Super-quick Jones in outstanding form
North Norfolk Beach Runners have shown their full range of talents in the past week by competing in races all over the country and on all types of surface at distances ranging from 5k to 60 miles.
Andy Kett, whose speed over shorter distances is renowned in the Cromer club, showed off his stamina at the notoriously tough Loch Ness Marathon. He broke through the magical three-hour barrier for the first time ever, recording 2-57:46 for a brilliant 46th place in a field of 2,500 runners.
Meanwhile the Beach Runners' redoubtable distance men, Vinnie Purdy and Colin Stark, took on the even greater challenge of the first ever North Norfolk Ultra, running from Kelling Heath to Brancaster and back, a distance of 60 miles.
They completed the off-road course in an excellent 12 hours and 13 minutes, two and a half hours behind the winner.
In comparison, the first race of the Norfolk cross country season was something of a sprint, a 5k race through the woods at Shouldham Warren. Richard Blake continued his superb year with a very quick time of 19:25 to win the O60 comfortably. Chris Wade and his father, Ian, also competed, crossing the line in 21:11 and 21:20 respectively.
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Also in Norfolk the second Marriott's Way 10k was huge success with at least 150 runners taking to the rail trail from Reepham to Aylsham on a glorious autumn morning.
For the Beach Runners, Quinton Brown and Lucy Collyer both ran terrific races, taking at least 90 seconds off their 2009 times, and Jeremy Bolam, Ian Jarvis and Andi Osborne all had good runs.
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But the star of day was the super quick Steve Jones (pictured) who won the race by nearly two minutes in a 35:20, 90 seconds quicker than his winning time from last year. Given that he has been in the O40 category for a couple of years, this has to rank as one of the most outstanding performances by a Beach Runner this year.
Earlier in the week, Steve's son Tom showed his considerable promise by finishing fifth in his age group, just 10 seconds behind the winner at the Eastern Region Junior Cross-Country Championships at Gresham's School. Clearly a Beach Runner talent for the future.
At the other end of the age spectrum, Malcolm Ball picked up his 13th national medal when he finished third O75 at the British Masters 10 Mile Championships in a time of 1-28:06, not quite at his best but nevertheless an excellent result in a remarkable week for the Cromer Club.