Good turnout for Groggy Doggy run at Bungay

THEY’RE OFF: Black Dog Ted Oldman (418) vies for the lead at the start to Bungay Black Dog Running C

THEY’RE OFF: Black Dog Ted Oldman (418) vies for the lead at the start to Bungay Black Dog Running Club’s Boxing Day’s Groggy Doggy race - Credit: Archant

A chilly and foggy start to Boxing Day did not deter 255 runners taking part in Bungay Black Dog Running Club’s annual Groggy Doggy cross-country at Outney Common.

First home in the 1.5-mile race for nine to 12-year-olds were local runners Grace Foster and Tai Elvin-Andrews. In the 2.5-mile race for 13-16-year -olds first lady was Lauren Howe and first male Luke Spear.

In the 2.5-mile race for 17s and older first lady was veteran Eva Osborne of Wymondham AC. Regarded by many local runners as the East Anglian equivalent of Jo Pavey, Eva has many miles of running under her belt and is more than 70 years of age.

First male was Matthew Heywood and first dog and handler were Thomas White of St Edmunds Pacers, running with the speedy Max and Sandy. Thomas and Sandy were last year’s winners and trainee Max did an admirable job in keeping pace.

In the adult two-lap race over a gruelling five miles, first home were Olivia Walwyn of City of Norwich AC and Simon Millett of Norwich Road Runners.

First dog and handler were last year’s winners, Lee Cook running with Benjy.

Bungay Town Reeve Terry Reeve and Deputy Mayor Olly Barnes judged the best fancy dress. The winner was Black Dog Marcus Sladden dressed as a rather seductive and skimpily clad Mrs Christmas who just edged out club captain Tom Pullinger and several other local equally skimpily clad runners.

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The event collected animal food for PACT Animal Sanctuary, Hingham, and donations for refreshments will also be forwarded to the charity.

Beccles and Bungay Harriers were on top form with a great turnout. In return for running in the mud and cold three juniors proved triumphant in receiving first place trophies.

The nine to 12 years female winner was Grace Forster. The 13-16 years female winner was Lauren Howe. The 13-16 years male winner was Luke Spear.

Beyond the county, Black Dog ultra event specialist Shona Bendix celebrated her 48th birthday by taking first place among the woman competing in the famous annual Sikhs in the City Ultra Dawn to Dusk Race in Ilford, pulling off the feat for the second year in succession.

The event is organised by Sikhs In The City (SITC) road running club whose name was adopted from the 2004 BBC programme narrated by Goodness Gracious Me star Kulvinder Ghir and featuring the then 93-year-old marathon runner, sportswear ‘poster boy’ and SITC founder, Fauja Singh.

Shona managed 41.29 miles (66.46k) in the seven hours and 49 minutes of the race and was seventh overall, marginally behind the sixth man and having run five miles further than the previous year.

“It was a hard, cold race and a strange birthday treat,” she said.

“The course was 2k circuits and involved a long climb and a long descent each lap. I knew I was doing pretty well. It was a great race and so friendly, among a great Sikh community. ”