Dec 19

Thetford athletes mark a great season


Thetford Athletics Club held its annual end of season celebration, marking the end to another successful season on the track and field.
A number of the athletes efforts were recognised at the awards ceremony held at the Thetford Golf Club. Thetford ACs Junior Club Captains, Aiden Try and Jessica Norkett were both honoured; Try recognised as Under 17 Track Athlete of the Year whilst Norkett received the double honour of Under 15 Track and Field Athlete of the Year. The award for Under 17 Field Athlete of the Year went to hammer thrower, Joseph Nicholson with Charlie Stone awarded the Most Improved U17 athlete. Tyler Howard was awarded the Most Improved U15 Athlete of the Year.
The Under 13 Track Athlete of the Year was Abigail Clouston whilst the U13 Field Athlete of the Year was awarded to Cameron Try. Asha Soanes was awarded the Most Improved U13 Athlete of the Year. The Under 11 Track Athlete award went to Isabel Smythe with the field equivalent going to Alicia-Mae Howard. Daniel Clouston was honoured as the U11 Most Improved Athlete of the Year.
The Senior Male and Female Athletes Awards went to Paul Rayner and Sabine Schaefer respectively whilst Scahefer was also awarded the Athlete’s Athlete of the Year Award having been voted by the majority of her fellow athletes as the one most admired and respected this year. Clare Slattery was the Senior 5km Summer Time Trial Series winner.

Dec 19

Thetford AC plays host to the best in Norfolk

Thetford Athletics Club hosted the annual Norfolk County Cross-Country Competition at Barnham Common with thousands of junior and senior athletes competing for the right to say they are the best in county and competing for the right to be selected to represent Norfolk at the forthcoming National Cross-Country Championships in Birmingham.
In order to make the Norfolk Team for the Nationals, to be held in March 2017, athletes had to finish in the top five positions with Norfolk Team Managers leaving themselves the freedom to select up to three additional athletes for each age group who either finished outside the top five or those who possibly were not able to compete in the County Championships for whatever reason.
Isabel Smythe finished 7th in the first race to complete, the U11 girls category, with a time of 8:51 followed by Alicia Mae Howard in 15th position, recording a time of 9:43. Daniel Clouston was 20th in the U11 boys event with a time of 9:11. Ewan Peck wasn’t far behind with a time of 9:20 seeing him finish in 23rd place. Charlie Garrod completed the course, despite suffering an injury, and finished in 27th position with a time of 9:57.
In one of Zak Mitchell’s first outings for Thetford, he recorded a highly respectable time of 12:33 to finish in 24th place in the U13 boys category. In the U13 girls race, Abigail Clouston finished high up the rankings in sixth place with a time of 11:35. Asha Soanes came home in 10th place with a time of 12:27.
There was a fifteenth place finish for Ben Garrod in the U15 boys age group with a time of 17:05 whilst Jessica Norkett finished high up the order with a fourth place in the girls equivalent of the same age group with a time of 16:17. Aiden Try also finished in 4th place in the U17 Men’s category with a time of 22:56 whilst Charlie Stone came home in 10th place with a time of 25:13.
Both Jessica Norkett and Aiden Try have secured places in the Norfolk team for the National Cross Country Championships.
Amongst the senior athletes, Thetford’s Kevin Vaughan achieved a silver medal in the Men’s 50-54 age category, completing the course in a time of 41:04.img_1223

Dec 19

Athletes Strong Showing in Forest Run

Senior athletes Tina Plumley and Kevin Vaughan lead the way for the Thetford contingent at the latest round of the Ryston Cross Country Grand Prix Series. Both won their specific age categories with Plumley completing the forest trail in a time of 39:56 whilst Vaughan recorded a time of 32:20.
A massive five Thetford athletes secured second place finishes in their categories with Cliff Bailey finishing 2nd in the V55 race with a time of 36:12 whilst Louise White secured the same position in the V40 category recording a time of 36:27. The V40 race for male athletes saw Simon Smith grab second spot, crossing the line in 33:07 with Sabine Schaefer matching that result in the V35 female race with a time of 36:37. James Peck meanwhile, was the most successful junior athlete of the day and the fifth Thetford athlete to achieve second spot of the day with a time of 11.08.
One of the youngest competitors, Alfie Findlay, finished third in the Under 9s race, crossing the line in 3:04. Abigail Clouston also finished in third place, this time in the U13 category with a time of 12:10 whilst Charlie Stone came third in the U17 race, recording a time of 17:57.

