Big team effort by Newmarket Joggers in Round Norfolk Relay

The Round Norfolk Relay (RNR) is a circular, 17-stage running race, starting and finishing at King’s Lynn and roughly following the coastline and inter-county borders of Norfolk in a clockwise direction. It covers a total of about 198 miles, made up of a variety of unequal stage distances and starts on Saturday morning, going on all day and night to finish on Sunday morning.


Above left: Brian Munns, Nicole Smith, Jimmy Smith and Ruth Eberhardt at the start in King’s Lynn; above right: Brian Munns, Kate Warboys, Ruth Eberhardt and Jim Withers at Burnham Overy. Many thanks for the photos.


Newmarket Joggers were among 56 x 17-member teams, mainly from running clubs in and around East Anglia, with team members carrying a baton to be handed on at the end of each stage. Teams were staggered, with the slowest starting first, so that all teams finished at roughly the same time on Sunday morning. The race safety rules required each team to have its own crew of following cyclists during the day, plus a van crew to follow their runners along all road stages during the night hours.


Above left: Nicole Smith hands over to Tom Elton at Stage 4 in Wells-next-the-Sea; above right: Marc Drury hands over to Angela Drury at Stage 6 in Cromer. Many thanks for photos.


Newmarket Joggers finished 24th of 56 teams overall, taking 25h:10m:38s to complete the course, with the winners City of Norwich AC (19h:45m:38s). We were 10th of 19 in the ‘club’ category, which had to include at least 5 female runners and 6 ‘masters’ (over 40 men or over 35 women); all had to be 1st claim club members. Jogger Mark Hayward was the outright trophy winner of Stage 12 in a time of 1:51:48, which was the longest stage of all (19.67mi). James Smith (1:44:20, 4th overall in Stage 1, 16.32mi) and Neil Pollard (1:42:20, 6th overall in Stage 9, 16.60mi) were also up with the leaders. Going particularly well for the women, Hannah Parsons finished 4th of 17 female runners in Stage 17 (1:31:52, 11.73mi) and Hannah Pollard 8th of 30 female runners in Stage 8 (56:04, 7.52mi). Our total team time was just 52 seconds outside our estimate and came a close third of the 56 teams in the prize for the best forecast time, with Reepham Runners winning on a difference of just 20 seconds.


Ruth Eberhardt on her 14-mile leg from Hunstanton to Burnham Overy. Many thanks for the photo.


Other valuable members of the team were as follows, in Stage order: Stage 2: Ruth Eberhardt 2:18:15 14.06mi; Stage 3: Nicole Smith 55:34, 5.76mi; Stage 4: Tom Elton 1:44:00, 11.14mi; Stage 5: Marc Drury 1:28:16, 10.81mi; Stage 6: Angela Drury 1:14:39, 7.90mi; Stage 7: Neville Clarke 1:17:55, 9.24mi; Stage 10: Phil Blundell 18.13mi (stopped due to ankle injury at 10.5mi); Stage 11: Jonathan Ollington 1:34:47, 12.45mi; Stage 13: Adam Maltpress 1:47:13, 13.25mi; Stage 14: Wendy Ancill  7.27mi (stage unfortunately cancelled due to police incident in Wissington); Stage 15: Mark Geddie 1:23:30, 10.59mi; Stage 16: Liam Elvidge 42:52, 5.49mi. We wish Phil Blundell a speedy recovery.

Many thanks to the organiser and van driver Jim Withers and to crew members Kate Warboys (timing), Brian Munns (cycling), Olivia Carter (cycling) and Danielle Jones (cycling), without whom this team event would not have been possible.


US AIR FORCE HALF MARATHON, Dayton, Ohio, Saturday 16th Sept: Nathan Brown achieved an impressive PB of 1:10:37, finishing 4th of 2,292 runners overall and 2nd of 155 in M25-29. He also received a trophy for 3rd placed US military finisher. This comes just 8 days before he races in the Berlin Marathon on Sunday, September 24th. We wish him the best of luck.


Nathan Brown with medal and trophy for military 3rd place in Air Force HM. Many thanks for the photo.


PIKES PEAK MARATHON, Manitou Springs, Colorado, US, Sunday, 17th Sept: Chris Underwood (6:46:53, 222nd of 672 overall, 46th of 94 in M30-34) put in a huge effort in this marathon, which included a 7,800ft ascent to the summit of Pikes Peak, the highest mountain in Colorado, standing 14,115ft above sea level. This race is considered the ultimate marathon challenge in the US. Chris found it noticeably harder to breathe at the summit, where the air was thinner, and there was still a scattering of snow, despite the bright, autumn sunshine.



Above top left: view from the start; top right: Chris Underwood at start; middle left: climbing to the summit; middle right: Chris at the summit; bottom:  View from the summit of Pikes Peak. Many thanks for the photos.


SANDOWN & SHANKLIN 10K, Isle of Wight, Sunday, 17th Sept: Sarah Kinston (1:07:44, 104th of 129 overall, 35th F of 56) and Joanne Bouttell (1:15:20, 124th of 132 overall, 50th F) both enjoyed this race, which went southwards, down the promenade from Sandown to Shanklin and back. The weather was rather windy and unsettled.


Above left: Sarah Kinston at the start by the coastline; above right: Sarah and Joanne with their medals. Thanks for the photos.


ZIG ZAG LUCKY HORSESHOE HALF MARATHON, Barrow, Saturday, 16th Sept: Caroline Mcintosh (2:52:35, 22nd of 30 overall) kept a nice, steady pace and finds these road and trail races very useful for long training runs, where there is more company, motivation and safety than on a solo run.


VIRTUAL VITALITY 10,000, Newmarket: Sarah Last (1:36:55) and Gillie Green (1:37:06) mostly walked this virtual race together, more for relaxing exercise than racing.


Sarah Last and Gillie Green in the Virtual Vitality 10,000. Many thanks for the photo.