Norwich Road Runners at the Norfolk Athletics Championships

On the weekend of 13/14 May, four of us from the club took part in the Norfolk Athletics Championships at the UEA track. For a club primarily focused on road running this is not somewhere you would normally find us. Athletics Norfolk added 2 events to the program this year, the mile and 5000m, to hopefully encourage more club road runners to take part and these proved to be popular additions.

Jessica Behan and myself entered the 400m on the Saturday morning, why oh why. I think it is fair to say we were a little out of our depth. We were up against competitors quite a bit younger than us who specialise in this discipline. These guys just flew round the track in times we could only dream of. Watching their leg speed compared to ours was a little scary but inspiring all the same. Essentially we had pitted ourselves up against the best the county has to offer. It was though quite interesting talking to the athletes after our races. On one hand we were amazed at how fast they could run but equally they were also impressed that we had never done the event before and that the previous week we had taken part in a 10 mile race. They did quickly decline a re run over that distance which made us feel a bit better.

Jessica got round the one lap in 75 seconds and me in in 66. Have to say very proud of Jess's achievement she proves time and time again she will take on any challenge and is still only in her first year with us.  To note the times of the race winners were in the very low 50's.

In the afternoon we moved onto the mile where myself and Adie Grand took to the start line. This was a bit more to our liking and we were competing with other local clubs road runners. I will admit to bring very nervous and also by this time the crowds were building at the Sportspark. We rarely get the chance to race just a mile on a flat smooth track and have to say I absolutely loved it. In my mind, I was a proper athlete. I have watched Athletics on TV all my life and while it was no Mo Farah or world record performance it felt great to me.

Adie finished in 5.41 with me one second behind, I got on his shoulder in the home straight but he out kicked me with a great finish and a fair win was had. The overall winning time was a rather awesome 4.19 with our aim not to get lapped. We did not but it was close.

The following day the club was represented in the 5k by Chris Bullock. Chris finished second in his Age cat winning a silver medal and gaining a new pb of 18.05 in the process. A great time for Chris who is flying at the moment and for taking on the challenge and representing the club in this event.

In summary thanks to Athletics Norfolk for welcoming us to the track, it was great to see our club colours out there and I think they appreciated it too. By opening up events for clubs like ours they received larger race entries than in recent times.

Maybe in the future this will become a regular on our club race calendar and I will definitely be encouraging more of you to have a go, the pole vault and the hammer looked great fun. It Is a great experience and one for the bucket list if nothing else.

So for you guys watch this space for next time and maybe we will take these as club records. Can you beat our times?

Neil Walpole