There were mixed fortunes for the two Ryston Runners AC athletes taking part in the European Masters Non-Stadia Athletics Championships in Monte Gordo (Vila Real de Santo Antonio) in the Algarve at the weekend.
Cath Duhig competed in the 10K and 20K race walking events, both held on a 2K out and back loop on the road parallel to the woods and beach at the edge of town in Portugal.
A very crowded start in the 10K saw a faster than planned first lap take its toll later as she slipped from second to fourth, finishing in 64:45.
However, Cath and the other GB W60 competitor, Ann Wheeler, were “counting down” to make a GB W50 team with Angela Martin from Kent, and the three made the podium to claim bronze medals in that part of the event.
The following day, Cath in the 20K overtook Wheeler and slogged it out over six laps before overtaking a French front-runner. In very humid conditions Cath finished third in 2:20. It then transpired that the Portuguese athlete had been given the OK to finish a lap too soon and therefore Aurora Alvarez, who had not competed in the 10K the previous day, was promoted to gold medal position and Cath was rewarded with silver.
Her husband Pete Duhig, despite pre-race lack of preparation due to a foot injury, competed in the 10K run, with the course extended to make two 5K laps. He was pleased to finish in 47:17, which made him third scorer in a GB M65 team that placed fourth overall.
It was, therefore, somewhat disappointing that his team had to be scratched from the Cross Country Relays as one of the runners had picked up an injury.
l Closer to home, in the first race of the 2016 Wroxham 5K Road Race Series last Wednesday, Callum Stanforth – before being married on Saturday – placed ninth overall, first Ryston finisher, in 16:47.
Nic Bensley, (29th/ 17:27/M45), Malcolm Tuff (39th/17:42/M50), and Pete Johnson (70th/18:40/M80) all took the first place honours in their respective age categories.
Other Ryston results were: Andy Smith (46th/17:50), Gareth Hunt (57th /18:13), Richard Watson (67th/18:29), Neil Stapleton (88th/19:10) and Barry Smith (130th;20:17). Almost 500 finishers were recorded.