Roger Saunders got round in just over 48 mins with Steve Briggs close behind at
51 mins. The third honiton runner was the only one who had done this run before when she was much fitter but found it tough going this time.
On the day before Christmas Eve three Honiton runners decided the best way to prepare for the onslaught of food and drink about to arrive was to run up to the Wellington Monument from Hemyock which nestles in the valley below. After several days of heavy rain there was some doubt if access to the village would be possible but in the event the weather was perfect. The initial hill out of Hemyock was brutal (nearly 1 mile of steep climbing) but once the top was reached it was almost level to the monument and then downhill to the school.
Roger Saunders got round in just over 48 mins with Steve Briggs close behind at
51 mins. The third honiton runner was the only one who had done this run before when she was much fitter but found it tough going this time.
Only 6 Honiton Running Club members took part in the Otterton Reindeer off road 10k run last Saturday which is hardly surprising as the Running Club’s Christmas party was the night before. The race had to be rerouted from the usual course due to the floods of recent weeks. Steve Davey led Honiton home to come 24th in 49 minutes 30 seconds. Suzanne Spiller was hot on his heels for most of the race and finished 31st in 50:16. Suzanne’s husband Simon was next back coming 54th in 53:40. Mark Andow had a good race coming 66th in 55:26 and Judy Davey’s race suffered as she had a cold. She was disappointed with her finish of 88th place in 57:31. Kathy Layzell really entered into the festive spirit adorning herself with tinsel, a Rudolph nose and a Christmas stocking. She finished 154th in 1:08:58. There is a prize for the fastest married couple and although neither Honiton couple won, Suzanne and Simon came 2nd and Steve and Judy came 3rd. There were 196 finishers and the race was won by Laurence Bolam in 39:33. Runners enjoyed mulled wine and mince pies on their return. Thanks to the organisers and Sidmouth Running Club. All money raised went to Otterton Primary School.
On Sunday, Howard Bidmead took part in the Full Monty 10. This is one of the toughest 10 mile races in the area held at Ham Hill Country Park near Yeovil. It is 10 miles all off road with 10 hills; each one numbered. This year due to recent adverse weather the mud was exceptional which made for sticky going. Fortunately Howard was able to maintain a constant steady pace and was able to finish well in a time of 1hr. 40m 11s which was eight seconds slower than last year but with more mud than normal to negotiate he was pleased with that. He was about 82nd out of 250.
Honiton RC Juniors are boasting a new Devon runner and two reserves after last Sunday’s Devon County Cross Country Championships held at Exeter Arena. Jack Elsom ran in 5th giving him one of the automatic Devon spots and Henry Riddle and Rowan Westall both finished 9th in very competitive races. Ian finished 15th but is only 13 in an under 15 category. It was great to see Honiton vests at the front of big races and as usual the juniors showed the best of the club. Well done to all of them.
The Bicton Blister and Bicton Lite multi-terrain races are always a challenge but last Sunday the challenge began just trying to get to Bicton College as roads were flooded and some were closed.
Ten Honiton Running Club members managed the initial challenge and took part in The Blister which is 10 miles long whilst four members took part in The Lite which is about 4 ½ miles long. Both go over sandy, stony and muddy paths across Woodbury Common. There was plenty of mud and water to wade through and runners were diverted across a field close to the start and finish to avoid running on the road with the water level at thigh height.
Bruce Strawbridge was first back for Honiton in 41st place in 1 hour 19 minutes. Steve Davey couldn’t quite keep up and came 49th in 1:20 although he did manage to win his age category. Richard Harvey followed 5 minutes later to come 79th and Judy Davey was next back coming 153rd in 1:33. Judy also came first in her age category. Mark Dallyn found the going tough and when Judy sprinted past him within touching distance of the finish, he couldn’t respond. He finished 2 places and just 15 seconds after Judy. Nick Thorpe had a good run to come 189th in 1:37 ahead of John Burgess who ran out of steam after about 3 miles. John came 241st in 1:41. Wayne Spiller doesn’t race very often but he’s not afraid of the tough ones and he was pleased with his 311th place finish in 1:50. Sandra Thorpe is still coming back from injury but had a great run finishing 333rd in 1:52. This was Clare Melbourne’s first time of tackling the Blister and she did find it tough but came 349th in 1:56. There were 397 finishers and the race was won by Stuart Hall in 1:04.
