Runners return good times

Norfolk Gazelles Valentines 10k race attracted an entry of more than 200 eager to try for a fast time on a notoriously fast course. Thirteen North Norfolk Beach Runners were on the start line.

Norfolk Gazelles Valentines 10k race attracted an entry of more than 200 eager to try for a fast time on a notoriously fast course. Thirteen North Norfolk Beach Runners were on the start line.

The performance of the day came from Andy Kett, now well recovered from a tough autumn racing programme, who clocked an astonishing personal best time of 35:36 for fifth place overall.

Not far behind was Chris Merrylees who continued his excellent form for ninth place.

The much improved Chris Parker now seems to be well over his 2009 injury woes and ran a superb race to record 39:14 whilst John Christopher just managed to dip under the 40-minute barrier by one second for 27th place.


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Other runners going well were Ryan Callaby, Terry Quigley and Ian Jarvis who all broke 50 minutes, and Keith Dickens made a rare appearance on the race circuit to clock 50:32.

Mike Marshall, Linda Holt and Katrine Middleton all got round well but the romantic prize of the day has to be awarded to Andi and Rob Osborne who crossed the line together on Valentine's Day in 57:09.

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A little further west the prolific Clare Donovan won yet another race, this time coming first at the Ryston Runners 9k cross-country in the woods at Shouldham Warren.

Clare has now won every cross country she has entered this winter and such was her dominance that her nearest challenger was nearly a minute behind.

Much further west, Jeremy Bolam celebrated Valentines Day by running in Arizona's Lost Dutchman 10k.

In a field of nearly 500 runners, the Norfolk runner fought off a strong wind and a dodgy knee to cross the line in ninth place and take first prize for the 50+ age group.

North Norfolk Beach Runners' in-form Clare Donovan won her third race of the year at West Norfolk AC's cross country meeting at Houghton Hall.

Despite a damp and chilly morning, there was a tremendous turn out for the races, which included several

well-attended junior events before the seniors' race.

Clare continued her superb winter form and won the ladies' race by nearly a minute, finishing a remarkable third overall around the 6k parkland track in a rapid time of 23:58.

Ian Wade also had a successful run, picking up first prize in the 50 plus age group with a highly creditable 28:21.

Elsewhere, Alec Fraser entered the appropriately named Brass Monkey 6 at Corby and finished an excellent 61st in a field of 145, crossing the line in 51:41.

Meanwhile, Brenda Kinch ran in a cold and hilly Watford Half Marathon as part of her preparation for the London Marathon and finished well for a time of 1-50:04.

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