Dereham Runners host stellar 5K event as Jack White and Sarah Astin take honours

PUBLISHED: 11:06 22 August 2017

Adult winners

Adult winners


A record number of 400 entrants gathered for the seventh annual Dereham 5k race on Sunday.

The event saw competitors of all abilities tackle a flat but winding course through the centre of the town.

Both the first and third finishers were visitors from City of Norwich AC, with Jack White breaking the tape in 15:43, and fellow ‘striper’ Gary Crush not far behind in 16:10. Second place went to Michael Eccles of Norfolk Gazelles, who stormed home in 15:57.

The fastest ladies were Sarah Astin (Manx Harriers) in 17:39, Jo Coates (St Edmunds Pacers) in 18:02, and Eleanor Grubb (City of Norwich) in 18:57.

With most members handing out numbers and marshalling the course, only five competitors from host club Dereham Runners AC runners took part in the race itself. Jake Stearman turned in yet another high octane performance, crossing the line in 16:48 to finish seventh overall and scoop the male U21 trophy, while Sally Lee managed a new personal of 23:06. Veteran Andy Rowles ran a creditable 21:16, Ali Elouassi 23:45 and Jenny Neave 26:42. A dozen graduates of DRAC’s Fit for 5k training course also took part.

The 1k FunRun for under-12s held immediately after the adult race saw 100 children vie for pole position in a spirited sprint around the recreation ground opposite Parkwood Leisure.

“I am delighted at how well the event played out,” said Dereham Runners chairman Todd Lake. “To have a record number of entries for both the 5k race and kids’ fun run, along with an increase in spectator numbers, is really fantastic and puts Dereham firmly on the map. We’re also very grateful for the support of the Town Council, as well as Tesco and all those who helped put the show on the road.”

Stearman added: “It was a really well organized race with brilliant support from spectators the whole way round.”

For a full list of timings and results go to

Elsewhere, Chris Searle took part on the Monster Middle at Ely, a daunting half-ironman triathlon requiring a 1900 metre swim, 92 k bike ride and 21 k run. ‘My first attempt at this crazy distance,’ says Chris – and a very impressive one too, since Chris finished 33rd out of 210 competitors, in a fast time of 5.01.05.

Over the weekend of August 12/13 Ian Odgers completed marathons 113 and 114, the first of them a tough trail course run at night near Woodbridge in Suffolk.

Despite mischief makers removing directions from the course, Ian’s enviable endurance base saw him run each 26 mile leg in 5-51:06 and 6-31:22.


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