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Ryston Runners join forces for county cross country championships

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While some people were took down their Christmas decorations or waited to see what the Three Kings had brought them, athletes all over the country lined up for their annual cross country championships.

Those in Norfolk were no exception and this year’s courses at Thetford proved challenging, even though the weather was remarkably clement for the time of year.

More than two-dozen Ryston athletes pitted themselves against others from the county.

As a collective, they earned one individual and three team medals among some very heartening performances by some relatively inexperienced athletes, in some cases.

Nic Bensley took home an individual silver medal from his final race in the M45 category.

Nic Bensley. (6388984)
Nic Bensley. (6388984)

With a team made up of Martin Sheldrick (6th), and Neil Stapleton (11th), they were a little frustrated just to be pipped to team medals in the M40-49 category.

Third place team medals were secured by James O’Neill (7th), Callum Stanforth (8th), and Ben Keeley (11th) in the senior men’s category.

This achievement was replicated in the U17M race by Charlie Wakefield (5th), Bailey Took (12th), and Owen Burge (13th).

Wakefield's individual position in the U17s was matched by Rosie Booth, who was placed 5th in the U17W category.

It was clearly a “lucky seven” day as Tony Savage was 7th M55, alongside Kevin Howlett 7th M60.

Wendy Fisher was the only senior Ryston woman to compete this year. Fisher placed in 9th in the W50 category, while Arabella Gingell also flew the club flag solo in the U15G race, in which she made the top ten (9th).

Rosie Booth. (6388988)
Rosie Booth. (6388988)

Other senior runners were: 27th Dominic Hughes, 30th Michael Howlett, 34th Kevin Took M40, 17th Jamie Bransgrove M55, 13th Keith Morris.

Junior colours were worn with pride by: U11B 8th Ackara Black, 16th Theo Loram, 21st Beau Loram (4th team), U11G 15th Ella Goldring, 28th Abigail Bramsgrove, U13B 21st Harry Malton, 30th Oakley Took, U13G 16th Evie Goldring.

Although he sidelined himself due to injury, club chairman Robert Simmonds turned up to support the club’s participants, by whom his presence was greatly appreciated.

The previous day on the coastline of San Javier in eastern Spain, Pete and Cath Duhig participated in a 5k/10k event to mark the Día de Reyes festival.

Pete finished 75th overall in the V Carrera del Niño 5k, as he crossed the line in 27.30, while Cath walked to 82nd place in the 10k event with a time of 60.50.

After a chilly start to the day, temperatures rose to about 15C so participants in the races could enjoy the sea side course along the Mar Menor in the sun.

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