ATHLETICS: The comparative calm after Storm Doris was welcomed by the seven Ryston Runners who braved the Tarpley 20-mile road race.

Situated in the stunning countryside near Bury St Edmunds, the race took the 316 competitors along a tough and undulating figure-of-eight course that offered no shelter from the brisk breeze, which was tempered by the dry and sunny late winter’s weather.

Using the race as a warm-up for the plethora of spring marathons, Chris Balmer took fourth place overall.  He was in third place for a long time, but was edged out in the closing stages and was still satisfied with his day’s work.

Jeff Reed took first place in the veteran men’s 70-year-plus category in exactly three
hours in his build up to
the London Marathon. He also achieved a personal best time in the race by five minutes, ranking him number one in the M70 category in the UK for that distance.

He finished 2015 as 12th ranked, so although there will be other performances that surpass this as the year unfolds, this is a notable reflection of the immense progress he has made and might inspire others.

Reed only started running a few years ago.

While disappointed with her time, gutsy fellow runner, Lesley Robins, was second 45-plus female veteran and 108th overall in 2.43.39.

This was particularly notable as she ran the Marriott’s Way marathon on the previous Sunday and still finished in the top third of the field.

Other finishers were Shaun Mann 33rd (2.22.43 PB), Stew Robins 42nd (2.25.56), Jeremy Navrady 85th (2.38.18) and Claire Emery 299th
(3.42.51 PB).