The longest challenge for Ryston Runners members on Sunday was faced by those taking part in the Positive Steps Marriotts Way Marathon, an off road event, much of it along the route of a disused railway in east Norfolk.
The fastest time was posted by Susan Matthews, who completed the course in 3:26:51, eighth overall and first woman.
Andrew Merrett was 19th in 3:40:34, then Neil Stapleton was next home in 3:44:00,in 22nd place, just nipping ahead of Lesley Robins (23rd, 3:45:59) and Richard Dickson (24th, 3:46:14). Graeme Leeson completed the Ryston contingent in 28th place with 3:49:16. There were 95 finishers in total.
They all commented that it was a very enjoyable and well organised event, despite being muddy and tough.
“Tough” was also a word applied to the course of the Norfolk Gazelles Valentine’s 10K at Easton by the winner of the W65 category, Jane Ashby, who commented that there had been some extra hills added since last year.
Ashby was one of a very successful Ryston contingent.
Matt Pyatt was second overall in 33:30, taking County Silver in the Senior Men’s category only a few weeks shy of his 40th birthday.
Darren Easter (27th) ran 38:07 to bag County Silver in the M45, with team mate Martin Sheldrick one place behind recording a 14 second PB of 38:12 to claim the M45 bronze.
Pete Johnson ran 39:50 for silver in the M60 age group, and these three, with Jonathan Hawes, in 62nd in a PB time of 40:16, claimed the team bronze in the Masters category.
Lisa Pyatt ran 45:56 for 154th place, Eamonn McCusker in 207th with 48:28, a minute ahead of Martin Blackburn who placed 234th, Ashby was 275th overall in 51:14, and Sarah Partridge 342nd in 54:49. Keith Morris had to pull out injured.
After the race Jane and Sarah went off to do an extra 10 miles as part of their spring marathon training, and found themselves mixed up with some of those running in the Marriott’s Way event.
Blackburn, as soon as he had completed the 10K, drove back to Shouldham Warren in time to take part in the fifth event in the Ryston Cross Country Grand Prix series.
It was the “Long Course” for Senior runners, two laps making up 9.5K in total. Matt Allen won overall, taking the M40 category honours, and just holding off a determined Robert Simmonds, who thus took first Senior Man.
His brother Andrew was third in that category.
Nic Bensley continued his clean sweep of victories in the M45, with Stewart Robins in third. Second men’s category places went to Malcolm Tuff (M50) and Tony Savage (M55), with Kevin Howlett third M55.
Ryston women also took home the spoils in the form of Lorena Latisaite (3rd SW), Emma Thompson (2nd W35), Claire Emery (3rd W40), Karen Smith (3rd W45), and Liz Blakie (1st W55).
Rosie Booth, third in the U15G, was the sole home club prize-winner in the Junior races.
Other Ryston results – U9B: 8 Sam Doughty, 13 Thomas Simmonds, 18 Charlie Isbill; U11B: 20 Louie Copeland, 26 Malakai Took; U11G: 9 Ella Matthews; U13B: 7 Kieran Bell; U15B: 6 Kyle Berry; U15G: 6 Nina Koulman; SM: 4 Dan Pratt, 5 Michael Howlett, 10 Jamie Bransgrove; M45: 9 Andrew McNamara; M50: 4 Martin Ive, 9 Jeremy Navrady, 10 Andy Smith, 11 Martin Blackburn; M55: 5 Christopher Milnes; M60: 7 Paul Firmage, 9 Jeff Reed (M70) 11 Mick Ennis (M75).
Sue Smith, on the comeback trail after cancer treatment, was delighted to complete one lap of the course.
l Cath Duhig took part in what is potentially her last UK based road race, lining up for the second race in the 2017 Enfield Race Walking League, at Donkey Lane.
She said this was a: “Five-miler in which I finished 12th overall/5th woman, in 52 minutes. Slow and ploddy!”