Ely Runners National Association of Running Clubs Long Distance Relay Champions, Best Small Club, 3rd overall of 50 teams, and 3rd in Open Class.
Ian Day fastest on stage 2 in record time

A team of 17 Ely Runners completed this spectacular and continuous two day mixed terrain relay race, around the periphery of Norfolk, heaped in glory with trophies and medals for being 3rd of 50 teams, 3rd in their tough Open Class, ARC National Champions, and Best Small Club. Ian Day was awarded for running the tough off-road 2nd stage of 14.06 miles in the fastest time of 1:26:12 which was also an event record.

Ely Runners' team ran the 193.06 miles in 21 hours 34 minutes 13 seconds, an amazing 6:42 per mile pace, and nearly 29 minutes ahead of their predicted schedule! The race started and finished in King's Lynn.

The club congratulates and thanks all the Ely Runners and their helpers involved in their team and the race organisation, especially: Team Manager Alan Rutterford and his assistants Rachel Roberts, Julie Foreman and Karen Rowe;  RNR Chairman and Race Director Ian Vaughan-Arbuckle for (again) organising the event; Rod Baron (Web Master) for managing the entries and results; and Richard Handoll (Course Director), for his work on the course.

Official Ely Runners results:

Three Ely Runners joined other teams to help them complete the relay and they performed as follows:

Emma Greaves ran for "Great Yarmouth and District AC All Sorts" (team 38) Stage 12 (18.37 miles) in 2:34:56  (41st , 4th in age category - age graded 60.92%). This result is commendable because Emma was up against some of the best runners in the other teams. The stage is run in the middle of the night.

Chris Bower ran for "Pink and Blacks" (2nd in the Casual Class) (Team 45) stage 10 (15.08 miles) in 2:00:45 (33rd - 16th in age category, age graded 57.61%). Chris felt he'd done better than he expected.

Heidi Fochtmann ran for "Fetch Every One too" (Team 22). They came last in the Casual class. Heidi ran stage 7 (9.24 miles)  in 1:34:51 and was 48th; 6th in her age category  (age graded 47.94%)

Conditions were good, being warm and sunny during the day and pleasantly cool for running at night.

For full details of results see and for photographs of Ely Runners see > PHOTOS > Recent Photos.


Ely Runners finish 3rd in tough Open Class
Stage category 1sts for Ian Day and Keith Mitchell
Stage category 2nds for John Crisp, Stephen Howard & Natalle Coles
Stage category 3rd for Darren Murfitt

A team of 17 Ely Runners competed in the 20th Anniversary of this unique 193 miles relay which comprised 17 unequal multi-terrain stages around the periphery of Norfolk. This exciting event started and finished at King's Lynn and required teams to run from Saturday morning and through the night to Sunday morning. 

The club finished 3rd of 20 teams in the Open Class and 7th overall of 45 teams. Their accumulative time of 22:09:54 was 7 minutes slower than last year but in fact better because this year's course was about 2 miles longer due to including more off-road sections. Conditions were quite hot during the day but pleasantly cool for the night stages.

Ian Vaughan-Arbuckle (now an Ely Runner) was Race Director again and has organised all 20 Round Norfolk Relays. He was supported by Ely Runners Rod Baron (Web Master, on-line entries and results) and Richard Handoll (Course Director). The Manager for the Ely Runners' team was Alan Rutterford who was assisted by Karen Roe and Ely Runners Julie Foreman and Rachel Roberts.

For photos see September 2006 photos

Official results:






Alan Rutterford










Ely Runners









Cat Posit








Cat Rec


AG %


(in stage)



John Crisp












Peter Gipp












Kevin Fox












Daniel Regan












Charlie Barker












Darren Murfitt












Graham Chapman












Rod Baron












Stephen Tovey












Stephen Howard












Glyn Loveday












Adam Etches












Ian Day












Natalle Coles












Keith Mitchell












Simon Jackson












Alex Gilroy






















Est =












Diff =














Average Age =






















Ely Runners were presented with a glass trophy for their third position in the Open Class.

Race Director Ian Vaughan-Arbuckle was presented with the framed original pictorial route (by West Country artist Kate Mears) and a box of fine wine for his many years of organising the race.

