Mark Philo

Round Norfolk Relay 2022

Event : Round Norfolk Relay

Round Norfolk Relay 2022

Stage Forename surname
1 Heidi Bacon
2 Jonathan Kemp
3 Russell Clarke
4 Kevin Mace
5 Darren Woodward
6 Ken Barcham-Bool
7 Nicole Beck
8 Kity Rosser
9 Mark Philo
10 Duncan Cardwell
11 Annie Draper
12 Kevin Burgess
13 Janice Coglin-Hibbert
14 Paul Davies
15 Rose Waterman
16 Chris Hamlin
17 Alastair Clipsham
crew Ali Masterson
crew Christopher Noller
crew Glenn Masterson
crew Nick Askham
crew Paul Youngman
crew Sue Flute
crew Stan / Di Swanepoel



A selection of comments from our runners this year …….


Stage 2 – Jon Kemp – Hunstanton to Burnham Overy, 13.7 miles

Thanks so much for this. And well done to all the organisers. To me RNR is without doubt the highlight of the calendar. It brings a team event together and there is so much more than just your leg. The timing and running for the club. The ridiculous terrain, the support cyclist, the support team are superb and the crazy hours of the event. I cannot wait for next year (said to Sue I’ll help organise and drive etc, but still want to run a leg!!)

Stage 3 – Russell Clarke – Burnham Ovary towels, 5.7 miles

So, some time ago I was down to run a stage in the 2022 RNR.

But with work commitments I had to say to Sue! sorry I can’t make it now! 5 days before the event my work commitments where cancelled so I texted Sue to say if there were any last min changes then I could help it. Two days before the event I got a text from Sue asking if I could cover Stage 3. Well, I was so happy, it made my day, I really love being involved in the RNR, so plans were put into place

On race morning I got myself to the start and really enjoyed the run. The sand dunes and beach running did slow me down a bit, but very happy to finish in 49.10 and looking at the results finishing the first 64 y/o runner. At the end of my run I turned around and ran back to my car so got my long run in as well!

I then drove to the handover in Mundesley, to do my but of helping.

Stage 4 – Kevin Mace – Wells to Cley, 11.1 miles

Stage 4 and a nice offroad run this year WELLS TO CLEY. A chilly start but soon warmed up and settled into a nice pace passing through Stiffkey then Morston Quay with cheers and encouragement from our tri-anglia support team. On to Blakeney and a discussion with a woman from another club who tried to send me the wrong way. Soon meet my cycle support JON KEMP a reverse of Stage 2 JON running and me on the bike and a push to CLEY and the finish and a warm welcome from my brother Patrick our driver and Norwich Road runners doing a great job in windy conditions manning the change over.


Stage 5 – Darren Woodward – Cley to Cromer, 10.8 miles

I loved taking part as an RNR newbie in 2021, so it was easily one of the first fixtures put in the 2022 diary. As the flesh was put on the bones I was given the opportunity of running Stage 5 – folklore dictates that the mere mention of this stage has reduced grown adults to quivering wrecks, as for running it the popular response is never again!

Never one to back out of a challenge though I grabbed the mettle and decided to treat myself to a couple of route recce’s ahead of the big day – ensuring both physical & mental prep was done.

Setting off from Cley at high tide left no real respite from the shingle until Weybourne from which point the predominant direction is upwards. Wind behind was a bonus which contributed to me managing to catch the runner ahead at the foot of Beeston Bump and then arriving in Cromer as the first runner of the day 3 mins or so up on target.

My verdict, I actually quite enjoyed it and whilst I have staked my claim on stage 2 for next year, I may revisit this ‘stage of doom’ again another year?

Huge shout out to Sue, Paul & Nick for their encouragement & support at the start and finish as well as en route and huge thanks for the goody bag too.

Stage 6 – Ken Barcham-Bool – Cromer to Mundesley, 7.9 miles

aka How many times can Ken get lost on a straight road!

You start in Cromer, you run along the sea front, you go up past the chippy, go along the road towards the lighthouse, head out of the golf course where you meet your cyclist and follow that road until Mundesley. That is it. It really is THAT simple. But nothing stops Ken when he’s on a mission to get lost!

