Sep 20

RNR 2018

Written by Corrina Turner


Well Team TAC, it’s all over for another year, THE EVENT that we rave about and this year
was special as we introduced 12 new team mates to the magic that is the Round Norfolk

Saturday dawned and was barely 3 hours old when myself, Peter, Cliffy, Paul “Stall” Rayner,
TC, Sam and Sabine were up and loading the minibus with essentials ready to start the
weekend, which turned out to be one of the really special RNR memories

RNR is now in its 32nd year. Thetford AC have been taking part since 2007. It’s a 198 mile relay race
around the border of Norfolk and is split into 17 stages of varying lengths and terrains. The
object is to get the baton round, in under 28.5 hours from King’s Lynn on the Saturday
morning and back to King’s Lynn for Sunday morning.

Stage 1 – King’s Lynn to Hunstanton – 16.32 Miles
Sam Bellotti – Having run this stage last year, Sam had a score to settle with this one and
despite a diversion to the regular course he gave it his all to settle the demons of 2017.
Settle them he did, on a tough stage that saw several teams get hopelessly lost and add
unwanted miles. Supported by Tony Cantle on the bike (TC), Sam brought the baton into
Hunstanton, knocking off an impressive 3 minutes off last year’s time. He finished strongly,
only to have horrible cramp in his hamstring.

Stage 2 – Hunstanton to Burnham Overy – 14.06 Miles.
Sam handed the baton over to Russell Slattery to begin which has to have one of the most
picturesque starts of all the stages, running along the cliff top, the sea in front of you and
magnificent big Norfolk skies. Russell was accompanied by Jamie as his support runner for
this stage with Gill Paremain supporting on the bike for the brief road bit. The support crew
took advantage of the Hunstanton Lighthouse Café to have the traditional bacon roll
breakfast before heading off to cheer Russ and Jamie at the end of Stage 2.
It wasn’t long before we could spot the boys on the distant river bank, two small dots on the
horizon. With sore feet and a lot of effort Russ handed over the baton to Corinne.

Stage 3 – Burnham Overy to Wells – 5.76 Miles
Do not be fooled by the distance for this stage! It’s not an easy one, with sand, shingle and
a rising high tide to negotiate (good advice for the first 5 stages, keep the sea on your left
and if your feet are getting wet you may have gone horribly wrong). Corinne West has for
years wanted to be part of the team, but with lots of people wanting to do this stage she
has missed out on being picked out of the hat. 2018 she got lucky and Corinne was the first
of our newbies to take part. Accompanied by Allison West as her support runner, Corinne
set off in the rising mid- morning heat (95% of the time it’s hot for this stage). Corinne did a
sterling effort, running faster than the recce she did, and brought the baton to the end of stage 3.

Stage 4 – Wells to Cley – 11.14 miles
With the baton in his hand and a series of photos and instructions, Richard Crewe set off
along the harbour walkway into Wells. The support team were nervous. Richard had
broken the first rule of RNR “not recceing his off road route”. We had visions of the Belgian
coast guard picking up a lost runner, or waiting at Cley for hours before abandoning him to
his fate, lost in North Norfolk forever (cue Banjo music). Thankfully our fears were
unfounded, and our professional photo-bomber got round with ease.

Stage 5 – Cley to Cromer – 10.81 Miles
The dreaded “Leg of Doom”, an unrelenting stage of shingle, sand, hills (Beeston Bump) and
just general multi terrain toughness. This is the stage that can break the hardened runner.However, we had our amazing super powered vegan runner Louise White, our very own
Queen of Stage 5. Louise has run this stage many a time and after her success at setting the
new course record for the Iceni Marathon last week, Louise completely owned this stage.

Stage 6 – Cromer to Mundesley – 7.9 miles

Sabine had gone off on the bike to meet Amy at the golf course to support her on the road. This is
where the course moves away from the off road element (and the coastal weather) and
heads a little bit inland and onto tarmac.  As we drove along the road, frantically
scanning for Amy and Sabine, we eventually caught up with them a mile or so from the
changeover (phew). Amy came storming down the hill to hand over to first timer #3, Gary

Stage 7 – Mundesley to Lessingham – 9.24 Miles
Gary set off on one of my favourite stages. With the Bacton Gas and Electric Terminal and
bizarre seaside town stuck in the 1970’s this is a very “NFN” quirky stage. Sadly this year we
missed doing the traditional “TAC Mexican Wave” on the seafront at Walcott.We finally caught up with Gary, supported by Sabine on the bike, and gave him an almighty
cheer to see him on his way. With a superb run into Wissington, Gary handed over to
Marco, who would see the baton safely to Horsey and the start of the night shift.

