Coltishall Jaguars’ Jolly Jaguars 10k took place on the former airbase for, on the face of it, the last time, with the club faced with eviction by landlords Norfolk County Council’s Hethel Innovation Ltd. Notice to quit was received reportedly following complaints after the Scottow Sundowner 5k in August, although discussions on a new lease are said to be continuing, albeit with a rent increase of 400%. Reports of complaints and the rent hike may or may not be connected.

In hot conditions, the race was won by Michael Eccles (MO) of Bure Valley Harriers in 33.43, but 19 North Norfolk Beach Runners were among the 716 finishers, four of them gaining top-10 category places: Neil Adams, (M40-44) in 35.54 for 6th overall and 2nd out of 60 in category; John Fagan (M45-49) in 38.44 for 18th and 3/52; Phil King (M60-64) in 48:58 for 184th and 4/10; and Tracey Showers (F40-44) in 53:39 for 292nd and 9/65.

Also there were Beach Runners John Stares, Natalie Drake and Darren Armstrong who would have run faster, had they not stopped to help others who had become unwell during the race.

Meanwhile along the coast, the Norfolk Coastal Trail Marathon saw 145 finishers run from Holme-next-the-Sea to Morston, the winner being Stephen Bacon (M35-39 and unattached) in 3.20.53. But a handful of Beach Runners posted stately times, Elizabeth Goodliffe (F40-44) in her first full marathon leading them home and taking 44th overall with 4.45.29. She was followed in the Beach Runner order of things by Rhianwen Smee (F35-39) in 6.42.34 and then a phalanx of Gemma Barnes and Stacey Coleman (both F40-44), and the Venerable Jeremy Bolam (M60-64) in slightly less than eight hours, with sweeper Sandra Wilkinson (F60-64) in slightly more.

The half-marathon, won by Mark Dawes (M45-49 and unattached) in 1.33.11, featured three Beach Runners among 167 finishers: Anita Bullen (F45-49) returning from injury to grab 83rd with 2:27:19, closely pursued by Nicola Rands (F50-54) in 2:28:48 for 85th, with Nancy Crow (F50-54) flying a straight line for 3:07:19 and 144th..

Back closer to home, a covey of Beach Runners were among 78 who ran the Erpingham 5k, with first among them – and among everybody – noted ultra-man and mountain goat, Carmine De Grandis, (Adult Male – no age categories on this one) clearly thriving on denser oxygen near sea-level with 19:44. John Gay (AM) posted 20.37 for 4th place while first lady Beach Runner and second lady finisher was Rachel Robson (AF) in 25:44 for 23rd overall.

A second mention goes to Elizabeth Goodliffe, clearly fired up by the Coastal Trail Marathon the day before, who ran with her three girls – Mille, Lottie and Pippa – who swept to 1st, 2nd and 3rd in the Junior Female section.

A solitary Beach Runner, Adam Griggs (M40-44), took the regal option of the Sandringham 10k where 150 runners were treated to the novel experience of a Zumba warm-up – like Line Dancing without the spittoons. His time of 46.24 took 16th place overall and 5th in category.

Author: John Worrall