Beach Runner in hot form

North Norfolk Beach Runners

With the London Marathon fast approaching, the weekend was the last chance for many runners to fine tune their speed in advance of the big day.

Whilst several London hopefuls went to the Broadlands half marathon, Chris Merrylees was finding some remarkable pace as he ran one of the fastest 10k times ever by a North Norfolk Beach Runner.

Chris shot round the Lincoln 10k course in an amazing 34:27 to take more than a minute off his personal best and finish 24th in a field of 4,600 runners, well inside the top one per cent.

He looks set to challenge for a very fast time indeed at London.

Seventeen beach runners took on the longer challenge of 13 miles round the Broadland lanes near South Walsham with John Christopher crossing the line first in 21st place in a time of 1-32:09.

Not far behind was club chairman Jim Hayes in an excellent 26th place, but for once Jim found himself outside the prizes, beaten by some very stiff competition in the 60-plus age group.

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John Leach continued his improving form with 47th place and a time of 1-36:32 whilst Mike Sadler, in a rare return to the race circuit, was just two places further back.

London entrant Matt Dickens went really well to clock 1-38:36 and looked to have got his winter training absolutely right whilst the Cromer club's youngest member, 18-year-old Carla Hall, continued her rapid advance with an excellent 1-49:43.

Others comfortably breaking the two-hour barrier were Tony Heath, Rob Osborne, Jessica Neal and Alec Fraser.

Andi Osborne just missed out on two hours but looks to be nearly back to her previous best.

Others enjoying a lovely sunny spring day out on the Broads were Andrew Toogood and Mike Marshall for the men and Emma Culley, Linda Holt, Trine Middleton, Lesley Hennessey and Margaret Ison for the Beach Runners' ladies.