For full results see


This unique and spectacular event is believed to be the UK's longest continuous relay event and covers 191.2 miles in 17 different stages of 5.39 to 19.60 miles on footpaths and roads following the periphery of Norfolk starting and finishing at Kings Lynn.

Ely Runners entered the most competitive Open class (first claim club members only) and finished 4th of 14 teams (8th of 37 teams overall) in 22:02:48, an average speed of 6:55.1 per mile and 53:08 faster than in 2004 when the course was 1.84 miles shorter. Their official results were:

For photos taken at the event, see Photos - September 2005

7 ELY   Open Alan Rutterford     7      
  Ely Runners               Stage Cat Posit
STAGE NAME Miles AGE CAT Time T.Time Pace AG % Pos. (in stage)
1 Ian Day 16.32 36 MS 1:47:28 1:47:28 06:35.1 70.31 6 4
2 John Turner 14.06 60 MM 1:55:32 3:43:00 08:13.0 67.01 32 20
3 Gordon Godfrey 5.39 25 MS 0:36:00 4:19:00 06:40.7 64.72 5 2
4 Peter Gipp 12.06 43 MM 1:19:00 5:38:00 06:33.0 72.46 5 2
5 John Crisp 10.09 34 MS 1:06:00 6:44:00 06:32.5 68.35 7 3
6 Charlie Barker 5.89 54 MM 0:40:00 7:24:00 06:47.5 73.40 11 6
7 Rod Baron 9.95 49 MM 1:09:00 8:33:00 06:56.1 70.84 9 4
8 Luke Minall 10.52 39 MS 1:17:00 9:50:00 07:19.2 62.54 21 7
9 Natalle Coles 8.30 30 LS 1:00:00 10:50:00 07:13.7 67.66 13 1
10 Darren Murfitt 15.08 40 MM 1:45:11 12:35:11 06:58.5 67.53 12 6
11 Adam Etches 19.6 31 MS 2:09:36 14:44:47 06:36.7 71.17 7 3
12 Stephen Howard 18.37 41 MM 2:09:59 16:54:46 07:04.6 67.99 16 6
13 Torsten Lytken 13.98 38 MS 1:32:22 18:27:08 06:36.4 69.96 9 7
14 Barry Woodward 7.70 24 MS 0:48:50 19:15:58 06:20.5 69.60 5 2
15 Graham Chapman 6.76 49 MM 0:46:12 20:02:10 06:50.1 70.47 8 2
16 Peter Harris 5.49 55 MM 0:38:07 20:40:17 06:56.6 72.17 7 2
17 Max d'Ayala 11.63 39 MS 1:22:31 22:02:48 07:05.7 64.88 19 6
Est = 22:15:00       22:02:48   Mean= 68.89 11.29  
Diff = 0:12:12     x     Median= 69.60 9  
  Average Age =   40              
Ladies= 1     MJ = 0          
Masters= 8     MS= 8          
        MM= 8          
Eligibility= OPEN     LJ= 0          
Cat OK YES     LS= 1          
Ages OK YES     LM= 0          
        tot= 17          

Two second claim Ely Runners also took part as guest runners for Great Yarmouth All Sorts who were 6th of 7 teams in the Casual class and 34th of 37 teams overall in 26:44:48. Their individual official results were:

Stage 12  (18.37 miles)    Alex Tate       age 29/MS    time 2:00:49     age grade 71.15%       6th overall (5th MS) in stage
Stage 14   (7.70 miles)     Rachel Kiff     age 34/LS     time   58:30      age grade 64:11%      23rd overall (4th LS) in stage

Age grade percentages relate to road speeds so they will be lower for runners on stages 1-4 which included significant off-road sections.

Conditions were generally good being mild and sunny with a breeze during the day and comfortably cool at night. Ely Runner's team and their club support was organised by Committee member Alan Rutterford assisted by Karen Roe and several club members. The event has been organised for many years by veteran runner Ian Vaughan-Arbuckle (who recently became an Ely Runner) helped by Ely Runners Rod Baron (web site, entries and results) and Richard Handoll (course marking).

