With the Brighton, Manchester, and London marathons all now done and dusted through April, here in our fine county, it just leaves the Norfolk Marathon this Sunday to see the month out. 

For me and many others it brings back memories of the original Norfolk Marathon which was held from 1982 to 1990 following a route from Kelling, just outside of Holt, and finishing at the Cathedral in Norwich. 

A race which I won four times whilst also having several mixed memories about it. 

It was never easy what with the course being so very undulating (mainly uphill all the way) between Holt and Aylsham and then long straights all the way into Norwich. Apart from one year (1987), running into a headwind too. 

Eastern Daily Press: The route map of the very first Norfolk Marathon in 1982 when it started in Kelling and finished at

However, it was our home marathon and something I can look back on knowing that this was not only a race which I won, but also being able to boast that so far and to date, I still hold the record for having ran the fastest marathon here in the county – 2 hours 20 mins and 33 secs. Apparently 300 metres over distance as well. 

This year’s race, albeit now starting and finishing in Cromer after having been resurrected a couple of years ago, is now organised by EPIC Norfolk and race director Steve Hitcham. 

I also coach a young lad by the name of Eric Mytton who will be running in his first marathon and whose dad, Dave, finished third in 2 hours and 32 mins in what was the first marathon on record to have been held in Norfolk back in 1982. 

Dave was a fantastic runner but sadly now has Parkinson’s Disease although he is not letting that get in the way of his life. 

Eastern Daily Press: Dave Mytton finishing the very first Norfolk Marathon in 1982 in 3rd place and in a time of 2 hours

His wife, Julie, also suffers with MS, and she like Dave, is also a go-getter, so I am really hoping that Eric has a great run. 

I know for a fact that Sunday’s race means so very much to him whilst also hoping that one day he can be as good as his dad when it comes to running. I think he can, and I also think he will be close to around three hours this time around, subject to not going off too fast. 

Having spoken to Steve (Hitcham) this week with regards to finding out how all the pre-race preparations have gone, he said: “With running being so popular in our county, EPIC Norfolk wanted to ensure that we have a road marathon to cater for runners in Norfolk and indeed further afield. Overall, we have 1,200 entries with an expected 1,000 runners taking part on the day.” 

Steve also told me about all the charity efforts he and EPIC Norfolk go to with all profits being reinvested into local sport and physical activity with the current focus being on supporting people living with dementia. 

“Our events also allow local charities to fundraise with 18 charity partners and 125 runners representing them taking part which will equate to over £50,000 in fundraising,” he said. “James Wright, the Lord Mayor of Norwich, and North Norfolk MP Duncan Baker, who is raising over £100,000 for Norfolk charities, are also taking part.”  

Duncan Baker also completed last Sunday’s London Marathon as well. 

Steve and EPIC organise several other races in the county which are all very popular such as the Blickling Half Marathon and are aiming to raise £42,000 by the end of 2024 for their Dementia appeal. 

I first got to know Steve a few years ago through one of his other good deed ventures ‘The Good Gym Running Group’ where he and the group ran to the Hallswood Animal Sanctuary to help dig out a new pond. 

He really is a doer who puts a heck of a lot of time and effort into all his projects for which I really do wish him, all the marshals and helpers working on the day and of course to everyone running all the very best come this Sunday. 

However, I will let Steve have the final words this week: “Essentially, I try to dedicate most of my time to helping others and realise just how fortunate I am being able to do so. When I see all the runners crossing the finish line on Sunday I will most certainly be watching with pride whilst also realising why I set EPIC up six years ago.” 

For anyone who would like to donate to the Dementia appeal please see https://localgiving.org/appeal/epicnorfolk-dementia/.