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Mark Armstrong: How a difficult situation was well handled to ensure the Valentine’s 10K went ahead

Action from the Norfolk Gazelles Valentine's 10k run at Easton College. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Action from the Norfolk Gazelles Valentine's 10k run at Easton College. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

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Norfolk Gazelles deserve a lot of credit for putting on an excellent Valentine’s 10K in very difficult circumstances last weekend.

There must have been some serious head-scratching and hand-wringing from an organisational point of view thanks to the region taking a battering from Storm Dennis last weekend.

So many races around the country had taken the decision to postpone and I must admit I thought it was inevitable Sunday's event would go the same way.

I spent most of the previous night wide awake, concerned that our roof was going to blow off and when sipping on my cup of tea early Sunday morning I lovingly turned to my wife, Alison, and said: "I'm glad you're the one running today and not me."

Then it dawned on me that the joke was on me as I was reporting on it!

In the end the event seemed to pass very smoothly and I'm glad the organisers' bravery was rewarded as the winds died down to an extent where they were pretty ideal.

It was also a nice touch that for anyone that couldn't participate, but was registered for the race, they were able to gain a medal if they completed a 'Virtual Valentine's 10K'. For anyone this applies to all you have to do is send a screenshot of your run route to racedirector@norfolkgazelles.co.uk with your address and they will send out one of the medals to you.

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Alison was certainly pleased with her medal but she was also part of the Wymondham Ladies senior team that came third overall. She was well chuffed to get her trophy (a very nice one too) so not only are we going to have to have a medal rack but it seems we're also going to have to erect some sort of shelf now because I doubt it will be her last.

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A lot has changed whilst I've been on the sidelines!

Women's overall winner Amy Beck knows all about injury but has looked refreshed so far this year having got to the bottom of a hip problem that's troubled her.

After a strong showing at Freethorpe, she took victory on Sunday in 38:08 and it's obvious she's enjoying her running again after taking a bit of time off towards the end of last year to sort the issue.

It emphasised how important it is to press the pause button on your running sometimes if you've been managing a niggle for a long period. As Amy demonstrated, it's far better to take a bit of time out to find out why you've got the injury and take steps to healing it. Of course, it's frustrating in the meantime as the running world moves on without you whilst you're sidelined but your time will come again if you're patient. That's what I'm telling myself after conker-gate anyway!

Amy is another runner who I have an extra layer of respect for given she not only manages to knock out times most of us can only dream of but also has three young sons to also factor into her life.

If they are anything like the handful my son, Logan, is then the way she is making the most of her natural ability blows my mind.

Going places

It seems like a long time ago now but well done to Callum Bowen-Jones for his superb performance at the Armagh 5K last Thursday. To set a new personal best of 14:42 is some achievement... to do it having fallen over at the start makes it even more impressive.

The lad is really going places which can only be good for Norfolk running. I'm fascinated to see if the other county's other leading runners raise their game as a result.


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