Final honours are decided in Ryston cross country series

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With several events, including the Lincoln 10k, falling foul of the brief return of winter, the final race in the 2017/18 Ryston GP series went ahead full steam.

Not only were individual honours at stake, but also overall series places were to be decided, and Ryston members made sure they made their mark on both counts.

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Melanie Reed cunningly changed age group half-way through the series, so not only won the W35 race on Sunday but also claimed second place in that category for the series and third place in the SW age group.

She also won one of the club’s handicap awards and ended the season with a cupboard full of mugs and medals.

Nic Bensley has also finished the season with plenty of receptacles from which to offer visitors tea, having cleaned up in Sunday’s race and the series in the M45 category, with fellow club member Richard Ebbs receiving second overall.

Callum Stanforth emulated Bensley’s display by winning both Sunday’s race and the series in the SM category, with Lesley Robins doing likewise in the W45s.

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Linda Marshall won the W50 race on Sunday, with Sue Smith second, and they also finished second and third respectively in the series overall in that category.

In the M50 the tables were turned, with Stewart Robins second, heading Martin Ive (third) home in the race on the day, but the former placing second in the series and the latter third.

Claire Emery’s tenacity over the series was rewarded with third place in the W40s (fifth in Sunday’s race).

Mark Doughty, who was placed sixth M40 on Sunday, clinched second in the series, and Kevin Howlett, second M60 on Sunday and third in the series overall.

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Other seniors/masters featuring on Sunday, but not completing enough qualifying races to feature in the series prize giving, included: Matt Allen (1st M40), Darren Easter (3rd M40), Richard Ebbs (2nd M45), Warren Armstrong (3rd M45), Tony Savage (2nd M55), Liz Blakie (W55), and Paul Firmage (3rd M60).

Susan Matthews (1st W35) and Lydia Growns (2nd SW) conversely took series places despite not racing on Sunday.

Toby Leigh-Hayton wrapped up the U17B category for the series with another straight win on Sunday, as did Rosie Booth in the U15G.

The consistent Bailey Took finished third U15B in Sunday but second in the series, a situation reversed by Ella Goldring in the U11G (2nd Sunday/3rd series).

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Archie Rowe didn’t race on Sunday but had done enough already to collect second in series in the U9Bs.

Other juniors collecting individual race awards on Sunday were Hette Koulman (3rd U9G), Ella Matthews (3rd U11G), Evie Goldring (3rd U13G), and Sam Tann (3rd U17B).

There was a heartening, if cautious, return to running, after a very long lay-off, by club chairman Richard Dickson in the M45 category.

City of Norwich AC won the Visiting Club award, Bure Valley Harriers the Most Improved Club, St Martin at Shouldham the closely-fought schools’ competition, and James Peck of Thetford AC the Outstanding Athlete of the Series award.

Organisers thank all who supported the events again this year, especially marshalls and helpers, and are particularly grateful to AT Johnson and Frimstone Ltd for their event sponsorship.

Other Ryston results:U9B: 4 Will Saunders; U11B: 5 Oliver Booth, 6 Ackara Black, 10 Sam Doughty, 11 Tyler Pooley, 16 Harry Moulton; U11G. 5 Clarice Cavill; U13B: 4 Malakai Took; U15B: 5 Owen Bridge; SM: 5 Andrew Simmonds, 8 Robert Simmonds, 10 Michael Howlett, 12 Darren Smith, 13 Jamie Bransgrove, 14 Shaun Hamer; M40: 4 Dan Pratt, 5 Phil Thompson; W45: 5 Karen Smith; M50: 4 Barry Smith, 10 Andy Smith, 11 David Lane; M60: 4 Martin Blackburn. 5 Christopher Milnes.