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West Norfolk club has more than 60 entrants in Sunday's Grand East Anglia Run

As well as those acting as pacers, giving up their own race time opportunities to help other achieve their targets in the Grand East Anglian Run on Sunday, some 60 Ryston Runners were competing themselves.

The club had already hosted several weeks of “Get into GEAR” training sessions, so could sit back and reflect after the event on what an impact its members had had across the board on people’s experience of and success on the day.

Ryston Runners (9771959)
Ryston Runners (9771959)

James O’Neill (M35) ran a blinder to place second overall/first senior man, completing the 10k course in 33.32.

Dickie Ebbs (M45/11th overall) took third place in the M40 category with a personal best (PB) time of 34.52 after a cracking battle to the line with Adam Matthews (ninth/6SM/ 34.42) and Ben Keeley (10th/7SM/34.43/ 3-min PB).

As Callum Stanforth had already finished seventh/5SM in 34.03, Ryston would certainly have dominated the race for the men’s team award.

Nic Bensley edged another in-club battle against Jon Ashford, with them placing 16th and 18th, fifth and sixth M40, with 35.44 and 35.45 respectively, immediately followed in 19th by John Hopgood, who confirmed his return to form with a one-minute PB to make the top 20 with 35.53.

Also making the “virtual podium” (no category presentations are made on the day) Pauline Sparrow (W65) dominated the W60s, winning with 50.35; Pete Johnson (M65) took second in the M60 age group with 41.23; and Helen Sewell was third W70 with 70.25.

Ryston Runners 2 (9771972)
Ryston Runners 2 (9771972)

Special mention must go to Lesley Robins, who, at 45+, was fourth in the W40 age group with 42.25, just a week after posting a PB in the London Marathon.

Being in a large race can hinder the achievement of a PB by distraction or congestion, or help it because of drawing strength and support from other competitors.

Those clearly experiencing the latter included Gavin Reynolds (37.46), Mark Fountain (42.33), Hayley Hawes (45.39), Jacqui Scott (52.02), Emma Wilding (58.05), Charlie Wilson (60.06), and Shelly Brown (71.24). Wendy Fisher (W50) was ecstatic about breaking 50 minutes for the first time, after coming frustratingly close on several previous occasions (49:50).

With 39.57, Owen Burge, 16, improved on his previous best by almost six minutes, while both Dawn Robinson (45.39) and Wendy Farquhar (W50/68.04) knocked their previous best times clear out of the park, improving them by over 15 minutes apiece.

Other listed Ryston times: Dominic Hughes 37.21; Oliver Foxwell 38.21; Will Honeybone 39.47 (PB); Kevin Farquhar 40.36; Malcolm Tuff 40.49; Ian Milburn 41.01; Digby Frammingham 41.26; Tony Savage 42.15; Ben Foxwell 42.17; Bailey Took 42.24 (PB); Mark Rollings 42.42; Rosie Booth 43.09; Shaun Hamer 43.10; Barry Smith 43.28; Mark Crook 43.56; Tristan Langley 45.15; Matthew Bocking 44.46; Jake Whitehouse 46.38; Jacky Walsingham 46.50; Stewart Robins 46.41; Linda Marshall 47:57; Stuart Durham 48:49; Andrew McNamara 50:06; Christopher Milnes 53.03; Amanda Follen 53.38; Nina Koulman 54.31; Martin Blackburn 54.59; Katie Moyle 55.12; Keith Morris 55.03; Judith Berry 54.45; Paul Carter 57.46; Charlotte Smith 58.34; Jeff Reed 60.36; Ivan Nunn 61.16; Jamie Bransgrove 61.29; Martin Elsegood 67.55; Jade Cooper 68.02; Helen Reed 69.41; Georgina Ward 72.17; Mick Ennis 74.00; David Lane 74.22; Gill Hart 74.22; Sue Smith 79.20. Pacers: Robert Simmonds, Dan Pratt, Anna Smith, Juliette Meek, Mark Doughty, Warren Armstrong, Graeme Leeson.


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