Dogged efforts by Reepham Runners

IT HAS been a quiet month on the racing front for Reepham, with only cross-countries being raced really.

It was a cold start with the Neil Featherby Hare and Hounds at the end of last year.

This is a team event where Neil goes off as the hare and the teams are then set off to chase him down under a timed handicap system.

The 8.5-mile race meanders through Felthorpe and Horsford woods through the undergrowth, swamp-type fields, where the mud can be waist deep, across ploughed fields and finally through a stream about nine times in various places.

The water varies in depth from knee to chest, which was a really wake up call.

The Reepham team Philip Cooper, Paul Robinson and Jude Durrant came in fourth place with a time of 1-33:00, not bad considering it was still minus four degrees at the finish and after the water section there wasn't much feeling in feet.

On January 2, there was a great turnout for the second Horsford woods cross-country, which was a bit warmer and not so wet and muddy, but still a tough course.

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Greg Quinn, Steve Plackett, Nick Bowden, Philip Cooper, Chris Edwards, Jean Edwards and Jude Durrant.

Nick and Jude have also been attending the mid-week EACCL and since the new year have been to Shouldham Warren and Orwell Country Park, which was a beautiful but very demanding course.

This week there were two road races entered which had a good turn out, the Reedham 10 miler. This was the first on the Grand Prix series for 2011.

The weather was perfect and the course very exposed. Chris Edwards came in first for Reepham with an excellent 1-13:59, followed by Philip Cooper and Jude Durrant who claimed the same time of 1-16:24, Guy Pitcher came in next with 1-22:00 followed by Richard Bulman in 1-28:00.

Jude Durrant won the second lady prize in the V40 class. Whilst they were running in the cold, Jeremy Haslett and Paul Robinson were running in the Marrakech Marathon, which was a little warmer at 14C and again perfect conditions being overcast.

Jeremy got his usual admiral time of three hours 54 minutes, followed by Paul in a fantastic four hours 14 minutes with only three proper weeks training.

They are now looking forward to a rest this coming weekend, February 6, as they host the first Sunday cross- country at Whitwell Station, 10am start. It is all entries on the day for the 10k event.

It is a tough two-lap course starting along Marriott's Way, round the edge of some ploughed fields, down a nice fast green lane, followed by a very marshy field and a stream crossing.

Proceeds of the race will be donated to the East Anglian Air Ambulance, who will have a representative to accept the donation and that of the recent quiz night held.

Whitwell Station will also be open, so you can have a cuppa whilst you watch or to warm you up after the event.

For more details click on the website: