked 3:48:09 for 164th overall and 26th out of 81 in category

Meanwhile, a further straggler from last week’s NNBR diaspora, which saw members competing in races near and far, was Emily Haughan (F35) who ran the Yorkshire marathon at York in 3.51.00 for 1212th position overall out of 4234 and 27th in category.

But going large this week was ultra-woman Maria Greaves who ran the Autumn 100, a 100-mile course in four 25-mile out-and-back spurs radiating from the villages of Goring and Streatley in the Thames Valley. Completing the whole thing in 24 hours, 40 minutes, she said “Everything that could go wrong did go wrong”, but even finishing would be success for most people. Indeed, some could still be out there because no results were available at the time of going to press.

Author: John Worrall


North Norfolk Beach Runners were scattered to several points of the compass at the weekend.

Closest to home were the Magnificent Seven who tackled the Marriott’s Way 10k between Aylsham and Reepham, the most magnificent among whom was SuperSeventy Sam Weller. Competing in the M60+ category despite his advancing years – and because yet again that was the highest age category – he was the first Beach Runner home, running 46.28 for 27th out of 404 finishers and 3rd in category, having probably conceded a few years to the two in front of him.

Following on came Lisa Stickells (FO) in 51.51 for 140th and 10th in category out of 102; Helen Hagon, (F55-59) in 53.07, 157th  and 2nd out of 13; Richard West (M45-49), in 55.47, 207th and  26th; Heather Morton (F50-54), 59.20, 280th and 6th; Linda Melton, (F55-59), 1.02.16 for 315th and 9th; and Karen West (F55-59), 1.06.28 for 351st and 11th.

Out east, at the Lowestoft Half Marathon, Fish Sadler (V55) grabbed 32nd place out of 411 finishers and 2nd in category with a time of 1.30.31. Two other Beach Runners were there,   Becky Garratt (V40 W) running 1.53.10 for 158th and 5th; and Deborah Gillespie (V50 W) in 2.25.45 for 367th and 10th.

Down south in Carrot Cruncher country, four Beach Runners were seen running the Flower of Suffolk Marathon from Walberswick which took in such Cruncher eccentricities as trotting Dunwich Greyfriars Priory, dodging coastal erosion and negotiating the seasonal deer rut on Dunwich Heath.  No results had been seen at the time of going to press but neither had Anita Bullen, Chris Gibbons, Kirk Price and Colin Stark. Nuff said.

Meanwhile well out west, Beck Maun (F45-49) ran the Oxford Half Marathon  along with around 8500 others and posted a pb of 1.39.32 for 1372nd overall but 8th out of several hundred in category.  And even further out west, Neil Adams (V40) did the Plymouth 10k in 36.08 for 14th out of 1298 and 2nd in category.

But this week’s award for farthest flung Beach Runner goes to Nathan Bayle (M16-39) who ran the Aroraki-Mount Cook 21km on South Island, New Zealand in 1.36.21 for 27th out of 226 runners and 20th in category. But then he’s been kicking around down there for a while and is just showing off, really.


Author: John Worrall


Sixteen North Norfolk Beach Runners were among the 299 who had fun on the Bure Valley 10 Mile around the still leafy lanes north of Banningham and east of the A140 on Sunday.

The race, organised by Bure Valley Harriers on a scenic and convoluted route through bow-and-arrer country where traffic rarely ventures, was won by Kevin Holland (M40-44) of Wymondham AC in 55.28.4, but two Beach Runners were in the top 10 – Chris Merrylees (M40-44) in 7th with a time of 59.42 for 3rd in category, followed by Neil Adams (M40-44) in 59.53 for 8th and 4th.  Darren Armstrong (M40-44) was also in the mix with 1.04.28 for 24th and 10th.  And as the race winner and runner-up were also M40-44s but can only get one prize each, Chris M got the vet’s prize with Neil A second, the two of them with Darren A getting the vets’ team prize. It’s good to keep the old boys happy.

First lady Beach Runner was Charlotte Neale (FO) in 1.04.41 for 25th overall and 3rd in category, while Super Seventy Sam Weller (M65+) who claimed never to have previously run that far, finished in 1.18.03 for 101st and 2nd .

