Unusual event tests teams

FEARS that the inaugural World Property Centre Forest Challenge was going to be a complete wash-out proved to be unfounded, as 64 teams contested this run/bike event.

FEARS that the inaugural World Property Centre Forest Challenge was going to be a complete wash-out proved to be unfounded, as 64 teams contested this run/bike event.

The skies cleared but conditions underfoot were wet and muddy, providing a challenge for runners and cyclists alike.

This unusual event was staged over an approximate 12-mile course in Thetford Forest, with each team consisting of one runner and one cyclist.

They could swap as often as they wished, but had to stay within 10 metres of one another and finish together. Some teams decided not to swap at all, though the best times in general were posted by those who swapped at regular intervals.


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It is believed to be the first event of its kind staged in this country, and was hailed a great success by the organisers.

The race started with just the runner doing a lap of Mayday events field, and picking up the cyclist after about three-quarters of a mile. The teams then set off on the two-lap course through the forest.

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The overall winners were Peter Gipp and Stephen Pettitt, from Ely, who were second at the halfway point but proved the stronger pair on the second lap.

They pulled out a lead of just under a minute on the second-placed Stowmarket Striders team of Chris Starmer and Nick Stephens. The winning time was 1hr 08mins 46secs, with Stowmarket recording 1.09.27.

The father-and-son team of Duncan and Robert Chenery, both members of Ipswich Jaffa, completed the top three in a time of 1.10.46.

The winning mixed team, in an excellent sixth overall, were the “Fetch Everyone” team of Trish Dennison and James Heath in a time of 1.14.53.

This Saint Edmund Pacers duo had a real battle with husband-and-wife team of Angela and James Beeton, with the lead changing hands on several occasions.

The Beetons, from Newmarket Joggers, finished just over half a minute behind in 1.15.31. Adam Etches and Natalie Coles were third in 1.16.25.

Carolyn Anderson and Alix Choppin won the all-female category in 1.29.18, followed by Sarah Leonard and Suzy Stennett (1.34.22), and the mother-and-daughter team of Olwyn Clayden and Kelly Clayden (1.43.17).

The race was organised by Run/Bike Events and was sponsored by the World Property Centre. It raised much-needed funds for the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign.

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