WELCOME TO HONITON RUNNING CLUB
We are based in Honiton, East Devon, Southwest England and spend our lives running through some of the most beautiful countryside in the UK.
The weather was perfect for this year’s Honiton Running Club’s Blackdown Beast; a little chilly but the sky was blue and the sun shone. There was a good amount of mud and other substances to sap the legs meaning the 16.3 miles were hard work. Runners were faced with a menacing looking bull in one of the fields but he turned out to be quite friendly and used to visitors on his patch!
The Beast is always a sell out and this year saw a record number of 170 runners taking part with runners coming from all over Devon and some from further afield. The event is a social run with several stops on route taking in the scenery of the beautiful Blackdown Hills. The event began and ended at the Highfield Sport and Social Club, Dunkeswell. The first stop, after 7 ½ miles, was Smeatharpe Village Hall where participants were treated to delicious hot sweet mulled cider and equally delicious warming pasties. Thanks to the ladies of the WI for making and serving this very welcome sustenance. The next stop was the Sidmouth Arms, Upottery where some runners took the opportunity of taking a mini bus back to Dunkeswell having completed 10 miles. For others, it was on to the Luppitt Inn; one of the smallest pubs in the country! Organisers made sure the landlady knew runners were coming as opening times are flexible! The shortish last leg then takes runners across private land back to Dunkeswell.
As always all participants thoroughly enjoyed the day with many looking forward to the summer version; the Blackdown Beauty. Places are likely to go fast for this event too so look out for further information on www.honitonrc.com and to register your interest very soon. Thanks to everyone who made the event possible including the landowners for allowing runners to churn up the already churned fields. Money raised totalled over £1000 once expenses have been paid and will go to Macmillan Cancer Support. Comments from the runners and photos of the day are here.
Devon Schools Cross Country Championships
Saturday 17th January saw the running of the Devon Schools Cross Country Championships at Stover School near Newton Abbott. Two of the Honiton Running Club Junior Athletes had qualified to race: Kaitlin Wells and Sasha Davy. The distance for their age group was 3040m – just under 2 miles – which meant 2 laps of the short course. It was a predominantly flat or slightly ‘lumpy’ course and the going was muddy enough to make spikes a definite advantage. Both the HRC girls ran strongly, keeping a steady pace and gaining ground where they could. Kaitlin finished 14th and Sasha 16th respectively which was a great result for both of them in a very fast race.
First Chance and Axmouth Challenge
Axe Valley Runners’ Axmouth Challenge was well represented by Honiton Running Club members last Sunday. This multi-terrain race is 9 ½ miles of muddy fields and tracks as well as a fair amount of road and several hills. The race was won by AVR’s James Green in 58 minutes 9 seconds and first back for Honiton was Hadleigh Davies who came 14th in 1:12:20. Young Findlay Fuller was next back coming 19th in 1:14:39. Steve Davey had a great race coming 21st in 1:15:15 ahead of his rival Rod Inglis who finished 3 places later in 1:15:56. Mark Dallyn was the first back of a group of Honiton runners. Mark was 32nd in 1:17:45 directly followed by Bruce Strawbridge albeit 1 min 7 seconds later. Tom Bornet followed 2 places and 5 seconds later and the sole Honiton lady, Judy Davey, finished one place and 10 seconds behind him. A Honiton gap followed but Howard Bidmead finished next in 41st place and 1:21:18. David Hawker and Richard Terry were making their debut race for the club and ran together to finish 49th in 1:24:52. It was some achievement that they were brave enough to tackle it having been told countless times how tough the race was before the start! Jim Hill brought the Honiton contingency home to finish 76th in 1:34:55. There were 96 runners.
Iain Ross took part in the 5 mile mini challenge coming 5th in 40:02. The race was won by AVR Jake Smith and there were 21 runners.
Runners were treated to delicious warming soup upon their return to Axmouth Village Hall. Thanks to AVR for putting on the event, to all the supportive marshals, the soup and cake makers and the landowners for allowing the race to take place on their land.
