Wymondham AC make rare excursion to Round Norfolk Relay

Wymondham Athletics Clubs womens team claimed the winners trophy at the Round Norfolk Relay event.

Wymondham Athletics Clubs womens team claimed the winners trophy at the Round Norfolk Relay event. Photo: Roy Harvey - Credit: Archant

Members of Wymondham AC took part in the Round Norfolk Relay event, entering a men's and women's team for just the third time in the 28-year history of the event.

Hailed as the ultimate club challenge and a unique experience, the event is the longest continuous multi-terrain relay in the UK, covering 197 miles around Norfolk's boundary. Each team consists of 17 competitors, covering distances between five and 20 miles.

All runners are accompanied by a cyclist and a support vehicle. This year's event attracted 50 teams, many of them from outside the county.

Reflecting the strong women's section, Wymondham AC was the only club able to field an all-ladies' team. Although the winner's trophy was secure, the lack of competition should in no way detract from their achievement. The hard training and good preparation under the guidance of the club coaches certainly paid off.

Their time of 27 hours 50 minutes was a new club record reducing the previous one by 10 minutes. The men's team covered the distance in 22 hours 33 minutes, just two minutes outside the club record. They were placed eighth overall and fifth in the open class.

Careful planning and good organisation are essential for this event to ensure that all runners, cyclists and support vehicles are at the correct changeover points at the right time. The complicated organisation was undertaken by team captains Roy Harvey and Adam Masterson.

Each stage presented its own challenge whether it was running over uneven ground, over sandy stretches, sand dunes or energy sapping shingle, running in rain, battling into a head wind, tackling the 'hilly' section between Cromer and Mundesley or running the long stages of 13, 15, 19 and 20 miles during the night.

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'This was a real team effort and we are pleased with our overall times. Each member of the teams made a tremendous effort to do their best and for our ladies to win this prestigious event is just fantastic,' said acting chairman Adam Masterson. 'However, credit should not only go to the runners, but also to the coaches, helpers, support cyclists, drivers and marshals. Without them it would be impossible to take part in such a complex and challenging event.'

WAC Ladies' team: Cassie Barker, Julia Lloyd, Tracy Stevens, Angie Bear, Jenny Pearce, Jo McKay, Cat Ricketts, Sharon Hurren, Jen Rudd, Natasha Rout, Patsy Bradley, Kim Reader, Rebecca Coulter, Jo Jesney, Beres Ward, Zoe Jones, Jayne Allen.

WAC Men's team: Andy Terry, Jonathan Causton, Adam Masterson, Jack Gillick, Andrew Vinsen, Andy Preston, Stu Barnard, Karl Chapman, Kris Barnard, Richard Donovan, Jason Mountain, Andrew Lane, Mark Tufts, Roger Beardmore, David Roy, Chris Ault, Martin Stringfellow.