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Ryston Runners rally over busy festive period

The period between Christmas and New Year was not an idle time as far as the West Norfolk running scene was concerned, with at least five races in as many days.

The busy festive schedule featured some 3,000 participants, among them almost 60 Ryston Runners.

This was on top of/alongside several hundred more involved in the parkruns, and the club’s own Christmas Eve relays at Shouldham Warren.

Ryston 4 (25996582)
Ryston 4 (25996582)

By far the biggest number of Ryston members were supporting the Marham Flyers New Year’s Eve 10k.

Second overall in the race was the club chairman, Rob Simmonds, running 35.19, with past member Paul Keaney claiming third in 35.43.

Amy Chapman took the honours for the club in the women’s race, in 21st place overall in 40.25.

In fifth place overall, Oliver Foxwell saw out the year in style with an almost half minute personal best of 36.23, confirming his promise and setting himself a tasty target of sub-36 in the coming year.

Ryston 5 (25996595)
Ryston 5 (25996595)

Nic Bensley, now an M50, left many younger runners in his wake, and was placed seventh in 37.27.

There were no age categories applied in this race, but had there been, Ryston Runners would have featured in the top three of many of them, as well as gobbling up any team awards available.

Keith Morris, struggling with a foot problem, ran a much slower time than usual, leading him to end up in one of the spot prize-winning positions.

Ryston 1 (25996544)
Ryston 1 (25996544)

Another to benefit from a spot prize, making up for a relatively poor run, was Kevin Howlett, whose time at the Sublime Peterborough New Year’s Eve 10k was affected by a post-Christmas cold.

Howlett’s 148th out of 764 finishers, in 47.08, put him fifth in the M60 category.

Also eschewing the appeal of running around an airfield, Eamonn McCusker went to the ever-popular Ely New Year’s Eve 10k.

McCusker covered the uncharacteristically un-muddy course in 49.51 for fifth place in the M65 category, 236th out of 597 finishers.

Before any of the above had happened, a few club members had got in their post-festivity efforts even earlier, in the Sublime Cambridge 10k.

Ryston 3 (25996561)
Ryston 3 (25996561)

Among another almost 600-strong field, Tristan Langley was first in a Ryston vest, placing 87th in 45.57.

Frances Rayner ran 50.38 for 161st place and was fourth in the W50 category.

Donna Jeary ran 63.54 to finish 456th, slightly ahead for Richard Wilkins, who was placed 463rd in 64.40.

If there were a prize for consistency, Wilkins would probably get it, as he then ran 64.35 at Marham just a few days later, where he was placed 263rd.

Pete Johnson kept his powder dry until 2020 had arrived, and ran in the Wymondham New Year’s Day 10k, where he finished 168th in a field of over 650, to bag second spot in the M65 category with 46.21.

n Other results on page 44.

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