   All Teams      Age graded list    Race Stats     Stage by Stage

Stages:-    1    2    3    4    5    6    7    8    9   10    11    12    13    14    15    16    17  

Gt Yarmouth All Sorts Team Result

See for full details

Round Norfolk Relay 2004

John Tuner to Charlie Barker (stages1/2)

John Fordham to Karen Foreman (stages 5/6)

Ian Day to John Fordham (Stages 4/5)

Round Norfolk Relay - 18/19th Sept. 04



The event took place on 18/19th September and Ely Runners entered this event for the first time, and came away with the first prize in the newcomers section!! Below is part one of a report by Alan Rutterford which details at length the 'ups' and 'downs' (and 'off's in the case of PG and his bike), of the 24hr(ish) event.


Alan  Rutterford - Support crew & Stage 17

             Dear all 
Below is rough outline of the Round Norfolk Relay as seen and run by Alan  
Rutterford in the support vehicle with Peter Gipp. Most of the stages had their  
own little tale to tell, which most of you wouldn't have known about, but 
would  be interested to know what else went on at other locations on the course.
It was 8am and Peter Gipp picked me up in the van. We loaded an extra cycle  
onboard, not knowing how important that would be later that evening. We also 
put  pillows and blankets etc incase we needed them, but did not get the time 
to use  them in the end. Being the clubs first RNR race we didn't know what to 
expect,  but we knew we was going to be busy. We reached LynnSport in Kings 
Lynn about  9am, where we checked the maps, start location, signed the team in, 
checked what  times the other teams started at and looked at the medals. By 
that time it was  nearly 10am and Peter had been to the toilet about three times 
( not sure  whether he'd been drinking the night before or was just nervous). 
We saw a nice  round wooden plaque with a rabbit on and worded 'Best 
newcomers', and we looked  at each other and said " Shall we take it now or collect 
it tomorrow", little  did we know we would win it the next day anyway.
It was approaching 10.30 where John Turner was about to start the 15.66  mile 
multi - terrain section. We watched the Fenland Runners go off at 10.15  
before john started at 10.30 with the Great Yarmouth Runners. The weather was  
mild, dry but very breezy. Running through South Wootton and Castle Rising,  I 
picked Peter up at Wolferton as it was supposed to be too hard for the bikes.  
We went to Snettisham beach about 4 miles away to connect up with John again. 
The  beach was all pebbles and it was very windy, but no sign of John. We waited 
and  waited and after a while the 11am runners came through and then the 
Yarmouth  runner, but still NO john. We tried the phone Charlie the stage two 
runner but  he wouldn't answer ( he had the phone in his wife's handbag and could 
not here it  ). I said to Peter "this is a good start, we've lost our first 
runner and can't  get hold of the second one". We decided to abandon John and go 
to the  changeover point at Hunstanton. Charlie was there so Peter 
got the bike out and  made off on the route backwards hoping to find John. 
Less than 5 mins later he  phoned to say they were coming up the road, to where 
he exchanged the baton with  Charlie. He completed the section in 2.16.37 and 
told us that people had changed  the arrows around and it had diverted him off 
course losing him 10-15  mins.

Charlie started stage two 11 mins down on our estimated time, but this  12.89 
mile multi -terrain section was not going to be easy although it had  lovely 
scenery. I studied the route and wrote down the times before heading off  the 
otherside of Brancaster where there was a viewing point to see the runners  
progression. I waited a while before seeing Charlie in the distance with Peter  
behind him, and as he approached me I past him some water before looking back 
to  see if Peter wanted any. Oops, Peter had fallen off his bike and had a 
few  scratches but carried on. I watched them go into the marshes before going 
onto  the changeover point at Burnham Overy. 
When I got there Rod Baron was ready to  start his leg, and I asked a Riverside Runner 
if he'd seen my team mates. He  handed me some binoculars and just as I'd spotted the 
bright shorts in the  distance Peter phoned to say they were on there way. 
I told Rod they were about  5 mins away, but it took 15 mins as I forgot I'd seen them 
miles away in the  binoculars. Charlie had done well and completed the section in 
1.32.34. Rod took over the baton on stage three. being 5.39 miles multi - terrain  
from Burnham Overy to Wells Next The Sea. Peter was tired so he traveled with  
me in the van to Wells as Rod had told me he would be fine. We got to Wells  
where it was still windy and starting to rain. Ian Day was there to start his  
leg, and after a while Rod came through the woods to finish his section in   38.11.

