Crowds pack streets of Norwich for 2016 Lord Mayor’s 5km City Centre Classic Road Race

Lord Mayors Celebrations 2016 - the 5KM road race through Norwich city centre. Race winner Graham R

Lord Mayors Celebrations 2016 - the 5KM road race through Norwich city centre. Race winner Graham Rush Photo : Steve Adams - Credit: Steve Adams

Scores of runners took to Norwich's streets to compete in the annual Lord Mayor's 5km City Centre Classic Road Race.

The race, now in its 21st year, took place shortly before the Lord Mayor's Procession.

Large crowds lined the streets to cheer on the runners as they completed two laps of the parade route.

In total, 145 runners completed the course, the largest number in the history of the race, which is organised by City of Norwich Athletic Club (CoNAC).

Graham Rush, of Cheltenham and County Harriers, raced to victory with a winning time of 14 minutes 46 seconds.

The 33-year-old said: 'It was a great race. I loved the crowd. It really spurred you on.

'It was a great course. It was interesting with the hills and the corners. It made it a race rather than just chasing the clock, and with all the crowds it was brilliant.'

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Alex Dunbar came second in 14 minutes 48 seconds, and last year's winner Danny Russell, of Highgate Harriers, came third in 14 minutes 49 seconds.

Katrina Wootton, of Coventry Godiva, won the women's race for the second year in a row after finishing the course in 16 minutes six seconds – just seven seconds outside the course record.

The 30-year-old said: 'I am delighted. I came here last year and won it, and I felt like I had to defend my title. I was running as hard as I could. I love the atmosphere here. It was amazing, all the way up and down the course it was packed with spectators.'

Naomi Taschimowitz, of Shaftesbury Barnet, came second in 16 minutes 30 seconds and Faye Fullerton, of Havering AC, was third in 16 minutes 51 seconds.

After the race City of Norwich Athletic Club's junior members ran the final stretch of the course.

Race director Granville Courtnell said: 'We were absolutely delighted with Saturday's race. The crowd seemed bigger than ever and the support was just fantastic – at the front we had a brilliant race for first place.'

The race is part of the annual Lord Mayor's Celebration and was first staged in 1996. Entry is limited to competitors capable of finishing the 5km course in under 20 minutes.

Full results at www.conac.org.uk

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