Lowestoft’s Paul Lyon roars to victory in Black Dogs’ showpiece event
- Credit: Nick Butcher
The weather may have been damp but the annual Bungay Black Dog Marathon produced one of the hottest finishes for years.
Just 17 seconds separated the first three runners.
They set the early pace, to be joined later by three others who broke away from the pack, including included eventual winner, Lowestoft Road Runners' Paul Lyon.
They were together at Geldeston on the first lap of the Waveney Valley course, and it was not until around the same point on the second lap that Lyon was able to put daylight between himself and challengers Jason Taylor of Felixstowe Runners, and the unattached Neil Parkin.
Even then he could not shake them off, and it came to a sprint finish as they entered the Maltings Meadow, with Lyon winning by just three seconds from Taylor, who was 14 seconds ahead of Parkin. Lyon's winning time, in his first attempt at the Bungay race, was 2hrs 58 mins nine seconds.
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'The others were always there, and I was cramping up over the last few miles, but I managed to do it. I know the course, and it's a tough one,' said the 38-year-old.
The women's race was more straightforward, with unattached runner Lindsay Hamilton leading from start to finish in a time of 3:25.39, nearly seven minutes ahead of Karen Doak, of the Tri-Anglia club, in 3:32:27. Doak was runner-up last year.
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St Edmunds Pacers' Denys Olefir won the men's half-marathon in 1:14:30, three minutes ahead of Bungay Black Dogs' Matthew Spencer, who clocked 1:17:34. Third was last year's half-marathon winner Robert Chenery, of Ipswich Jaffa, in 1:18:58.
The women's half-marathon was dominated by two unattached runners, Leanne Finch and Nancy Connolly, with Finch taking it in 1:25:54, nearly three minutes ahead of Connolly. Katy Oldman made it a good day for Lowestoft Road Runners by finishing third in 1:33:30. The host club took the team prize in both half-marathon events.
For the first time runners had the option to enter the 10k race and the half-marathon – the Double Doggie - and Dominic Oliver, of City of Norwich Athletics Club, won the 10k race in 37:05 and finished well enough in the half-marathon to take the new award. Nichola Lambert-John of Coltishall Jaguars, took the Double Doggie award.
In all the Festival of Running, which also included a family fun run, attracted around 1100 entries, and raised money for the NSPCC and the Beccles and Bungay Community Transport service.
Men, Marathon: 1 Paul Lyon (Lowestoft Road Runners) 2-58:09, 2 Jason Taylor (Felixstowe Road Runners) 2-58:12, 3 Neil Parkin (unattached) 2-58:26.
Half-marathon: 1 Denys Olefir (St Edmunds Pacers) 1-14:30, 2 Matthew Spencer (Bungay Black Dog) 1-17:34, 3 Robert Chenery (Ipswich Jaffa) 1-18:58.
10k: 1 Dominic Oliver (City of Norwich AC) 37:05, 2 David Sparshott (Bungay Black Dog) 37:32, 3 Dylan Neeve (unattached) 38:00
Double Doggie: Dominic Oliver City of Norwich AC).
Women, Marathon: 1Lindsay Hamilton (unattached) 3-25:39, 2 Karen Doak (Tri-Anglia) 3-32:27.
Half-marathon: 1 Leanne Finch (unattached) 1-25:54, 2 Nancy Connolly (unattached) 1-28:47, 3 Katy Oldman (Lowestoft Road Runners) 1-33:30.
10k: 1 Jo Andrews (Bungay Black Dog) 38:19, 2 Lorena Latisaite (Ryston Runners AC) 42:03, 3 Theresa Dooley (Norfolk Gazelles) 44:07.
Double Doggie: Nichola Lambert-John (Coltishall Jaguars).