Scenic win makes it a double for Natasha

NATASHA Belsom recorded her second successive victory on a record-breaking day at the annual Stowmarket Striders Scenic Seven, staged on Remembrance Sunday.

By Carl Marston

NATASHA Belsom recorded her second successive victory on a record-breaking day at the annual Stowmarket Striders Scenic Seven, staged on Remembrance Sunday.

There was a record 400 entrants, and similarly a record 379 finishers, for this out-and-back seven-mile route between Stowmarket and Harleston.

Belsom had won the previous weekend's Suffolk Winter Cross County League meeting at Fritton, in the colours of Stowmarket Striders, but on Sunday she was running for her first claim club Ipswich Jaffa.

The 21-year-old clocked 44mins 50secs to finish more than a minute clear of the field, although less than a minute separated the next five finishers.

Tracy Curl, of Norwich Road Runners, smashed the course record for the over-45s by registering 46.08 in second. An in-form Tonya Antonis, of Ipswich Harriers, took third spot in 46.31, pursued by Sudbury Joggers' Amanda Henry and over-40 veteran Mary Narey, of the host club Stowmarket.

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Meanwhile, there was no stopping David Miller in the men's race. The 36-year-old Woodbridge Shuffler retained his title, finishing 13 seconds faster than last year in 37.35.

It was Miller's 18th win of the year, and the 168th victory of his career. It was also the fifth time that he had won the Scenic Seven title.

Andy Jones, of City of Norwich AC, took second spot in 38.30, with Robert Chenery a further 17 seconds adrift in third. Chenery, a 21-year-old from Jaffa, has had a good autumn with victories at the Harwich 10K and Martlesham 10K.

Jaffa scooped the team award, with Gavin Davies and over-50 veteran Terry Back supporting Chenery in the successful trio. Stowmarket won the ladies' equivalent, thanks to the efforts of Narey, Rebecca Jordan and Heidi Bingham.

Saint Edmund Pacers had a good morning amongst the veteran categories. Chris Cooke, who clocked 2hrs 49mins at the recent Amsterdam Marathon, was first in the over-45 section with 40.33, while his Bury club-mate Peter Golding topped the over-50 age group.Great Yarmouth's Peter Blake (over-55), Halstead Road Runners' Andrew Bailey (over-60) and Reginald Woodward (over-65) won their respective categories, as did Woodbridge's Mel Roberts (over-50), Lowestoft's Pauline Norman (over-55) and Stowmarket's Margery Brown (over-60) in the female half.

Times were generally down on last year, due to a slight head-wind on the opening three miles out to Onehouse and Harleston.

The event was sponsored by Barnards (Volkswagen) of Stowmarket, and there were also three supporting junior races.

Stowmarket Scenic Seven results

Top 40 men: 1 D Miller (Woodbridge Sufflers) 37.35; 2 A Jones (City of Norwich) 38.30; 3 R Chenery (Ipswich Jaffa) 38.47; 4 G Davies (Jaffa) 40.19; 5 C Cooke (Saint Edmund Pacers) 40.33; 6 N Palmer (Stowmarket Striders) 40.39; 7 P Golding (Pacers) 41.28; 8 P Preston (Sudbury Joggers) 42.05; 9 T Back (Jaffa) 42.08; 10 A Bunn (Norwich RR) 42.12.

11 G Roper (Norwich RR) 42.29; 12 T Jarrett (Jaffa) 42.56; 13 J Long (Pacers) 43.25; 14 M Ball (City of Portsmouth) 43.28; 15 S Lark (Lowestoft RR) 43.34; 16 R Blake (Great Yarmouth RR) 43.47; 17 A Bailey (Halstead RR) 43.52; 18 J Beeton (Newmarket Joggers) 44.00; 19 M Cobbold (Pacers) 44.10; 20 S Green (Stowmarket) 44.13.

21 V Coogan (Un) 44.22; 22 T Taylor (Ipswich Harriers) 44.25; 23 D Judd (Sudbury) 44.33; 24 L Rudland (Jaffa) 44.38; 25 S Edwards (Newmarket) 44.46; 26 J Wankowski (Ipswich Tri) 44.48; 27 S Faust (Thetford AC) 44.51; 28 D Smith (Ipswich Tri) 44.53; 29 J Smith (Sudbury) 45.19; 30 J Youngs (Un) 45.40.

31 A McMillen (Colchester Harriers) 45.41; 32 G Thompson (Jaffa) 45.48; 33 S Brown (Reading RR) 45.57; 34 S Bourne (Pacers) 45.57; 35 S Levinson (Un) 46.03; 36 N Rodgers (Un) 46.07; 37 N Higgins (Un) 46.15; 38 D Chenery (Jaffa) 46.17; 39 C Gillibrand (Sudbury) 46.28; 40 V Ellis (CoN) 46.31.

Top 30 ladies: 1 N Belsom (Jaffa) 44.50; 2 T Curl (Norwich RR) 46.08; 3 T Antonis (Ips/Harr) 46.31; 4 A Henry (Sudbury) 46.45; 5 M Narey (Stowmarket) 46.53; 6 V Reynolds (Jaffa) 47.02; 7 S Coulson (West Suffolk AC) 47.36; 8 R Jordan (Stowmarket) 47.39; 9 U White (Newmarket) 48.24; 10 J Jepson (Pacers) 50.06.

11 H Bingham (Stowarket) 50.58; 12 J Morgan (Hadleigh Hares) 51.02; 13 K Thomas (Harwich Runners) 51.12; 14 S Fossberg (Harwich) 51.16; 15 S Golding (Pacers) 51.36; 16 M Gordon (Un) 52.12; 17 M Rittimut-Mak (Pacers) 52.59; 18 K Wooldridge (Jaffa) 54.09; 19 S Gadd (Newmarket Cycling & Tri) 53.13; 20 L Staunton (Jaffa) 53.24.

21 M Burgess (Newmarket) 53.31; 22 M Roberts (Woodbridge) 53.42; 23 K Colson (West Suffolk) 53.51; 24 A Paton (Stowmarket) 53.59; 25 S Whyand (Pacers) 54.12; 26 M Defernez (CoN) 54.26; 27 G Dean (Jaffa) 54.44; 28 S Bradley (Norwich RR) 55.15; 29 P Norman (Lowestoft RR) 55.24; 30 T Tyrer (Tiptree RR) 55.25.

Male veterans, over-40: 1 Ball, 2 Beeton, 3 Edwards. Over-45: 1 Cooke, 2 Roper, 3 Cobbold. Over-50: 1 Golding, 2 Back, 3 D Smith. Over-55: 1 Blake. Over-60: 1 Bailey. Junior under-18: 1 Taylor.

Female veterans, over-40: 1 Antonis, 2 Narey (prize winner). Over-45: 1 Curl, 2 L Witherley (Un) 59.26. Over-50: 1 Roberts. Over-55: 1 Norman. Over-60: M Brown (Stowmarket) 58.01.

Teams, men: Ipswich Jaffa (Chenery, Davies, Back). Ladies: Stowmarket Striders (Narey, Jordan, Bingham).

Junior races

Under-8s (1K), winners: Elliott Burdett and Lucy Peake.

9-11 years (2K), winners: Kieron McMorron and Rozlyn Smith.

12-15 years (3K), winners: Asa Burnett and Rebecca Laidlaw.

Other age winners, 10 years: Ewan Aldis and Beth Lincoln. 12: Jason Higgins and Laidlaw. 13: James Powley and Maria Smith.