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Wymondham AC claim big trophy haul at Norfolk Gazelles new relay event

PUBLISHED: 11:51 21 October 2019 | UPDATED: 11:51 21 October 2019

The start line Picture: Rowena Leary

The start line Picture: Rowena Leary

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Wymondham AC teams were triumphant at the inaugural Norfolk Gazelles Championship Relay, taking home first-place trophies in all bar one of the six prize categories.

Peter Harvey approaching the finish line to win Picture: Rowena LearyPeter Harvey approaching the finish line to win Picture: Rowena Leary

In a super-close finish, Wymondham's Peter Harvey crossed the line a thrilling 15 seconds ahead of James Johnson of Norwich Road Runners, securing the win for Wymondham AC A in a time of one hour, 11 minutes and 26 seconds.

The brand new event took place at Easton & Otley College on Sunday, and saw 75 teams of four runners take on individual 5km legs of an undulating course through the country lanes around Marlingford - familiar slopes to anyone who has run Gazelles' Valentines 10km or the City of Norwich Half Marathon.

"It was up and down, really," said Geoffrey Green, of Wymondham AC's winning quartet.

"The hill was very hard. But I had two runners in my sights and I overtook them both."

North Norfolk Beach Runners Super Seventies, from left, Mike Marshall, Elizabeth Letzer, Noel Spruce and Jim Hayes Picture: Rowena LearyNorth Norfolk Beach Runners Super Seventies, from left, Mike Marshall, Elizabeth Letzer, Noel Spruce and Jim Hayes Picture: Rowena Leary

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"I loved running the hills," added team-mate Aidan Banfield. "It's what kept me going. It's more interesting."

Wymondham AC were victorious in the male open, mixed open and all three masters categories, but Coltishall Jaguars also got a look-in, winning the female open prize.

Each runner received an individual chip time for their leg, and - in a twist on traditional trophy-giving - cash prizes were awarded to the best age-graded individual and team. Wymondham AC vets' B team (average age 60) took home the money with a superb score of 78.45pc and an average 5km time of 19:45, while the solo prize was won by Mark Garrett, with an age-graded percentage of 83.02pc.

Johnny Raspin of team Go Hard or Go Home (flying feet) Picture: Rowena LearyJohnny Raspin of team Go Hard or Go Home (flying feet) Picture: Rowena Leary

The majority of local races are individual events, but a relay gives club-mates or work colleagues the chance to run as a team. Race co-director Ceri Theobald said: "The team spirit was amazing from the first to the last runner home. We have had some amazing feedback from the competitors and really look forward to next year's event."

Race co-director David Murrell added: "You could see from people's faces that the team spirit was definitely there. Days like today make you proud to be part of the bigger running community."

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