Three of the older Honiton juniors took part in the Lite with Henry Riddle coming a fantastic 6th place in 35:40. Findlay Fuller was hot on his heels finishing 2 places and less than a minute later. Florence Swan had a great race finishing 17th in 40:17 and the only Honiton adult representative was Wendy Le Masurier who came 48th in 50:16. There were 80 finishers and the race was won by Christian Hewitt in 30:14.
For Children-in-Need weekend Honiton Running Club organised a Duathlon to raise money for this worthy cause. It was based at the Payhembury Village Hall and the event comprised of a 2.3 mile run followed by a 10 mile bike ride and finally the 2.3 mile run again. There were nine individuals who completed all 3 legs, but also several families joined in with children participating in one or two of the legs making a total of 23 participants. The weather was perfect for November with clear blue skies. The winner by a long way was Alex Todd from Axe Valley Runners in a time of 1hr 59secs followed by last years winner Richard Harvey in a time of 1:12:53, four minutes slower than last year. Helen Davy successfully defended her title as first lady in a time of 1hr 17mins 51secs coming third. Other Honiton participants were Nick and Sandra Thorpe who came 4th and 8th and Tony Whiteley who came fifth. Sue Jones also rode the bike leg which included an out and return from Honiton and Maggie Dillon did the first two legs but couldn’t face the final run. The event raised just over £150 for Children in Need.
Ten Honiton RC members took part in South West Road Runners’ Castle Drogo 10 mile off road run on Sunday. This race boasts two particularly tough hills with the first as runners come to Fingle Bridge for the first time after about 3 miles. This is followed by a nice downhill section but then a long gradual leg sapping climb before a long stretch beside the River Teign. Just after runners reach Fingle Bridge for the second time, they are directed up Hunters’ Path which is a half mile climb that no-one will forget. The race was won in 1 hour 1 minute by last year’s winner, Ceri Rees. Bruce Strawbridge was first back for Honiton coming 62nd in 1:17 with Steve Davey not as close as usual in 76th place in 1:19. Howard Bidmead was next back in 141st place in 1:26. He was followed by new member Mark Dallyn who had a good run to finish 201st in 1:30. Judy Davey was the first of the Honiton ladies home in 219th place in 1:33. Lesley Crocker soon followed in 272nd place in 1:38. Nick Bradley-Carter was just four places ahead of Steve Briggs finishing 328th in 1:42 whilst Steve finished just a few seconds later in 1:43. Clare Melbourne has been putting in some hill training and it showed with her 420th position finish in 1:55. Tracey Strawbridge completed the Honiton line up finishing in 470th place in 2:06. There were 486 finishers.
On the same day, Graham Reeves and Sam Shute took part in the Old Deer Park 10k in Richmond. The course is very flat starting in the Old Deer Park, then out onto the roads of Richmond with the runners then following the river Thames before heading back into the park for the finish. Graham was first back in 37th place knocking 32 seconds off his pb in a time of 39:53. Sam also managed a pb finishing in 496th in a time of 56:38.
Honiton runners were certainly well spread out over the weekend as Stephen Boyes took part in the Luton Marathon. This is a three lap course through Luton and the immediate surrounding countryside on roads and pathways. Stephen was a bit disappointed as he only managed 3 hours 42 due to cramp in his leg at 23 miles which slowed him up. The race was won by Neil Aitken in 2:42.
It was a beautifully cold but sunny Saturday when nine Honiton Running Club members took part in Axe Valley Runner’s Yarcombe Yomp last weekend. The route is made up of a 5 mile loop of mud, hills, water and fields and runners can choose to run it twice completing 10 miles or finish having completed one loop. Alex Todd of AVR lost a trainer at a particularly muddy field gate near the beginning of the race. He unsuccessfully tried to retrieve it but not to be outdone by something as insignificant as a shoe; he decided to continue with just one trainer. At the end of the first loop he decided to pull out but was quickly persuaded to continue with the help of the loan of a shoe from a marshal. He swiftly put this on tying the laces tightly and continued for the other 5 miles with odd shoes. He continued in style as he won the race convincingly with a time of 1 hour 12 minutes. This is definitely a first for the Yomp and for Alex himself.