Got the baton from Darren, knew roughly where I was going so ran in that direction. Headed down to the sea front and ran to where I needed to, went up the slope by the chippy and there were lots of people (the worst) so struggled through the crowds and decided I’d go back on the sea front where there were less people (mistake number 1) and ran for a bit, before realising this was not the right way so double backed and found the right way.

Now, normally I’d just follow someone else but on this occasion, we were the first team, so there was no one to follow! Luckily, there was a lovely lady from Reepham Runners not far behind me, so me getting lost gave me someone to follow for a bit as she was now ahead of me. I passed her, found where I was going through the golf course and then proceeded to meet my cyclist (shout out to Sue Flute for being excellent company!) and begin the 6-mile run on the same road. PLOT TWIST – Ken turned off the road and went freestyle (mistake number 2) when all he needed to do was just run on the same road… It’s really that simple, but Ken still got lost!!

Anyways, Sue got us back on track and once again we found ourselves behind our friends from Reepham Runners. Once again we passed them and I was the brunt of their jokes for a bit longer but by this time, the legs had woken up and felt good so we kept going on this undulating course (It’s not flat or downhill, despite what your mate may tell you!) and it was a nice easy run to Coronation Hall in Mundesley where I saw the Tri-Anglia banners and many familiar faces!

I passed the baton to Nicole Beck who managed to complete her run faster than I could drive back home from Mundesley!

Massive shout out to Sue, Paul Youngman and Nick Askham for being an awesome crew and making this brilliant weekend happen. If you’ve not had a go at it yet, get involved… It’s such awesome fun and the WhatsApp group can be a real treat as well!

Stage 7 – Nicole Beck – Mundesley to Lessingham, 9.2 miles

The Mundesley changeover is marshalled by the most wonderful bunch of Tri-Anglians so it was a great boost to start my leg. The batten was passed over from Ken, announcing he’d got a bit lost, and off we headed. A beautiful route past Bacton, along Walcot beach, past Happisburgh lighthouse and into the village of Lessingham.   The weather was kind with the wind blowing in my favour and the rain holding off.  Always a joy being part of the Tri-Anglia team. Always grateful to the hero’s that are the support team!

Stage 8 – Kitty Rosser – Lessingham to Horsey, 7.5 miles

Totally lied about a predicted 11 min mile pace and bashed out a 10 min mile pace go get us right on the money for our time scheduling.  This came at the expense of any chit-chat to support rider, Glen.

Stage 9  – Mark Philo – Horsey to Belton, 16.6 miles

Well, I got up to 9 miles in training before taking a 2 week holiday of laying around in Greece, then getting back the day before this 16 mile run.  Sure enough at 9 miles in, it was not a comfortable run.  So, I distracted myself by talking at Chris Noller for the whole run and somehow managed to be dead on my predicted time (well, 16 seconds over).  I’m gradually getting all the long sections done in the RNR so it should get easier each year!


Stage 10 – Duncan Carwell – Belton to Earsham, 18.1 miles

I was a late addition to the team after someone had dropped out.  I’d not run further than 13 miles for about 2 years and only had 4 or 5 weeks to build up the training miles.  I was quite anxious at the start, worried I’d struggle with the distance but having Nick Askham on bike support made me feel more confident and he definitely helped to keep me going for the last couple of miles.  In the end I was a bit quicker than I expected.  For me a great combination of personal challenge and teamwork – loved it.

Stage 17 Al Clipsham – Stowbridge to Kings Lynn, 11.7 miles

I’ve had the pleasure of this event 3 times now. It’s a calendar highlight for me with each stage and each year bringing something different. Well except for one thing, Paul peddling the accompanying bike, chirping like the paradox chimp.. look there’s another team, sure you could catch them… and another one; got time to get them too… just think if you get this one that’s probably the most overtakes anyone’s done. – you get the idea.

Well, this year the ‘chimp’ offered me the glory stage. Stage 17. A reasonable time of day, just shy of the HM distance and lots of teams closing in around the same time. Perfik’!

ETD 08:05. So that’s 5am alarm, check progress, brekkie, get the family up, pick up Pauls good lady en-route and get to the start for ETA 7:15. Thats all eventualities covered and quite civilised.

