Half a dozen North Norfolk Beach Runners had a mid-week run-out at the first of this year’s three Yarmouth 5K races and, in a field of 619, four of them had top 10 category finishes.

Darren Armstrong (M 45 – 49) was quickest, in 32-58 for 40th overall and 7th  in category,  while John Stares (M 50 – 54) clocked 35.21 for 102nd and 9th . Sam Weller (M 70+), back in action after a lay-off, ran 47.25 for 448th and 5th. Liz Letzer (F 70+) was the other top-tenner, running 51.12 for 519th and 3rd, though some way astern of faster, but younger, Natalie Drake (F 18-35) in 38.39 for 189th and 14th. Jon Folkard (M 55-59) ran sweeper for the day with 1.02.04 for 603rd and 34th, and then found that the doughnut shop had closed.

Meanwhile, in the Norfolk heartlands, the Dereham 10-mile attracted 10 Beach Runners, among 516 starters, who between them  gained five category top-tenners, including a couple of firsts.

First among firsts was usual suspect Neil Adams (M 40-44) in 58.17 for 6th overall and a category 1stout of 39, who only the previous day had run a 4.48 mile to take first in the veteran category over the distance at the Norfolk Track & Field Championship. So there’s a cool dude, if you like. Emma Blake, (F 40-44), confining her efforts to Dereham, settled for 1.05.26 for 93rd and 1st out of 44. Two of the more seasoned performers, Derek Sadler (M 65+) and Jim Hayes (M 65+ a few more than Derek) respectively ran 1.17.51 and 1.20.63 for 202nd and 243rd overall and 5th and 7th out of 16., while Darren Armstrong (M 45 – 49), clearly benefiting from his Yarmouth 5k training session, clocked 1.05.26 for 45 overall and 10th out of 48.

And then down on the south coast, a couple of 40-something Beach Runners and ultra men, Vinnie Purdy and Colin Stark, sauntered round the South Downs Marathon which, as it happened, was the 142nd marathon for each of them. They are still getting the hang of it and the times weren’t exceptional – both have run faster – but really, at a certain time of life and after a certain mileage, all these old boys get to be more interested in going for a run to have a natter.

Author: John Worrall