Ryston’s Manchester Marathon runners, from left: Malcolm Tuff, Lesley Robins, Les Scott, Martin Ive and Karen Smith.Picture: Stewart Robins.

ATHLETICS: A varied but challenging weekend was enjoyed by a dozen members of Ryston Runners AC.

Several made the journey north to tackle the Manchester Marathon, including some for their second or third event over 26.2 miles on consecutive weekends.

Lesley Robins (W45), having done the Norfolk Coastal Marathon three weeks ago, then London, proved her strength and consistency by finishing the Manchester course in 3:28:55, just two seconds faster than in the capital. 

Not far adrift was Kirsty Butters (W40), finishing in 3:29:00.

Jane Ashby (W70) had also travelled to Manchester to try to improve on her London time, which she did, by more than five minutes, finishing in 4:25:29.

Jamie Bransgrove (M40) recorded a 14-minute personal best time of 3:39:05, with Martin Ive (M50) just under five minutes behind, clocking 3:43:57. Malcolm Tuff (M55) had the best run of the Ryston group on the day, recording a time of 3:13:17. 

Les Scott (M60) suffered from cramp just before halfway but hung on to record 4:01:11, and the consistent Karen Smith (W50) clocked 4:34:12.

Half the marathon distance was the choice of Darren Easter (M50) who ran the course at Silverstone in 1:26:30, finishing 63rd out of 1500, and 17th in the M40 category.

Cath Duhig took almost an hour longer to walk the same distance in the First Media Maratón Paraiso Salado in San Pedro del Pinatar in Spain. 

Having had a good first half, she succumbed to a recurrent foot problem and lost time over the second part, to finish in 2:25:25, winning the Murcian W65 Half Marathon title in the process.

Something completely different was the choice of club chairman Robert Simmonds who took part in the Chase the Train event from Aylsham to Wroxham, and made his presence felt by winning the event in 52:57. Caine Burton was 27th in 68:08.

This Sunday sees the start of the 2021/22 running of the popular Ryston Cross Country Grand Prix Series at Shouldham Warren. 

All details of times, distances, and procedures are available on the club’s website – www.rystonrunners.org.uk – and Facebook Hub.

This season would-be competitors are encouraged to pre-enter at https://bookwhen.com/rystonrunnersxcgp