Ian raced off on his 12.06 mile section of multi - terrain and with it  
raining, Peter was also going to get wet. Charlie and Rod had both knocked a  
minute off our predicted time and with the Yarmouth Runner only 4 mins ahead,  Ian 
was going to try to catch him so that we could get revenge for there runner  
sending John the wrong way. Just as I was doing my paperwork which never seemed 
 to stop, I had a phone call from Margaret ( Charlie's wife ) saying that she 
was  picking him up but he still hadn't finished. I told her he finished 
nearly an  hour ago when we left him, but apparently she was at the viewing point 
and not  the finish point which are some 4-5 miles away. Don't feel bad 
Margaret, as the  maps were very hard to understand at times and I lost count of the 
amount of  times I checked them. After doing my good deed I caught up with Ian 
and Peter on  the road after missing them at the viewing point. The were wet 
and tired and Ian  had overtaken the Yarmouth Runner half way. I went on to 
the changeover point at  Salthouse where John Fordham was going to run and 
Stephen Howard was going to  cycle. I picked Stephen up and traveled back about 
3-4 miles to changeover with  Peter as he was wet and had FALLEN OFF his bike 
again cutting his finger. Ian  completed his stage in 1.19.59.

John Fordham grabbed the baton and trundled off on his 10.09 mile all road  
section with Stephen following. It was late afternoon and we had had nothing to 
 eat and was very hungry. We decided to go straight to Cromer where Karen 
Foreman  was waiting to change over. On the way we went past the Muckleborough 
Military  Collection where they have got two Chieftain Tanks bye the roadside ( 
good job JT  wasn't running this section otherwise he'd have stopped and looked 
around them ).  As we approached Sherringham Peter noticed smoke in the 
distance and as we got  nearer we could see the steam train pulling several 
carriages ( perhaps going to  pick Charlie up ) and looked really good. We reached 
Cromer and walked up town  to get some Fish and chips, which we ate whilst 
heading back. We got back and  Karen was ready to takeover, but we didn't know how 
far away John was because  like a lot of sections there was no phone signal, so 
we couldn't contact Stephen.  Having no signal at times made it very hard for 
me and Peter to keep in contact  at times. I grabbed the spare bike and 
started heading backwards until I could  see John. After only 1 mile I nearly ran 
into them on a sharp corner in Cromer  and raced back to tell Karen. John 
completed his section in1.22.09 and we was  still only 5 mins off our estimated 
time at this stage.
Karen Foreman started stage six being 5.89 miles all road, but very  
undulating at times with Charlie Barker following on the bike. After doing more  
paperwork we went to the next changeover point where Max was waiting. It was dry  
but getting dark fast and we knew it was going to be a long night ahead. We all 
 waited in vain for Karen to come over the top of the hill and into Mundesley  
where we were waiting. Max had his binoculars out and spotted her in the  
distance. As she handed the baton over, Charlie being 40ft behind stopped  
suddenly to take a picture of the changeover or Karen's bottom, but nearly got  run 
over as a car behind him had to break hard ( naughty Charlie ), but Karen  
managed a time of 46.32 for her section.

Max ran off into the distance with Peter following closely behind, whilst I  
took Karen and Charlie back to Cromer. We knew it was going to get hard after  
this section as we had to follow behind with the van and a flashing light on  
top. Yes, this is definitely where we was stretched to the limits. As I was  
dropping Karen and Charlie off in Cromer, Peter phoned to say that he'd got a  
puncture 4 miles into Max's stage and needed the spare bike ASAP as Max was 
on  his own and it was getting dark quick. I raced back as quick as I could and 
4  miles into Max's 9.92 stage I found Peter. He chucked the bike in the back 
of  the van and we sped off to catch up with Max. We found him about 3 miles 
up the  road with the race director following him with his flashing lights on. 
Peter  jumped out with the spare bike whilst I struggled to fit the flashing 
light on  the roof and read my stage map. Max finished his stage in Lessingham 
in  1.05.13

