O’Neill is Downham Market Ryston’s fastest at inspiring King’s Lynn GEAR race

Ryston Runners James O'Neil  (centre) 
MLNF
Ryston Runners James O'Neil (centre) MLNF

Sunday saw the big Lynn road race of the year, GEAR, under new management, featuring over 60 Ryston members running and several others helping out at the start/finish.

These included Jeremy Navrady, Andy, Karen and Ben Smith, Gareth Hunt, Jane Ashby, Debbie Wood, Martin Hammond, and Hannah Fisher.

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There were many heroic efforts and backstories, including Mel Watts and Andy Harrod running together for the first time in 18 months since Mel had her son and Andy has been struggling with a foot problem; Helen Reed competing again after knee surgery; and, possibly most inspiring of all, Sue Smith, running in GEAR again less than a year after being diagnosed with and treated for Stage 3 Breast Cancer, the same disease that afflicted Jane Tomlinson, whose husband was the founder of the Run for All enterprise which has taken over organising this event after more than 10 years in the hands of Roger Partridge and Peter Duhig.

James O’Neill recorded the fastest Ryston finish of the day, his time of 33:34 placing him second in the M35 category. Matt Allen was third M40 with 34:51 and Adam Howard 3rd M35 with 36:33.

Dipping under 40 minutes, Pete Johnson was 2nd M60 in 39:51, while Lesley Robins occupied a similar position in the W45 category with 44:05 (200th overall) with clubmate Pauline Drewery third in the same category in 46:28.

Maureen Wolfe was 3rd W55 in 49:14, and Jeff Reed 3rd M70 in 51:46 just a week after having a disappointingly tough time in the London Marathon.

Ryston Runners' GEAR and Mini Gear  competitors.
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Ryston Runners' GEAR and Mini Gear competitors. MLNF

Pauline Sparrow, now retired and running for her club rather than her company for the first time in this event, was first W65 in 55:06. Both runners-up in their respective categories were Mick Ennis in the M75 with 60:52 and Helen Sewell in the W70 with 64:26.

Several Ryston Runners just missed out on category placings, coming fourth in their age groups. These included Nic Bensley (M45 36:10), Warren Armstrong (M40 37:19), Jan Manning (W35 44:33), and Sarah Partridge (W60 55:36).

The windy conditions were quite challenging, so it was not a day for heroics and PBs.

Other Ryston times in results panel.

cluded: Matt Pyatt (running for RAF Benevolent Society) 33:56, Adam Matthews 35:39, Daniel Guppy 37:40, John Hopgood 38:24, Martin Sheldrick 38:27, Neil Stapleton 39:13, Ian Milburn 39:37, Darren Easter 39:39, Stewart Robins 39:45, Shaun Mann 40:14, Dan Pratt 40:41, Lorena Latisaite 41:37, Tony Savage 42:38, Graeme Leeson 42:41, Mark Doughty 42:59, Martin Heeley 43:06, Carl Manning 43:25, Paul Carter 45:05, Anna Seaman 45:16, Pete Reed 45:34, Jamie Bransgrove 45:46, Tim Rudd 45:57, Julia Norman 47:27, Stuart Durham 48:06, Martin Blackburn 48:54, Andrew McNamara 47:55, Linda Marshall 49:14, Chris Chapman 50:56, Christopher Milnes 50:56, Wendy Fisher 52:08, Jason Hawes 52:37, Gary Whitby 52:57, Keith Morris 54:00, Emma Thompson 53:57, Karen Wood 53:57, David Lane 53:34, Paddy Thompson 54:55, Samantha Simper 55:58, Peter Donger 57:13, Claire Emery 57:46, Ivan Nunn 59:22, Lindsey Clare 60:14, Kevin Piggott 63:18, Gill Hart 63:24, Helen Reed 65:34, Katie Wilson 67:17, Peter Drew 66:37, Andy Harrod 77:07, Mel Watts 77:07, Sue Smith 87:36.