Runners brave elements for round Norfolk race

Runners set out on the first stage of the Birketts Round Norfolk Relay.

Runners set out on the first stage of the Birketts Round Norfolk Relay. - Credit: Round Norfolk Relay

While many of us were sheltering from the autumn weather over the weekend 918 runners were out battling the conditions as they took part in the 27th Birketts Round Norfolk Relay.

The annual race sees teams of 17 take on a 197-mile course split into unequal stages.

Runners must make their way to a checkpoint where they hand over the baton to their teammate.

Race director Paul Sullivan, who also ran a stage, said: 'The event went really well.

'Everyone came back safe and sound which is the important thing.

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'The weather was bad early on Saturday morning with the rain making it a bit miserable but that was more for the spectators than the runners.

'It all worked out pretty well with the timings being pretty close.

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'We did have a couple of runners go off course, mainly during the off-road stages, but most of the teams have a good understanding of the course.

'It was a brilliant event and we are already looking at what we might do for next year.

'It is unlike any other event in the running calender.'

The first runners set off from a rainy Lynnsport Sports Centre, in King's Lynn, at 5.30am on Saturday, to tackle the 17-mile beginning stage.

The course headed to Hunstanton before moving round the coast to Great Yarmouth.

Some team members had to run through the night as they headed back along the Suffolk border and up to Lynn.

Runners began arriving back at Lynnsport at around 5am on Sunday with the last competitors getting in around 11am.

Fifty-four teams from around the area took part with many coming from the region's running clubs.

City of Norwich AC won Club Class trophy and was the fastest team to complete the course in a time of 20:22:39.

Ely Runners won the Open Class in a time of 20:34:38 and the new Mixed Class for this year was won by Saint Edmunds Pacers in 24:08:28.

The Masters Class was won by City of Norwich B team in a time of 23:02:16 and Best Small Club was won by Dereham Runners AC in a time of 25:00:46.

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