Biggleswade runners head into the Norfolk night

Sarah-Jane Seaman of Biggleswade AC.
Sarah-Jane Seaman of Biggleswade AC.

Biggleswade Athletic Club runners and a group of supporters headed east to take part in the Round Norfolk Relay against 61 other teams from around the country.

This was the 13th year that the club has taken part in this 17 stage race, around the Norfolk border over 197 miles and 27 hours.

Biggleswade AC at Round Norfolk Relay.

Biggleswade AC at Round Norfolk Relay.

The relay starts on the Saturday morning at Kings Lynn, goes along the Norfolk coast line to Great Yarmouth and then heads inland, back to Kings Lynn, where the relay finishes on the Sunday morning.

This year the Biggleswade AC team had to face rain, headwinds, fog and muddy conditions, a complete contrast to the traditional good weather for Round Norfolk. However the team battled through the elements to complete the 17 stages.

Paul Davies was suffering on stage 1 and lost nearly five minutes. However on stage 2, Paul Cooke took it as his personal challenge to make up the time from stage 1 and more, by coming in 10 minutes quicker than planned. Andrew Hedley has run stage 4 for a few years now and was unhappy at the end this year – as he normally sees Alpacas on the stage, but there were none in sight this year.

Charlie Arnold took on challenging stage 5, which includes a few miles of a shingle beach and a few monstrous hills on the way to Cromer from Cley, but took on the challenge well and even finished nine minutes quicker than planned.

Sarah-Jane Seaman was at the Round Norfolk Relay for the first time and took on stage 7 from Mundesley to Lessingham. It was clear to see that Sarah was enjoying running from the smiles and jazz hands in the photos taken on the route, plus managed to complete the stage nearly three minutes quicker than planned.

Iam Grimwood took on the first of the night stages from Horsey to Belton on stage 9, before passing onto Nick Haworth for stage 10, who was doing fine until he missed the turn off in the last half mile, so had to do a bit extra, before turning around and heading back to the turn off. Nick still managed to be just under four minutes quicker on his stage.

John Stott was also at the Round Norfolk Relay for the first time and took on stage 12 from Scole to Thetford. John started just after 1am, however John enjoyed the stage and made up time just over eight minutes for the team.

Zoe Luscombe, taking part in her 10th relay, ran stage 14 from Feltwell to Wissington for the third time in a row.

She was looking forward to the usual run into the morning daylight, but the daylight was hiding behind lots of fog.

Natalie Morgan ran her 12th Round Norfolk Relay and brought the team home on stage 17 from Stowbridge to Kings Lynn. Natalie started in nice weather but had to contend with a rain shower in the last few miles of the stage.

Overall the team finished in 27 hours and 29 minutes and were just under 14 minutes quicker than their predicted time for the event.

Results: 1, Paul Davies 02:08:43; 2, Paul Cooke 01:34:54; 3, Juliet Naylor 00:41:43; 4, Andrew Hedley 01:51:42; 5, Charlie Arnold 01:32:42; 6, Rob Morgan 00:48:44; 7, Sarah-Jane Seaman 01:18:16; 8, Simon Strong 01:05:59; 9, Ian Grimwood 02:33:42; 10, Nick Haworth 02:11:03; 11 Juliet Grimwood 02:17:41; 12 John Stott 02:34:36; 13. Frank McLoughlin 01:58:11; 14, Zoe Luscombe 01:02:28; 15, Neil Harvey 01:28:33; 16, Vicky Berry 00:46:36; 17, Natalie Morgan 01:33:59.