With the Virgin London Marathon looming this weekend (24 March) Bungay Black Dog Running Club athletes were out in force last Sunday (17 April) in support of the town’s annual Festival of Running – some of them bagging a quick half marathon warm-up ahead of a trip to the capital.
Club chairman Robin Ashe hailed the Festival and its 1000-plus entrants as “a fantastic success” due to the hard work of club members and the contribution of the local community.
“It was really good to see so many people helping as marshals, manning water stations, helping with the medals and goody bags, sorting out the entrants and the results, manning car parks, organising the fun run and clearing up after the event. It really does show what the club and the town can achieve,” he said.
Mr Ashe went on to offer special thanks to Race Director Bob Paul who organised the event and to stalwarts Nick Norman and Les Merridale who had decided after many years that this was their last year as Course Director and Chief Marshall respectively.
A new Marathon course record of two hours and 39 minutes was set by Matt Jeffries from Waveney Valley. Among the Bungay club’s standout performers were 10k race winners Jo Andrews; age category winners Samantha Epps and Ben Jackson; male team winners Marcus Sladden, Ben Jackson and Phil Henry and ladies team winners Jo Andrews, Samantha Epps and Bethany Rogers.
Bobbie Sauerzapf was an age category winner in the Bungay Marathon and Robin Farrar picked up a gold medal for his 70-plus age range performance in the Suffolk Half Marathon-designated race. Justine Fawcett and Joanne Cox were age category winners in the Half Marathon.
In the Bungay Marathon, the Black Dog results were: Christopher Witmore 3:10:36, Fulvio Taddeo 3:19:32, Sean Symonds 3:52:53, Bobbie Sauerzapf 4:08:05, Becky Sturgeon 4:22:29, David Hupton 4:31:15, Alice Kirk 4:51:36, Rebecca Wass 4:58:06, Bob Jack 6:20.51.
Half Marathon times for the Black Dogs were: Graham Jenvey 1:20:01, Nick Roper 1:26:26, Jesse Timberlake 1:27:09, Chris Hall 1:29:26, Daniel Gardiner 1:29:56, Edward Harvey 1:30:42, Nicky Sparkes 1:36:02, Justine Fawcett 1:36:06, James Maycock 1:36:32, Joanne Cox 1:40:27, James Archer 1:42:23, Richard Dye 1:44:56, Toby Craig 1:49:11, Mik Carr 1:50:20, Simon Sparkes 1:51:07, David Gilbert 1:52:03, Tony Morley 1:53:16, Anna Gray 1:54:37, Tony Hardy 1:55:26, Graham Sampson 2:01:19, Stephen Oldman 2:02:54, Dave Limpenny 2:03:05, Annette Manning 2:03:21, Andy Bailey 2:04:40, Carol Maycock 2:03:59, Jackie Bell 2:04:24, Ken Hurst 2:04:47, Joanne Taylor 2:04:59, Barry Rogers 2:05:05, Jim Bidnall 2:06:55, Robin Farrar 2:08:36, Stephanie Whyte 2:09:51, Douglas Gladwin 2:12:53, Hannah Tuthill 2:23:12, Sarah Sparkes 2:26:32, Colin Whale 2:33:23, Paul Bird 2:34:18, Louise Reed 3:16:04.
In the 10k race, Marcus Sladden took overall second place in 35:16 followed by Jo Andrews 39:16, Ben Jackson 40:24, Phil Henry 46:52, Samantha Epps 47:57, Sean O’Loughlin 47:57, Stuart Young 50:28, Neil Thomas 51:04, Kevin Clark 51:10, Adrian King 51:44, Adrian Hunt 52:34, Bethany Rogers 53:17, Tanya Holloway 56:27, Amy Godbold 56:27, Gary West 58:22, Clare West 58:22, Lucy Chapman 59:41, Susan Potter 1:09:03, Guy Bennett 1:11:09, Louise Peck 1:17:55.
Meanwhile, other Black Dogs were away from home fulfilling long held commitments to run in the Brighton 10k and Marathon events.
In the Brighton Marathon, the Black Dog times were Jon Wiles 3:18, Simon Norton 3:20 in his first marathon, Tom Pullinger 3:28 (PB), Shaun Button 3:44, Sabrina Norton 3:46 (PB), Ian Taylor 3:58, Sarah Maidment 4:06, Jo Walker 4:15 in her first marathon, and, hand-in-hand in 5:53, Emma Cowley, Larissa Smith, Loretta Thurston and Lucy Johnston.
In the 10k, Laura Button finished in 53:08 (PB) with, Vicki Todd-Pullinger and Suzie Warman ducking under the 60 minute barrier for the first time in 59:30.
BRIGHTON QUARTET: The four Black Dogs who finished the Brighton Marathon hand-in-hand; from left, Loretta Thurston, Emma Cowley, Lucy Johnston and Larissa Smith
BY THE SEASIDE: Some of the Black Dogs who stormed the Brighton Marathon; from left, Jo Walker, Sarah Maidment, Simon Norton, Sabrina Norton and Jon Wiles