Rejkjavik test taken in stride by Ryston Runners members

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A team of athletes from Ryston Runners put the warm weather in the UK behind them when they travelled to Iceland to compete in the Reykjavik marathon and half-marathon races.

Despite suffering from flu prior to the event, Martin Ive was fastest home in the 26.2 mile race in a highly-creditable three hours 19 minutes,to finish 14th in his age group.

Lesley Robins was first Ryston woman home in 3.34, for 34th female overall, closely followed by Mel Reed in a pleasing 3.38.

Unaffiliated member Phil Twite finished marginally ahead of these two in 3.33.

Completing the marathon contingent was Karen Smith, clocking 4.25, an impressive performance off the back of two recent ultra marathons, and especially so as she sustained an ankle injury whilst out and about in Reykjavik the previous day.

The club missed out on winning the overall team prize by just nine minutes.

The half-marathon proved an excellent PB-hunting ground for some with a fast, fairly flat course and perfect conditions.

Second claimer Ben Collison was very happy with 1.26 for the 13.1, for 42nd place and Mark Rollings pegged it home to score an eleven-minute PB of 1.33.

Sarah Taylor provided the biggest surprise of the race, pulling a 1.47 out of the bag, her fastest half for several years, Emma Thompson produced a PB of 1.54 and Helen Melville brought up the rear of the Ryston field with a time of 2.14.

A second Iceland running venture, but this time closer to home, took place the next day involving a few of the club’s members who couldn’t make it abroad, but wanted to have the experience of completing complimentary distances.

The full distance between the Iceland shop in Downham to the one in Lynn and back was covered by Andy Smith (perpetrator of the idea) and Jeremy Navrady.

They were joined at various points on the route, which used the Fen Rivers Way for the most part, by Stef Harding, Martin Hammond and Amy Jayne Chapman.

Smith and Navrady took just over 4 hours to complete their run, which was deemed an excellent event.

There was quite a jump down in distance for the next race attended by Ryston members.

The Thorney five-mile race had been targeted by John Hopgood and Darren Easter whose form going into the event suggested they were both likely to crack the 30-minute barrier.

Unfortunately, Hopgood was unwell in the latter part of the race and eventually recorded a did not finish.

Easter’s time was reduced as he stopped to check on his club-mate before competing the course in a still very creditable 31.03.

Haley Hawes completed the Ryston contingent at the race.

Sunday’s Dereham 5k attracted more than 300 finishers, of whom five per cent came from Ryston, and, in turn, 25 per cent of those walked away with age group honours.

Matt Allen was fourth overall and first M40, in 16.31, the edge possibly taken off his running by his participation in the 5000m and steeplechase in Ryston’s SAL fixture the previous day.

Stewart Robins took the M50 category in 18.33, and Jane Ashby the W60+ with 24.41.

Nic Bensley was second M45 in 17.32.

Other Rystons featuring were: Neil Stapleton 18.39, Ian Milburn 19.27, Tony Savage 19.57, Kevin Howlett 21.00, Pauline Drewery 22.23, Keith Morris 23.28, David Lane 24.01, Pauline Sparrow 25.17, Sarah Partridge 26.01, Gill Hart 29.59, Sue Smith 39.37.

More Ryston athletics on page 92.