Club News

Club announcements

  • ***UPDATED FOR 2020*** Race Calendar & Events

    Click to see our coming up section for local races and club events.

  • ***NEW*** Shared Calendar

    Shared Calendar now avalible to subscribe to.

  • ***NEW*** Parkrun dates and locations 2020

    Norfolk Gazelles take part in many Park Runs across the county, being such a friendly club we also target Park Runs so that we can meet up and enjoy a post run coffee and cake. In some cases there is an option for a bike ride or an open water swim, all are welcome to join us. Whilst not an official race we do wear Norfolk Gazelle running tops.

    In 2019 Norfolk is expecting a few new Park Runs to open, reserved dates are for these to be included in the tour once we know they are officially open. We've also added some Park Runs not previously included in the tour.

    December 2019

    7th - Colney parkrun 2nd anniversary

    21st - Colney Mob Match revisted

    25th - Eaton

    January 2020

    1st - 8.30am Brundall followed by Catton at 10.30am

    18th - Colney Lane Gazelles marshal take over

    February

    15th - Brandon

    March

    14th - Great Yarmouth

    April

    11th - Watton

    25th - Holkham

    May

    16th - Sloughbottom

    June

    6th - Blickling

    20th - Thetford

    July

    11th - Sizewell

    25th - Lowestoft

    August 

    22nd - Lingwood

    September

    12th - Sheringham

    October

    10th - Swaffham

    November

    7th - Gorleston

    December 2019

    25th - Eaton

Race news

Race reports

  • Beowulf 10K Run - 15th March

    Andy Walter

    Looking for a race to run in mid March I was faced with two choices. The Mad March Hare or Beowulf Run. Both were 10ks. One race consisted of two laps round a featureless, usually windswept, semi abandoned areadrome. The other, through a forest and country park and along The Beowulf and Grendel Trail. Not surprisingly,  I opted for the latter,  as did a few more Gazelles. 

    After the race briefing, the 5kers headed off in the first wave and 10kers followed shortly after. 

    The first K was along a good track; no mud, no squelch underfoot and no rabbit holes. Crossing a road we entered Kings Forest. The next couple of K was on a sandy firebreak path. Recent high winds meant there were numerous fir cones, branches and other foilage scattered along way, making the going hazardous underfoot. Entering the forest proper, we became upon a rider on a Pale Horse I hoped this was not a foreboding sign of things to come....The sun rays streamed through the Silver Birch and Pine Trees as made our away along a bridleway. I heard the bird song of a Woodlark carried by the breeze as we entered a heathland section. A toad hopped across my path and I spent the next couple of K pondering the significance of this event. Hurdling a fallen tree and crossing the road we entered West Stow Park again. 

    A Victorian Pumping Station was passed as we made away along the river bank of The Lark. The going was easy and a Red Kite was seen hovering overhead watching the spectacle of runners weaving their way around West Stow Lake. The last K was a short wooded section and then into a field and a gradual incline to the finish line. 

    This is a great low key cross country event. The setting was lovely and the course not too muddy or arduous.  I especially liked the lack of environmental impact; bring your own cup and no water bottles given out at the finish. The medal was a great design. 

    Of the six Gazelles who ran Beowulf James Frary had a great run finishing 3rd.  The other Gazelles who ran were Lou Hurr, Lou Isherwood, Bob Pearson and Chris Haystead. 

  • Hameldown Hammer Half-Marathon, Dartmoor - 23rd February

    Ian Edwards

    A return to Dartmoor, for the toughest half-marathon I've done (so far), starting and finishing in the picturesque village of Widecombe-in-the-Moor.  Organised by Pure Trail Running, the race features 13 miles of gruelling climbs and descents, with the highest point at Hameldown Tor.  

    You know it's going to be a tough race when within 30 seconds of the start you're having to walk up 15-20% gradients. There were incredibly strong winds, up to 50 mph at times, and horizontal rain driving across the moorland (I was literally blown over at one point, into the mud, which was a bit scary). We have only a few bedraggled ponies and hardy marshal for company out there today.

    The first two and a half miles are all uphill, to get up to Hameldown, then a steep descent to Challacombe, an abandoned medieval settlement. The downhill stretches are tough, as the ground is saturated and solid footing is hard to find, especially with the wind swirling and pushing us wherever it chooses. We loop around Challacombe Down and Hookney Tor, before another sharp descent where I lose my footing several times and end up falling backwards on to my arse or forwards on to my hands and knees. 

    On to the second checkpoint and then the toughest part of the course lies ahead: our second ascent of Hameldown, which is a two-mile slog against the wind. We pass a memorial to four crew members of an RAF bomber who were killed in a crash in 1941.  Then we head for home, downhill for two miles back to Widecombe, where hot drinks and delicious homemade cake awaits us.

    It was the most technically challenging course I've done, and has made me realise I still have a awful lot to learn about trail running, in particular how to tackle steep, slippery descents. Only 11 out of 209 finishers came home in under two hours, which gives you an idea of how tough it was!

    Delicious cake at the finish though, and that's what makes it all worth while. Sign me up for next year. There are lots of tempting Dartmoor races organised by PureTrail. 

  • Arc of Attrition Race Report or I was glad when it rained because it washed the blood away! - 31st January

    Phil Whiting

    This is the biggest Ultra marathon in the South West. And for good reason, it’s superbly organised and a beautiful route. So having witnessed it last year crewing Jason Brunt I felt compelled to enter.