Dec 19

Try feels the Bonfire Burn to finish an impressive 10th


Try on Fire at Bonfire Burn
Aiden Try’s first outing in a 10km race for over two years ended in success with a highly creditable 10th place finish out of a mammoth field of 920 athletes.
It is only the sixth occasion on which the Bonfire Burn 10k has been held yet it has already established itself as a favourite amongst athletes in the region with almost 1200 competitors applying to take part despite only 920 of these completing the race.
The 10km course starts at the Histon and Impington Recreational Ground near Cambridge with competitors heading off down the Guided Busway as they run away from Histon and towards the village of Milton before making a turn and heading back through fields and towards the start.
The winning athlete, senior male, Andrew Mynott, completed the course in 35:10.5 with Aiden Try finishing just over two minutes later in 10th place with a time of 37:38.9. Try picked up the trophy for being the first under-18 athlete to finish the course.


Oct 08

Clubmark Accreditation


Thetford Athletic Club earns Clubmark Accreditation.

To learn more click here

Oct 03

Thetford Trio shine at Easterns

Thetford athletes took centre stage at the final major track and field championships of the season in Peterborough.
Athletes from across Norfolk, Suffolk, Cambridgeshire, Lincolnshire, Bedfordshire and Northamptonshire gathered for the Eastern Counties Combined Events Championships which pits the best young athletes against one another in a series of events on both track and field. Each competitor must take part in a series of different disciplines with many of those taking part aiming to be future heptathletes or decathletes.

Thetford were represented by two Under 13 athletes, Asha Soanes and Cameron Try with both coming away from the championships with two gold medals each. In the girls event, Asha Soanes competed in a three disciplines. Soanes leapt to victory in her first event, the Long Jump, with a personal best jump of 4.49m. Soanes then kept the personal bests and the victories coming with first place in the Shot Putt after a throw of 8.03m. This positive start to the competition meant that Soanes could afford to enter her final race, the 800m, knowing that she did not need to win, provided she could remain close to her nearest rival Martha Bennett from the City of Norwich. Soanes did just that, finishing the 800m in a time of 2:44.96, within four seconds of Bennett, ensuring that she secured both the gold medal in the Eastern County Championships along with the gold medal for the Norfolk Combined Event Championships.

Cameron Try’s competition started more slowly with a sixth place finish in his first event, the Long Jump where his managed a leap of 3.82m. However, Try took the competition apart during his second event, the Discus, which he won comfortably with a throw of 23.19m. The distance he secured between himself and his competitors in this event not only gained him enough points to close the gap after his long jump, but also took Try into the lead going into his final event, the 100m sprint. Try won the 100m race in a time of 14.50 seconds. Cameron Try also secured a double gold medal as both the Eastern Counties and Norfolk champion.

U17 competitors had an extra two events to tackle, with 5 disciplines in total counting towards their final result. Thetford’s sole representative, Aiden Try, began the competition with his two weakest events, the long jump and javelin. Try finished last in both events, jumping 4.97m and throwing 23.46m. After this slow start, Aiden Try picked up the tempo with a 3rd place finish in the 200m sprint, running a personal best time of 25.19m. Try then finished 5th in his first competitive outing throwing the Discus with a distance of 21.33m. Try had a lot to do to make the medals with just the 1500m left. However, after taking out the race from the front, an impressive run of 4:35.86 see Try finish in first place, around 40 seconds ahead of the eventual combined events winner, Kit Kerr, of Stevenage AC. This barnstorming finish to the competition and significant points total earned in the 1500m see Aiden Try take away the Silver medal in the Eastern County Championships although he finished with the Gold medal as first Norfolk athlete.

Thetford AC Chairman, Mick Johnson, was at Peterborough to witness the trios success and said that the Thetford youngsters, “performed extremely well on a busy day for them all and took away a good share of the medals in comparison to the number representing the Club at the event.”

Oct 03

Round Norfolk Relay 2016

Thetford AC took part in the 2016 Round Norfolk Relay last weekend, an event which was celebrating its 30th anniversary this year.


