Dereham Runners tackle New Year’s Day challenge

Stephen Lee of Dereham Runners at the Wymondham New Year's Day race. Picture: Wymondham AC

Stephen Lee of Dereham Runners at the Wymondham New Year's Day race. Picture: Wymondham AC - Credit: Archant

Late night celebrations notwithstanding, nine members of Dereham Runners AC managed to get to the start line for the annual New Year's Day 10k race at Wymondham — some of them thankful for the mid-morning start.

Now in its 14th year, the popular race starts and finishes in Lady's Lane, following an undulating route on quiet country lanes out towards Morley St Botolph.

Tea and cakes generated funds for local cancer support charity Star Throwers. A total of 634 runners crossed the finish line, the fastest - American visitor Ben Fletcher - in an impressive time of 31.59.

The fastest Dereham Runners entrant was Stephen Lee, who finished in just 42.41, closely followed by Dan Roberts just a second later.

This placed Steve and Dan as 69th and 70th finishers overall.

Club secretary Emma Potter-Campbell came home in 47.48 and veteran member Michael Barrett in 49.11.

Other Dereham runners and their times were Paul Richardson (50.41), Philip Websdale (52.27), Gill Woodhouse (54.55), Jacquie Wood (56.50) and Jan Totterdale (1:00.24).

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A dozen North Norfolk Beach Runners also took part in the race, organised by Wymondham Athletic Club.

First home among them, eighth overall and third in the M 40-44 category, was Neil Adams in 35.56, followed closely by Chris Merrylees (senior) in 11th overall with a time of 36.34. Meanwhile, Tony Whitmond, new kid on the block in the 50 to 54 section, was third in category and 35th overall with a time of 40.03.

First lady Beach Runner home was Charlotte Neale (senior) 37th overall and second in category with a time of 40.11, followed by Rebecca Maun (45-49) 120th overall and third in category with a time of 45.39.

Meanwhile, soon-to-be-Super Seventy Sam Weller (65+) cruised home in 163rd overall but an impressive first in category with a time of 47.14, a clear two minutes ahead of his nearest challenge.

Winner Fletcher came home a minute ahead of his nearest rival, James Senior of City of Norwich AC, who recorded a time of 32:59. George Gay was third overall on 33:41.

Ruth Senior, the winner's girlfriend, was first female in an impressive time of 38:17. Rowenna Leary of Norfolk Gazelles was third female in 41:40.