EACCL Race & End of Season Result
Earlier in the year, RAF Marham were the proud hosts of the East Anglian Cross Country Leagues (EACCL) 6th race of the season.
The EACCL series consists of 10 races through the winter months with each race being set around a five kilometre course with women completing one lap, and men two. The Marham leg of the series is held at Shouldham Warren which is three miles to the north west of the base and forms part of Thetford Parks Forestry Commission.
Race Day, 22nd January 2014
There were 32 teams racing on the day consisting of 22 men’s and 10 women’s teams. The teams themselves had travelled from across the region including teams from the University of East Anglia (UEA) and Wattisham Airfield. The race was blessed with excellent weather on the day and 15 minutes before the start, Acting Station Commander Wg Cdr Andy Gilbert, called the runners together to open the brief. The teams were welcomed to Shouldham Warren before the history of the event was explained and the racers updated on the current team standings. At 2.30pm Wg Cdr Gilbert started the race and the 96 runners set off at a blistering pace.
The course can best be described as a fast undulating woodland track with some technical areas (tree roots and steep sandy inclines) with a number of sharp turns that were ably marshalled on the day by volunteers from RAF Marham. Within the first kilometre the runners had broken into four main groups with the lead men’s group consisting of just seven runners representing the Running Centre, UEA, Honington and Marham (these being SAC Olly Truby and CT Paul Nicholson). The lead group broke the halfway mark in less than 17 minutes demonstrating just how quick the course can be. The women’s group broke off at the 4km point led by RAF Marham’s PEd Office Manager, Mrs Nicky Neill, with runners from the Running Centre, GYRR and Tri-Anglia in hot pursuit. The final half kilometre is a straight fast finish along a wide open track which saw Nicky push hard all the way to secure the first individual female place for RAF Marham. She was followed shortly afterwards by Sgt Andrea Thompson, Sarah Thompson and Cpl Joanna Jones putting the RAF Marham Ladies team in 3rd place. The men’s individual race was won by Mr Michael Eccles of the Running Centre but a strong overall team performance saw the RAF Marham A team win the day with the top 4 male runners coming in 5th (SAC Olly Truby), 7th (CT Paul Nicholson), 8th (Flt Lt Stephen Jones) and 11th (Cpl Anthony Robinson).
End of Season Results The final race of the season was held on the 5th March at Barnham Camp near Honington and on its completion trophies and medals were awarded to the overall team and individual winners. The great news is that the RAF Marham team’s hard work paid off with prizes being presented for 1st male team (Marham A), 2nd female team (Marham A) and 3rd male team (Marham B). Mrs Nicky Neill finished 2nd overall to claim the top Marham female individual runner and there were four male individual runners in the overall top ten with SAC Olly Truby taking 4th position finishing as the highest placed Marham male. With the end of the cross country season the RAF Marham Running club is now preparing for the summer road racing season and we are actively seeking new runners to join the club. RAF Marham host two major events this year and we would like to increase our presence at all future events. The club is inclusive and supportive of all new runners and we positively encourage all standards of runners to join us. Our aim is to promote running and there is no better way to improve your own running times than by training and racing with a club. Most importantly it is free to join so if you are interested please contact one of the Club Secretaries; Cpl Adam Tingey (ext 5250) or Cpl Ben Warnes (ext 5103), and we’ll add you to the running clubs distribution list ready for the summer season. We look forward to seeing you at a start line soon!