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Charlie Pearson wins 30th Bungay Black Dog Marathon

14:55 16 April 2012

Charlie Pearson led from the start to win the 30th Bungay Black Dog Marathon yesterday.

He posted his intentions early on on the picturesque Waveney Valley course which takes in villages on both sides of the Suffolk-Norfolk border, and pulled away from his nearest challengers, RAF Honington-based Jim Hilton and Coltishall Jaguars runner Ben Letzer, to win by nearly two minutes in a time of 2 hours, 48 minutes 50 seconds.

It was his first attempt at the Bungay event and the St Alban’s based athlete said afterwards: “It was a beautiful run on a beautiful course, but I preferred the first lap! I have done 2-41 before. I will probably come here again – it was a good race.”

Hilton finished second in 2-50:13 after what he said was “a lovely run,” and Letzer came third in 2-51:33 in a field of 250 runners.

Jill Cliff, of Deal Triathlon Club won the women’s event in a fast time of 3-05:19. She too led all the way and said later: “It was a tough course but I enjoyed it – this was a personal best by over 10 minutes.”

Jessica Pitt, of Maidenhead AC, was 80 seconds behind in a time of 3-06:39, and it was a great day for the host club as Bungay Black Dog runner Lynn Emmett finished third in 3-14:01.

Matt Spencer, an unattached runner, won the half-marathon event in 1-17:11. Nick Palmer, of Stowmarket Striders, led initially, but Spencer overhauled him by the half-way mark and as Palmer faded Piers Arnold, of City of Norwich AC, came through to take second place in 1-17:48. Palmer clocked 1-18:34 in third, in a field which attracted the maximum entry allowed of 600.

Women’s half-marathon winner was Lesley Whiley, of Reading Road Runners, in 1-30:00, over two minutes ahead of Karen Doak (unattached) in second in 1-32:11. Wymondham AC’s Claire Vinsen was third in 1-36:08.

Ugandan runner Colin Mukasa Basalirwa, whose credentials suggested he could beat the Bungay course record, failed to turn up. But there running his 279th marathon was John Wallace, dressed as usual as Superman Clark Kent, who finished in just under five hours and will now run his 280th marathon in London next Sunday.

Occasional hail and sleet showers, and a keen northerly breeze, made conditions testing at times but the event, from which proceeds will go the NSPCC Bungay committee, went smoothly, with no mishaps.

The Town Reeve of Bungay, John Warnes, and former Olympic athlete Paul Evans, started the races, which included a fun run. Awards were presented at the end by Paul Evans and Bungay Town Mayor Terry Reeve.

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