Dereham Runners spread far and wide in marathon challenges

The Dereham Runners AC contingent have a champagne moment in Reims. Picture: James Nice

The Dereham Runners AC contingent have a champagne moment in Reims. Picture: James Nice - Credit: Archant

Marathon fever swept through the ranks of Dereham Runners AC last weekend when eight members took part in four different full-length marathons, three of which were staged overseas.

Six runners crossed the Channel to Reims in France, where Chris Hosier finished in under four hours despite a punishing 26-mile course with several long hills.

'The hills provided some lovely views of the champagne vineyards,' he said. 'But by the time I'd pushed through them my legs refused to move.'

Despite 'staggering home' on run-walks Hosier managed to finish in a still impressive 3:57.01.

Next across the line was Reims trip organiser Jonathan Burton in 4:27.27, followed by James Davis in 4:43.36 (his first marathon) and Philip Websdale in 5:01.11.

Club chairman Todd Lake also joined the Reims party, completing the half-marathon in 1:25.54 while Stuart Lusher covered the 13.1 miles in 1:58.56 and Jacquie Wood in 2:20.03.

James Nice joined 16,000 other runners in Amsterdam for his marathon debut, taking advantage of the famously flat course to finish in 4:41.26. Meanwhile Ian Odgers braved the heat of the Majorca marathon, his 120th to date, coming home in 4:53.43.

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Another fast DRAC marathon contender, Stephen Lee, travelled no further than Leicester, where he notched up a new PB with a time of 4:07.53.

Seven Dereham Runners took part in the East Coast 10k at Great Yarmouth, the penultimate race in the annual Leathes Prior Grand Prix series. Carol Devlin and Emma Potter Campbell both took home trophies, Carol for first VF50-54 in 44.43 and Emma for third VF45-49 in 45.57. Up-and-coming county runner Jake Stearman stormed home in just 37.08, finishing sixth out of 697 runners and bagging first junior male in the process.

Also competing at Yarmouth were Louise Hudson (50.53), Amanda Baker (1:05.10) and Hazel Cason (1:10.31). DRAC second claim runner Louise Juby powered across the line in 41.54, making her third VF35-39 finisher and a contender for a podium position in the Grand Prix as a whole.

'There was a really stiff headwind on the seafront which made half the course feel like an uphill run. Fortunately I quite like hills!' she said.