Runners chase the train

In a busy week for North Norfolk Beach Runners, 30 members pulled on the club's distinctive blue and yellow vests to run at Aylsham and Great Yarmouth.

In a busy week for North Norfolk Beach Runners, 30 members pulled on the club's distinctive blue and yellow vests to run at Aylsham and Great Yarmouth.

The Beach Runners' own Chase the Train event along the Bure Valley Railway from Aylsham to Wroxham was once again a huge success, with nearly 100 runners enjoying a following breeze and a gloriously sunny day.

The race was won by former Beach Runner Neil Davison in an astonishing time of 49:51 for the nine-mile plus course, with Lynton Battrick and John Christopher the first Beach Runners across the line, fifth and sixth respectively, and both comfortably breaking one hour.

Richard Blake and Jim Hayes had a good battle for first over-60, but once more Richard won out, finishing just 20 seconds over the hour mark.


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Matt Dickens took it easy with this weekend's London Marathon in mind, but still finished 17th, with Simon Page also going well in 27th.

Amongst the super vets, Malcolm Ball missed out on finishing in the top half of the field by just 14 seconds, whilst Maurice Copeland was the oldest finisher at 81 years young!

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Claire Foulkes was the first lady Beach Runner home in 1-17.53, with Michelle Burton, Katrine Middleton and Emma Culley also completing the course for the ladies.

Steve Newstead, Mike Marshall, Andy Toogood and Peter Eaton made up a large contingent from the Cromer club.

Wednesday saw the first race of Great Yarmouth's five-mile series and despite a strong field, Beach Runner Andy Kett finished an impressive seventh in 27:27, with Phil Quantrill also showing great speed to break the magical 30-minute barrier, crossing the line in 17th place.

Darren Neale was next home in 30:44 and will no doubt be hoping to dip under the half-hour mark in later races, whilst Quinton Brown and David Nockels emerged from winter hibernation away from the race scene with promising runs.

Dena Parfitt, former World 45+ Half-Marathon Champion, had her first race back after injuring her back at last year's London Marathon and looked to be returning to form with a sound time of 32:19. Jamie and Chris Wade went well at their first outing after a busy cross-country season and Shelley Burton and Simon Page ran their second race in four days, showing no ill effects from their attempts to Chase the Train. Charlotte Neale, Ian Jarvis and Jonathon Folkard also had good runs along the Yarmouth seafront on a somewhat chilly and bleak evening.

Meanwhile, the Beach Runners' long- distance specialists, Vinnie Purdy and Colin Stark, tuned up for their spring challenges by running the Charnwood Marathon in the Quorn.

Colin sensibly decided to save his best efforts for London, but Vinnie, whose big test will come at the 146-mile Grand Union Canal race, was first home at a muddy Easter Eggstravaganza in Yorkshire just a week later.

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