ARC permit 17/380
Ryston commence the inaugural run (1987)
In 1988 and 1989, Norwich Road Runners and Great Yarmouth Road Runners joined the event which by 1992 had grown to 11 teams, including a few entries from outside East Anglia. 1992, produced the closest finish the race has seen, with Duke Street Running Club prevailing over Vauxhall AC by a mere 10 seconds, after over twenty hours of running! Although Vauxhall took full revenge in 1993 for their defeat the the previous year, Duke Street were to dominate the event for the years up to 1996.
Kelly Holmes starts the race (1996)
In 1997 for the second year running the Army fell foul of the rules, incurring a time penalty of 46 minutes due to a no-show at a stage changeover. Despite this they still managed to claw back 40 minutes of this to finish only six minutes adrift of the newly formed City of Norwich Athletic Club (CoNAC). Between them, the two clubs won all but 4 of the stages and in doing so set 4 new stage records. Brian Burlingham of Headington started Stage 11 age 49 and finished as a 50 year old. He was presented with a cake at Scole after running 19 miles!
1998 saw the race won by Colchester AC holding off Norwich Road Runners by a mere 2mins 11 secs. Long term participants Serpentine joined the event for the first time in 1999, when the race saw the Norwich based clubs battling it out with CoNAC prevailing by 58 seconds
Commemorative First Day Cover (2000)
For the second year running, the two Norwich clubs dominated the 2001 race, City of Norwich finishing ahead of their great rivals Norwich Road Runners and, in doing so, taking 9 Stage titles. CoNAC's Guy Amos posted the best personal performance with the evergreen Peter Andrews again best veteran.
Race start (2002)
Serpentine ladies (2003)
In 2004 the event went off road onto the North Norfolk Coastal Path. CoNAC continued their winning streak leading from 'gun to tape' in a record time of 19:00:56 (6:01 mins. per mile). The Open class cup was taken by Norwich Road Runners, with the ever-improving Riverside Runners in 2nd place winning the trophy for the best non Norfolk club. Ely Runners, made an impressive debut to take the Best Newcomers cup. Other teams making their race debuts were Garden City Runners and Stamford Striders. Norfolk Gazelles won the Ladies title after a keenly fought race with Norwich Road Runners. The Master class was won by North Norfolk Beach Runners, whilst the newly introduced Casual class, for teams unable to meet the UKA strict criteria for open relays, attracted 7 teams, with Paddock Wood prevailing in 21:54:18.
Night time changeover (2005)
For the first time individual awards went to both men and women winners of the 17 stages. The Kelly Holmes Trophy (best overall performance) was won by Martin Pigott of Great Yarmouth Road Runners. Martin, returning after a period out of the sport with injury, had previously been the best individual back in 1992 and 1999. Olivia Walwyn of CoNAC produced an outstanding performance of 84.92% over stage 14 to record the best performance by a lady whilst Guy Amos also of CoNAC took the Paul Evans trophy for the best performance by a Master with Alan Chetwynd of Headington Road Runners (80.1%) winning the Richard Nerurkar statuette for the best Junior. Awarded for the first time was The Peter Andrews Memorial Cup, presented by CONAC for the best run over stage11 (Peter's favourite stage) which went to Norwich Road Runner Penny Edwards. Peter, who died tragically in 2005, ran a total of 11 times in the RNR and on no less than 4 occasions posted individual performances in excess of 90%; his best being 92.3% in 1996.
2006 saw the 20th Anniversary running of the race with a record 45 teams taking part. The event saw the debut of now stalwart race supporters Dereham Runners, St Edmund Pacers, Tri Anglia, Fetcheveryone and Pinks and Blacks together with the quaintly named "Yes, we ate all the Pies" taking part. A further number of north coast stages were further moved onto the Norfolk Coast Path to make the course more interesting and safer. The last stage from Barroway Drove to King'sLynn was also re-routed off the road and on to the Fen Rivers Way. All credit goes to Richard Handoll and his team who did a magnificent job signing these changes and the rest of the 193 mile course.
