Stearman once again leads the Dereham Runners challenge

Dereham Runners James Davis, Ash Gilbert and Kelly Mitchell at the Marriott’s Way Trail Marathon. Pi

Dereham Runners James Davis, Ash Gilbert and Kelly Mitchell at the Marriott’s Way Trail Marathon. Picture: Club - Credit: Archant

More than a dozen Dereham Runners competed in the Valentine 10k on Sunday organised by Norfolk Gazelles.

The popular road race starts and finishes at Easton College and is seen as a benchmark for runners keen to test their form after winter training.

Taking full advantage of some fine spring temperatures and sunshine, the first DRAC runner home was again Jake Stearman with a fast time of 37:58, placing him 26th r overall in a field of 521. Club chairman Todd Lake wasn't too far behind, crossing the line in 40:22 despite battling jet lag from a trip to Mexico.

Other Dereham runners and their times were: Chris Hosier (43:30), Emma Potter-Campbell (46:14), Wayne Ramsbottom (46:26), Rob Crockford (46:42, personal best), Andy Rowles (47:09), Paul Richardson (48:05 pb), Louise Hudson (49:19), Mark Hunter-Lines (49:49), Philip Websdale (52:03), Helen Harrison (52:10), Gill Woodhouse (55:33), Stephen Lee (56:20), Paula Olley (56:21 pb), Jacqueline Wood (57:22), Emma Adcock (1-05:57), Vicki Holland (1-06:43) and Hannah Konieczny (1-19:44).

Paul Richardson has made incredible progress since taking up the sport in the summer of 2017. 'This was my fourth 10k since I started running,' he said, having done just the odd jog around country lanes previously. 'Joining Dereham Runners as a senior over the age of 60 has been great for me physically and mentally. I try to attend as many training sessions as possible and together with parkruns it has definitely provided a real focus to improve. The Valentine 10k was great — beautiful weather, and I managed to set a pb. This time last year I couldn't have predicted how much running would improve my wellbeing.'

Scheduled for Sunday, May 13, the Dereham 10 miler will also form part of the Sportlink Grand Prix series, as well as being a Norfolk County Championships race, and already looks set to sell out.

Four DRAC runners took part in the Marriott's Way Trail Marathon on Sunday, with Ash Gilbert, James Davis, Kelly Mitchell and Ian Odgers covering all 26 miles between Norwich and Aylsham.

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'I came away feeling slightly disappointed after missing my target time,' admits Davis, who finished in 4-48:40. 'But I carried on when it got tough and did the best I could.'