The weather smiles on Valentine 10K as Dom Blake and Eleanor Grubb take top honours
- Credit: Archant
A taste of spring greeted the runners at Norfolk Gazelles' ninth annual Valentine 10km race on Sunday.
Crisp sunshine, emerging snowdrops and temperatures a welcome couple of degrees warmer than during the previous week greeted runners.
Held at Easton and Otley College and attracting a field of more than 500 runners, Norfolk Gazelles' Valentine 10km is the second fixture in the 2018 SportLink Running & Fitness Grand Prix series of Norfolk road races.
Reepham Runners' Dom Blake stormed home in a tremendous 33:22s (knocking 36 seconds off his third-place time in 2017), followed by Samuel Coyne of Bure Valley Harriers in 34:04 and CONAC's Gary Crush in 34:06.
Eleanor Grubb (CONAC) took the overall ladies' trophy in 38:11s, with Charlotte Neale of North Norfolk Beach Runners bagging second place in 38:58 and Bure Valley Harriers' Faith Viney third in 39:07.
Male age category trophies were awarded to Christopher Mickleburgh (senior, CONAC), Matt Pyatt (40-44, Ryston Runners), Darren Honour (45-49, Bungay Black Dog RC), Mark Garrett (50-54, Norwich Road Runners), Yitzhak Ben-Aroya (55-59, Wymondham AC), Pete Johnson (60-64, Ryston Runners) and Stephen Dady (65+, Wymondham AC). Taking home the female age category prizes were Kate Murrell (senior, Tri-Anglia), Alexandra Smith (40-44, Wymondham AC), Sabina Spence (45-49, Bure Valley Harriers), Nicky Dowson (50-54, Norwich Road Runners), Alison Stewart (55-59, Norwich Road Runners), Elaine Hudson (60-64) and Jane Ashby (65+, Ryston Runners).
This year's race also celebrated local runner and former paramedic Andy Kett, who suffered a stroke while competing in a 50-mile race in September 2017: £1 from every race entry fee was donated to support Andy and his family, and Andy also presented the prizes alongside sponsor and Sportlink boss Neil Featherby.
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Race director Steve Sadd said: 'It was really good to see Andy. He is such an inspiration for every runner.'
Sadd added: 'I'm so proud to be race director for such a wonderful club. The Valentine 10km just seems to get better every year. The weather was perfect, the marshals were brilliant and I was really impressed with the Broadland first aiders. It was great seeing so many smiles on the runners' faces.'