Bungay Black Dog runners step forward for 10K event

BEFORE THE LORD MAYORS SHOW: Some of the Black Dogs who competed in the Norwich Lord Mayors 5k race

BEFORE THE LORD MAYORS SHOW: Some of the Black Dogs who competed in the Norwich Lord Mayors 5k race (from l to r): Marcus Sladden, Simon Cowley, Tom Pullinger, Graham Jenvey and Jo Andrews - Credit: Archant

A crowded summer racing schedule saw Bungay Black Dog Running Club switch its usual Tuesday evening training session into an opportunity to stage a revival of its much-loved annual 10k handicap event.

More than 40 club members toed the start line in an order based on their 2015 personal best times; all starting separately with the (unlikely) aim of finishing together.

An out and back course along a reverse of the Black Dogs’ Summer Series 10k route gave some shelter from a relentless early evening sun as the runners negotiated a route from the Bungay Area Running Centre in Pirnhow Street to a turnaround point beyond Ellingham Mill and back.

The winners of some fine glass trophies were:

Novice men’s winner, Andrew Pottruff; Novice ladies’ winner, Clare Clarke; Vet men’s winner, Robin Ashe; Vet ladies’ winner, Judith Masters; Senior ladies’ winner, Christine Ashe; Senior men’s and overall trophy winner, David Neeve.

The sun also proved to be a challenge for some of the Black Dog club’s fastest 5k runners who qualified to match the sub-20 minute entry criteria for the 5k Norwich street race which, each year, provides the curtain raiser for the Lord Mayor’s street procession.

Always a tough run, this year the blazing sun and cauldron-like heat made the race even more gruelling but it was an ordeal rewarded by the enthusiastic cheers of support from 50,000 onlookers.

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The Black Dogs completing the race were Marcus Sladden (18:16), Graham Jenvey (18:18), Simon Cowley (18:24), Jo Andrews (who took second in the Ladies Vet category, finishing in 19:16), Jason Hurst (19:37), Daniel Gardiner (19:45) and David Neeve (20:32). Tom Pullinger and Sean O’Laughlin creully missed the halfway cut, whereby athletes are eliminated from the contest for exceeding a 10-minute guillotine, by six seconds.

On Sunday Ian Taylor completed what he described as a “hilly and humid” Potteries Marathon in 4:24 while Christine (1:40) and Robin Ashe (1:27) ran the Eccup 10 mile race near Leeds, describing the run as “hilly in lovely rolling countryside”.