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Blue and gold vests out in force

PUBLISHED: 10:51 09 January 2008 | UPDATED: 12:35 20 May 2010

THERE was a strong showing of North Norfolk Beach Runners at the Wymondham New Year's Day 10k, with 13 runners turning out in the blue and gold vest of the Cromer club.

THERE was a strong showing of North Norfolk Beach Runners at the Wymondham New Year's Day 10k, with 13 runners turning out in the blue and gold vest of the Cromer club.

Quickest of all was Chris Merrylees, suffering from a Christmas cold, who declared his impressive time of 37:46 for 18th place as “probably a personal worst.” But Darren Neale looked quick as he ran a fast second half to record 39:16 and seemed to have plenty in reserve.

Also dipping under the 40 minute barrier were Jeremy Bolam in his first race back after a hernia operation six weeks ago and the fast improving Colin Stark whose 39:43 was comfortably his best ever.

Jim Hayes' hopes of a fast run were also dashed by a nasty cold but he still took second place in his age group with a steady 41:39 for 68th place while Trevor Emery looked to be well over last year's fitness problems as he came in hot on Jim's heels in 71st place.

John Christopher's time of 43:55 appeared on paper to be well off his best but, given that he was running dressed as Father Christmas, it was a fine effort.

Next Beach Runner home was the evergreen Geoff Hayward in 47:55 while Andi Osborne showed no ill-effects from running the Ely 10k the previous day by taking six seconds off her Ely time of 49:39.

Brenda Kinch ran an excellent race to finish second in her age group in a superb time of 50:59 while Margaret Ison and Maurice Copeland completed the Beach Runners' contingent by finishing together in 1-20:08.

The race was followed by the presentation of the trophies for the Runners' Centre Grand Prix Series for 2007.

Chris Merrylees showed what a tremendous year he had had by finishing No 1 in the senior men category.

Jim Hayes also picked up a first prize with victory in the over 60 age group while Jeremy Bolam and Andi Osborne were also in the prizes.

Dena Parfitt rounded off a brilliant year by taking first prize in her age group for her fantastic London Marathon time, and with the form she is currently showing, she is unlikely to have a serious rival in the county this year.

Of those who ran at Wymondham in the morning, only Jeremy Bolam was foolish enough to take on the Cromer Promenade Mile Dash in the afternoon, yet still took 15 seconds off his winning time of last year.

Sadly his run was only good enough for third place as the very promising Matthew Mardell romped away with the race in a lightening fast 5:11.

Orienteering specialist Andy Bain was second whilst Chris Wade, Lucy Hyham and Jamie Wade completed the top six.

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