Yarmouth runners rise to wide variety of challenges


The Great Yarmouth & District Athletic Club held their annual club cross country championships at Bure Park the weather was very cold and windy.

This did not deter from the performances given by the runners. Amy Dowsett set a tough pace in the U13 girls race to take the race well clear of 2nd placed Erin Irwin with Ella Wakeley finishing strongly for 3rd place.

Chloe Long took the 4th place with Holly Baker in 5th place. In the U11 girls race Daisy Spurway led all the way with Molly Bean 2nd just holding off Alice Wakeley for the 3rd spot, 4th was Macie Lewis, 5th Millie Chandler & 6th Kitty Spurway.

Joe Drake just managed to hang on to 1st place in the U13 boys race holding off a fast finishing Kia Beadle with Levi Lewis 3rd.

The U17 boys race over a 5000m course saw Kyle Ella & Dominic Oliver battling out for the winners spot, with Kyle Ella pulling away over the last 800m to take first place, Keelan Pywell finished in 3rd place. Sophie Long won the U9 race, Phoebe Baker won the U15 girls race and Catherine Lee the U17 girls race.

In preparation for the London Marathon on April 22, 2 members of Great Yarmouth & District Athletics Club decided to join 6,500 runners to go around the Silverstone F1 Circuit on Sunday for the Adidas Half Marathon. Weather conditions were too hot for running and effected the performances. Chris Gay recorded a time of 1-44:44, whilst Elaine Haggarty finished in 2-28:27

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On Saturday, three members took part in the Gorleston Park Run, Kane Simmonds finished 15th, Penny Studley was the 1st lady home just outside her PB time and Sue Fraser achieved another PB knocking yet another 6 secs off to finish in 24:14

Yarmouth Road Runners

At the Park Run last Saturday, there were three personal bests and an equal PB. Ten Great Yarmouth Road Runners were in a field of 127: 7 John Figiel 20:10 (New PB), 25 Mike Dale 22:38 (New PB), 35 Mark Peach 23:48, 36 Matthew Sutton 23:49, 48 Pauline Richardson 24:31, 51 Paul Westgate 24:45, 57 Paul Spandler 25:28, 58 Peter Spandler 25:30 (so close), 59 Nicola Baker 25:33, 80 John Bound 28:01 (New PB)

Newton Fraction Half Marathon.

Ivan Lees completed the Newton Fraction Half Marathon in Lincolnshire on Sunday. It was a challenging course with two tough hills to overcome. It’s a great course and well marshalled. Perfect running conditions if a bit warm. Ivan managed 1-52:55 according to the clock, which included a grandstand finish in Grantham football stadium. As Ivan is running the London Marathon in a couple of weeks, this should be a very good confidence booster.

Result: Ivan Lees 1-52:55 197th out of 383.

Bath Half Marathon.

Bob Arnell and wife Pat took to the road to attend the Bath Half Marathon - or the ‘Bath Half’ as it is affectionately known. This is one of the longest established and most popular city centre road events in the UK. It is also the largest charity fundraising event in the South West region, raising over �1.4 million for charity last year alone. The course itself is fast and flat making it suitable for all abilities – for beginners whose key objective is to complete the course, to more regular long-distance event runners, looking to beat their personal best time. It covers a two lap 13.1 mile (21.1km) traffic-free course straddling both sides of the River Avon. The race starts and finishes in Great Pulteney Street, in the heart of the World Heritage City of Bath.

Result: Bob Arnell 2-31:17 and 9,062th out of 11,000.

If you fancy the challenge of a five mile race the Great Yarmouth Road are holding the three race series next month. The dates are all Wednesday evening and are on April 25 and May 9 and 23 starting from the Marina Centre at 7.15pm.

With more club members out and about next Sunday starting in the new Fritton Lake Half Marathon it’s a busy time for the road runners.

The Grizzly 20-mile race.

The Grizzly is a multi-terrain race which celebrated its 25th anniversary this year. It was just over 20 miles in length but is more like running a very hard marathon. The event starts and finishes on Seaton seafront in Devon, and follows a mainly off road course over the hills through Beer and Branscombe before returning to Seaton.

The weather could not have been better, very warm and sunny. The course was very tough, as usual with big hills, sand, shingle, the bog and lots of road running of varying degrees of toughness. Andrew Manning was first clubman home in 80th position overall in 2-59:47. This was an outstanding run as he has been sidelined with a broken shoulder for several weeks. Next was Neil Sibley in 175th, 3-16:49 then very close behind was Richard Blake in 179th, 3-17:03, then just a few minutes back was Jeff Helmore in 209th and 3-20:17. Neil, Richard and Jeff had exchanged places a couple of times during the race with Richard opening up a very early lead. Neil and Jeff worked together to get back to Richard but didn’t catch him until the ten mile mark. And there was not much to separate all three of them as late as the 18 mile mark and the start of the stair way to heaven, the last big climb in the race. Neil and Richard finally broke away here and finished strongly. Nicos Symeou was next in 3-53:47 and was very pleased with his performance and Gary Stanley made up the team with a very creditable 4-17:47 after finding the going very tough, and not feeling too well when he finished.