Once again, CoNAC making their 10th appearance routed the opposition with an organised and impressive performance. Not only did they win the Club Class but their second team was third just behind Headington Road Runners. Mansfield Harriers prevailed in the Open Class and at the same time took the Best Outside Norfolk Trophy with an impressive 6.26 mile pace. Best Small Club was North Norfolk Beach Runners whilst St Edmund Pacers lifted the Newcomers Trophy. The Family Trophy was won by the Simmonds family of Ryston Runners for the second year running and fourth time overall.
On the road (2007)
City of Norwich AC reasserted themselves in 2008 to take the premiere Club class title for the 10th time and were overall fastest team. Fielding four teams, CONAC were only prevented from a clean sweep of titles by Ely Runners, who took the Open Class and in doing so were second team overall. Ely also lifted the ARC long-distance relay title, ahead of Norfolk Gazelles with debutantes Bedford Harriers in third place. Bedford were also the First Newcomers whilst best small club were Haverhill. Individually there were some fine performances, headed by Anne Furbank (Riverside Runners) who, with an age-graded score of 89.5%, won the Kelly Holmes Trophy for a second consecutive year. Guy Amos (CONAC), second overall secured the Paul Evans trophy for Best Master with 85.7%. The Richard Nerurkar Trophy for Best Junior was taken, for the second consecutive year by Stuart Huntington (83.6%) of CONAC. Paddock Wood's Paul Haslar and Fetcheveryone's Rachel Elliott won the Senior Male and Female prizes respectively. Paul Firmage was the first individual to reach the landmark 20 appearances, while Ryston Runners also reached the 20 appearance milestone.
As the event continued to grow, the 2009 race under new sponsors Birketts LLP, saw a record 55 clubs contesting the 23rd running of the race, yet again in ideal conditions. The regular top dogs of CONAC, Norwich road Runners and Ely contested the sharp end of the race with Norwich Road Runners getting the better of their city rivals in posting the fastest time of 20:31:42 in the Open class and becoming 'Champions of Norfolk'. Ely Runners split the two Norfolk clubs in taking 2nd place in the Open class as well as prevailing in the Association of Running Clubs championship and being the best team from outside Norfolk. For their part City of Norwich AC won the Club class for the 11th time and took the Ladies class for the 2nd year in succession. The Masters trophy was won by Riverside Runners in a very respectable 7:06 pace per mile. There were four race newcomers with 26.2 Road Running Club heading BRJ Huntingdon, Yaxley and Tiptree Road Runners to lift the newcomers award. Riverside Runners' Anne Furbank won the Kelly Holmes Trophy (best overall performance) for the third successive year whilst St. Edmunds Pacers' Peter Golding was Best Master. Hollie Rowland of CONAC was easily the best junior with an impressive 82% whilst in a very close family contest, the Simmonds family of Ryston Runners AC narrowly beat the Milletts of NRR. Between them, CONAC (10) and NRR (7) won half of the stage prizes including Richard Sales who clocked-up his 16th stage win, the first being in 1988!
Big Sky (2010)
Individually CONAC's Robert Cheverton recorded an age grading of 86.9% to win the Kelly Holmes Trophy with a superb run over from Mundesley to Lessingham stage whilst or C&C, John Oakes was just 2% behind him on the early morning, Feltwell to Wissington stage to win the Paul Evans trophy. Tracey Curl (NRR) posted the best overall ladies performance with 83.5% run. The Richard Nerurkar trophy for the best junior was won by Ben Russell (NRR) with Daisy Glover the best junior lady. The Simmonds Family secured their 7th Family title with an aggregated age grading of 73.3%. Also of note was Iva Barr (Bedford Harriers) beconing the oldest competitor at age 82 and 32 year old blind runner Simon Webb completed the 7.20 miles 15th Stage in 53.49 to finish 20th /out of 54 runners. During the weekend Claire Peircy (Yaxley Runners) completed the 10,000th individual run in the RNR.Richard Sales (NRR) who made his 20th appearance and recorded his 17th stage win was presented with a 20 year award along with Andy Smith (RRAC), while eight runners received medals to mark 10 appearances.
