Dereham Runners’ pair pass the strict time test in gruelling Lord Mayor’s 5K

Dereham Runners' Jake Stearman. Picture: Nigel Stearman

Dereham Runners' Jake Stearman. Picture: Nigel Stearman - Credit: Archant

Dereham Runners club chairman Todd Lake and Stephen Lee both stepped up to the challenge of the annual Lord Mayor's 5k in Norwich on Saturday.

Dereham Runners, Todd Lake and Stephen Lee. Picture: Sally Lee

Dereham Runners, Todd Lake and Stephen Lee. Picture: Sally Lee - Credit: Archant

The event immediately precedes the annual Lord Mayor's Procession through the city centre, and provides an opportunity to race on traffic-free streets in front of crowds estimated at around 50,000.

Entry is restricted to top tier runners who are confident of covering the course in less than 20 minutes, with Lake crossing the line in 18.28, and Lee in 19.53.

'It's the toughest 5k course I've ever run,' confessed Lee, one of just 175 club runners who beat the clock.

'Anyone slower than 10 minutes dead at the halfway point is instantly pulled from the race. Running the uphill from Tombland to the top of St Stephens Street twice over was pretty fierce, but the crowds were amazing and kids were looking for high fives the whole way round.'


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John Beattie from Newham & Essex Beagles was first man home in 14 minutes 35 seconds, closely followed by City of Norwich AC's Tom Hook (14:37). Helen Davies of Ipswich JAFFA RC was the fastest lady by more than half a minute, completing the two-lap course in 16:45.

On Sunday, Dereham's Jake Stearman took first place on the podium in the East Harling 10k, beating a field of 300 runners in a very fast time of 35.37. Stearman, 17, only began running as an adult this year, yet is already shaping up as one of the fastest club runners in Norfolk. Other Dereham Runners taking part in the same race were Andrew Rowles, Gill Woodhouse, Hazel Cason and tireless marathon veteran Ian Odgers, who finished in just under an hour despite having run yet another 26-miler two days earlier.

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Further afield, in Leeds, Emma Potter Campbell and Rory Campbell ran the Jane Tomlinson 10K in baking heat, finishing in 45.06 and 59.49 respectively.

The third and final Wroxham 5k race saw seven DRAC runners vying for position in the Leathes Prior Grand Prix series.

Carol Devlin finished first in the F50+ age category, powering across the line in 20.31 and scooping a gold county medal.

Other Dereham competitors and their times were Emma Potter-Campbell (21.22), Michael Barrett (22.54), Phillip Websdale (23.12), Neville Knights (23.46), Stuart Lusher (29.57) and Hazel Cason (31.32).

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