Runners in mix of races
It was Goethe who said that a man can stand almost anything except a succession of ordinary days - and the Great Yarmouth Road Runners would appear to bear this out, with four races packed into the space of eight days, with both cross country and road races.
It was Goethe who said that a man can stand almost anything except a succession of ordinary days - and the Great Yarmouth Road Runners would appear to bear this out, with four races packed into the space of eight days, with both cross country and road races. And between them training sessions on Tuesday and Thursday evenings from the Marina Centre and individually-organised programmes.
The first race was a week last Sunday at Shouldham Warren near Downham Market where Mike Spragg and Chris Harbord were in the fifth race in the Ryston Runners series, staged so well by Martin Simmonds and his team, this time over the 9km course.
Harbord had an injury resurface during the race which cut short his participation, but Spragg was pleased to win his age division.
He was at the same venue the following Wednesday for the sixth race in the East Anglian Cross Country League, this time joined by nine other Road Runners, including those from the East Norfolk College.
It was the trio from the college, Ryan Seakins (9th, 8th and now 7th in his last three races), Dan Chaney and Mitchell Read who, along with the strong-running Neil Sibley, made up the first team this time.
Spragg led the way home for the second team, with Stephen Etherington, John Bone and Antony Croucher making up the rest of the team.
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Next to finish was Paul Westgate who always puts in a sterling performance while thoroughly enjoying himself.
Performance of the day, however, was that of Nicole Anderson, who finished second overall in the ladies' race in this her first outing in the league. She is surely a force to be reckoned with.
Ten at Shouldham on Wednesday, one more than that at Bungay on Sunday for the Great East Run 20k race, an event attracting some 700 runners. Here Phil Quantrill blitzed his way through and was first clubman home by almost 10 minutes over Antony Croucher, with Paul Brookshaw and John Bone competitive to the wire, the latter winning his age category.
Making up a strong male contingent were Stephen Etherington, Tony Anderson, John Hills, (third in his age group), and Jim Spong, the latter showing his habitual doggedness in completing the course.
Leading the ladies home in quite some style was Carole Spong, an age division winner and three minutes up on her previous time in this race as she continues her preparation for April's London Marathon. Karen Manning also ran well, as did newcomer Angela Pacey in her first race in club colours.
The next big road races in the area are the Broadland Half Marathon on March 16 and the Bungay Marathon and Half Marathon on April 6. Places are still available in both races.
Meanwhile the cross country season is beginning to wind down, with the final race in the midweek league last Wednesday (results next week); in the Norwich series this Sunday at Horsford; and in the Ryston series on March 16.
Last Sunday was the Eastern Vets Championships at the magnificent Wimpole Hall outside Cambridge. Richard Blake and Mike Spragg made the long journey and were more than happy to win their respective age divisions in a challenging race organised so well by Peter Chaplin and his team.
Results: Great East Run, Sunday, February 17: 1 Phil Quantrill 1-17:27, 2 Antony Croucher 1-27:14, 3 Paul Brookshaw 1-28:12, 4 John Bone 1-28:28, (1st over 60), 5 Stephen Etherington 2-30:09, 6 Tony Anderson 1-33:27, 7 Carole Spong 1-35:36 (1st over 60), 8 John Hills 1-38:10 (3rd over 60); 9 Karen Manning 1-43:35, 10 Angela Pacey 2-08:19, 11 Jim Spong 2-18:56.
Eastern Veterans' Cross Country, Sunday, February 17: 1 Richard Blake 27:27 (1st over 55), 2 Mike Spragg 30:49 (1st over 60).
East Anglian Cross Country League, Race Six, Wednesday, February 13: 7 Ryan Seakins 194 points, 11 Dan Chaney 190, 14 Mitchell Read 187, 15 Neil Sibley 186. Total Team A: 757.
19 Mike Spragg 182, 22 Stephen Etherington 176, 27 John Bone 174, 30 Anthony Croucher 171. Total Team B: 703.
33 Paul Westgate 168, 2 Nicole Anderson 199.
Ryston Runners, Race five, Sunday, February 10: Mike Spragg 35:31 (1st over 60).