Ryston seniors show the way in Grand Prix series

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Ryston Runners notched up three category wins in the second race of the cross country grand prix series at Shouldham Warren.

The home club enjoyed success over the senior masters 9k course.

Nic Bensley consolidated his grip on the M45 age group, while Tony Savage continues to make his mark in the M55s and Pete Johnson, returning cautiously after an injury lay-off, took the M60 honours.

Second place awards were taken home by Callum Stanforth (SM), Richard Ebbs (M45), Mel Reed (SW), Susan Matthews (W35), Lesley Robins (W45), and Sue Smith (W50).

Smith was delighted to receive an award, and was placed second to ex-Ryston member Christine Anthony (now West Suffolk AC), having started early, accompanied by Jon Benstead, to avoid having the marshals and timekeepers out in the cold for too long.

Third places were bagged by Chris Balmer (SM), Martin Ive (M50), and Lydia Growns (SW).

Ryston Juniors Bailey Took and Izzy Sandover also took home third place awards in their respective under-15 categories.

The event attracted almost 300 athletes across the various categories.

Prior to Sunday’s events, seven members took to the tarmac for the Snetterton Half Marathon.

Stewart Robins was 68th out of the 775 recorded finishers, and second in the M50 category, in 91.28.

First Ryston runner home was Darren Easter, in 28th, notching up a new personal best by three seconds, of 86.17.

Martin Heeley, who was 154th in 98.59, recorded an impressive 14-minute improvement on his inaugural half marathon time in Norwich late last year.

Meanwhile, Jonny Lambert was 94th in 94.03, Paul Carter 183rd in 1.41.19, Martin Blackburn 416th in 1.58.29, and Emma Benefer 603rd in 2.14.23.

On a different stretch of tarmac, Eamonn McCusker had his 11th annual outing to Suffolk for the Halstead 10.

After clocking 38.58 at the halfway stage, it came as something of a surprise and disappointment when McCusker clocked 78.09 at the finish.

Matt Pyatt ran in the open race at the UK Masters XC home international, in Derry, where he had travelled as reserve for the England M40 team.

After going off course during the race, Pyatt put in a mammoth late surge to finish fourth overall, and 1st M40.