City star dominates Bungay race

Black Dog Marcus Sladden receives his 10k winner’s medal from BBDRC chairman Karen Gedge.

Black Dog Marcus Sladden receives his 10k winner’s medal from BBDRC chairman Karen Gedge. - Credit: Archant

Neil Davison dominated the Great East Run half-marathon at Bungay in challenging conditions on Sunday.

The City of Norwich AC athlete took the lead from the start and kept it throughout, to finish 102 seconds ahead of Felixstowe Road Runner Roger Stone. Davison clocked one hour 18 minutes and 25 seconds, and said afterwards: “That was tough.”

A stiff south westerly breeze around the rural course through The Saints to the south of Bungay and the final long upward slope to the finish at Bungay High School, made it a good competitive run, and few personal bests were achieved in the event, organised by Bungay Black Dog Running Club and sponsored by Adnams Brewery of Southwold and Pilch Sports of Norwich.

Stone finally got the better of a chasing pack to take the runners-up spot, with unattached runner Lee Cook third in 1-21:56, and Will Law of Ipswich Jaffa fourth.

Bedford Harriers’ Marianne Williamson won the ladies’ half-marathon in 1-34:47, over five minutes ahead of second-placed Anne Swift, of UK Netrunners. Unattached runner Emilie Vrain had led early on but faded as the race progressed, with Penny Edwards of Norwich Road Runners finishing third in 1-41:15.

There was a home win in the 10k event run alongside the half-marathon, with Bungay Black Dogs’ Marcus Sladden winning in 36 minutes. He was just over a minute ahead of second-placed Adam Howlett, who clocked 37:02 to just pip Darren Neale, of North Norfolk Beach Runners’ by a second. Neale’s team-mate Emma Patel won the ladies 10k, leading from the start to clock 40:27.

Bungay Black Dog Running Club athletes found themselves on the winners’ podium no less than four times at the club’s classic annual Great East Run and 10k double header on Sunday.

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Almost 300 runners from across the eastern counties and beyond, including 32 from the Bungay club, took part in the event which is run over the undulating Suffolk countryside around the lanes and villages of ‘The Saints’.

The 150-strong 10k field was led home by local man Marcus Sladden, who was delighted to win his first senior road race in a time of exactly 36 minutes. Clubmate Jo Andrews won the F35 category in 42:05.

The full BBDRC 10k results were: 1 Marcus Sladden 36:00, 13 Simon Cowley 39:32, 24 Jo Andrews 42:05, 26 Nicky Sparkes 42:39, 33 Julian Davies 44:28, 43 Sean O’Loughlin 46:21, 51 Laura Betts 48:45, 68 Jake Steele 50:43, 73 Sarah Maidment 51:24, 85 Tony Hardy 53:45, 90 Mik Carr 54:37, 106 Tanya Holloway 57:26, 114 Larissa Smith 58:35, 119 James Maycock 59:07, 142 Bob Jack 1:08:49

Two Black Dogs took first prizes in the half marathon, Graham Sampson who was first among the F65s and Robin Farrar, the M70 winner.

The full BBDRC half marathon results were: 20 Jon Wiles 1:33:25, 43 Tom Pullinger 1:39:58, 61 Jane Hannah 1:44:19, 66 Stuart Young 1:46:27, 68 Shaun Button 1:46:41, 71 Stu Lawn 1:47:19, 74 David Neeve 1:48:26, 76 Andrew Bailey 1:48:28, 77 Alice Kirk 1:49:01, 90 Chris Blackhouse 1:54:03, 91 Lucy Steele 1:54:26, 92 Graham Sampson 1:54:35, 95 Bobbie Sauerzapf 1:54:57, 118 Ken Hurst 2:04:13, 131 Becky Sturgeon 2:10:58, 132 Robin Farrar 2:11:22, 137 Doug Gladwin 2:14:42.