Meanwhile, back at the clubhouse on the previous Thursday, NNBR was able to present another cheque, this one for £2,115.18, to George Burroughs of the Stroke Association, that amount being the fund raising proceeds of this year’s Chase the Train race which NNBR organises in May. It brings the Club’s total amount raised for the Association this year to £6565.18 which will be further enhanced with donations from the Holt 10k on October 21st.


photocredit Clive Hedges.



Author John Worrall


It was a rain-lashed Coltishall runway which hosted 503 runners for the Jolly Jaguars 10k organised  by Coltishall Jaguars on Sunday but it wasn’t too wet for some flying North Norfolk Beach Runner performances when a dozen of them got their flaps down and tails up.

In a race won by Kevin Holland (M 40-44) of Wymondham AC with a time of 32.50, the first Beach Runner home was Darren Armstrong (M 40-44) in 12th position overall and second in category with a time of 38.43. Following on came Beck Maun (F 45-49) in 43.57 for 94th but 3rd in category, after whom came Super Seventy and increasingly usual suspect Sam Weller (M70-74) in 44.35 in 110th and 1st in category.

Finishing order thereafter in the NNBR pack was: Karl Harper (M45-49), 50.26, 206th and 23rd; Alison Lowe (F18-34) 50.28, 207th and 10th; Sophie Saunders (F18-34) 51.10, 222nd and 14th; Vicky Last (F18-34) 52.35, 243rd and 16th; Richard West (M45-49) 54.56, 292nd and 32nd; Vicky Hampson (F18-34) 59.59, 371st and 40th; Karen West (F55-59) 1.06.14, 45st and 6th;  Super Seventy Liz Letzer (F70+) 1.06.52. 457th and 1st; and Super Seventy Robin Rush (M75+) 1.09.44, 475th and 1st.

Meanwhile, at the Norfolk Coastal Half and Full Marathons, Gemma Woolrych (F45-49) ran the half in 2.09.52 for second in category while Sue Ilsley (F55-59) got third in category for her 2.12.45. In the full, ultra runner Hazel Wray (F50-54) enjoyed a gentle training jog in 4.57.36, but special mention goes to Nancy Crow (F45-49) who completed her first marathon in 5.58.18 which included an entirely intentional solo side track through Holkham dunes to admire the view. North Norfolk’s like that.

Author: John Worrall


The big event of the East Anglian club running season, the Timberwolf Round Norfolk Relay, took place over the weekend.

This 198-mile course is run clockwise around the county in 17 stages varying from 5.49 to 19.68 miles, starting and finishing in King’s Lynn. First stage runners set off from 5.30 am onwards on Saturday, depending on their team’s predicted course time, the theory being that all teams would finish by 10.00am on Sunday.

It is a huge logistical exercise, each runner needing an accompanying cyclist during the day and accompanying vehicle at night, together with transport to and from the start and finish of each stage. There is then marshalling, provided by various Norfolk clubs at each of the changeover points where lashings of cake are available, more particularly at the changeovers marshalled by North Norfolk Beach Runners at Cromer and Mundesley where, at the latter, Sue Simms and the increasingly famous Mundesley Cake Ladies excelled yet again.

The 60 participating teams included some from Greater London, the Home Counties and East Midlands, as well as East Anglia from where NNBR entered two teams.

The fastest time, 20.43.22, was set by City of Norwich Athletics Club, followed by Ely Runners with 20.53.57, but not far behind was NNBR’s A team in 22.06.49 for third overall and second fastest Norfolk club.

Stand-out NNBR individual performances included three stage winners: Charlotte Neale running 1.19.28 on the 10.81 miles stage 5 from Cley to Cromer taking in Beeston Bump; Finlay Swanson, who only recently joined the senior ranks and still runs in short trousers, posting 54.44 over the cake-fuelled 9.24 mile stage 7 from Mundesley to Lessingham, and the star turn and British international Robbie Britten running 1.57.52 over the 19.67 mile night time stage 12 from Scole to Thetford.

All concerned had a slow day on Monday.


Author: John Worrall