Bright sunshine and close to zero temperatures greeted the eleven HRC members who were looking for a flat 10K to start the year. The course is from the quay in Exeter and loops out to the Countess Weir Bridge twice. The race hosted by South West Road Runners is the first of the InStep Devon race series for 2015 and competitors earn points if they run 5 of these races. Over 500 runners finished with the first male being James Rodgers from N. Somerset and first lady Serane Stone from Tiverton Harriers. Kevin Hawker was a rather reluctant racer who really fancied the hills in the Axmouth Challenge, which others in the club were attempting, but was persuaded to run fast instead. He did! and was pleased to finish 10th overall in a time of 36:05. Steve Selley was the next Honiton runner in a time of 42:39 and was 61st overall and 2nd in his category to win a prize. The next Honiton runner was Julie Payne in 45:19 in 93rd place which meant she was the first in her category, well done Julie! She was followed by Roger Saunders in 47:49 in 133rd place who managed 3rd in his category but was a few minutes slower than his last run on this course. Michala Hudd came next at 176th place in a time of 49:53 cheered on by family and Jennie Sleeman came in at 207th place in a time of 51:11. Tony Peek took the opportunity to run this race after all his coaching the new runners and finished in 224th place in a time of 54:06. Next came Sharon Wells in a time of 53:53 in 255th place. Jo Davey was on good form at 1:00:57 in 383rd place. Wendy Williams ran with Dawn Peek who was a beginner runner and this was her first race, they finished in 407/8 places with a time of 1:02:35. Let’s hope this is the first of many for Dawn!
Oh My Obelisk
Several Honiton Running Club members took a trip to a very windy Dawlish last Sunday to take part in Dawlish Coaster’s Oh My Obelisk race. This is an 11 mile all terrain race involving plenty of mud and hills but spectacular views. The base is Dawlish Leisure Centre and runners are taken up to the Obelisk and back down again. The winner was Arran Tocknell in a time of 1 hour 14 minutes and 8 seconds. Honiton’s Ian Stewart wasn’t too far behind coming 9th in 1:20:31. It was the first attempt at this route for most of the Honiton group and this was the case for Paul Williams. He came 51st in 1:34:45. Louise Crisp was first Honiton lady coming 128th in 1:47:59. Jim Hill had a good race to finish 170th in 1:56:10. Tony Peek has been putting in some mileage whilst training recently and came 213th in 2:09:41. Sharon Wells and Donna Stone ran this tough race together coming 229th in 2:17:56. There were 238 finishers.
Torrington Christmas Caper and Wellington Monument Race
Shane Hudd of Honiton Running Club ran the Torrington Christmas Caper on Sunday, 21st December. A 9.8 mile course took runners along trails, through muddy tracks and fields, up hills and through a few bogs too. The well organised event started and finished at the rugby club. All runners were rewarded with a Christmas pudding and clotted cream. Shane finished 85th out of 185 runners in 1:27:42 and highly recommends this muddy fun run.
On the same day several other HRC members took part in the Wellington Monument race which is just over 10k. It was a mild cloudy morning in Hemyock and the gruelling hill with 16% incline took runners up towards Simonsburrow before levelling out and circling Wellington Monument and then descending the same hill. Runners were rewarded with a mince pie, warming mulled wine and a commemorative bottle of Sheppy’s local cider. The race was won by Rowan Preece of Taunton AC in the time of 33 minutes 51 seconds and first back for Honiton was Paul Williams who came 43rd in 44:52. Mark Dallyn was next back coming 55th in 46:49 and Helen Davy finished 98th in 51:10 winning a category prize. Helen’s daughter Morgan also won a prize for 1st Under 18 female coming 122nd overall in 53:29. It was Claire Burrough’s first ever race and she did brilliantly to come 138th in 55:11. Helen’s other daughter Sasha completed the HRC contingency to come 141st in 55:19. There were 196 finishers.
December Handicap and final results for 2014
Well done to Steve and Ross - joint winners!
