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Half-marathon hugely popular

PUBLISHED: 09:51 15 August 2008 | UPDATED: 11:37 03 July 2010

The start of the Great Yarmouth Half-Marathon.

The start of the Great Yarmouth Half-Marathon.

Sunday saw the annual Great Yarmouth Roadrunners Half-Marathon race, which was run from Gorleston football club through the local villages and across the Norfolk/Suffolk border.

Sunday saw the annual Great Yarmouth Roadrunners Half-Marathon race, which was run from Gorleston football club through the local villages and across the Norfolk/Suffolk border.

The race took place in good conditions, if a bit windy, with most of the 230 runners enjoying the best weather that Norfolk had to offer.

To underline the attraction of this race on the racing calendar was the distance some of the runners had to travel just to get on the starting line.

Runners came from Kent, Wales, the north of Scotland and many points in between.

In the fresh wind, 19-year-old Craig Hopkins, who lives locally, but is a member of Swansea Harriers, came in first in a time of 1-14:36. It was good to see him and six others, all aged under 21, taking part.

For the ladies, first home was Sarah Stradling in a time of 1-20:40.

At the other end of the age group, eight people aged 65 and over all acquitted themselves well.

Norwich Roadrunners had a good turnout, winning all the team prizes. Men, Martin Horlock, Gavin Thouless and Julian Bamford, with vet men Tony Johns, Mark Garrrett and Raymond Lindsay; and the ladies, Penny Edwards, Anne Millett and Caroline Taylor.

The race also hosted the Norfolk County Championship half-marathon trophy, with impressive silver cups won by Craig Hopkins and Penny Edwards.

The support from club members was much appreciated by competitors, who commented on how well marshalled the race was.

With the demands involved in organising an event like this, the local GYRR runners for once took a back seat, with only two runners taking part.

First home was Steve Etherington in another personal best time of 1-32:34, another fine race completed in his training for his upcoming marathon run in Nottingham.

Second over the finishing line was David Lawler, who competed in his first half-marathon in a fine time of 1-51:34, which has set him a good personal best time to set about beating.

GYRR members thanked Ann and Karen for arranging the event, and the marshals, friends and members' family who helped out during the day.

Feedback from runners to the race director indicated that marshals did a great job and they enjoyed the event.

The event also included a mini fun run, with first across the line five-year-old Corey Thurston in a time of 10:34. He was very pleased with his medal.

He was closely followed by John Keeble, only two seconds behind.

The next major race organised by the Great Yarmouth Roadrunners will be the Great East Run that takes place on Sunday, October 26, in the Market Place.

Look out for further details in the coming weeks.

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