Keith Mitchell took over for this 10.52 all road stage 8 section. Running  
down the twisty, flat narrow roads, in pitch black with a van behind you and  
many flashing lights also on the same section of road is hard to train for , but 
Keith kept the same pace all the way, even when we turned a corner and was  
confronted by a very, very large deer crossing the road slowly about 50 ft  
infront of him. "Look at that" I said to Peter, but he didn't see it as he was  
half sleep. That was one of the most memorable sections for me, also with 
frogs,  mice and a fox crossing the road at various points. This is also the 
section  where we was to learn our mistakes, as 2 of our 3 phones were low on 
battery and  because we needed the flashing light in the socket we couldn't charge 
the phones  and needed them during the night, also we were going to stop off at 
Tesco,  Yarmouth to get something to eat, BUT we couldn't leave the runner 
at all until daylight again, so we had minimal phones and no food. As we 
approached stage 9  Peter was going to have to jump out, take the baton and Hi-Vis 
vest from Keith and complete his section. Keith managed a very good time of 
Peter jumped out of the van, grabbed the baton and race off, not knowing  how 
much energy he had left after such a busy day. His 8.30 mile all road  
section soon got less and less as he kept up a very good pace overtaking a few  
teams. I was trying to drive, look at the map to direct him and keep an eye on  
his time and distance. As he flew through Hemsby he had his sights on 3 runners  
ahead and as I was struggling to find the route, I thought nice one Peter, we 
 can follow them into Yarmouth, but he overtook them going through Caister 
and  left them behind. I had to struggle with the directions again and got us to 
the  outskirts of Yarmouth where a teenage lad kept him company for over a 
mile on  his skate board. Peter took to the challenge well and as we turned 
towards the promenade he had 2 more runners within his sights. As we turned along 
into the  promenade it was all lit up like Blackpool with the lights and Peter 
overtook  the runners and handed over to Adam in a time of 51.45