Best laid plans in RNR are subject to change.

On the day. 5am alarm, check progress, Rose on the ready line….MMmmm what time was she due out, let’s see how were doing?? Cue panic 45 mins ahead. “Oh shiver me timbers” I say or words to that effect. Wake the family up, shove down a pot of rice pudding, text Emma and go go go!

Sounds like Emma’s had her own issues and doesn’t make it to the rendezvous earlier. Were on time for our original ETA, oh I hope Chris has a leisurely run on 16.

If transition time was a thing in RNR – we must have got gold. As I pulled the car up at transition, Paul came running over. No sooner had I whipped my trousers and top off (not our normal greeting) Paul was trying to give me my number and pins, whilst I looked for the high vis with background shouts of ‘runner in!’.  Batton handed over, after a bit of a pause (sorry Chris), and off over the bridge trying to get the route up on my watch and put another pin in my number. No warmup, no pre run gel, just the memory of a route and a very upbeat or delirious Sue on the bike. I couldn’t quite tell. But she was chatty! Even as I tried to find my breath and rhythm.

So stage 17. 1st third, roadside to the west of the river, cross over to river path for 2nd 3rd and then the final leg into and through Kings Lynn.

Leg 1 went well. Sue chatting along, me trying to join in, in-between breathing. My good ladies lapped us in the car a couple of times, dropping off my missed water bottle, then offering up gels and whoops and cheers (they are the Best support crew!!)

We missed the turning. I hadn’t pressed play on the Garmin! So just as it was feeling wrong and we started to discuss a possible error, the course re-loaded to confirm it, and the Tri-A truck pulled up behind to ‘tutt’ at us. Shame was cast. Steps retraced and as a fitting penance I was dispatched on the other side of the Great Ouse for a lonesome trudge up the riverside path whilst truck and rider looped round road side to meet later. Being ahead of time, there were no other runners around, just 7km in which to ward off my own chimp who told me I could walk a bit if I wanted. A cool morning breeze blew off the river, but it wasn’t raining and the footing was good as a result. No despite being 3 days into a heavy cold, I was still against a clock.

As stage 17 crosses the mighty sluice gates and turns onto a paved path toward KL the final 3rd starts and just a km in, I was reunited with a cheering Tri-A crew and Nick had volunteered to ride the final stint. So, into KL we rode/ran/chatted neither really knowing where we were going but happily playing hunt the arrow. A couple of times I nearly pushed him off the bike enthusiastically pointing out the route. As we got closer, marshals appeared, some more officious than others, and before too long (but long enough) it was time to enter LynnSport and bring this baby home. A cheeky arm’s aloft finish as if I’d done all the hard work.

This is a team effort but the ‘SueCrew’ are the biggest and most unsung cog in the team. Without their pre-planning and selfless logistics, we wouldn’t get off the ground. Without the crew cars keeping runners safe through the midnight hours, it wouldn’t happen. Without bikes playing devils advocate, carrying water bottles, singing, chatting, or simply escorting the run wouldn’t hold a fraction of the pleasure. The whole event is unifying as a team, the WhatsApp group pulls us together, the baton links us. And we have a blast. If you’ll have me, I’ll be back next year in any roll you’ll have me. I love this event, I love being an individual in a team… and if I get to run, I want to find out what my banana will say next time!



Finally – a HUGE shout out to the support team.

That’s Stan, Di, John Lee, Russell Clark on the Mundesley handover.

Sue, Paul, Nick, Chris Noller Ali and Glen Masterson out on the road between stages. This little lot endure sleep deprivation, car breakdowns, lost runners (that’s Ken), timekeeping, ensuring runners are on the stage gate, providing goodie bags.  There’s more, but us lot taking a medal home saying we are knackered have no idea what these people have put out for us where we see them for just a few moments either side of our run.

The round Norfolk Relay is an Epic event.


Published on 3rd October 2022

One comment on “Round Norfolk Relay 2022

  • Paul Saunders
    Paul Saunders — October 7, 2022 8:15 am

    Ace write up, I loved reading that.

Leave a Reply

We use cookies in order to give you the best possible experience on our website. By continuing to use this site, you agree to our use of cookies.