The Ryston Runners’ team at the Sandringham Half Marathon.Picture: Craig Harris.

ATHLETICS: After anticipating, even fearing, hot conditions last weekend, those participating in the Run Sandringham events on Sunday might have considered being more careful what they wished for, as it turned out to be dull and soggy.

Among them were about 40 members of Ryston Runners AC, across the 5K, junior mile, and half marathon events.

The distances run were somewhat random due to directional issues so posted times were somewhat irrelevant. 

A combination of just being able to run together in an event, and the surprise presence of Prince William, who turned up with Prince George and Princess Charlotte to start the race, meant this sort of inaccuracy was met with far more sanguinity that might normally be the case, and positive comments were made by most of those participating.

First Ryston Runner home was Danny Smith, eighth to cross the line, and just a bit ahead of John Hopgood who finished 11th (3rd M40). Martin Sheldrick, in 23rd, topped the M50 finishers’ list, with another returnee to the Ryston camp, Darren Easter, following him closely in 26th (4th M45). 

Jason Cooper (SM) was 44th and Les Scott 52nd for the second M60 spot. Jack Schmollman (SM), Stephan Harris (4th M55), Owen Jary (M45), Malcolm Tuff (M55), Mark Fountain (M45), Gavin Reynolds (SM), and Kevin Farquhar (M40) followed, before Nicky Roger took second W50 spot, in 123rd spot.

The rest of the Ryston contingent, in finishing order, was: Ian Wiggins (M40), Nigel Kenny (M55), Steven Bowerman (M55), Kirsty Butters (W40), Jason Hawes (M45), Graeme Leeson (M50), Julie Williamson (SW), Irena Marcinek (W40), Paul Carter (M45), Adam Dye (SM), Rhiannon Jones (SW), John Bowen (M50), Lisa Harris (W50), Helen Melville (W45), Stewart Robins (M50), Julia Norman (W45), Julie Barrow (W40), Justin Walker (M45), Charlie Wilson (M45), and Wendy Farquhar (W55).

In the accompanying 5K, Emma Wood was first Ryston Runner home, in eighth place overall (1st SW). Beth Shaw was 11th, and Gill Hart 126th (3rd W65).

Aidan Howard led Ryston home in the mile event, third overall and Lola Kidman was the first girl over the line in eighth with club mate Evie Clayton the second girl to finish. Also flying the Ryston flag were Thomas Elsdon, Rory, Leo, and Izzy Wood and Ruby Smith.

Elsewhere, Jane Ashby spent nearly five hours in 13 miles of mud on the Marriott’s Way completing the marathon course from Whitwell Station to Aylsham and back, getting her cold and numb hands on the coveted finishers’ medal in the shape of a steam train,

Sunday also saw a return to track and field action for the men’s Southern Athletics League team at the Sportspark in Norwich.

Gavin Buffham bagged a club record in the hammer and knocked on the door of the M35 shot record. 

Juniors Liam Clare, Miles Hovell and Keiran Bell made their senior league debuts and acquitted themselves well with personal bests and a couple of B-string first places – Clare in the 200m and Hovell in the discus. Charlie Wakefield ran in the A string 800m. 

Rob Simmonds, Gareth Hunt, and Dan Yellop put together a solid set of performances.

Ryston more than supplied its required compliment of match officials, with Marlene Simmonds timekeeping, Martin Simmonds, Bec Tuff, David Lane, and Lindsey Clare Field judging, and Paul Firmage as track judge.

The next fixture for Ryston is on July 11 at Cambridge, and those interested are encouraged to contact chairman Robert Simmonds for information and encouragement.

In more hospitable conditions, Cath Duhig travelled to Málaga for the Spanish Masters Track and Field Championships, in which she won the W65 5,000m racewalk in 32.11.