Chase the Elf
Michala Hudd took part in the 10 mile Chase the Elf race from Bideford to Barnstaple along the Tarka trail last Sunday. She finished in 1:24. She didn't manage to catch the Elf but only 3 runners did!
Reindeer Run & The Full Monty Cute
Last Saturday morning saw the Sidmouth Running Club’s Reindeer Run. This is an off road 10k race with plenty of reindeer and Santas taking part as well as the usual club and social runner. The race was won by Mike Musgrove in 39 minutes 19 seconds with Honiton Running Club’s Ben Stone coming a fantastic 3rd place in 41:17. The next Honiton runner back was Jennie Sleeman in 56:41 and 63rd place with the only other runner for the Club being Sharon Wells coming in just under the hour (59:59) and 92nd place. This is always a tough race and as usual there was plenty of slippery mud to be found. Upon their return to headquarters in Otterton, participants were treated to a delicious festive treat of a mince pie and mulled wine. There were 185 finishers. Katelyn Wells was the only Honiton junior who took part in the fun run. She had a great race finishing 3rd female and 10th overall in 16:03. There were an incredible 223 finishers.
On Sunday four Honiton runners travelled to Ham Hill Country Park at Stoke Sub Hamdon, Somerset to take part in Crewkerne Running Club’s Full Monty Cute race. This is a very challenging 10 ½ mile cross country race which boasts a challenging hill for every mile. Matt Clist of Axe Valley Runners won the race in 1:12:01 with the first back for Honiton being Steve Davey who was pleased to come 56th in 1:36:44. This was about 6 minutes slower than last year which he blamed on the very slippery muddy conditions. Mark Dallyn had a fantastic race to come 67th in 1:39:27 ahead of Bruce Strawbridge who came 77th in 1:41:43. Howard Bidmead is still struggling with his fitness level following injury and he was pleased just to have been able to run it. He finished 136th in1:53:18. There were 240 finishers of this very popular race which always fills its places by October. Runners received a Christmas pudding as they crossed the line. Thanks to the marshals of both races for great support.
Handicap Positions after November run
Castle Drogo 10
Honiton Running Club had a great turnout for the South West Road Runners’ Drogo 10 mile race last Sunday. This is a very challenging off road race with the start and finish at Castle Drogo. There are two major hills; the first coming out of Fingle Bridge and the second at the 8 mile mark up the infamous Hunters’ Path. There are breathtaking views once at the top of the hills which almost make the pain worthwhile. The race was won by Johnny Gilby in the incredible time of 57 minutes 37 seconds. Not too far behind was Honiton’s Ian Stewart who finished 19th in 1:09:45. It was Ben Stone’s first attempt at the race and he was happy to come 23rd in 1:10:14. Steve Selley had a great race even though he fell over. He finished 89th in 1:21:03 beating Steve Davey by just 3 places and 7 seconds. Paul Williams was running his first race for Honiton RC and had a fantastic race finishing right behind Steve with just 1 second splitting them. Bruce Strawbridge was next back delighted with his race coming 100th in 1:22:04 less than a minute behind the previous three. Mark Dallyn’s sore ankle held up meaning he finished 125th in 1:23:03. Richard Harris finished next in 131st place in 1:25:39. Judy Davey was the first back for the Honiton ladies to come 162nd in 1:28:59. She was followed by Pippa Westall who came 236th in 1:36:10. The other Honiton lady, Louise Crisp, came next in 250th place in 1:37:45. Jim Hill is an experienced racer but this was his first for Honiton. He last ran Drogo in 2002 when the route was a little different and he was pleased to finish 342nd in 1:47:05. Steve Briggs has moved near Plymouth and doesn’t get out to club nights so it was great to see him. He finished 370th in 1:50:24. There were 496 finishers.
