Norfolk Championship joy for Michael Eccles and Mabel Beckett at Dereham 10 Mile Road Race
- Credit: Archant
Bure Valley Harriers' Michael Eccles is the new Norfolk County Champion after taking victory at the Dereham 10 Mile Road Race on Sunday.
Bure Valley Harriers' Michael Eccles is the new Norfolk County champion after taking victory at the Dereham 10 Mile Road Race on Sunday.
The 39-year-old finished behind Springfield Striders' Chris Burgoyne (55:57) in second place but as the first Norfolk runner home he took the county victory in 56:49. John Hudson (Norwich Road Runners) was runner up in 59:08 whilst Ben Rivett (Wymondham AC) took third in the county championship in 1-00:04.
City of Norwich AC runner Jan Kaiser took third overall in 58:02.
Eccles was delighted to finally have the chance to run the event.
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"I've never done this race because of London or I've been injured in the build up so I was glad to have the chance to run it," he said. "I thought I might have the chance of being the first Norfolk runner home and I'm glad that's how it panned out."
Burgoyne led the race from the start and Eccles admitted there was never any realistic chance to take the overall event victory in race five of the Sportlink Grand Prix series, organised by Dereham Runners AC.
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"He started off so quickly and I knew I wasn't fit enough to go with that and to be honest I didn't really see him again until about two miles to go when he suddenly just popped up in the distance.
"That was probably the closest I got. He was just bit too far head, unless he was struggling with an injury I knew he wasn't going to slow that much for me to catch up with him. I was struggling by that stage as well so I was looking behind me!"
MORE: Love running? Join the Run Anglia Facebook group hereEccles admitted to feeling slightly leggy in the latter stages, a product of playing for Vauxhall Mallards in the East Anglian Premier League the day before.
Eccles has always tried to combine cricket and running and that's not going to change any time soon.
"I've always played cricket and I've never really competed much over the summer," added Eccles, who plans to take part in one of Yarmouth 5M series next as well as a possible outing at one of the Wroxham 5K races.
"I'm normally running my best in the winter. I enjoy doing both - with running you always get what you deserve and with cricket you can have good days and bad days.
"I don't want to give either up and I've just got to put up with it. It makes my legs heavy for Sunday but I want to do both."
City of Norwich AC's Mabel Beckett continued her fine form this year to take victory in the women's event in 1-02:39. Juliette Watkinson (Wymondham AC) was second in 1-06:05 with Jessica Behan (Norwich Road Runners) third in 1-06:36.
Beckett, who was also victorious at the City of Norwich Half Marathon last month, said: "I like this sort of distance - you don't have to go too fast but it's not too long either!
"It was a really nice day for it and I really enjoyed it.
"I was trying to stick with Trevor (Gannon) because I knew that he was going to do about 60 (minutes) but I struggled in the second half, it was quite tiring but I enjoyed it."