Steve Davey was first back for Honiton finishing in 7th place in 1:24 winning a prize for first male over 50. Howard Bidmead had a great run finishing 19th in 1:31 and Graham Rooms managed to knock about 5 minutes off last year’s time to finish 25th in 1:34. John Burgess managed to stay on his feet for the second year running finishing 33rd in 1:43. Gerry Evans usually enters the 5 mile race but gets sucked in to running the two laps but this year he decided to go straight for the 10 miles to finish in 40th place in 1:54. It was Kathy Layzell’s first time of running this race but she enjoyed it, especially the views, completing Honiton’s line up in 48th place in 2:16.
Honiton junior member, Henry Riddle, won the 5 mile race in 42:26 and Val Hales walked the short distance to the start from her home in Yarcombe to take part finishing 13th in 1:10 winning the first local resident’s prize.
Many thanks to Robin Carter, AVR and all involved in organisation as well as the friendly marshals and landowners but special thanks to the ladies responsible for the delicious soup and cakes awaiting runners upon their return.
A small band of runners from Honiton RC crossed the border into Somerset on Sunday to run the Ilminster 10k. The race is all on road, but heavy overnight rain interspersed with a little snow meant that part of the course resembled a river. The route can best be described as undulating with a mile long hill just before the half-way point. But what goes up must come down, and so does this race with a long downhill section. A couple more undulations and it's back to Ilminster for the finish.
The nature of the course doesn't normally give many personal best times, however nobody told Graham Reeves who recorded his best ever 10k time of 40.25. It can't be long before Graham gets under the magic 40 minute mark. Next home was Nick Thorpe, a very unusual placing for him, in 49.10, his best 10k for some time. Sarah Warren was close behind in 51:00, after leading Nick at the half-way point. Claire Melbourne and Sandra Thorpe came next and were separated by just 2 seconds in 56.09 and 56.11 respectively. Claire is regaining her pre Edinburgh Marathon pace and Sandra was delighted after recently returning to running after a year's absence due to injury. Special mention must go to Val Hales who not content with running the Yarcombe Yomp on Saturday, turned up and raced again. She finished in 67.41.
The weather was reasonably warm and dry for Axe Valley Runner’s Colyton Fiver multi-terrain race last Sunday. This is the first time this flat two lap race has been partly off road and several Honiton Running Club members gave it a try. Steve Davey was first back for Honiton in 9th place in 32 minutes 39 seconds with Suzanne Spiller next in 15th place in 34:15. She was 1st lady winning a Pudsey Bear. Howard Bidmead followed one place and 12 seconds later with Suzanne’s husband, Simon, coming 22nd in 36:14. New member Mark Dallyn did well in his first race for the club coming 23rd in 36:40 having overtaken John Burgess on the second lap. John was next back in 26th place in 37:16. This was Steve Briggs’ first race back after injury so he was pleased to finish 42nd in 40:31. Clare Melbourne had a good run coming 57th in 44:44 and Val Hales had her usual consistent run finishing in 76th in 52:48. Wendy Williams didn’t have such a great run coming 77th in 54:08. The winner was Tim Lenton in 28:09 and there were 77 finishers.
There was also a fun run and three Honiton juniors took part. Iain Ross was second overall finishing in 16:27 having been overtaken just as he came in the gate for the finish. Harry Whiteley was 5th in 17:41 and Florence Swan was first female back in 7th place overall in 18:20. There were 29 runners and Jacob Clode won the race in 16:16.
Thanks to AVR for organising another great race.
Honiton Running Club seemed to take over the Community College in Minehead when its two full mini buses arrived last Sunday transporting the runners for the Exmoor Stagger and Stumble. There were 31 representatives of the Club taking part. Both races provide a challenging off road course using the steep and varied terrain of the Moor and both usually boast breathtaking views. Unfortunately, although the weather was pretty good for running, it was still very foggy at times and difficult to see a matter of feet let alone across the valleys. The distance of the Stagger is 16 miles with total ascent of 3627 ft. The route takes runners from Minehead to the highest point on Exmoor, Dunkery Beacon and then back to Minehead. Although the Stumble is only 7 miles, this is a race not to be taken lightly as it too has tough climbs and descents.
Ian Stewart is running very well at the moment and led Honiton home in style finishing in 14th place in 2 hours 14 minutes. Graham Reeves much prefers road running and is usually closer to Ian than he was on Sunday but he still managed to lead the next 6 Honiton runners home who all finished within 5 minutes of each other. Steve Davey knocked over 8 minutes of last year’s time and managed to win a trophy for coming 3rd in his age category. Heather Foundling-Hawker was another of this 6 finishing as 3rd lady overall. Fran Bond completed this group winning 2nd in her category. Dennis Costello was tackling this distance for the first time since this year’s London Marathon and John Burgess had upgraded from the Stumble to the Stagger on a whim when he was registering regretting it as soon as he had passed the split for the two races. Tracey Strawbridge and Wendy Le Masurier decided some time ago that they would bravely tackle the Stagger and becoming resigned to the commitment, they actually quite enjoyed it.
