Dereham Runners races to feature in county road race calendar

Dereham Runners juniors and seniors in festive mood on Monday. Picture: Club

Dereham Runners juniors and seniors in festive mood on Monday. Picture: Club - Credit: Archant

Just as Dereham marks the geographical centre of the county of Norfolk, Dereham Runners Athletics Club look set to place the town at the very heart of the county road race calendar in 2018.

Both races organised by the club will now form part of the Sportlink Norfolk Grand Prix, the 11 race series previously sponsored by law firm Leathes Prior.

The 10 mile race in May will take 600 entrants out along the old Norwich road to Etling Green back while the five kilometre event in August takes 500 runners of all abilities on two twisting loops through the town itself.

'I am extremely pleased that both races have been selected,' said Dereham Runners chairman Todd Lake, under whose stewardship the club has gone from strength to strength.

'Hopefully spectators will see a few red Dereham vests at the front of the pack, but really these events are about bringing as many people into the town as possible.'

In addition, the 5k race on August 19 will include visitors from Dereham's twin towns in France (Caudebec-les-Elbeuf) and Germany (Ruthenium), this with the aim of marking the centenary of the end of the Great War in 1918.

Meanwhile this year's event, which was won by Jack White of City of Norwich Athletics Club in a time of 15.43, has been nominated as the best 5k race in the National Running Awards, with just 12 leading races in contention.

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'Voting is still open,' adds club press officer James Nice.

'The Dereham 5k is unique in Norfolk in that it stays within the town centre, whereas other local road races are mostly run on rural byways.

'Negotiating the course at race pace requires some skilled technical running and it throws up a few marshalling challenges too, but this kind of fast and furious town run is an experience only matched by the Run Norwich 10k.'

The club is also planning to run another of the popular Fit for 5k courses over the summer, allowing beginners and improvers to train up for the race over the course of a few weeks and run their very first chip-timed race — albeit at a pace of their own choosing, rather than 15 short, sharp minutes.

You can vote online for the Dereham 5k at: