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City of Norwich athletes out in force over the weekend

15:18 28 March 2012

The weekend proved to be a hectic time for City of Norwich AC endurance athletes who competed in road races and over cross country.

The senior athletes put their best feet forward travelling to Milton Keynes to compete in the Soucony South of England 12 & 6 Stage Road Relays.

The men raced of 12 stages, 6 long legs of 7650m and 6 short legs of 5100m. With the best club teams in the south competing were delighted to finish in a high 8th position. Alex Dunbar, Ben Stratton, Luke Allen, Stuart Huntington, Nick Earl, Rick Ward, Ashley Harrell, Ollie Maskell, Josh Entwistle, Micah Rogers, Carl Goose and Damian Rogers made up the squad that comfortably qualified for the National Final that takes place in Birmingham on April 14.

Ashley Harrell’s 23:48 time over the long leg was the seventh fastest overall while Ben Stratton had the satisfaction of recording the team’s fastest short leg time when clocking 16:08.

There was drama for the ladies team even before they left Norwich. A very late cry off meant a replacement was urgently required. With just 30 minutes notice veteran athlete Louise Wilkinson thankfully stepped in to fill the gap to rescue a serious situation. Her effort proved to be well worthwhile as the team went one better than the men when placed 7th overall. The team of Kelly Rushton, Iona Lake, Imogen Thorpe, Esther Hope, Louise Wilkinson and Claire Pring raced over stints of 5100m with Claire comfortably producing the team’s fastest leg on the day when posting a time of 17:40 the 10th fastest overall. The ladies will now join the men at the National Final.

Sunday’s Wilmslow half Marathon incorporated the English Championship in which Olivia Walwyn-Bush made her mark. Recovering from a niggling knee injury she was pleased to take the bronze medal in a time 1-17:51, a little short of her personal best but a positive sign of a full recovery.

One of the City club’s star veteran athlete’s Jane Clarke made her way to Bath to compete in the British Masters Cross Country Championships. Racing in the Over 50 category she was keen to retain her title won last year. This she did with aplomb comfortably winning the 6km race thus making sure that she took her place on top of the podium.

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