There was a White Christmas feeling to the third fixture in the 2017/18 Ryston Runners Cross Country GP Series on Sunday in Shouldham Warren, with 160 runners braving the seasonal snowy conditions, and the customary visit from Santa.
Several members of the host club took home category prizes in the form of useful china mugs in which to make a cup of warming hot chocolate after their exertions.
Among those whose mugs bore the legend “first place” was Callum Stanforth, who has been knocking on the door of a win for several races now.
Also winning their categories were: Campbell Pick (U13B); Bailey Took (U15B); Nic Bensley (M45-49); Martin Ive (M50-54); Tony Savage (M55-59); Susan Matthews (W35-39); Judith Berry (W40-44); and Lesley Robins (W45-49).
Second places were claimed by Rosie Both (U15G); Mark Doughty (M40-44); Lydia Growns (SW); and Geraldine Jordan (W50-54).
Meanwhile, third spots were taken by: Hette Koulmann (U9G); Mel Reed (SW); Anna Seaman (W35-39); Linda Marshall (W50-54); Maureen Wolfe (W55+): Stewart Robins (M50-54); and Paul Firmage (M60-69).
Other Ryston places − U11B: 4 Oakley Took, 14 Sam Doughty. U11G: 5 Ella Matthews, 6 Esme Kidman.
U13B: 4 Malakai Took. U15B: 4 Jannis Koulmann. U15G: 4 Nina Koulmann.
SM: 4 Daniel Guppy. W44-49: 4 Pauline Drewery, 5 Karen Smith.
M50-54: 5 Jeremy Navrady, 6 David Lane, 8 Andy Smith, 9 Jon Benstead. W50-54: 5 Sue Smith. M55-59: 4 Keith Morris.
W55+: 6 Liz Blakie, 8 Gill Hart. M60-69 4 Martin Blackburn.
In warmer conditions two Ryston “exiles” were racing in Spain.
Peter Duhig, in his first “competitive” outing since suffering a cardiac arrest in mid-September, completed the two laps which comprised the Torrevieja “La Purisima” 7.5K and finished 349th of 500, 10th placed in the M50+ category, at the age of 68.
On Sunday Cath Duhig made a ridiculously long 500K journey in order to compete in the Spanish national 5K racewalking championships in Guadíx.
Again second oldest in the field, Cath had had a week of disrupted training.
She struggled a bit to find her rhythm on a testing five-lap course.
However Cath still finished 21st out of 33 (4th W50+), in a race featuring some of Spain’s finest young walkers, and in a time equal to that she achieved on a less technical course in Toledo a few weeks previously.
Ryston Runners Athletic Club train at Lynnsport on a Monday night from 6.15 to 7.15pm for Juniors and 7.30 to 8.30pm for seniors, Wednesday 7-8pm for strength and conditioning until Christmas, and Downham Federation Club on a Thursday night from 7-8pm.
There will be a run in Shouldham Warren on Christmas Eve for anyone interested in joining in and getting their festivities off to a fit and healthy start.
Meet in the car park for 8am.