Athletes wide awake for early start

For the Great Yarmouth and District Athletic Club, taking part in the 23rd Round Norfolk Relay required a start time of 5.30am at Lynnsport, King's Lynn.

For the Great Yarmouth and District Athletic Club, taking part in the 23rd Round Norfolk Relay required a start time of 5.30am at Lynnsport, King's Lynn. This relay race covers 193 miles, starting and finishing at Lynnsport and follows a route around the borders of the county.

Kevin Blackwell was the first of the team and ran 16.3 miles in a superb time of 2-13:17, beating his last year's time and only .06 seconds off a pb.

At Hunstanton, he handed over to Liz Fernandes for the 14.06 miles to Burnham Overy, her fourth running of this leg completed with a pb time of


From Burnham to Wells, 5.39 miles, is a route which is completely off-road along the sand dunes and was run for the first time by Diane Clark, with a finishing time of 58:10.

A veteran of the fourth leg, Wells to Salthouse 12.76 miles, is Dave Drewitt, David completed his leg with enthusiasm in a time of 1-56:53.

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One of the toughest legs is from Salthouse to Cromer, 8.61 miles, up the Sheringham hill, Sue Fraser decided to take on this challenge in the midday sun and completed it well in


Cromer to Mundesley, 7.86 miles, is also an undulating route especially the first hill from the promenade to the Lighthouse but was tackled by Stef Herod, running her first RNR for GYDAC. She beat her predicted time and finished in 1-26:35.

Elaine Haggarty took over the baton and ran to Lessingham a route of 9.24 miles accompanied by Pat on the bike in a time of 1-44:08. Dawn Clegg then took on the run of 7.52 miles to Horsey with her daughter Karly on the bike for support, by this time they were then surrounded by other competing teams. Dawn clocked a time of 1-15:43, one of the best team times for this leg.

Next team runner was Sue Ryles, who along with Diane on the bike - having already run a leg earlier in the day - followed the road for 11.30 miles through to the bowling greens at Great Yarmouth.

Sue beat her time from last year by three minutes to finish in 2-00:05.

David Brammer, a guest runner from March AC, took on stage 10, 15.08 miles to Geldeston. A superb effort was achieved inside the estimated two-hour mark and David finishing in 1-59:11.

Another guest runner followed, Phil Davies from The Stragglers, based in London and once again he had some bad luck with race routing, however he completed the 19.60 miles to Scole in 3-09:36, having run a total of 24 miles on the night.

Not to be disheartened, Chris Gay took the baton and ran stage 12, 19.67 miles to Thetford 'in the thick' of the race. Both stages 11 and 12 are exceptionally tough both mentally and physically and Chris recorded a time of


Stage 13 goes through to Feltwell, 13.25 miles, and this was taken on by John England, who again broke two hours to finish in 1-59:57.

One of the reserves Derek Ribbands ran to Wissington, 8.80 miles, in damp early morning conditions. Having accompanied Diane on stage three, he was pleased with his time of 1-17:36.

ReserveNo 2 then stepped up to the mark, Maureen England to take the baton through to Downham Market a run of 7.20 miles.

Accompanied by Julia on the bike an unprepared Maureen excelled with a time of 1-15:17.

The next runner had been a support member throughout the night having joined the team at 9pm and assisting to escort the runners. Denise Goodwin now had to find the energy to run 5.49 miles to Stowbridge and did so in a time of 1-00:13.

The last stage of 11.73 miles back to Lynn was taken on by Adele Postle along with Penny on the bike. A beautiful route alongside the riverbank through to the historic town with the finish on the track at Lynnsport. The weather was now very warm, but Adele did extremely well and finished in a club leg pb time of 1-43:26.

The total team time was

30-24:32 which avoided the wooden spoon that was given to Felixstowe A who finished over an hour behind GYDAC.

This team event could not take place without the support crew - for the first time John Brightman decided to drive from Lynn to Great Yarmouth - a total of 15 hours. Thanks went night drivers Ryan Clegg and Dave Drewitt and Dave and Denise Goodwin. Without their support this team could not compete.

The runners were accompanied by several cyclists including Karen, and the runners are also dependant on their partners transporting them to the start and collecting them at the finish, so thanks go to Steve, Lynn, Dick, Shawn, Peter and Andy.

GYDAC were responsible for providing the refreshments at Great Yarmouth for the event and thanks go to Margaret, Fred, Peter and all the GYDAC ladies. The team manager/boss for the event was Pat Brightman who co-ordinated all aspects of the organisation.