Adam Etches started the first of the long night sections, being 15.08 miles  
to Geldeston. It was getting cooler and the wind had dropped. We raced ahead 
of  Adam and swapped drivers so that I could catch up on the timekeeping and  
contacting other runners to let them know we was running 5 mins off schedule.  
Adams section was very undulating at times and having run a marathon the 
weekend  before was going to be tough. Adam's section seemed one of the most boring 
 sections for me with only a couple of very fast runners overtaking him until 
we  was about 3-4 miles from his changeover where he gained on three runners. 
The  hills were taking there toll on him, but he still managed to overtake two 
and  caught the third one, but unfortunately she found a burst of energy 2 
miles out  and slowly left Adam whom finished his section in 1.48.21.
In the early hours of Sunday morning Torsten Lytken was ready to take over  
from Adam Etches to run stage 11 from Geldeston to Scole being 20.20 miles. 
This changeover was to be very important for me and Peter as we had to hand the 
times into an official for the previous 10 stages. As Adam approached the 
Geldeston  roundabout we could see the services and McDonalds the other side. 
There was  a little confusion as Adam had to run around the back of McDonalds to 
hand the  baton to Torsten, whilst me and Peter pulled up infront of the garage 
where  everybody seemed to be. I quickly did the result and jumped out of the 
van  trying to find the official to hand the form too. Torsten ran up to the  
roundabout and started off on his leg, and I knew I had to hand in the form 
ASAP as Torsten needed our cover and some lights to see where he was going. 
After a few minutes I couldn't find who to give the form too, so I asked Kevin 
Collins who was going to take Adam back to Gt. Yarmouth (as he took every 
runner back during the night )to give the form in for me. We needed to get 
going as Torsten  was a little way up the road, but this was one of only two 
garages we could get  some food what we badly needed during the night, but decided 
Torsten was getting  too far away without cover and we went after him. We 
caught him up and told him  if he wanted water to let us know, just as we did all 
the runners. we could see  flashing lights ahead, so at least Torsten had 
someone to chase. He told us he  was cold, so I phoned the next runner John Crisp 
to let him know, and we  followed for several miles with Torsten giving us a 
good laugh by running around  the lay-bys instead of going over them like 
everyone else, and as he reached the  other side would stick his arm and baton out 
to signal he was pulling out again. We just looked at each other and 
laughed. Midway through this stage he had a  couple of really fast runners catch him 
up and overtake him as though he was  standing, which was pretty awesome how 
quick they gained on him and left him on  a long stage like that. He was the 
only runner to stop for a leak before  completing the rest of the course in a 
time of 2.30.01 and making the changeover  with John Crisp in a total of 15 and 
a half hours that we had been going.
John Crisp took over from Torsten to run stage 12 which was 17.77 miles from  
Scole to Thetford. John went off well and overtook a couple of runners to 
boost  his confidence, and was going at a good pace also. We followed him into 
Diss and  then asked him to run on the pavement for a while as they were well 
maintained,  so that we could nip into the shell garage which was the only other 
place open  during the night to get food or drink. Peter went to the toilet 
whilst I grabbed  everything I could carry as I was so Hungry and we still had 
5-6 hours to go. We  jumped into the van and raced off after John and caught 
him up just before the  end of the town, gave him water and tucked in behind him 
again, whilst I tucked  into my food. Man that tasted good, even at that time 
of morning. John's stage  seemed quite hilly as we was up and down, up and 
down for ages, and was one of  the most colorful sights we saw all night, 
because you could see all the  flashing lights of the teams in front and was very 
nice. This probably helped  John as he slowly picked off the other teams even 
though he was cold and had a  long stage to run. Me and Peter were very 
impressed with John's stage and as we  approached Thetford roundabout we noticed 
Stephen Howard running back to the  changeover point. John completed his stage in a 
very respectable time of  2.05.07.
Stephen Howard took the baton and soon got his long legs into their stride  
running stage 13 Thetford to Feltwell which was to be 13.98 miles. We had to 
ask  Stephen to use the pavement for a while as we shot ahead for a jimmy riddle 
and  driver changeover. I could hardly get out of the van because on John's 
leg both  my ankles had seized through driving most of the time and Peter was 
cat napping,  so I used my hand on the throttle at times. We jumped back in as 
Stephen  approached and peter drove for a while whilst I caught up on some 
paperwork. As  we approached the main Thetford to Norwich road we noticed 
something odd about  the roundabout. Peter said " I know I've been catnapping but I'm 
sure I can see  a car upside down in the middle of the roundabout". As we 
approached we could make out a white sportscar upside down in the bushes, and I 
later found out in the week that a teenager had been killed earlier that 
night having approached the roundabout too fast and gone over. Stephen got up to 
full pace along the road heading out to Mundford and overtook a couple of 
teams. He was another who  made us laugh as he had watches on both wrists and was 
constantly looking at  them instead of where he was going, and we could just 
visualize him running into a lamppost. He also had us in stitches when he 
wanted water, as he stuck his arm right out and then folded it in several times, 
but did it so past it looked as though he was trying to take off. About 3 
miles down the road we was due to come off road and venture through the forest. 
As we turned off the main road and down a track Stephen soon gained on a 
runner that had no support vehicle with him, and how he could see where he was 
going we wasn't sure. After overtaking him we turned into a sandy track 
through the woods and could see flashing lights ahead and knew that Stephen would 
catch them before his changeover. I told Peter to turn the lights on full even 
though we was behind another vehicle as I noticed something odd infront of 
Stephen and I didn't want him running into it. As the lights went on full we 
could clearly make out a burnt out car, so Stephen went around it and at this 
point the sand seemed to get very deep and bumpy. Peter put his foot down to 
