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Road Runners brave the rain

PUBLISHED: 09:17 24 October 2008 | UPDATED: 12:05 03 July 2010

Road Runners at the RAF Barnham cross country.

Road Runners at the RAF Barnham cross country.

FOR the first race in the East Anglian Cross Country League a large field assembled at RAF Barnham near Thetford where torrential rain during the race failed to deter the runners over a classic course - with woodland, open heath and muddy tank traps.

FOR the first race in the East Anglian Cross Country League a large field assembled at RAF Barnham near Thetford where torrential rain during the race failed to deter the runners over a classic course - with woodland, open heath and muddy tank traps.

Combining youth with experience was the 16-strong team from the Great Yarmouth Road Runners, incorporating a large contingent from East Norfolk Sixth Form College, many in their first college year.

One was James Jackson who romped home in fine style to finish second overall in a quality field. He has now set down a marker for future performances. He was followed by college team captain Dan Chaney, also running strongly, with veteran Richard Blake and another college runner, Stephen Haughton, making up a strong A team - which is sure to compete for honours in the league this year.

Leading the team home in the B league was the strong-running Stephen Etherington, with student Jordon Reed, veteran Mike Spragg and student Ryan Love his fellow scorers.

Had there been a C league here, the Seasiders could have scored there also as John Bone (fresh from his high placing in the Budapest Marathon), Paul Westgate, Alex Smith and Matt Nicholls were all well placed in the field which was drawn from service teams, local running clubs and the UEA.

Team performance of the day, however, was in the ladies' division where three of the college students were in the top nine of another quality field. Leading the way home in fine fashion was Alice Wicks, with Laurie Fox and Briony Lowe close behind.

Road running hardly takes a back seat at the moment, with marathons in Budapest, Leicester and Amsterdam; half marathons in Newcastle and Felixstowe; a race at Coltishall which went horribly wrong; and 10ks at Martlesham Heath and, the big one, Sunday's event in Yarmouth to commemorate the 800th anniversary of the granting of the charter to the Borough.

Start-time is at 10.30am in the market place.

Results: East Anglian Cross Country League, race one, RAF Barnham, Wednesday, October 15. Finishing positions: 2 James Jackson 199 pts, 25 Dan Chaney 176, 30 Richard Blake 171, 42 Stephen Haughton 159. Total team A 705; 43 Stephen Etherington 158, 47 Jordon Reed 154, 48 Mike Spragg 153, 52 Ryan Love 149. Total team B 614; 58 John Bone 143, 59 Paul Westgate 142, 64 Alex Smith 137, 68 Matt Nicholls 133. Ladies: 3 Alice Wicks 198, 7 Laurie Fox 194, 9 Briony Lowe 192. Total ladies team 584.

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