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Runners move up a gear

PUBLISHED: 09:07 18 January 2008 | UPDATED: 10:18 03 July 2010

Great Yarmouth Road Runners at EACCL Race Four at RAF Barnham.

Great Yarmouth Road Runners at EACCL Race Four at RAF Barnham.

THE cross-country season moves up a gear at this time of the year, with all sorts of leagues, national champion-ships and international events like last Saturday's excellent spectacle in Edinburgh.

THE cross-country season moves up a gear at this time of the year, with all sorts of leagues, national champion-ships and international events like last Saturday's excellent spectacle in Edinburgh.

Locally there have been two recent events - with a whole raft of others on the way. All of them are likely to involve the participation of Great Yarmouth Road Runners, writes Mike Spragg.

Not quite as wet as the previous weekend's race at Horsford was Wednesday's fourth race in the East Anglian Cross Country League, held over an excellent, mainly woodland, course at RAF Honington near Thetford. Plenty of potential for slipping and sliding here, but little to bother the 10 Road Runners in attendance, all of them running well and obtaining valuable points for themselves and their teams.

Leading the way home for the Men's A team was Ryan Seakins, with Mitchell Read and Dan Chaney in close attendance. All three are in fine fettle for next Wednesday's Norfolk Schools' Championships at Earlham Park, where they expect to be joined by a number of other runners from East Norfolk Sixth Form College. Making up the A Team on this occasion was the strong-running Jeff Helmore.

Bringing the B team home was Mike Spragg, with John Bone in close attendance and Paul Westgate thoroughly enjoying the outing alongside Chris Harbord, all four of them ensuring that the team retains its position in the B League and is by no means out of contention for an overall winning position.

The two ladies present could have done with a third runner to compete in the team championship but were nonetheless more than happy with their own individual performances, Emma Leeves running smoothly after quite a lay-off; and Lizzie Lillie having a much more comfortable outing than in her previous race and proving that she now has the race experience to really make her mark at this level.

A few days later at Shouldham Warren near Downham Market, the Manning family turned up en masse for the fourth race in the Ryston Runners six-race series, which also on this occasion doubled as the county championships at junior level.

Young Patrick Manning was a little disappointed that there was only an under-11 age category in the county championship, which put him at a disadvantage against older runners, but he was more than pleased with his horse brass prize for winning his age division in the series. Parents Karen and Andrew also enjoyed their first outing at this particular venue.

Following this Wednesday's EACCL race at Fritton, cross country events arrive thick and fast at such locations as the aforementioned Earlham Park, Lakenheath, Ruislip, Holkham Hall, Bury, Shouldham again and Arrington near Cambridge. Keeping well away from all of this is Paul Evans who is in Mumbai for Sunday's marathon there. Meanwhile a fair number of the Road Runners are expected at the Northgate Social Club tonight for the annual meeting at 7.30pm.

EACCL Race Four, RAF Barnham: Men - 9 Ryan Seakins 192 points, 10 Mitchell Read 191, 12 Dan Chaney 189, 23 Jeff Helmore 178. Total Team A: 750.

30 Mike Spragg 171, 32 John Bone 169, 45 Paul Westgate 156, 62 Chris Harbord 139. Total Team B: 635.

Women - 8 Emma Leeves 193, 19 Lizzie Lillie 182.

Ryston Runners Race Four, 5k: Patrick Manning 1st in age division, Karen Manning, Andrew Manning.

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