Thetford athletes make their mark in cross country opener

Thetford AC runners at the first race of the Ryston Cross Country Grand Prix series at Shouldham War

Thetford AC runners at the first race of the Ryston Cross Country Grand Prix series at Shouldham Warren. Picture: Club - Credit: Archant

The first race of the Ryston Cross Country Grand Prix series was held at Shouldham Warren in mild temperatures and it proved to be a productive day for the Thetford athletes.

Daniel Clouston got the day off to a flying start by winning the under-11 boys race which was contested over 2km. In the same race, Thomas Norkett finished in a respectable 22nd place.

In the under-11 girls’ race Bethany Wilson, competing at Ryston for the first time, came home in third place with Alicia-Mae Howard in 10th.

The under-13 boys tackled a 3km course with James Peck leading the athletes home in first place, closely followed by Ollie Sanders in third and Ben Peck in fifth.

In the Under-13 girls’ race Abigail Clouston was the first Thetford athlete home, finishing second with Isabel Smythe a creditable ninth after having to run the entire 3km course with one shoe due to several athletes falling at the start.

The sole Thetford competitor in the under-15 boys’ race was Zak Mitchell who completed the 3km course finishing in eighth position.

The final event was the seniors’ race which was contested over a 5km course. Jim Mockford was 23rd with a time of 23.55 while Louise White was victorious in the women’s V40 category with a time of 19.35. Also competing was Wendy Howard who finished 10th in 29.06.

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In the women’s V45 category Ann Kirton crossed the line in seventh with a time of 29.22 while in the V45 category Gary Malliband finished 14th in 22.15. In the V50 category, Kevin Vaughan was victorious with a time of 17.18.

Four of Thetford AC athletes took part in the Bedford Autodrome Duathlon, an event that consists of a running leg, followed by a cycling leg and then another running leg.

Simon Smith, Charlotte Smith and Daniel Ward all took part in the standard distance and Simon and Charlotte Smith qualified for next year’s standard European Duathlon Championship in Ibiza by coming second in their age groups.

Charlotte came ninth female overall in 2:18.23, Simon was 12th overall in 1:59.50 and Dan finished a respectable 49th overall and seventh in his age group (2:09.13).

Steve Dickens competed in the sprint duathlon distance and finished in 1:08.54 to be 17th in his age group and 138th overall.