Run Norwich results

8 August 2016 - By Bob Taylor

Due to the early start on Sunday, an overnight stay at my sister, Carole’s house was arranged. This had the dual advantage that it’s a short walk to the starting line and her husband, Colin, is an excellent cook! Suitably nourished with swordfish steak, pine nut and raisin garnish, salad and new potatoes, a relatively early night ensued despite the temptation to watch the wall to wall coverage of the Olympics.

Those of you who know me will be aware of my undying love for the Canaries, the “Fine City’s” football team that I have followed through thin and thinner over the last half century. My family moved to Norwich from South East London when I was the tender age of six, otherwise I might have been a Millwall hooligan all these years!

Sunday morning dawned cloudy (why does my body clock still wake me up at 5.38 despite the alarm being switched off at weekends)? After the obligatory pre-race bowl of porridge, I strolled to the newsagents to check out the weather conditions. By this time, the clouds had begun to break up but there was a refreshing gentle breeze although it was very warm. Colin’s home built weather station confirmed a temperature of 24C before we left for the pre-race build-up.

Baggage drop was extremely well organised from the back of huge flatbed trucks, self-adhesive bag tags aligned to race numbers. I guess with up to 5,000 entrants, this was a necessity but nevertheless, very welcome. On the subject of organisation, I should mention that the race was organised by and in aid of the NCFC Community Sports Foundation (CSF) which helps over 38,000 people every year achieve their goals through sport, supporting some of the most disadvantaged, disabled and talented people across Norfolk. Carole & Colin’s son, Dan, is the CSF’s Contracts and Performance Manager so he was heavily involved in the planning and execution of the event.

On race eve, it had been announced that “Our Delia” would be starting the race and it fell to Dan to escort her to the start line and induct her in the art of fog horn blasting. The elite runners were set off on the dot of 9.30am with subsequent groups colour coded, although, somewhat bizarrely, not strictly by predicted race time. As a result, Carole, Colin & I were all in the sub 40 group!!

The start line was on Gentleman’s Walk (hopefully not a race prediction) in the shadow of City Hall and, allegedly, the largest covered open air market in the country. The first kilometre was fairly pedestrian due to the large numbers of varying abilities, jostling for position, although, as the coaches will always tell you, it’s better not to go off too quickly. So, we were able to enjoy the views as we ambled past the Assembly House, Theatre Royal and Chapelfield Gardens before the race settled down. Progress continued through the shopping district and on past the City’s majestic Norman Castle, perched high on the hill. At around 4K we circumnavigated the “Theatre of Disappointments” otherwise known as Carrow Road and a very welcome drinks station. Shortly after, we crossed back over the river to the first hill, on Rose Lane. I remember this as being the red light district area of the City but I didn’t espy any ladies of the night – perhaps they were still in bed! The route then meandered back down to the river and through the grounds of the Anglican Cathedral, another splendid example of Norman architecture. From 7 to 10K it’s fair to say that it seemed to be one hill followed by a brief respite then another incline so everyone was grateful for the excellent support throughout the City. I managed a final sprint up the last hill and on to the finish line outside the steps of the City Hall.
Mine and others’ watches recorded the distance as 10.2K which was strange but there was little chance of many PBs anyway due to the warm weather.

Medals and goodie bags collected and we sauntered back to Chapelfield Gardens to savour the post-race village atmosphere.

For the record:-
1st male – Nick Earl (City of Norwich AC) 32:23
1st female – Tracy Barlow (Thames Valley Harriers) 35:19
Bob Taylor (WRC) 49:33
Carole Crouch 53:25 (4th in her gender age group)
Colin Crouch 1:10:18 (10th in his gender age group)

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