Ryston Runner Mel Watts at Burnham Overy Staithe. Pictures: Tim Smith.

Ryston Runners enjoyed a successful time at the 29th Round Norfolk Relay with several wins.

That was topped by the club’s A team, who were overall runners-up in the 17-stage event, which involved 54 teams taking on the 197-mile relay.

Ryston had three teams in the relay, including, for the first time, a women’s team, organised by, and realising the ambition of outgoing social secretary Lesley Robins.

This team (Ryston B) finished second in the women’s category and 32nd overall in 26 hours, 27 minutes three seconds for an average pace of 8.07/mile.

Ryston C team were 19th (sixth in the club category), in 25.34.39, about four minutes short of what it should have been after their second runner, Martin Ive, had to stop to wait for the lifeboat to be launched at Hunstanton.

The icing on the Ryston cake, however, was the A team’s final-stage runner Callum Stanforth. He brought them across the line first with a storming run that earned him not only the stage win but the trophy for best senior man in the whole relay.

Ryston had two other stage winners – Adam Matthews took Stage 14 and Matt Pyatt was first in Stage 10, breaking the record by some two minutes.

Second overall once the times had been crunched, Ryston A were named best Norfolk club with a time of 21.13.23 (6.30/mile).

This was achieved despite having a couple of team members recording below par times due to injury and illness with another being sent off course.

However, an important feature of the Round Norfolk Relay is that it not just about fast running times, although these are, of course, desirable, but the way it brings clubs together, sorting out support teams of drivers and cyclists as well as the runners themselves.

This may be typified by member Jeremy Navrady who, having organised the C team and run in it himself, then went back to “sweep” the whole course after the last teams had gone through each changeover point, clearing the signage

The glorious weather conditions made for a spectacular event in terms of scenery along the north Norfolk coast, although it meant that there were greater numbers of cars and visitors to be manoeuvred around.

The beautiful sunset heralded a chilly, misty night for the longer stages of the race.