Full Honiton results: 14th Ian Stewart 2:14, 31st Graham Reeves 2:28, 34th Steve Davey 2:29, 37th Richard Harvey 2:30, 41st Bruce Strawbridge 2:31, 43rd Heather Foundling-Hawker 2:31, 45th Fran Bond 2:33, 86th Stephen Boyes 2:48, 90th Howard Bidmead 2:52, 143rd Dennis Costello 3:14, 151st John Burgess 3:18, Tracey Strawbridge and Wendy Le Masurier 4:06. There were about 185 runners.
In the Stumble Rod Inglis led Honiton home coming 10th in 58:03. Roger Saunders has been nursing a bad cold and although he began with a Stagger entry he took the opportunity of changing to the Stumble at the split point. Judy Davey was also entered for the Stagger but sustained a calf injury just before the split and she also took the sensible option of taking the Stumble route. It wasn’t long before she was overtaken by Roger and then Mark Andow much to Mark’s delight until he realised Judy was hobbling. His lead didn’t last long before he managed to turn his ankle which forced him to walk. Judy caught him up only for them both to be overtaken by an even more delighted Nick Thorpe. Although Judy was disappointed she still managed to win her age category which softened the blow. Sandra Thorpe had a good run following a period of injury and it was great to see Alan Nichols take part in the outing after moving to Wales. It was great to see Val Hales running for the first time in a Honiton top smiling as she finished as always. Ian Jeeves coaxed Maggie Dillon along the route to complete the Honiton line up.
Honiton Stumble results: 10th Rod Inglis 58:03, 28th Roger Saunders 1:05, 31st Nick Thorpe 1:07, 32nd Mark Andow 1:07, 33rd Judy Davey 1:07, 45th Nick Bradley-Carter 1:09, 53rd Olivia Higginson 1:12, 58th Sandra Thorpe 1:13, 60th Alan Nichols 1:14, 64th Sam Shute 1:15, 65th Clare Melbourne 1:15, 68th Jo Davey 1:18, 73rd Jennie Sleeman 1:20, 80th Venetia Topham 1:23, 82nd Liz Corney 1:24, 95th Val Hales 1:30, 98th Maggie Dillon & Ian Jeeves 1:42. There were just over 100 runners.
Having worked up a cracking appetite, the Honiton runners treated themselves to slices of cake at the College before stopping off on the way back for a very enjoyable pub meal. Thanks to the organizers of the races and marshals but special thanks to Bruce for organizing the trip.
Honiton Running Club held its own Cotleigh Canters last Sunday. Runners were blessed with good weather. Following a frosty start to the day, the sun soon showed it still had some warmth about it and this made ideal running conditions for competitors. The races were based at Cotleigh Village Hall and runners could choose between a 3k fun run or the road 5k and 10k races all running the quiet country lanes of Cotleigh.
The 5k race was won by Jon Bird in 13.43. If there was a prize for the furthest travelled runner he would have won that too as he came all the way from Cheltenham! HRC’s junior members dominated the first few places in this race starting with Henry Riddle who finished 2nd overall in 20.10 with Iain Ross hot on his heels finishing in 3rd place in 20.28. HRC juniors also had the first and second ladies home; Ruth Squires who finished 8th overall in 21.38 and Anna Lamb 17th in 25.53. HRC’s president Alan Rowe MBE ran with Wayne Spiller with The Baton finishing in 22nd place in 27.51. There were 32 finishers overall.
Other HRC 5k finishers: 5th Jack Elsom 20.41, 6th Reuben Heeler-Frood 21.18, 7th Arthur Heeler-Frood 21.25, 9th Sam Taylor 22.14, 10th Rowan Westall 22.51, 11th Harry Whiteley 22.55, 13th Thomas Lilley 25.02, 19th Morgan Davy 26.40, 21st Jake Harvey 27.24
The 10k race was two loops of the 5k race and this was won by Robert Orton in the great time of 35 minutes 1 second. HRC’s own Ian Stewart had a great run to come 2nd in 38:12. Graham Reeves was next back finishing 7th in 41:17. Hadleigh Davies made his debut race for the club in style to come 8th in 42:33. The first lady overall was HRC’s Ceri Oak who is well on the way to full fitness after battling an injury for almost a year. She came 16th overall in 46:33.