A record 57 teams out of 60 original entrants contested the 2011 event. The field included three debutantes, Newmarket Joggers, Virgin Money AC and Roman Runners, a team from 16 Air Assault Brigade stationed in Colchester, who had just returned from an operational tour in Afghanistan who took the Newcomers trophy. The Stragglers received a 20-year appearance award while Ramsey Road Runners, Serpentine Running Club and Haverhill Running Club were also recognised having run in 10 races. To mark the Silver Jubilee, Ron Hill, the former European, Commonwealth and Boston Marathon champion, was guest of honour and he agreed that the family trophy would in future carry his name. First recipients of the Ron Hill Trophy were Martin, Robert and Andrew Simmonds of Ryston Runners AC, no newcomers to the best family award, having now won it xx times. Norwich Road Runners won the premier Club Class, for the second year, with a fine display of sustained running heading Paddock Wood AC. They also took the Masters Class with Ely Runners taking their second successive win in the Open Class. Winning the Ladies Class City of Norwich set a new record by averaging 7:34 per mile. Coltishall Jaguars won the Best Small Club for the second consecutive year. In the incorporated ARC championship, Ely Runners maintained their unbeaten record since the championship was first introduced in 2008.
In the age-graded order of merit, Robert Cheverton ofCONAC, narrowly headed Metros' Nigel Rackman,and , Norfolk Gazelles' Nigel Arnold, to win the Kelly Holmes Trophy with a score of 87.6% over Stage 7. The best lady’s performance came from Phillipa Taylor (CONAC), who achieved a score of 85.5% over the 19.67 miles of Stage 12, which she completed in 2:06:36, Damian Rogers (CONAC), won the Richard Nerurkar Trophy for best junior. In this year’s race, Masters accounted for 66% of the field confirming the national trend of fewer seniors taking part in distance road running. The average age of all runners was just below 42 whilst in the gender stakes, female runners accounted for 27%. The anniversary event also marked the retirement of long time stalwart and race director Ian Vaughan-Arbuckle who can rightly take pride in his achievements in establishing this now iconic event.
Another year, another race.....coming on the back of a fabulous summer of sport the 2012 race was run over a perfect weekend of blue skies and vivid sunsets. 58 teams paricipated this year, with the first teams leaving Kings Lynn at 5-30am in the early light of Saturday morning. Local running clubs were to the fore with City of Norwich AC winning the coveted Club Class trophy and also were fastest team over the 197 mile course in a time of 20:22:20. In second place were Paddock Wood AC followed by Wymondham AC. City of Norwich AC Ladies won the Ladies Class in a time of 25:13:06. The open class was won by Ely Runners (21:14:25), who get again also picked up the Visitors Cup and ARC relay awards. The masters class was retained by Norwich Road Runners with the best small club award being won by Great Yarmouth AC in a time of 25:15:28. The individual runner age graded awards saw familiar names being presented. The Kelly Holmes trophy went to the City of Norwich’s Guy Amos with 87.9% whilst Robert Cheverton (87.0%) and Philippa Taylor (84.6%) both of City of Norwich AC won the Masters Section. Norwich Road Runners' Ben Russell (84.3%) and City of Norwich’s Ellie Matthews (78.2%) won the seniors male and female awards respectively. The male and female junior winners were Sean Atterwill (81.1%)and Emily Hoogkamer (71.5%.) Of the 17 stage wins on offer for both male and female runners, competition was fierce with City of Norwich winning 10 stages, Norwich Road Runners 6 stages and Cambridge and Coleridge AC coming in with 4 wins. The Ron Hill Trophy for best family went to the Ryston Runners' Simmonds Family. Andrew Robert and Martin are all long term RNR stalwarts and are regular contenders for this award.
Windmill man (2012)
Tragically the 2014 event was overshadowed by the death of CONAC runner Darryl Davis who collapsed whilst running his stage. Darryl's memory and long term participation in the race is now commemorated by the presentation of the Darryl Davis Memorial Trophy awarded for the best age graded performance by a male runner on Stage 4