The race heralded the 10th appearance from Thetford AC and the club celebrated by commissioning a bespoke hoodie for the 69 runners past and present who have taken part over the years.

The course of the Round Norfolk Relay roughly mirrors the county boundary over a distance of approximately 198 miles, divided into 17 unequal stages.

The race starts at Lynnsport in Kings Lynn and then, from Hunstanton, follows the stunning coastline through 5 multi terrain stages taking the Norfolk Coastal path as far as Cromer. The 35 miles from Cromer to Great Yarmouth are on the road. The course then turns inland towards Belton, Earsham and Scole before heading towards Thetford, where the majority of teams run along Mundford Road between 1:30 and 4 am. From Thetford the course then heads out towards Feltwell and the remaining 33 miles are run across the flat Fens through the early morning mist. Finally, the race follows the Great Ouse River into historic King’s Lynn with runners passing by the old Custom House, through the famous Tuesday Market Place and then on to the finish at Lynnsport.

This year saw 58 teams, from across the whole country take part in this historic event. The weather on Saturday was less than ideal for running, and the early participants battled 40mph headwinds, high tides and tough terrain. A staggered start based on anticipated finish times saw Thetford AC starting their team challenge at 6am.

First to run was Sean West who battled the last 8 miles of his 16 mile stage through fierce headwinds from King’s Lynn to Hunstanton Lighthouse, to hand the baton to Craig Goldie. Goldie, despite taking a nasty fall following a trip from a loose dog, managed to to pass the baton over safely to Clare Slattery at Burnham Overy. Slattery completed her run under her predicted time, passing it onto Tony Tyler at Wells-Next-The Sea. Another fall due to treacherous underfoot conditions, Tyler continued and handed over to Cliff Lear who was running the notorious stage nicknamed “The Leg of Doom” which included a shingle beach course and the Beeston Bump at Sheringham. At Cromer Tony Cantle took the baton from Lear and it was onwards to Mundesley. Gillian Paremain who was taking part in her 10th Round Norfolk Relay, the only member from the club to achieve this so far, took the baton to the next stage. As the course turned inland and away from the wind, the athletes began to claw back the time lost on the earlier stages. Paremain ran into Lessingham to hand over to Steve Norbury who ran a seasonal best to hand over to Louise White who was waiting at Horsey Mill.

As the light faded, White took the baton through Great Yarmouth and onto Belton. The next runner to take up the challenge was Paul Rayner who was using the 18 mile stage as his last long training run before the Chester Marathon on the 2nd October. Rayner ran a strong leg into Earsham, and passed the baton onto Karl White, who was being supported by his father Brian Wright on the bike. Wright ran exactly to his predicted time to pass onto Sabine Schaefer who was tackling the longest stage of the race (19.67 miles) into Thetford.

Schaefer produced an incredibly strong performance, overtaking many other teams in her run into Thetford. Thetford AC have also for many years provided safety support at the Thetford changeover point. They also provide free tea, coffee and cakes to all the tired runners and supporters, who pass through in the middle of the night, whilst the town sleeps.

Russell Slattery then took the baton from Thetford to Feltwell, and ran well ahead of his estimated time before handing over to Charlie Stone, who was stepping up from the junior section of the club to compete in his first major senior event and take part in his first Round Norfolk Relay. Stone, aged 16, then proceeded to overtake 8 teams in the 7.2 miles before handing over the baton to Adam Sheward, who was also taking part for the first time for Thetford AC.

Sheward produced an incredible run, and finished strongly into Downham Market, to then hand over to the penultimate runner, Amy Spearpoint. Spearpoint managed to claw back even more time and passed the baton over to the final runner, Lucy Tyler at Stowbridge.

Tyler then brought the team home for Thetford in a credible 27 hours, 38 minutes and 34 seconds, an estimated 22 minutes ahead of their predicted finish time.

Sep 27

3rd Place Finish for Thetford

After reaching the top eight following a sterling performance throughout the season, Thetford’s U17 Boys team earned their place in the East Anglian League Final at Bury St Edmunds. It is the second time in three years that a Thetford team has made it to the grand final of the region’s main athletics league competition after many of the same boys reached an identical point as Under 15s.

