Runners score in race for trophies

THE Lowestoft Scores race, now in its 13th year, is a quirky, idiosyncratic race for all the right reasons.It is in a unique location in the most easterly point in the country, there are more than 400 steps to negotiate together with a number of steep inclines, it has a tremendous degree of community involvement and the support and welcome given to the runners would be hard to match anywhere.

THE Lowestoft Scores race, now in its 13th year, is a quirky, idiosyncratic race for all the right reasons.

It is in a unique location in the most easterly point in the country, there are more than 400 steps to negotiate together with a number of steep inclines, it has a tremendous degree of community involvement and the support and welcome given to the runners would be hard to match anywhere. Additionally, they now have an excellent race headquarters, writes Mike Spragg.

Although the numbers in this year's race were a little down on those of previous years, hopefully not a long-term trend, there was no shortage of quality. Craig Hopkins of City of Norwich (the winner of this year's Great Yarmouth Half-Marathon), shattered Paul Evans' record in emphatic style.

He was followed by last year's winner Luke Allen and Richard Moore of Waveney Valley. Incidentally, Hopkins and Allen, as well as two others in the race, Johnathan Lee and Matthew Sutton, are former students of the East Norfolk Sixth Form College.

The Great Yarmouth Road Runners contingent, numbering seven in all and again a little down compared to recent years, acquitted themselves very well and came away with the same number of trophies as there were runners from the club.

Leading the way home was the aforementioned Johnathan Lee, closely followed by Andrew Manning, who ran strongly throughout.

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Andy Peck and Mike Spragg were in close contention throughout, the former maintaining his lead through to the finish. Spragg had the consolation of winning his age group however.

The ladies hardly needed any consolation as all three came away with trophies, Karen Manning a comfortable winner in her age division and just 20 seconds away from an overall race win.

Marie Worrall also ran well to win an individual trophy, while newcomer Jo

Foden was delighted to be a member of the winning ladies' team in this, her first outing for the club.

The ladies thus reclaim the shield they last won in 2004 and they are to be congratulated on a fine achievement. Something of a sweep for Great Yarmouth, this, as the ladies from GYDAC were also winners in the team event.

Many pleasant things to say, therefore, about this well-organised and well-marshalled race, offering value for money, a good range of prizes, a free T-shirt and hot drinks at the excellent race headquarters at the Christchurch church hall, where the vicar and his team could not have done

more to make runners and supporters feel

so welcome.

Events like this are to be cherished and encouraged. Make a note of it for next year.

A little sooner than that, you might care to see the runners coming through Great Yarmouth this Saturday evening in the 10th stage of this year's Round Norfolk Relay. It always promises an exciting spectacle as they head off towards Geldeston.

Lowestoft Scores: 8 Johnathan Lee 29:28, 11 Andrew Manning 30:10, 26 Andy Peck 32:35, 27 Mike Spragg 32:51 (1st O60), 53 Karen Manning 36:42 (1st O35, 1st LT), 74 Marie Worrall 39:25 (1st O40, 1st LT), 93 Jo Foden 40:54 (1st LT).

LT = Ladies Team.