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Road Runners win Norfolk relay award

PUBLISHED: 13:25 24 September 2009 | UPDATED: 15:08 03 July 2010

One of the Road Runners with accompanying cyclist.

One of the Road Runners with accompanying cyclist.

THE Round Norfolk Relay seems to go from strength to strength each year and this year's staging was no exception.

With 55 teams in all, over 900 runners, an excellent camaraderie and support along the way which seems to be growing exponentially as the news and reputation of the event travels far and wide.

THE Round Norfolk Relay seems to go from strength to strength each year and this year's staging was no exception.

With 55 teams in all, over 900 runners, an excellent camaraderie and support along the way which seems to be growing exponentially as the news and reputation of the event travels far and wide.

The fact that there is a waiting list to get in is certainly testimony to its attractiveness, not least for the way it looks after the runners, starting with an excellent T-shirt and continuing as the race unfolds through the whole of Saturday and overnight into Sunday.

Add to this near perfect weather conditions for runners and spectators alike and you have a spectacle which certainly lived up to expectations.

The 17-strong contingent from the Great Yarmouth Road Runners had even more cause for celebration as, for the second time in the five years the award has been up for grabs, they came away with the Small Club Trophy, competed for by those clubs with fewer than 80 members.

Indeed not much more than a quarter of that number ran or supported over the 24 hours, with Gary Stanley, Jeff Helmore, Mark Peach, Mike Spragg and Jim Spong supporting the daytime shift; and Ann O'Leary, Kerry Mutch, Stephen Etherington and Nick Symeou the overnight one - all reflecting the fact that this is very much a team effort.

The Road Runners' team were also pleased to finish 18th overall out of the 55 teams and 11th in the Open Class, all of them more than pleased with their performances.

Position of individuals in stages is always a little fortuitous as it will depend upon who else happened to be running that stage, but the three highest placed of the Seasiders are deserving of mention, Sean Jermy (sixth with an excellent run into Yarmouth), Andrew Manning and Neil Sibley (both ninth in their respective stages).

Plaudits too to Carole Spong, Stephen Etherington and Sibley again, these being the top three in the age grading table.

Quite a success all round, therefore, for the club as a whole and for the individuals therein.

As a postscript, Road Runners John Bone and Ken Overy marshalled the race as it passed through Great Yarmouth; and the 17th runner in the team was John Hills, who had made the trip back from Yorkshire, where he now lives, just to take part in the race - a sign of its allure and an opportunity for him to make his 10th appearance and thereby join a select band of runners who have done likewise.

Results. Round Norfolk Relay - Saturday, September 19 and 20

Stage runners and times: Jeff Helmore 1-58:40, Stephen Dady 1-46:05, Lorraine Dawson 47:13, Shawn Mason 1-38:36, Gary Stanley 1-16:34, Mark Peach 1-04:07, Andrew Manning 1-00:40, Carole Spong 1-02:38, Sean Jermy 1-14:38, Karen Manning 2-07:21, Neil Sibley 2-13:32, Stephen Etherington 2-15:36, Dean Foden 1-53:58, Andy Peck 1-04:41, Nick Symeou 55:46, Kerry Mutch 47:32, John Hills 1-36:21. Final Time 24-43:58.

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