However, on this occasion, the U17s went one stage further as several tremendous performances resulted in the team grabbing third place in the competition.

Aiden Try finished 2nd in the 800m with a time of 2:07.4 whilst there was a fifth place finish in the 400m sprint where he clocked a time of 55.2. Over in the field events, Try secured a third place finish in the Triple Jump with a final leap of 10.97m.

William Jaura secured a hat-trick of personal best performances in his attempt to gain as many points for the team as possible, starting with a second place in the ‘B-string’ 100m sprint with a time of 11.8 followed by a third place in the ‘B-string’ 200m clocking 24.2 along the way. Jaura then threw 8.81m in the Shot Putt competition for fifth position.

Sam Rolph leapt 3.91m in the Long Jump event to secure sixth place followed by a 7th place in the ‘A-string’ 100m with a time of 25.2. Rolph managed a fifth place finish in the ‘A-string’ 100m with a time of 12 seconds.

Harley Swan ran 56.3 over 400m for second place in the ‘B-string’ event followed by 4th place in the 1500m with a time of 4:29.4. Swan also threw a personal best of 4.17m for fifth position in the javelin competition.

There was a second place in the Hammer Throw competition for Joseph Nicholson recording a distance of 41.37m whilst he threw a PB of 8.45m in the Shot Putt for third spot. Nicholson also threw 20.14 for fifth place in the Discus event.

James Parker-Hammond ran 2:32 for fifth position in the ‘B-string’ 800m. Parker-Hammond also leapt 1.25m in the High Jump for 5th place.

Despite finishing behind U17 winners, Ipswich Harriers (165 pts) and second place Nene Valley Harriers (143 pts), a third place finish on 114 points represented a fabulous day out for the hard-working and talented Thetford team who finished above many significantly larger clubs such as City of Norwich and Cambridge & Coleridge.

Elsewhere, Thetford’s senior athletes were in action at the Wissey Half-Marathon where Sabine Schaefer was the third place female athlete, finishing on a time of 1:32.34.  Craig Goldie finished in 28th place recording a time of 1:30.19 whilst Karl Wright ran 1:35.54 for 48th position. Charlotte Smith ran 1:46.14 to finish in 93rd place.

Feb 02

Peck Competes in Suffolk Champs


Thetford Athletics Club’s James Peck was the club’s sole representative at the Suffolk County Cross Country Championships at Heveningham Hall.

Competing in the Under-13 Boys category, Peck finished in 21st place out of the 34 taking part, completing the course in a time of 13:37. The race was won by Ben Bayley of St Edmund Pacers in a time of 11:24.

Jan 12

Norkett opens her campaign in sixth place

Thetford Athletics Club junior athlete, Jessica Norkett, opened her campaign within the under-15 age group with a tough outing at Lee Valley, participating in the South of England Indoor Championships. Norkett, competing in an indoor competition for the first time, came 6th in the 800m with a personal best time of 2:36.

Thetford’s senior and junior athletes were also in competition in the latest round of the Ryston Cross -Country Grand Prix near Downham Market. Sandra Bowers was victorious in the V55 category, running a personal best time of 20:50 on her way.Sabine Schaefer also ran into the top spot within the V35 race with a time of 20:59. In a successful category for Thetford, Charlotte Smith took second spot, completing the course in 21:37. There was a third place finish for  Tina Plumley within the V40 category with 21:53 a personal best time. Steph Clouston also clocked a PB in the same race with a time of 24:38 seeing her take 6th spot.

V45 male Craig Goldie raced to 3rd place with a personal best time of 19:21 whilst there was also a PB for Phil Bowers in the V55 race who finished in 5th place with a time of 20:34.

There were plenty of positive performances from the junior athletes with Charlie Stone taking second spot in the U17 category with a personal best time of 19.01. Harley Swan was victorious in the U15 age group with a time of 10:10. Ben Garrod finished fifth in the U13 boys race with a time of 12:11, wdahilst Abigail Clouston raced to third spot in the U11 girls race with a time of 8:45. Charlie Garrod’s 8:44 was good enough for fourth place in the U11 boys race. There was a PB performance of 3:24 for Alicia-Mae Howard which see her grab fourth place. 

 Jess Lee Valley

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