Other HRC 10k runners: 22nd Nick Bradley-Carter 48:02, 25th Lesley Crocker 48:29, 35th Linda Pike 55:26, 37th Sam Shute 57:20, 40th Kathy Layzell 59:38 and 41st Carol Turnham 61:12. There were 43 finishers.
The first runner across the finishing line in the 3k fun run was Edmond Grierson of Sidmouth Running Club in 13.43. Most of the older HRC juniors had taken part in the 5k but the younger members were well represented with Sasha Davy coming 2nd overall and 1st U13G and James Oak tackling this distance for the first time to come 15th in 17.43. There were an amazing 48 finishers in this race.
Thanks to the people of Cotleigh for supporting the run and providing the car park. Money raised will go to local causes.
Honiton Running Club managed a great turnout for the inaugural running of the Minster Challenge organised and based at Axe Valley Community College last Sunday. This was a 7 ½ mile multi-terrain run with plenty of hills and made especially tough by the amount of rain we have had recently. Once out of Axminster, the race followed country lanes, footpaths, fields and woods before a long down hill stretch of road close to the finish.
Bruce Strawbridge and Steve Davey often have a battle for finish position and this time it was Bruce’s turn to step over the line first. The pair had run almost the entire race neck and neck and Bruce was given a time of one second faster to finish in 57 minutes 40 seconds coming 14th with Steve 15th in 57:41. This was Suzanne Spiller’s first race for Honiton and she stormed home to finish first lady for Honiton and second lady overall in 23rd position in 1:01:07 one place ahead of Howard Bidmead who finished in 1:01:30. Suzanne’s husband Simon was also racing for Honiton for the first time and he did very well to finish in 35th place in 1:05:08 although he found the hills quite tough. John Burgess had overtaken both Simon and Judy Davey early on in the race and he kept a safe distance in front of Judy for the rest of the race finishing 37th in 1:05:37. Judy was next back in 40th place in 1:06:11 having been chased by Mark Andow for much of the race. Mark couldn’t quite catch her and finished three places later in 1:06:59. Nick Bradley-Carter hasn’t run that distance for a while and he’s not too keen on mud so he was pleased to finish 56th in 1:10:04. Lin Pike has spent the last couple of weeks encouraging her club mates to take part in the race and she did well to come 79th in 1:19:37. Kathy Layzell and Carol Turnham thoroughly enjoyed the race finishing together in 1:27:16 and 88th place. Val Hales completed the Honiton line up in 95th place in 1:38:52. The overall race winner was James Denne of Exeter Harriers in 47:06 and the first lady was Emma Hitchens of Haldon Trail Runners in 53:16. There were 97 finishers in the main race.
Thanks to the organisers, marshals and everyone else involved for a very successful race which hopefully will become a regular fixture on the racing calendar.
Meanwhile, Graham Reeves travelled further afield to Burnham on Sea in North Somerset to run the half marathon. After last weeks pb in Bristol, Graham was looking for another quick time and with a nice flat route and some fine weather he wasn’t disappointed. He came in 10th place in a time of 87 minutes 27 seconds knocking another 2 minutes off of last weeks pb.
Three Honiton Running Club members took part in last weekend’s Bristol Half Marathon. It is a relatively flat course which has the potential of producing personal best times. Both Ian Stewart and Graham Reeves managed to finish in under 90 minutes which is a great achievement for anyone. Ian finished first in 87 minutes 23 seconds with Graham not too far behind finishing in 89:43. Roger Saunders is finding it hard to fit in runs at the moment with work commitments but Bristol was well timed between trips. His time of 1:43:11 was fairly slow for him due to the lack of training but he enjoyed the run.
Honiton RC’s very own race is coming up soon on Sunday, 14th October in the form of ‘The Cotleigh Canter’. Headquarters is at Cotleigh Village Hall and there are several distances on offer. There is a 5k and a 10k which is two laps of the 5k and the first runners will set off at 10.30am. There is also a 3k fun run which is mainly for children aged 9 and over although younger children can run with an adult. This is an opportunity for everyone, irrespective of running ability. For further information and to download an entry form for the races, visit www.honitonrc.com. You can also enter on the day and all profits from the event will be donated to local causes.