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Runners meet different challenges

PUBLISHED: 09:37 08 February 2008 | UPDATED: 10:25 03 July 2010

Action from the Ruislip cross country.

Action from the Ruislip cross country.

WITH threats of five centimetres of snow and gale-force winds to take account of, two different groups of runners from the Great Yarmouth Road Runners took little heed and enjoyed two very different but equally attractive events last weekend.

WITH threats of five centimetres of snow and gale-force winds to take account of, two different groups of runners from the Great Yarmouth Road Runners took little heed and enjoyed two very different but equally attractive events last weekend.

The first was on Saturday at Ruislip, in Middlesex, for the South of England Masters Cross-Country Championships.

Seasiders Jeff Helmore, Andrew Manning and Mike Spragg were there for the second year in succession, joined by Neil Sibley.

The event takes place in the evocatively-named Mad Bess Woods and is based at the excellent clubhouse of Hillingdon AC.

The first event, over the three-lap course, with its two hills and many muddy sections, was the over-50s race, where Mike Spragg more than held his own in a field of over 200 runners, finishing ninth in his age division and in the top third of the overall race.

Next was the ladies' race and finally the showpiece event, the over-40s race, with luminaries

such as Nigel Gates and this region's own Nigel Arnold lining up at the start.

Leading the way home for the local runners was Andrew Manning, showing considerable strength, Jeff Helmore, who sailed through, and Neil Sibley who showed his capabilities are wide-ranging both on and off road.

The following day saw the first major half-marathon in the region this year, at Great Bentley, Essex.

Five Road Runners made light work of what others might regard as difficult conditions - strong winds. In a field of over 1,000, the Road Runners were all well placed.

First clubman home was Phil Quantrill, neatly balancing his training and racing as he prepares for the London Marathon in April.

He was followed by Paul Brookshaw, more than pleased with obtaining another personal best,

as indeed was Vicky Quantrill who did likewise.

Carole Spong, also preparing for London, won her age division, while husband Jim enjoyed his first race of the year, though found the final three miles challenging.

Anyone up for any sort of running-related challenge might go along and see what the Road Runners are all about.

Training is every Tuesday and Thursday from the Marina Centre, 6.45 pm for a 7pm start.

There is no cost or obligation and all are welcome.

Results. SEAA Masters Cross Country Championships, Men Over-40 Championship: 58 Andrew Manning 38mins 26sec, 76 Jeff Helmore 39:51, 80 Neil Sibley 40:38.

Men Over-50 Championship: 69 Mike Spragg 42:07.

Great Bentley Half Marathon: 1 Phil Quantrill 1hr 24min 49sec, 2 Paul Brookshaw 1-32:58 (pb), 3 Vicky Quantrill 1-33:40 (pb), 4 Carole Spong 1-43:03 (1st over 60), 5 Jim Spong 2-20:00.

In the Lakenheath Charity Race, Mike Spragg was among over 100 runners and was more than pleased with the outcome. He was joined by Jeff Helmore, Andrew Manning and Neil sibley. Spragg finished 16th overall.

In the Dartford Ten Mile, Paul Brookshaw was the only Seasider to both start and finish a race which took place over a difficult and challenging course.

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