    The journey down completed without incident (last year we got snowed in on Bodmin Moor), we checked in Thursday night and got ourselves ready for the start midday Friday.

    The morning of the race, we got our trackers fitted and then attended one of the scariest race briefings I’ve been to: “pay attention or you might run off a cliff; don’t leave the trail, you might fall down a tin mine; don’t get caught on a beach by mistake, the tide might cut you off!”

    Briefing down we got on the busses to the start. The start is a great piece of theatre, starting up in the village of Coverack you run down to the quay..the start is counted down to the sound of Led Zepplins Kashmir and live drumming and as we were set off through the plumes of blue smoke I felt goosebumps. Soon we were on the trail, the ascents were fine, but tough, but the descents just illustrated how inept I am at trail running. I was working really hard to find foot placement amongst the rocks and mud and given any opportunity runners behind me would skip past. I kept pushing though, almost with tragic consequences, I slipped at about 5 miles and had the choice of grabbing a thorn bush or falling of the cliff. The thorns ripped at my hands and soon, as I ran on I had two hands covered in blood! In fact I was grateful when the rain came to wash the blood away.

    Before long we’d made it to Lizard Point, and it was great to see Amelia and get the damned Lizard Point fog horn behind us!

    On we plodded, dropping down into coves and then long hard climbs back out. Jason and I kept leap frogging each other (not literally!) as he sorted kit, changed socks etc, and I plodded on. Jason was moving better than me at this stage.

    About 4:30 we were crossing the beach at Loe Bar. It made a welcome change to the mud bath of the last 20 miles. We were pushing quite hard to reach the checkpoint without needing to extract our head torches from our back packs. As darkness fell with ran into the streets of Porthleven. An Arc Angel was there to run me into the checkpoint, taking my food order as we ran. The Marshall’s on this race were all fantastic, and a real credit to the SouthWest running community and mud crew.

    After shovelling some hot food down, and getting my flesh wounds dressed by the medic, we were off into the darkness. It was made mentally more challenging as we had to run past Rick Steins fish and chip restaurant , which looked very inviting! Anyway, more exhausting climbs, challenging descents, some boulder scrambling, a couple of river crossings, more mud. I was now running in a group and it was nice to chat to other runners; always worth a bit of banter as you run through a popular dogging site.

    We were now counting down the miles to Penzance. For a few miles Into Penzance, there is the opportunity to change into road shoes as the coast path follows the road. It was so nice to change into some dry, mud free, cushioned shoes...although I’m not sure Amelia was too pleased at having to help Jason and I change. Soon I was running again, it felt so good to knock out some quick miles.

    Then we were at the checkpoint. 38 miles done. Hot food consumed. Back out into the dark, no quick miles this time just some easy miles whilst our food digested. Soon we were meeting Amelia again, to change back into trail shoes.

    Next was the section that was impossibly tough, picking our way through boulders, up incredibly steep steps, down horrible technical descents. We were struggling to move a 2mph. I later checked out one of the leaders Strava feed and they were ‘running’ at just under 20 minute mile pace! By the time we reached Minack Theatre we were both broken. Jason retired at this point, his poles having failed, not to mention the toll of 50 miles of tough trail. Amelia didn’t give me the option of stopping. Soon she kicked me out the car and sent me on my way to Lands End. The running mercifully got easier and I felt I was making good progress and soon the Lands End hotel appeared. However I still had a couple of coves to descend into and climb back out of. By the time I made it to the checkpoint I only had 15 minutes to spare, to avoid getting timed out. I wolfed down a bowl of chilli and got myself out the door, before I changed my mind. The first few miles onto Sennen was decent running and I made good time. However out of Sennen, it was a different story. The trail was hard to follow, sometimes dropping down onto the beach, heading in land or taking me onto the cliff edge for some heart stopping boulder scrambling. This section was to be my undoing, I lost the trail and without it realising I soon found myself heading in land. I had already been tight for time to make the cutoffs, but this made it certain: I wasn’t going to make it.

    I made the phone call to retire and Amelia found her way to me as I sat shivering in my survival bag.

    It had been a good adventure, for me a really tough race, and I can fully understand why well over half the starters never finish.

  • Reepham XC 2020 - 19th January

    Imogen Lees

    Reepham XC, 19 January 2020

    The absolute best fun you can have waist-deep in a stinking ditch, this year's Reepham XC was the usual mix of laughs, mud and, er... mud. Brilliant sunny winter weather, happy marshals and a no-pressure vibe make this one of the best fixtures of the local race calendar.

    William Robb flew the Gazelle flag, coming home in a magnificent sixth, likening his first leap into the freezing river to an ice-bath, which... er... "cured" his knee pain.

    Imogen Lees and Gail Barnard ran with Gazelle-legend-turned-Harrier Sam Barwick and former Gazelle Ruth [she's lovely... if only I knew her surname] and laughed their way through the filthy water, the ditches and the farmers' fields. The course
    has its ups and downs -- basically, it's "We're Going on a Bear Hunt" -- and you can really feel your hamstrings during the second lap!

Gazelles! We're always looking for simple reports of races (e.g., how many Gazelles were there, who did well), or fuller first-person accounts. If you've taken part in a race, please let us know! We need to know the date and name of the race, and the URL for any results. Please submit to manager@norfolkgazelles.co.uk.