It was all aboard for the Broadland half marathon as far as the Bungay Black Dog Running Club (BBDRC) was concerned last weekend (13 March)
A strong contingent of 16 Black Dogs taking up the local challenge hosted annually by Norwich Road Runners with the club’s Shaun Button describing the course as “one of the most scenic but sometimes challenging” and the race conditions as “a fine early spring morning in the Norfolk countryside”.
First home among the Black Dogs was Chris Witmore, coming 25th among the field of 379 runners.
Other strong performances came from David Neeve, who impressively shaved more than a whole minute from his previous personal best time over the distance.
Personal best times also went to Mitzy O’Loughlin and Toby Craig.
The full Black Dog results were: 25 Chris Witmore 1:26:58, 70 Chris Chorley 1:35:52, 87 David Neeve 1:37:45, 94 Shaun Button 1:38:47, 127 Toby Craig 1:43:18, 168 Bobbie Sauerzapf 1:49:13, 246 Stuart Lawn 2:01:13, 247 Becky Sturgeon 2:01:14, 258 Graham Sampson 2:02:38, 296 Mitzy O’ Loughlin 2:09:53, 314 Alice Kirk 2:12:21, 315 Stuart Young 2:12:22, 359 Paul Bird 2:27:11, 363 Emma Cowley 2:31:17, 364 – Loretta Thurston 2:31:18, 365 Lucy Johnson 2:31:20, 366 Larissa Smith 2:31:21.
A little further afield but still in “really lovely weather”, four Black Dogs crossed the border into Essex for the Colchester half marathon which saw Hugh Roberts finish in 1:49.48, Neil Thomas in 1:55, Doug Gladwin in 2:10 and Bob Jack in 2:36.
Four junior club members enjoyed success in the final Suffolk Winter Cross Country League race with Holly Bunn finishing 7th and Ellen Lockhart 11th in the under 13 girls age category. Reuben Andrews and Ismael El Bouzidi competed in the under 13 boys age group with Reuben finishing 4th and Ismael 23rd.
Reuben and Ellen both earned 3rd place in their age group for the whole five race league series.
Reuben then joined mum Jo Andrews in representing Norfolk at the Inter Counties Cross Country in Birmingham. ”That was quite an experience; a whole different ball game,” said Jo. “The weather was perfect with very little wind. The course was tough, featuring some challenging hills which our Norfolk legs didn’t like much.”