Ryston Runners get down and dirty at cross-country event

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With fun and raising money for charity to the fore, a group of 21 Ryston Runners joined the ever-popular Reepham Runners Cross Country run on Sunday.

The event is billed as containing mud, water, mud, dykes, mud, gates and obstacles for the 170 adult competitors to enjoy – and it didn’t disappoint!

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The two-lap course started and finished at Whitwell and Reepham Station and worked its way through the local countryside with competitors becoming increasingly caked in mud as the race progressed.

While times were somewhat academic, the first Ryston Runners home were Ryan Horton, closely followed by Tim Rudd, in around 50 minutes.

Other club members trailed in afterwards with Emma Thompson taking the hard-earned accolade of being the muddiest lady at the event.

This was no mean feat as the competition was fierce.

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n On the Saturday, two intrepid Ryston Runners ventured to the South Downs to take on the legend of a race that is the Cakeathon.

An off-road trail race, the Cakeathon consists of up to 10 x 3.2 mile laps, with runners opting for as many or as few as they wish within a time limit.

Gill Hart, who is upping mileage ahead of the London Marathon, and Helen Melville, both completed four laps of the undulating, muddy course, making it a complete half marathon.

Stopping to refuel each lap on the plethora of sweets, cake and goodies available certainly helped to keep the pair in high spirits.

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Hart was especially pleased with her performance, it being the furthest she has run since 2012 when a back injury cast doubt on her ability ever to run again.

n Jane Ashby was the sole Ryston member to appear on the podium at the Snetterton 10k on Sunday.

Ashby was a clear winner of the W60+ category despite having turned 70 last month and therefore comprehensively beating runners many years her junior in a time of 50.40.

Oliver and Ben Foxwell were the first two Ryston finishers, 53rd and 56th in 41.39 and 41.53 respectively. Kevin Farqhuar was 112th in 45.12 and Matt Hitchcock also beat the 50-minute mark with 47.12 in 153rd.

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Dogged competitor Keith Morris finished just head of Jane in 223rd in 50.24, and Wendy Farqhuar completed the Ryston list in 712th in 72.41.

n Cath Duhig took part in a 5000m walking race on the track in Elda, in Valencia, Spain.

Thinking she had an hour or so in hand to warm-up, Duhig found that the start had been brought forward by an hour so the warm-up was reduced to half-a-lap of the track while pinning on her race number.

Despite this, she was pleased to record another sub 31-minute time, another positive indicator that her preparations for the European Masters Championships in March are still going in the right direction.