On 18th December four members of Honiton Running Club took part in the Wellingrton Monument Race. This was the 25th Anniversary race, taking place at the third attempt as the race had been cancelled in 2009 and 2010 due to the weather. However this time it was a beautiful bright winter day and good conditions for running. First home was Richard Harris in 45:28 in 31st place. Next to finish was Pippa Westall in a time of 51:56 in 67th place. For the first half of the race Pippa was having a battle with Nick Bradley-Carter and had to overtake him three times. Nick finished 71st in a time of 52:37. Last but not least was Olivia Higginson who finished 83rd in a time of 55:04. There were 113 runners. The race was won by James Denne, a former member of the club, in a time of 34:50.
On the same day, Stephen Boyes took part in his 90th marathon, the Portsmouth Coastal Waterside Marathon. There was a strong wind for the last two miles but Steve still managed to finish strongly. He came 161st finishing in 3 hours 40 mins. There were 619 finishers.
On Boxing Day Nick Bradley-Carter and Olivia Higginson also ran in the Stoke Stampede. This was their last race of the year and an excellent way of burning off Christmas dinner. The race is 10K and follows a figure of eight course around the village of Stoke St Gregory. Nick was very pleased to finish in a time of 47:23 but once again he was overshadowed by Olivia who crossed the line in a time of 51:11, setting a new personal best for her by some three minutes. The race was won by Jack Bancroft in a time of 33:32 and there were 320 runners.
Full Mont-cute 4/12/11
On Sunday, 4th December 5 Honiton Running Club members went to Ham Hill Country Park, Stoke Sub Hamdon in Somerset to take part in Crewkerne Running Club’s Full Monty-cute off road race. The race boasts 10 significant hills in the 10 miles of the route. The route was wet and muddy this year whereas it is often crisp with ice but dry. Runners are taken past the war memorial and spectacular views can be enjoyed. Matthew Law won the race in the time of 1 hour 14 minutes and the first runner back for Honiton was Bruce Strawbridge who came 19th in 1:26. Steve Davey followed him in 44th place in a time of 1:31 and he was delighted to have finished quicker than last year. Howard Bidmead was wearing his Honiton RC vest for the first time and was pleased to keep ahead of Judy coming in 92nd in 1:40 with Judy just 3 places later and 33 seconds. Tracey Strawbridge was thrilled to knock about 10 minutes off last year’s time to come 213th in 2:08. Runners felt the effort was all worthwhile when they were presented with a Christmas pudding as they crossed the line. There were 237 runners.
Bicton Blister 27/11/11
It was another beautifully unseasonal mild November morning on Sunday, 27th Nov when a group of Honiton Running Club runners went to Bicton College to take part in the Bicton Blister or Bicton Lite races. The Blister is a 10 mile multi-terrain race with the start and finish being road sections with the remainder of the race being on sandy, stony and muddy paths across Woodbury Common. It’s getting to be a habit but first home for Honiton once again was Bruce Strawbridge who came 52nd in 1 hour 17 minutes and 53 seconds. He was followed by Richard Harvey who had only just overtaken Steve Davey. Richard was 66th in 1:19:57 and Steve followed one place and just 5 seconds later. Richard Harris wasn’t feeling fully fit but was pleased with his result of 79th place in 1:21:34.
Next home was Honiton’s first lady, Julie Payne, who was delighted to have beaten her time of last year to come 124th in 1:25:34. She was followed by Roger Saunders who came 153rd in 1:27:41 and then came Howard Bidmead. Judy Davey could see Howard ahead of her for a couple of miles and this was where he stayed. Howard came 157th in 1:28:03 and Judy 179th in 1:29:55. Pippa Westall got off to a really good start and Judy had to follow her for the first section. Judy did pass her but Pippa had a fantastic run coming 206th in exactly 1:32. John Burgess was next back and was pleased with his time of 1:34:59 in 243rd which was similar to last year and Brent Dicks was trying Bicton for the first time. He has been celebrating the big 40 last week and this was his way of dealing with the excesses of the night before. He looked a lot older than 40 when he finished but nevertheless he had a great run under the circumstances. He was 259th in 1:36:18. Julie, Judy and Pippa made up Honiton’s Ladies’ team and they were rewarded for their efforts by coming 2nd ladies’ team overall.
The Bicton Lite is the Blister’s little brother and is 4 ½ miles forming the start and finish section of the Blister. Several Honiton juniors took part with great results: Sam Urquhart was 1st back for Honiton with the excellent position of 7th overall in 36:14. Layla Felgate was the 1st Honiton girl back coming a fantastic 10th overall just 21 seconds behind Sam. Henry Riddle had a cold and felt he could have done better but he still finished in 13th place in 38:59. Lydia Clapp was pleased with her race coming 20th in 41:53. Jake Harvey completed the junior team. He found the hills a bit more of a challenge than he liked and was disappointed to be placed 45th in 48:31. Adult member, Tracy Strawbridge, chose to tackle the Lite as she enjoys cheering her team mates home after completing her race together with a nice cup of tea. She was delighted to knock 10 minutes off her previous time coming 43rd in 48:01.