gain some speed as we thought we was going to get stuck for a while, but with 
Peter's rallying skills we got through it and caught the Paddock Wood 
runners up again. We had been swapping positions with them half the night and 
Stephen was about to take them again, but because the track was narrow he had 
trouble pacing their van. Once he did he was then confronted by their runner and 
cyclist whom made it hard for him to pass, but with no stopping him he 
whisked them to one side and off he went. Ok, he had got past, but how was we going 
to get past ? As Stephen started leaving their runner they pulled over to  
let us past unlike their runner who Peter nearly had to run over before they  
took the hint and let us through. Several miles through the woods and we was  
back on the roads going through Methwold and other places before he completed  
his stage in 1.29.19.
Maurice Reed took over from Stephen to run stage 14 which was 7.70 miles  
long going from Feltwell to Southery. Maurice ran through Feltwell with a couple  
of teams in his sights, and with daylight coming up it was going to be warmer 
and easier to see where he was going. As we came out of Feltwell there is a 
very  long straight heading towards Southery and it was just amass of flashing 
lights  along a straight section of road. Maurice slowly picked off a few 
other teams  and finished his stage in a time of 49.59 and meant that we had been 
running for  just under 20 hours, and was 9 minutes ahead of schedule after 
some impressive  running through the night. 
Mark Willis took over the baton from Maurice to run stage 15 which was 6.76  
miles from Southery to Downham Market. We had a little confusion for a while 
at this changeover as Maurice didn't know what Mark looked like, and Kevin 
Jennings was going to be our cyclist for the last 3 stages, but was running 
late. Although Mark hadn't trained much lately or even raced for us for nearly a 
year, he soon got into a rhythm and a steady pace going through Southery and 
onto the A10. After a couple of miles Kevin caught us up on his bike and took 
over from us whilst we went ahead to Downham Market and see if Eric Drury 
was there for the changeover. I was getting very stressed at this stage as I 
knew I would soon be running, but didn't know how as I felt so tired. We got to 
the changeover point, but still no Eric. I warmed up by trying to walk 
before eventually being  able to run. Still NO Eric !! Eventually Eric turned up 
with less that 3 minutes  before the changeover from Mark. Mark completed his 
stage in a respectable time  of 52.00.
Eric Drury was to take the baton from Mark Willis to run stage 16 being  5.49 
miles from Downham Market to Stowbridge. As I said, Eric literally turned  
up, ran 200 meters to warm up, took off his jacket and grabbed the baton from  
Mark. Talk about cutting it fine Eric. After the changeover we left him in the  
good hands of our cyclist Kevin Jennings, whilst we went to my changeover 
point where I could warm up and get ready for Eric to come in. Eric's stage was 
flat, weather mild and good daylight, but it was to be hard for Eric as he 
hadn't been able to do much training. We waited, and waited, and waited, Still 
no Eric. Eventually Peter drove back to find him as we had no signal on the 
phone and I was pulling my hair out wanting to get on with it. Peter came back 
5 minutes later and told me Eric had to walk a short section as he found it 
tough going. Eric completed his stage in a time of 55.35 and we had gone from 
being 9 minutes ahead of schedule, to being 1 minute behind schedule.
I took over from Eric to run the glory leg from Stowbridge back to Kings  
Lynn, being 11.63 miles. Not knowing how I would be able to run after all that  
driving etc, my game plan was to start off slowly and pick the pace up through  
Kings Lynn. But knowing we was behind schedule and getting wound up waiting 
for Eric, I shot of at a fast pace. Within half a mile I had overtaken another 
team, not knowing this was the only other runner I would see on my leg even 
though everybody was supposed to be close. After 3-4 miles Kevin told me to 
slow down as I was doing 6 minute mileing, but all I wanted to do was get 
another team in my sights, so I had someone to chase. It was getting on for 9am, 
and the sun was out and things were getting hot, with not much breeze to cool 
me down I slowed the pace a little, but still felt good. I could see Lynn 
sugar beet  factory in the distance and knew we was getting closer, but still 
couldn't see  anybody else. I asked Kevin if anybody was gaining on me, as I had 
seen during the night how quickly they had gained and taken Torsten, but he 
told me he could not see a sole. I ran over Saddlebow roundabout and into 
Lynn, knowing my game-plan was to speed up from here to the finish, but with the 
first two thirds of the stage being very fast I was left tired and struggling. 
Going through the centre of Kings Lynn I ran through 5 red lights closely 
followed by Kevin, thinking nothings going to stop me from finishing now. About 
a mile from the finish I found a new lease of life and surged for home 
knowing the best part for  me was to finish on the sports track. However, it had 
not gone according to plan as all the teams should have been bunched together 
by now, and with my awesome finish I should have been able to destroy other 
teams on the finish straight, but, not a sole in sight. As I approached the 
stadium I could hear Ely Runners and my name being mentioned on the tanoy, and 
so lengthened my stride and increased my speed as I ran around the outside of 
the sportsfield fence. At the far end I had to do a 90 degree turn through a 
gate before being confronted with the finish straight. You know me and 
finish straights, I was gone like a bat out of hell, even after being up all 
night, driving all the previous day and running over 11 miles, I still had my fast 
finish, and whilst running through the finishing ribbon I was struggling to 
control my feelings as I had gained nearly 6 minutes for us, going from 1 
minute behind schedule to being nearly 5 minutes  over. My time for this section 
was 1.19.24.
I would like to congratulate everybody who took part in this event,  
especially Kevin Collins whom was also up all night ferrying runners back for  their 
cars etc. There are many lessons me and Peter learnt for next year (like have 
food with you, and put stabilizers on your bike so you don't fall off ).  
Every runner got a nice engraved glass goblet for taking part, and the club won 
the best newcomers awards. Personally, I can't wait for next years event and 
understand most of you are the same.
Well Done all
Alan Rutterford


Last updated 10/10/2008

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