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Dale leads home Bungay Black Dog Running Club members in City of Norwich Half Marathon

PUBLISHED: 07:45 27 November 2015

Black Dogs
TOP THREE: Dale Skoulding flanked by Jason Hurst (left) and Tom Pullinger; the first three Black Dogs home in the Norwich Half Marathon

Black Dogs TOP THREE: Dale Skoulding flanked by Jason Hurst (left) and Tom Pullinger; the first three Black Dogs home in the Norwich Half Marathon

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Bungay Black Dog Running Club athletes were competing as far afield as North Wales and the Kent Downs, but it was two of East Anglia's iconic annual events that held the biggest attraction for most.

The biggest contingent, 27, were in Norwich for the city’s Larking Gowen Half Marathon which cemented its reputation for inclement weather as a wet and cold race morning was heralded in by the winter’s first snow flurries on the eve of the race.

This year, the race’s 31st, the weather claimed the race timing system (which feeds from a ‘chip’ embedded in each runner’s race number) as its victim leaving the organisers having to apologise for “an equipment malfunction immediately before the race start (that) caused the loss of several hundred start times”.

That left many participants having to rely on their ‘gun time’ (which, in big races like this, unfortunately includes the time taken for those in heavily crowded pre-start mustering points to walk or jog slowly to the official start line) or their personal race watches to calculate whether or not they had achieved much sought after personal best performances.

But neither stormy weather nor broken machinery could dull some stand-out performances.

Dale Skoulding was the first Black Dog to finish in a gun time of one hour, 29 minutes and 49 seconds followed by Jason Hurst (1-32.46) and club captain Tom Pullinger (1-35.54).

The other Black Dog gun time results were: David Neeve 1-38.35, Phil Henry 1-42.18, Sabrina Norton 1-42:47, Richard Dye 1-44.47, John Wharton 1-46.38, Jo Walker 1-48.40, Toby Craig 1-48.59, Shaun Button 1-49.00, Stuart Govey 1-52.35, Shane May 1-53.35, Robin Ashe 1-56.53, Ian Rodwell 1-57.01, Chris Backhouse 2-00.03, Tony Hardy 2-00.24, Don Tiffin 2-02.31, Amy Godbold 2-07.14, Becky Sturgeon 2-07.25, Stu Lawn 2-07.25, Kevin Clark 2-07.36, Laura Button 2-10.57, Lisa May 2-24.43, Mike Burton 2-28.40, Richard Midwinter 2-30.16 and Bob Jack 2-46.44.

In Southwold, conditions for the seventh running of the Adnams 10k were also chilly as nearly 800 competitors lined up. All places had sold out within an hour of registration opening but the event had been put in doubt as concerns were raised about the risk of the harbour flooding. After the passing of high tide on Saturday afternoon, the harbour master gave the all clear for the race to go ahead and the 16 BBDRC entrants took advantage of clear skies and crisp conditions to clock up some commendable times.

First Black Dog runner home and only narrowly missing out on his first sub 40 minute 10k by a cruel seven seconds was Nicky Sparkes, while Tanya Holloway led the Bungay ladies home with a personal best time of 52:14.

The full BBDRC results were Nicky Sparkes 40:07, Ben Jackson 40.51, Simon Sparkes 45:18, Andrew Pottruff 46:42, Tony Morley 48:09, Julian Davis 49:16, Ady Hunt 50:48, Stuart Young 50:30, Tanya Holloway 52:14,Graham Sampson 52:15, Sarah Maidment 52:16, Annette Manning 52:30, Alice Kirk 53:04, Jackie Bell 56:15 and Sarah Sparkes 62:06,

In the so-called garden of England, Ian Taylor was celebrating the exact eighth anniversary of his very first marathon by tackling the A20 Paths ‘n’ Downs Marathon, his 17th race of the year and all-time 153rd over the distance. He finished in 4-29:32.

Meanwhile, in North Wales, Neil Thomas finished the Conwy Half Marathon featuring “a mountain at mile five to seven, very hard going but no snow anywhere,” in 1-51:28 and Doug Gladwin in 2-18:27.

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