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Blake is top Road Runner

PUBLISHED: 16:16 08 January 2009 | UPDATED: 12:43 03 July 2010

Great Yarmouth Road Runners

There was certainly no shortage of runners out and about over the Old Year/New Year period recently - with 516 runners at Ely on New Year's Eve and 421 at Wymondham the following day.

Great Yarmouth Road Runners

There was certainly no shortage of runners out and about over the Old Year/New Year period recently - with 516 runners at Ely on New Year's Eve and 421 at Wymondham the following day.

One or two even did both races, and one local runner who was particularly pleased with the way in which the day unravelled was Richard Blake, who achieved recognition in no fewer than four different ways.

The first of these was as first of the Great Yarmouth Road Runners home in a seven-strong contingent at the popular 10k event at Wymondham.

On this occasion he was followed home by Paul Brookshaw, no pb on this occasion but still running strongly despite a four week lay-off due to illness, with Tony Anderson and Jim Spong making up the rest of the male section and enjoying the outing thoroughly.

Leading the way home for the ladies was Carole Spong, with Ann O'Leary and Angela Pacey nicely spaced behind her.

This being the first race of the new year, presentations were made for the Runner's Centre Grand Prix, a series of events at different venues and over different distances taking place throughout the year.

And here Richard was again first-placed, this time in his age category, with Paul Brookshaw and Stephen Etherington receiving awards for participating in sufficient races in the series.

An additional accolade was a second place and therefore silver medal in the Norfolk Postal Marathon, Mike Spragg getting a first and gold in his division.

To cap a remarkable haul of trophies and accolades, for the third time in the last four years Richard was named Norfolk Road Runner of the Year, an award based on times and age-grading of the best two county championship events tackled during the year.

Here he beat off some intense competition from a number of runners from the Norwich area, an impressive performance by such a dedicated performer.

Large numbers at the two big local 10k road races certainly, but at the same time the cross country season gathers momentum, with the second race in the Norwich series held last Sunday, Mike Spragg and Antony Croucher participating, and this week seeing two sets of races on Sunday, at Shouldham Warren in the morning, (the Ryston Runners' series over the 5k course), and the Norfolk County Championships at Colney in the afternoon (over a variety of distances according to age). Might it be possible to double up? Watch this space.

Wymondham 10k, January 1: 28 Richard Blake 38 min 59 sec, 57 Paul Brookshaw 41:49, 221 Tony Anderson 51:34, 233 Carole Spong 52:42, 253 Ann O'Leary 54:25, 274 Angela Pacey 56:25, 345 Jim Spong 72:53.

Runners Centre Grand Prix: 1 Richard Blake 1st 55-59, Paul Brookshaw series completed, Stephen Etherington series completed.

Norfolk Postal Marathon: 2 Richard Blake 3-03:55 2nd o50, 1 Mike Spragg 3-17:45 1st o60.

Norfolk Road Runner of the Year: Richard Blake.

Norwich XC Series Race 2, Horsham, January 4: 1 Mike Spragg, 2 Antony Croucher.


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