Runners warm to task

North Norfolk Beach Runners

HOLDING the Break Stody Cross Country six weeks later this year paid considerable dividends for the increasingly popular race as well over 100 runners enjoyed beautiful spring weather and firm trails through the Stody Estate on Sunday.

In addition to helping to organise the event, North Norfolk Beach Runners had six runners entered into the main race with Quinton Brown and Darren Neale coming home third and fourth respectively.

Quinton covered the hilly 4.5 mile course in 31:42 with Darren just 20 seconds behind.

'Fish' Sadler, whose offshore work forces him to do most of his training on a treadmill, not only acted as back marker to make sure that the U13s found their way round the course but also had enough energy left to finish a fine 11th in the main race in 35:17.

Former track runner Paul Cockaday showed that he still has plenty of speed in his legs by clocking 36:27 for 14th place.

The Beach Runner contingent was completed by Andrew Toogood and Emma Culley who, as usual, ran round the course together.

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Elsewhere the evergreen Malcolm Ball continued to defy his age by following up an excellent 110th place at the tough Cartmel 10k with an even tougher challenge as he completed the brutal Coniston 17 Mile race in some of the hottest April weather seen in the Lake District.

Despite the heat, the 78-year-old romped round the hilly course in two hours 52 minutes to take his second over-70 first prize in a fortnight.

Other Beach Runners making the trip to the North West were the 82-year-old Maurice Copeland who successfully completed the Coniston 17 in just over four hours, whilst Chris Wade finished the extremely rugged Cartmel 18k in a brilliant 46th place with Nikki Kavanagh crossing the line in 113th with a time of 2-03:57.

Whilst Maurice Copeland was coping with the heat at Coniston, further south his granddaughter, 18-year-old Carla Hall, was helping the eastern region team to win a silver medal at the National Cross-Country Championships at Bath.

Carla's own performance, finishing 33rd in a field of 85, shows great promise.

Meanwhile, Shelley Burton coped really well with the warm spring weather as she joined a huge field at the Brighton Marathon, completing the seaside course a highly creditable 5-08:13.