Ryston Runner Clarke picks up European Masters bronze medal

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West Norfolk Sportswoman of the year, Gaye Clarke, was in her last indoor championships as a W50 in the European Masters Indoor Championships in Torun, Poland.

She had to work harder and dig deeper than ever as it is always harder to medal at the top end of the age group, so the Ryston Runner was pleased to pick up bronze in the 60m hurdles in a closely contested race.

She also placed 6th in the high jump and 7th in the Long Jump.

Indoors also was 12-year-old Charlie Wakefield who came second in the U13 Boys’ 800m at the Lee Valley open meeting with a PB time of 2:29. This ranks him number 1 in the eastern region and 19th in the UK for this event so far this year.

The last event in the 2014-15 series of the popular Ryston Runners Cross Country Grand Prix had depleted numbers due to two major road races being on the same day, but there was plenty of competition, especially with the overall series honours at stake.

By far the most hotly contested age group was the U9s, with a combined field of 81 youngsters taking part. Many Ryston members were actually competing for their schools, but Archie Mitchell (17th), George Evans (22nd) and Harvey Judd (23rd) wore their Hares on their chests.

Charlie Wakefield won the U13 Boys’ category, while Kit Howlett took third in the U11 race, positions they also claimed in the overall series. Annie Rooks and Alysha Cain made neat work of the 1-2 in the U17 Girls, with just a minute separating them. Unsurprisingly, these two also cleaned up on the series in this category.

Other Ryston Juniors in action on the day included: Harry Wakefield (4th), Liam Clare (10th) and Henry Overton (14th) in the U11B; Izzy Sandover (5th), Bea Honeybone (10th), Lily Teasdale (11th) and Suki Wales (13th) in the U11G; Bailey Took (5th) U13B; Thea Howlett (4th) and Saffron Teasdale (9th) U13G; Georgia Sandover (6th), Gabrielle Clare (7th) and Isabel Overton (8th) U15G.

In the Senior Men’s race James O’Neill in a rare appearance claimed second place ahead of clubmate Callum Stanforth in third. The overall series winner of this category, Chris Balmer, had to be content with 4th. Marcus Hawkins and Marie French neatly won their categories on the day and in the series overall ( M40 and SW respectively).

Other on the day wins by members were achieved by Karen Smith (W45 – second in series overall) and Sine Cain (W55, third in series) who led home Liz Blakie (second).

Kelly De-Gol and Emma Thompson were second and third in the W35 race, finishing first and third in the series.

Linda Marshall was second in the W50 race,but had done enough in the W45 category before having her significant birthday to win that series prize.

Kevin Howlett (M55) was the only other Ryston top three category finisher on the day, in second place, and third in the series overall. Karen Wood was outside the individual prizes on the day (5th) but nailed second W50 in the series.

Several club members’ names featured in the series honours despite their absence from this particular fixture.

They were: SW third Heather Beattie; M45 1st Nic Bensley, third Martin Ive; M50 1st Malcolm Tuff; W55 ( a clean Ryston sweep) 1st Maureen Wolfe, second Jill Davis, third Sine Cain.

Other on the day places, SM: 5 Justin Kinsey, 6 Andrew Smith, 14 Richard Watson, 16 Gareth Hunt, 18 Ian Hogarth, 19 Kevin Smith. SW: 4 Lorena Latisaite. W35: 4 Liz Simmonds. M40: 5 Will Honeybone. W40: 5 Julie Wacey. M45: 4 Stewart Robins, 7 David Marston, 9 Andy Smith. W45: 4 Helen Reed. M50: 4 David Lane, 5 Kevin Taylor, 7 Simon Tarling. W50: 4 Sarah Taylor, 9 Sue Smith. M55: 4 Chris Chapman, 5 Christopher Milnes. W55: 5 Gill Hart. M60: 6 Paul Firmage, 10 John Plowright.

Matt Pyatt opted for back-to-back weekend action by going to the Thorney 10K, which he won in 33:56. Marcus Hawkins (15th; 38:40) won the M40 category, and Helen Sewell, after a long competitive lay-off, took the honours in the W65 age group.

Callum Stanforth opted for the Coltishall Jaguars Mad March Hare 10K at Frettenham where he achieved a very pleasing PB time of 34:29 for second place overall.

At the Athletics Norfolk annual awards evening, Ed Borrmann was joint recipient of the Senior Men’s Field Athlete of the Year Award, in recognition of his achievements in Pole Vault last year – even though he was competing all season in the U20 category.