PICTURE GALLERY: North Norfolk Marathon, Half-marathon and Mini-marathon

They may not be the most famous races in Britain but, for many, the North Norfolk Marathon, Half-marathon and Mini-marathon, held for the first time today, were the most enjoyable.

More than 400 people took the opportunity to run in some of the most scenic surroundings in the country.

The marathon and half-marathon started and finished in front of Holkham Hall with runners travelling through park lands on the Holkham Estate and down to the North Norfolk Coast Path into Wells. There was a loop around Wells and runners re-entered the Holkham Estate through the East Gate before running around the estate and back to the start area. Full-marathon runners did the route twice and half-marathon runners, once. There were 1k, 2.5k and 5k mini-marathon races for juniors.

The event was organised by Wells woman Jodie McCallum, 26, and raised money for East Anglia's Children's Hospices (EACH) and Great Ormond Street Hospital Children's Charity. It is not yet known how much was raised.

Mrs McCallum said: 'It's always difficult starting up a new event and you never know how it's going to go but I've been absolutely delighted. I was hoping to get 200 runners and we've more than doubled that.


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'I think the appeal is down to the unique and stunning setting and also the fact that this is currently the only full-marathon in Norfolk. Also, with the Olympics coming up, more people are wanting to get out there and participate in sport.'

Participants included a mix of serious club runners from across the region, and further afield, and fun runners. Viscount Coke from the Holkham Estate took part in the half-marathon.

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The first full-marathon finisher was Benjamin Letzer, 34, from Swanton Abbot, near North Walsham in 2.55.22, with Colin Stark, 37, from Fakenham, completing his 57th marathon, second in 2.57.31.

Mr Letzer said: 'I'm used to running marathons in city centres so running in these scenic surroundings has been magnificent. You couldn't ask for a better backdrop at the finish line than Holkham Hall.'

Mr Stark, who attempts to run 20 marathons a year, said: 'I think this has got real potential to go and become a top race.'

First female marathon finisher was Andrea Cossey in 3:48.15, first male half-marathon finisher was Charlie Baily in 1.15.04 and first female half-marathon finisher was Rebecca Flynn in 1.32.12.

Mrs McCallum plans to hold the event again next year.

For full results go to www.racetimingsystems.com.

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