Road and cross-country action for runners

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There was a good mix of road and cross-country action involving members of Ryston Runners AC at the weekend.The cross-country action began at Wollaton Park in Nottinghamshire, with five Ryston athletes running in the Norfolk selection at the Inter Counties Cross Country Championships.Olivia Ord and Madison Hicks were in the U13 Girls team that placed 39th, with Olivia finishing 247th and Madison 252nd in a field of almost 300. Belle McKenzie represented Norfolk in the U17 Women’s race, placing 250th as part of the team that finished 23rd. Dawn Robinson placed 186th/ 257 in the Senior Women’s race in a Norfolk team that finished in 13th place, while Nathan Stockdale was in the most successful Norfolk team, which finished sixth, Nathan himself placing 179th out of a field of 285.Madison was the only one of these athletes who then turned up to run in the last of the Ryston 2023/24 Cross Country Grand Prix Series at Shouldham Warren on Sunday, where she finished third in her U13G race. In the series overall, Olivia Ord picked up second place in the U13G category, and Belle McKenzie won the U17W. Nathan Stockdale had secured second place in the SM age group, and Dawn Robinson, who marshalled at the Warren, had cleaned up in the SW category.On the day, there were not only the individual event awards to be sorted out but the overall series awards, so the presentations – and the infamous cakes – moved to Shouldham Bowls Club after the races were over. Freddie Bagge placed third in his U9B race on the day and in the series overall. Dylan Whitehouse and Cody Pearman achieved a similar parity in the U17M, placing second and third both on the day and over the series overall.The same applied to Rob and Andy Simmonds in the M35 and M40 age groups, second and third on the day and over the series, and Nic Bensley and Liam Dawson first and second M50. Ruth Chadwick and Linda Marshall likewise echoed their on-the-day and series results in the W55 category, with Wendy Fisher making it a Ryston 1-2-3 on the day in that age group. The W65+ category saw an interesting reversal of fortunes, with Pauline Sparrow heading home Lynne Howlett, but Lynne stealing the march in the series overall, second v third.Jit Patel won the M65+ category on the day and was placed third in the age group across the series, whereas Jamie Bransgrove was fourth M45 but took home the award for second across the series overall. His category was won by Phil Thompson. The W50 category saw Lisa Harris take second spot, securing her third place in the series, a category won overall by Lesley Robins. Leo Wood was secon U13B and Dani Sparkes third. Becky Taylor was second and Lucy McDowie third W45 in Sunday´s races.On the day, the rest of the results were :U9G 7 Bonnie Norman (Faulkes) 17 Freya Reynolds; U11B 6 Freddie Hubbard; U13B Thomas Simmonds; SM 3 James Trim; SW 4 Charlotte Smith; M35 4 Danny Smith 5 Gavin Reynolds 6 Dan Yallop 8 Chris Chaplin; M40 5 Chris Balmer 10 Jake Whitehouse 11 Shaun Hamer; W40 9 Claire Whitehouse; M45 5 Stuart Martin 8 Mark Fountain; W50 9 Helen Driver; M50 4 Craig Harris 7 Paul Freear 8 Jan Knight; M60 4 Nigel Kenny 5 Tony Savage; M65+ 2 Kevin Howlett 6 Paul Firmage; W65+ 4 Ceri Howell.Those opting for road races at the weekend endured very wet and blustery conditions.The exposed Coltishall airfield meant the 250 finishers in the25th anniversary Mike Groves 10K had significant elements to contend with, but it was lack of race sharpness rather than the weather that saw James O’Neill concede a potential victory over the final few metres, ending up third overall/1stM40 in 34:53. Jane Ashby secured another Ryston category win, taking the W75+ with another 90% AG time, despite the wind, of 53:46. Ian Milburn for whom this race represents a significant family memory, finished 59th/22nd SM, in 43:51. This race was also the County 10K championship event, third in the Sportlink Series, and first of the 2024 EMAC Road Race series.The Oundle 20 mile road race attracted almost 400 runners, many of whom were preparing for a spring marathon or ultra event. A challenging undulating course, made trickier by constant rain, saw three Ryston Runners in contention. Justin Walker finished first of the trio, in 104th place and eighth M50, in 2:39:07. A few seconds adrift with 2:40:22 Julie Williamson was third F40 in 111th overall, and 10 minutes later James Ord completed the Ryston contingent, placing 153rd/22M40 in 2:50:03.

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