Ryston Runners host fourth event of Cross Country Grand Prix in Shouldham Warren
The fourth event in the 2021/22 series of Ryston Runners Cross Country Grand Prix – rapidly becoming subtitled “The Great Ryston Bake Off” as the quality of cakes in the tea tent continues to reach new levels – was well supported in Shouldham Warren.
There were more than 180 competitors in the senior races over the short course (5k) as well as the usual goodly contingent of keen junior athletes.
In the junior ranks the standard for the day was set in the under-11 boys’ race by Rory Wood, Aidan Howard and Leo Wood, claiming the three top spots a feat not repeated in any other category on this occasion.
Max Hawkins and Ethan Ward took second places in the U9B and U13B races, respectively, while Owen Hopgood dominated the U17 Boys’ race.
Jessica Lawrence was the sole Ryston medallist in the junior girls’ events, taking third place in U11.
For the senior men the close rivalry between Rob Simmonds and Ben Keeley continues to sharpen them both, with the former stealing the march to the medals on this occasion, placed third, with Ben fourth and Danny Smith fifth.
Both Simmonds and Keeley are actually M35 so would have made a dent in that age group had there been a separate competition category for them.
Kevin Howlett took second in the M60 category and John Hopgood and Nic Bensley thirds in their respective M40 and M50 categories.
The roll of honour for the Ryston women featured five top spots with Dawn Robinson (SW), Emma Wood (W35), Lesley Robins (W45), Nicky Roger (W50) and Pauline Sparrow (W60).
In supporting roles on the virtual podium were Phoebe Russell (3rd SW), Elaine Lumey (2nd W45), Pauline Drewery (2nd W50) and Jane Ashby (3rd W60).
Irena Marcinek took third place in the W40 category and unofficially won Bake Off with her Polish cheesecake.
This event was also notable for marking the return to the forest of four members who have been missing from races for a while due to work commitments, injury, or becoming a mum.
These were: Martin Blackburn (6 M60), David Lane (14 M55), Martin Elsegood (15 M55) and Penny Simmonds (5 W35).
Many thanks were expressed to all the organisers, marshals, bakers and other helpers, particularly those who appeared to set a new club record for the erection and striking of the necessary tentage to enable the event to take place.