Two North Norfolk Beach Runners donned a different vest on Saturday as Charlotte Neale and Chris Merrylees represented Norfolk at this year’s Inter-Counties Cross Country event held at Prestwold Hall, Loughborough on Saturday 10th March.
Both of them, in training for marathons next month, are more used to pounding the roads rather than trails and fields, but racing against some of the best athletes in the country, they excelled. Charlotte, running in the third event of the day over an 8k course in what were described as the muddiest conditions ever for an inter-counties event, finished in 39:16 for 124th place out of 271.
Chris was originally there in a managerial capacity; he and Dom Blake of Reepham Runners now manage the Norfolk senior men’s and women’s squads which turned out full teams for the first time for many years. But that did mean Chris getting his shoes dirty and in the final race of the day putting in a solid performance over the 12k course which, having been churned by nine previous races, was by then anything but solid. He clocked 53:01 for 222nd place in what he described as “the toughest conditions I’ve ever raced in”.