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Dogs and their owners take to the dunes in beach race

PUBLISHED: 12:00 01 April 2018 | UPDATED: 12:47 01 April 2018

Participants on Caister beach running in the Nelson Knee-Knobbler event. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Participants on Caister beach running in the Nelson Knee-Knobbler event. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Copyright: Archant 2018

For some Easter is a time of relaxation and indulging in giant chocolate eggs in front of the fire. But for scores of fearless athletes, it was about pushing yourself to the limit.

Participants on Caister beach running in the Nelson Knee-Knobbler event. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYParticipants on Caister beach running in the Nelson Knee-Knobbler event. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Runners from across the county descended on Caister to take part in the first leg of the Nelson Knee Knobbler race, an event organised by Dunerunner which first took place in 2014.

Participants took part in either a 5k or 10k run, some running in the special, dog-friendly ‘Canicross’ categories which saw their furry friends run the distance with them.

The route, starting and finishing at the Caister lifeboat station, took racers along the seafront and wove in and out of the dunes, with steep inclines and slippery sand making the going tough.

The lifeboat put on hot and cold drinks and snacks for competitors, with parking donations raising money for the museum and historic lifeboat centre.

Participants on Caister beach running in the Nelson Knee-Knobbler event. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYParticipants on Caister beach running in the Nelson Knee-Knobbler event. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Jamie Mordecai, 38, said: “It’s something different. You’re running on the beach and you’re not racing like you do on roads, it’s relaxed and everyone is fun and encouraging.”

Richard Coles, 35, who had travelled from Peterborough to take part alongside his dog Bertie, was first in the Carnicross Short race.

He said: “It seems less competitive because you are running with a dog, you are not challenging yourself, you’re running to what the dog can do.

“Luckily he is quite fast from the get go. The socialising with other dogs is great, it’s very dog orientated and they enjoy the fuss before and after and the treats he will have on the way home.

Participants on Caister beach running in the Nelson Knee-Knobbler event. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYParticipants on Caister beach running in the Nelson Knee-Knobbler event. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Organiser Martin Rendle, from Repps with Bastwick, said: “I started this up in because there were so many people running around the streets of Yarmouth or Norwich and there would be 200 people running on a Tuesday night at some of the clubs.

“But then I came to the beach and there was nobody out here soaking up this immensely wonderful natural environment.

“Running off road not only makes you a stronger person all round but also you get the mental benefits of being outside in nature as well.

“Dunerunner is a social enterprise so if we can make it work and we can hand something back to the community with the lifeboats then we tick all the boxes.”

Participants on Caister beach running in the Nelson Knee-Knobbler event. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYParticipants on Caister beach running in the Nelson Knee-Knobbler event. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

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