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Who are the runners and riders looking to take victory at Run Norwich 2019?

PUBLISHED: 12:53 15 July 2019 | UPDATED: 12:53 15 July 2019

Runners get their positions on the start line at Run Norwich 2018. Picture: Epic Action Imagery

Runners get their positions on the start line at Run Norwich 2018. Picture: Epic Action Imagery

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Run Norwich 2019 takes place this Sunday and Mark Armstrong looks at the runners and riders likely to be fighting it out at the front end of the field

Ash Harrell will fancy his chances of success at Run Norwich 2019. Picture: Epic Action ImageryAsh Harrell will fancy his chances of success at Run Norwich 2019. Picture: Epic Action Imagery

Men's race

Nick Earl's absence this year has opened the door for a new winner in 2019 and it looks set to be an exciting battle at the sharp end of the field.

Earl, a three-time winner of the event, is unable to compete this year, but there is still no shortage of talent.

The 2018 runner-up Ash Harrell will be in the leading pack and looks to be in the form to better his time of 31:34 last year. Harrell won the Freethorpe 10 earlier this year and posted an impressive time of 2-31:42 at the London Marathon in April.

Dani Nimmock is looking to break the course record again at Run Norwich 2019. Picture: Epic Action ImageryDani Nimmock is looking to break the course record again at Run Norwich 2019. Picture: Epic Action Imagery

City of Norwich AC team-mate Piers Arnold, who missed last year's event due to his honeymoon, pipped Harrell as the top Norfolk finisher in London with a time of 2-30:17 and won the second race of the Wroxham 5K Series in 14:45. He will fancy his chances of success again this year although training partner Logan Smith is also enjoying a productive year after posting a new 5K PB in Armagh earlier this year. Smith and Arnold are coached by James Senior, who came third last year and is rediscovering that form following an injury earlier this year.

Another CoNAC member in contention will be Scott Greeves. Born in Reepham, Scott currently also runs for Idaho State University Men's Cross Country team in the U.S, but will be back in Norwich for the race.

Run Norwich newcomer Norman Shreeve (Cambridge & Coleridge) will also be in contention after his 31:03 at the Salford 10K earlier this year.

Veteran runner Adrian Mussett cannot be discounted after his victory at the Grand East Anglia Run in May in 32:46 whilst Dominic Blake (Reepham Runners) and Michael Eccles (Bure Valley Harriers) are also likely to be in the top 10.

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Women's race

Reigning Run Norwich champion Dani Nimmock is the clear favourite to regain her title this year.

The CoNAC athlete will be looking to make it two out of two, and her form - which includes setting a 10K PB of 33:41 at the England 10K Championships in Brighton this year - indicates she'll be tough to stop.

She's building up to representing Great Britain for the first time in the IAU 50K World Championships in Romania in September.

CoNAC team-mate Iona Lake ran an on-the-road PB of 16:25 at the Ipswich Twilight 5K but an illness has interrupted her training recently.

Nimmock's most likely challenger could come from Philippa Bowden. The 24-year-old mostly runs track, but is relishing the challenge of racing on tarmac on Sunday. The Aldershot, Farnham & District runner currently competes for the University of Oregon cross-country team in the USA, and has run 33:35 at 10,000m this year.

Fulham Running Club's Rose Penfold is a Run Norwich newcomer this year, and has two 10K wins in London to her name this year: the Self-Transcendence 10k in June and the Serpentine New Year's Day 10k, where she ran 36:47.

Last year's second and third placers Leanne Finch (CoNAC) and Jo Andrews (Bungay Black Dog) will look to repeat last year's podium finishes. Andrews is currently the top ranked V45 woman in the UK, while Finch came second at the Snetterton 10k in January.

2017 winner Emma Risbey (CoNAC) won Run Norwich in 2017 but, following a break from racing last year, is only just starting to train again. She thinks it's unlikely she'll be a podium contender, but is still looking forward to racing.

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