The temperature in Yarmouth was about 8 degrees cooler than when I had left home in Lingwood and with a cool sea breeze it promised to be more challenging conditions to race in than for race 1 two weeks before.
I was running this race with a young lad by the name of Rory Fairfoot, who has learning difficulties and attended the same school as my son Chris.
Rory started running with his Dad Monty a few years ago before Monty tragically lost his life at far too young an age. Since then he has really taken to running with support from his Mum Jenny and sister Ellie, who recently completed the London Marathon raising over £7,000 and I’m sure his Dad would be very proud. Mum Jenny can no longer keep up with him, so she was pleased when I offered to run this race with him. Based on what Jenny said I had anticipated that Rory may be able to complete the race in about 40 minutes and set up my watch accordingly. Rory has no speech, but can understand instructions and after making sure he was ok and understood who he was running with Jenny left us to watch the race.
It was cold waiting for the race to start, but at last we were off and Rory set off quicker than I was expecting and I ran alongside him encouraging him not to go too quickly. The first mile was easy with a tailwind, but as soon as we turned at the Waterways we faced a stiff breeze that was unrelenting all the way down to the Marina Centre. Rory slowed down significantly and I offered him some words of encouragement that we would soon be out of the wind and pointed out the mile markers so he understood how far we had run and how far we still had to go.
We turned at the Marina Centre to head back up to the Waterways on lap 2 and the pace picked up until without any warning Rory slowed and started to walk as we passed the 3 mile marker. Running into a headwind must have taken more out of him than I had anticipated and after walking for half a minute I encouraged him to start running again. We did, but then we faced the headwind all the way to the finish and Rory slowed to walk again as we reached 4 miles. After another half a minute recovery we started to run again, but I could tell he was finding it hard as many other runners started to catch and pass us as we neared the Marina Centre again. Finally the finish line appeared and when I pointed this out it definitely spurred Rory on as he made a strong finish.
We finished with a time of 43:17 and after collecting our medals and some water we soon saw Mum Jenny with a big beaming smile. Like me she was a little surprised that Rory elected to walk a couple of times, but when I explained how hard the conditions were it was put down to that. It was great running with Rory and is something I will definitely do again. Now if only I could get Chris to do the same…….
There were some great performances by the other 27 Jags who ran the race, with 10 PBs, age group records for Emma Blake and Nicola Lambert-John and second in age group for Elly Young. Well done everyone and here’s looking forward to race 3!

Phil Henry

Me & Rory running

Me & Rory after the race

Image may contain: 19 people, including James Lambert, Andy Runner Mulligan and Neil Button, people smiling, people standing, shoes and outdoor

Image may contain: 19 people, including Phil Henry, Peter Kean-Cockburn, Neil Button, Nicola Lambert-John, Sonya Wragg, James Lambert and Andy Runner Mulligan, people smiling

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Image may contain: 7 people, people smiling, people standing, sky, shorts, outdoor and nature

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Image may contain: 11 people, including James Lambert, people smiling, outdoor


Andy Mulligan30.08GOLD
Anthony Alborough30.57DIAMONND
Neil Button32.14GOLD
James Lambert32.17SILVER
Jack Stuttle32.28YESSILVER
Graham Johnson32.35GOLD
Radley Fenn33.05YESSILVER
Thomas Lincoln-Kemp34.33FTGOLD
Elly Young34.412nd Lady In Age GroupGOLD
Nicola Lambert-John35.15New Age Group RecordGOLD
Emma Blake35.36YES & New age Group Record
Paul Taylor36.34YESSILVER
Stephen Neal36.37SILVER
Peter Kean-Cockburn39.40SILVER
Sonya Wragg40.13YESSILVER
John Windham41.33YESSILVER
Joanna Cottrell40.41YESBRONZE
Tamara Mills42.30SILVER
Stephanie Hall 42.27
Claire Owen42.45BRONZE
Phil Henry43.17
Dee Neal43.28GOLD
Jackie Gooch45.13SILVER
Sharon Jones45.22YESBRONZE
Barbara Button45.26BRONZE
Neil Laughton47.02
Sue Emmett48.01
Jennifer Norris1.02.17