Wintry conditions for Black Dog race

Runners in the annual Bungay Black Dog Marathon battled through frequent heavy snow and sleet to complete the usually picturesque Waveney Valley course.

Runners in the annual Bungay Black Dog Marathon battled through frequent heavy snow and sleet to complete the usually picturesque Waveney Valley course.

But it did not prevent more than 200 taking part in the full marathon and more than 400 in the half distance from the base at the Maltings Meadow, Ditchingham - and the main event produced a good race.

Stephen Pettitt of Ely runners dominated the first half of the course through Bungay to Beccles on the Suffolk side of the border and back via, Gillingham, Geldeston and Ellingham on the Norfolk side.

But he began to run out of steam on the second lap and by Gillingham the second time round he had been overhauled by Dubliner Ken Norgrove and unaffiliated runner Richard Watkinson. Meanwhile Ipswich Jaffa Thomas Jarrett was making his way through the field.

But it was 39-year-old Norgrove, who commutes between Dublin and England, who held on to win by just under a minute from Watkinson in a time of 2 hours 48 minutes 55 seconds, a creditable time in the circumstances.

Watkinson finished runner-up, well ahead of Jarrett who moved through to finish third, while Pettitt struggled to find his rhythm again and finally finished 10th.

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In the women's event Rotherham runner Claire Spencer made the trip south well worthwhile by winning comfortably in a time of 3-25:09. The Kimberworth Striders AC member led virtually the whole way and no other woman could get near her as she finished over eight minutes ahead of Sarah Richards, of Redhill Road Runners, Nottingham.

Richards clocked 3-33:53, with her team-mate Alison Herbert nearly two minutes further behind in third place.

In the half-marathon Woodbridge Shufflers David Miller ran the event for the first time in 10 years, and stormed home to win in 1-11:07. For much of the race he was out of sight of the rest of the field, such was his dominance, with second placed Roger Aldis, of Stowmarket Striders over four minutes behind in 1-15:49.

Lowestoft Road Runners Carl Prewer, who won the Bungay full marathon last year, was third in 1-16:16, and Waveney Valley AC athlete Richard Moore fourth, 27 seconds behind.

Ipswich Jaffa runner Jennie Roberts won the women's half-marathon, leading from the start and finishing in 1-20:58. Non-affiliated runner Jan Kaiser came home over six minutes later in second place in 1-27:04.

Reepham Runners' Rachael Leathwood had another good run at Bungay to finish third in 1-32:32. It was snowing steadily when the bulk of the finishers in both events came in, squelching through the snow and mud in the finishing funnel.

Afterwards race director Bob Paul said the event had gone well despite the weather, with large fields in both events again.

“It is the worst weather we have had in 26 years of the Bungay marathon, but I am pleased with the entry, and there were no major problems,” he said. Once again many runners were complimentary about the organisation.

He also paid tribute to the huge team of stewards, marshals, timekeepers and other back-up workers who made the vent possible.



Full marathon: 1 Ken Norgrove (unaffiliated) 2-48:55, 2 Richard Watkinson (unaffiliated) 2-49:51, 3 Thomas Jarrett (Ipswich Jaffa) 2-55:16.

Over 40: David Ross (100 Marathon Club) 3-00:53. Over 50: Richard Blake (Great Yarmouth Road Runners) 3-03:55. Over 60: John Bone (Great Yarmouth Road Runners) 3-30:11. Over 70: Anthony Cotton. First Bungay Black Dog: Craig Anderson 4-18:01. Team (three to count) Serpentine.

Half-marathon: 1 David Millar (Woodbridge Shufflers) 1-11:07, 2 Roger Aldis (Stowmarket Striders) 1-15:49, 3 Carl Prewer (Lowestoft Road Runners) 1-16:16.


Full marathon: 1 Claire Spencer (Kimberworth Striders AC) 3-25:09, 2 Sarah Richards (Redhill Road Runners) 3-33:53, 3 Alison Herbert (Redhill Road Runners) 3-35:40. First Bungay Black Dog: Carol Maycock 4-12:59.

Half-marathon: 1 Jennie Roberts (Ipswich Jaffa) 1-20:58, 2 Jan Kaiser (non-affiliated) 1-27:04, 3 Rachael Leathwood (Reepham Runners) 1-32:32. Over 35: Sarah Golding (St Edmund's Pacers) 1-41:06.