Marine Corps Marathon, Canada Army Run & Templar 10
Honiton Running Club’s President, Alan Rowe MBE ran the Marine Corps Marathon on 26th October as part of the Allied Forces Foundation’s SideXSide Team. The AFF are the Baton’s spiritual partners in the USA and custodians of the US Baton. It was a warm day (over 70 degrees) and as usual Alan ran with the Baton and a pack of leaflets, stopping to chat to the crowd along the way about the Baton’s cause and leaving copies of the Baton’s Message of Conscience with them, this was often very emotional. Alan also ran with US servicemen and women.
Alan also ran The Canada Army Run (half marathon) on 21st September in Ottawa. Again Alan ran with the same formula, Baton, stopping etc. The run was warm until the last quarter of the race when it poured, but the rain was so welcome - even warm itself! One sad reflection is that Alan stood on the Ottawa Memorial steps with the Navy detail 4 weeks to the day that the cowardly attack took place.
On both runs the support, hospitality and organisation was incredible, Alan has already been invited back for next year’s MCM which will be the 40th - so quite special.
On Sunday, 2nd November, Mark Dallyn ran the Teignbridge Trotter Templar 10 race as he was unable to do the local Yarcombe Yomp the previous day. The race is actually 9.3 miles and is multi-terrain but about a third is on road. It is based in Kingsteignton and offers runners some lovely views over the River Teign. This was a really well organised event and despite a late night the previous night, Mark was happy with the time of 1hr 12mins 42. The race was won by former Honiton RC member James Denne, now of Exeter Harriers in the time of 53:35. There were 165 finishers.
South Molton Struggle & Yarcombe Yomp
On Sunday, 24th October, 3 Honiton Running Club members travelled to South Molton to take part in the South Molton Struggle which is a multi-terrain 7.8 mile run based at the Rugby Club. The weather gave lovely conditions for this well organised race. Money raised went to North Devon Hospice and the winner was Paul Cooke in a time of 47 minutes 35 seconds. Mark Dallyn was first back for Honiton coming 55th in 1:00:21 feeling much happier about his race than he had the week before. Shane and Michala Hudd had run most of the race together and Shane finished in 1:07:28 in 89th place with Michala finishing in 1:08:34 and 96th place. There were 197 finishers.
Last Saturday Honiton runners took part in the Yarcombe Yomp being the last race in the East Devon Series for the year. Runners could choose to complete one lap of 5 miles or go on for the full race of 10 miles by running the route twice. The weather was perfect and it wasn’t as muddy as it often is. The race was won by Axe Valley Runner’s Matt Clist in a new course record of 1:05:49. First back for Honiton was Ian Stewart coming 4th in 1:10:51. This was Ben Stone’s first go at this race and he came 7th in 1:13:59. Rod Inglis flew round the course to come 18th in 1:21:43 well ahead of Steve Davey who came just one place later in 1:24:40. Judy Davey was the sole Honiton lady out and she came 24th overall in1:29:28 winning a bottle of cider for coming 3rd lady. Tim Wigram completed the line-up coming 30th in 1:32:50 winning a sprint to the line with an AVR runner. There were 66 finishers although there were a few more starters! With the 10 mile race being 2 laps of the 5 mile race, it is tempting for some to finish early. Roger Saunders took this option coming 7th in the 5 mile race in 45:36. The race was won by AVR Ollie Caute who finished in 35:08 having beaten Honiton’s Iain Ross at a sprint finish. There were 26 finishers. Numbers for both races were record breaking. Upon their return to the village hall, runners were treated to delicious homemade soup and cakes. Thanks to all the organisers and landowners but special thanks to Robin Carter for another great event.