Stage 8 – Lessingham to Horsey – 7.52 Miles
If you want a simple stage (one instruction) and a 7.52 mile PB this is the stage for you!
Pancake flat and if you don’t know what mile you are at, lots of windmills masquerading as
Horsey Mill, this is fast run. While you form an orderly queue for next year our first timer #4
runner Marco Silva had the privilege of representing Team TAC this year. Supported by
Donna on the bike, despite a sore neck Marco had an absolute stonking run. Coming into
Horsey, with a strong finish, Marco handed the baton over to newbie #6 David Loomes as
the sun started to set.

Stage 9 – Horsey to Belton – 16.6 miles
The sun is beginning to go down on the first day of RNR, and our runner David is heading
towards the bright lights of Caister and Great Yarmouth, leaving the coast behind to head
inland to rural Norfolk. David stepped in to cover an injured runner very late in the day and
with only the complete embracement of the event that is unique to him, he ran the most
astonishing and energy pumped stage. Supported by Sabine on the bike, he negotiated the
tricky bits around Yarmouth with ease.

Stage 10 – Belton to Earsham – 18.13 Miles

The minibus started following Sean, supported by Clare Slattery on the
bike for 18 miles of darkness. A solid and consistant run the miles just melted away under
Sean’s feet. A well paced run led him to run a stage bang on his predicted time, which
under those circumstances is bonkers. Sean handed over to Steph Clouston, newbie #7 and
the baton continued its journey.

Stage 11 – Earsham to Scole – 12.45 Miles

We are heading towards the bewitching hour as Steph leads us into the second day of the
RNR weekend. Supported by the lovely Brandon Fern Hoppers, Claire Goldstone in the car
and Steve Peck on the bike, the Brandon crew give us a much needed comfort break for us
on the minibus. Steph is our fabulous newbie #7. Having had to drop out a few years ago
due to a house move, Steph finally was able to take part. She passed the baton over to Natalie King, our newbie #9 who was tasked with bringing it home to Thetford and the fabulous Midnight Café.

Stage 12 – Scole to Thetford – 19.67

A test of strength and
bloody mindness will get the runner through this stage. 19+ miles of dark road, unseen hills
and the loneliness of the long distant runner. Our Natalie, supported by Dave on the bike,
undertook this stage into Thetford. Maybe it was the promise of cake at the finish or the
thought of her nice comfy bed, Natalie ran an astonishing stage. Natalie came in well ahead of her predicted time to hand the baton over to Charlie Stone.


Stage 13 – Thetford to Feltwell – 13.25 miles

Charlie was off ticking off the miles, supported by Tracey Cady on the bike and his Dad, Mum and fiancée Jamie in the car before handing over to another of our wonderful new team members Kayleigh Bailey.  It’s still dark but we are heading towards dawn. Nick Stone is giving the minibus an extra rest by supporting this stage which means we get to see Charlie and Kayleigh do their respective changeover.

Stage 14 – Feltwell to Wissington – 7.27 miles

Kayleigh sets off, with Donna as bike support, it’s starting to get light and runs an amazing
stage, ahead of her predicted time to hand over to another newbie Andrew Smith to take
the baton in the cool light of Sunday morning to the penultimate stage.

Stage 15 – Wissington to Downham Market – 10.59 miles

Andrew sets off with Donna doing the double support on the bike.  Andrew ran a 10 mile PB,
and in his own words “had the best run ever”. A solid and brilliantly paced run. It was a joy
to follow you in the support vehicle.

Stage 16 – Downham Market to Stowbridge – 5:49 Miles
Andrew comes into Downham and hands over to our Junior athlete Tyler Howard. Newbie
#11.  Tyler is cutting through the field, calmly supported by his mum Wendy on
the bike, overtaking 8 teams before managing a final downhill sprint over the bridge to hand
over to our final runner, Jason Elrick, who was bringing the baton home.


Stage 17 – Stowbridge to King’s Lynn – 11.73 miles

All the teams are arriving and departing, it’s a totally
manic and busy stage. Tyler comes in, totally destroying our bid for the award for the most
accurate time prediction by beating his estimated finish time by 2 minutes. Outsprinting
team number 9 he hands the baton over to Jason Elrick. Jason, our final newbie #12 runs back over the bridge, followed by Dave on the bike towards King’s Lynn. Back at Lynnsport the assembled Team do not have long to wait before we see Jason bring the RNR baton from its 198 mile journey around Norfolk.

A massive thank you to everyone involved in the RNR this year! That’s all folks! Well done everyone, what a weekend that just was!