Two teams of Great Yarmouth Road Runners compete in Round Norfolk Relay

Great Yarmouth Road Runners' teams for the Round Norfolk Relay line up for a photograph Picture: PEN

Great Yarmouth Road Runners' teams for the Round Norfolk Relay line up for a photograph Picture: PENNY STUDLEY - Credit: Archant

Two teams from Great Yarmouth Road Runners competed in the 32nd Round Norfolk Relay.

The course mirrors the county boundary over a distance of 198 miles, divided into 17 unequal stages, and this year’s event was blessed with beautiful weather throughout the weekend.

A staggered start for the 60 teams, based on anticipated finishing times, ensures that teams of similar ability start together, with faster teams chasing.

For the two Great Yarmouth Road Runner teams the race started at Lynnsport in Kings Lynn at 6.30am. The first leg finished at Hunstanton, following the stunning coastline through five multi-terrain stages taking the Norfolk Coastal path as far as Cromer. The 40 miles (four stages) from Cromer through to Horsey Mill and on to Belton were on the road. By the time the teams reached Belton it was dark. It was good to see lots of club members marshalling at this point.

From Belton, the course turns south-west following main roads for 62 miles (four stages), all run in darkness. From Feltwell (Stage 14) the four remaining stages covering the last 33 miles are run across the flat Fens through the early morning mist. Finally, following the Great Ouse River into historic King’s Lynn runners passed by the old Custom House, through the famous Tuesday Market Place and then on to the finish at Lynnsport.

Unique in character and concept, the race presents not only a tough physical challenge, but also a test of the organisational prowess of a club. Run over 24 hours, without a break (and carrying a baton), the event is much more than just a normal relay.

Special thanks must go to club coach and chairman Andrew Baker, who co-ordinated the event for GYRR and with the help of countless club members to support him, made it another safe and successful event. Running the 17 stages is one small part of being part of the team. Equally valued are the drivers of the minibuses and night cars, cyclists, marshals, time-keepers and everyone who supported in their own way.

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The GYRR teams finished in times of 26 hours, 35 minutes and 11 seconds and 27 hours, 31 minutes and 11 seconds respectively.