Exmoor Stagger and Stumble
Honiton Running Club members filled a mini bus heading for Minehead last Sunday to take part in the Exmoor Stagger and Stumble. The Stagger is a 16 mile off road course using the steep and varied terrain surrounding Minehead. There were plenty of spectacular views as it was a bright clear day and the race has a total ascent of 3627 ft. The route runs from Minehead to the highest point on Exmoor, Dunkery Beacon and then back to Minehead following a mixture of paths, rough terrain and tracks and both the outward and return leg involved tough climbs. James Baker won the Stagger for the 5th year running with a time of 1 hour 56 minutes and 20 seconds. Ben Stone was first back for Honiton and one of four of the Honiton contingency to take a wrong turn adding about ¼ mile to the distance. Ben finished 29th in 2:27:04. Richard Harvey was 42nd finishing in 2:37:12 with Alasdair Moffett one place and 20 seconds behind with Alasdair taking in the added distance. Steve Davey was next back in 51st place in 2:40:16 closely followed by Bruce Strawbridge who finished 60th in 2:43:10. Judy Davey was the first Honiton lady back and also took the wrong turn. She was 68th in 2:46:44. Mark Dallyn finished next in 93rd place in 2:59:21 and Esme Moffett also went wrong and finished 107th in 3:03:18. There were 175 finishers.
Runners had the choice of tackling the much shorter Stumble race which is 6.8 miles long. Although not taking runners to Dunkery Beacon, it is still a testing course. Anthony Vangasse won the race in 46:57. Howard Bidmead was first back for Honiton winning his age category and coming 22nd in 1:00:18. Richard Harris had been overtaken by Howard just before the finish line and had to be content to finish 1 place and just 4 seconds later. Pippa Westall was first Honiton lady home in that race coming 39th in 1:05:55. Juliet Hall and Clare Melbourne ran together to complete the Honiton contingent coming 75th and 76th with Juliet 1:21:03 and Clare 9 seconds later. There were 90 finishers.
Herepath Half and Katy Campbell Triathlon Competition
Three Honiton runners took part in the second running of the Herepath Half which follows the Staple Fitzpaine Herepath Trail in the Blackdown Hills and is approximately 13.7 miles long. The trail reaches the highest point in the Blackdowns with fabulous views. Herepaths were originally important trade and communication routes between settlements during the ninth century - they are often referred to as people’s paths. The race was won by Tom Mellor of Hydrographic Harriers in a time of 1:34:31. Ben Stone was first back for Honiton coming 7th in 1:43:13. Bruce Strawbridge was next back coming 25th in 1:51:58 having thoroughly enjoyed the route. Tim Wigram was the final Honiton runner finishing 56th in 2:09:19. There were 145 finishers.
Honiton runner to be mentored by world triathlon champ
Honiton RC member Katy Campbell recently won a competition run by 220 Triathlon magazine to be mentored by four time Ironman world champion and world record holder Chrissie Wellington. After saying for years that she would never dabble in triathlon due to her hatred of swimming, Katy finally took the plunge to raise money for Bristol-based St Peter's hospice after her good friend Laura was diagnosed with cancer. She was well and truly hooked after her first event, so when the competition was advertised, it seemed like too good an opportunity to miss.
Katy now has Chrissie on speed dial, and regularly meets up with her and a qualified triathlon coach on a regular basis, often with a photographer and magazine editor in attendance! As well as expert advice and the odd freebie, it's providing Katy with added confidence and inspiration, and certainly helped her round her first Olympic distance event at Dorney Lake a couple of weeks ago. She's now planning a tribute to Laura, who sadly died on Boxing Day last year, by entering a trio of events based around the places she lived. This will involve the Edinburgh half marathon in May, the Bristol triathlon in June and then the Alpe d'Huez triathlon in July, which incorporates the famous Tour de France climb amongst others!
Katy will be continuing to raise money for St Peter's Hospice, so if you would like to help, please visit her justgiving site: http://justgiving.com/triathlonforlaura. You can also follow her story in blog form: http://mrskatycampbell.wordpress.com and on twitter: @mrskatycampbell.
Helen Saunders a beginner runner in January completed a 10K race in 48:38 having moved to Vancouver. The run was around Stanley Park complete with totem poles. The Canadian way of life is obviously suiting her.
WOODLAND RELAY RESULTS here
Tony Whiteley's photos now on the Photo page
Mon-Wed nights meet at 6:30 at Honiton Community College to share cars unless driving direct to venue.
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