To recover from the excesses of the Honiton running Club Xmas meal the night before several club members woke up and decided to head for Otterton in the rain to tackle a muddy 10K described as the ‘Reindeer Run’ last Saturday. Luckily as Roger the weatherman turned up they knew the weather was going to improve and it did though there is a very slippery muddy stretch on this run. Richard Harris turned up sporting a huge pair of golden antlers complete with jingling bells and was the first Honiton runner home in 33rd place in a time of 45:58. Roger Saunders finished in a time of 49:17 closely followed by Pippa Westall in 49:42 who almost caught him. John Burgess made a great effort to come home in 51:31 almost a minute ahead of Nick Bradley Carter in 52:23. Olivia Higginson sporting a lovely pair of fairy wings to assist her finished in 56:44. Finally Sarah Walker who is back running again got tangled up with a Christmas tree and fairy but recovered and came in at 1:06:16. Mulled wine eased the tired legs at the finish. The race was won by Laurence Bollam of Sidmouth RC in 31:04 and there were 177 finishers. The 3K fun run had an impressive 134 mostly junior runners, the sole Honiton runner was Rowan Westall who came in a very good 4th in 14:41. Thanks to Sidmouth Running Club for putting on the events.
PRESS PREPORTS 2011 - Sept to Jan
Taunton Deane 10k, Woodbury 10k, Berlin Marathon & The Great Barrow Run (report dated 02/10/2011)
Last Sunday, 25th September, Nick Bradley-Carter of Honiton Running Club took part in the Taunton Deane 10k road race. The weather was a bit wet but the race was a sell out with over 600 runners taking part with a good crowd of spectators defying the rain. Nick finished in 48:28 in 149th place.
On the same day, Olivia Higginson and Graham Reeves ran in the Woodbury 10K. This is a pleasant run around the pretty village of Woodbury with varied countryside and gradients. Money raised goes towards well building in rural Kenya. Graham was 31st in 44:51 and although Olivia had to stop with a painful stitch at 4k she got going again and finished in 55.20 which was two minutes better than she did last year. She was 57th. There were 78 runners and the race was won by Dave Stone of Exmouth Harriers in 35:42.
Also on the same day, Richard Harris raced further afield taking part in the Berlin Marathon. Richard was pleased to finish in 3 hours, 33 mins. It was really hot and sunny but Richard loved it finding the atmosphere amazing. On the Saturday he took part in the 'Breakfast Run'. This was 3 miles starting at a palace and finishing at the Olympic Stadium. There were thousands of people taking part and at the end they gave everyone much needed breakfast. The whole experience was truly memorable.
Last week over the period of 4 days, Honiton’s Steve Boyes took part in the Great Barrow Run Challenge in Suffolk. The runners must cover over 100 miles on this multi terrain course equating to 4 marathons in 4 days. Each day runners set off from headquarters in Barrow with each of the runs covering a different course. Steve found the camping experience reasonable especially the shed in the middle of a field which was a bar. Steve got lost on day one running two more miles than he should have finishing in 4 hours 59 minutes. The second day he ran with 2 other marathoners and he somehow got on the day 3 route. They ran nine miles on that, then flagged down a van and went back to the check point; twenty eight miles was run again and a van ride! Steve kept on track for day three and four managing the correct distance. He finished these legs in 4 hours 42 mins and 4 hours 12 mins.
Great North Run, Trickey Warren Trek (report dated 25/09/2011)
Honiton Running Club’s President, Alan Rowe MBE, successfully ran the 2011 Great North Run on Sunday 18th September. This year the runners enjoyed real squally weather, at times coming down in proverbial ‘stair rods’. The atmosphere was fantastic, with the best crowd support that Alan’s ever seen. At the half way point he was interviewed for some time by BBC’s Denise Lewis our Olympic Gold Medallist Heptathlete, who asked why he was carrying the Baton and what it stood for - an interview that Alan will never forget with one of our athletic legends and a most lovely lady to meet. Alan’s time was 2 hours 15 minutes but stopped for 10 minutes for the interview so would guess his time was actually around 2.05. After the run he stayed over with a Royal Marine friend who noticed that next year’s GNR will be Alan’s 10th year of running, so to mark the occasion a group of Royal Marines will be running with him, sharing the Baton on the way round."
Four Honiton RC runners ran the Tricky Warren Trek on 18th. This event is based at the old WWII airfield at Culmhead and raises money for The Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance. There had been heavy rain in the night and the 10K course which mainly followed the footpaths and fields round Stapley and Churchstanton was muddy and slippery in places. This did not prevent Ceri Oak having another good run and coming home with a time of 51:55 to take second lady spot. John Burgess, Nick Bradley-Carter and Olivia Higginson enjoyed the course were glad the rain held off for most of the race. Iain Ross was the lone Honiton junior runner to tackle the 4K course and had a good run but was a bit frustrated that some poor route marking sent him and other front runners off course.
Last weekend, Vernon Gillard was the sole Honiton Running Club member to take part in Ash Primary School’s Ash Excellent Eight race which has a multi-terrain, muddy route. Vernon came 37th out of 130 runners in a time of 1:04:42.
Alan Rowe was in London on Baton business over the same weekend and thought he'd look for a run and found that the 1st Maidenhead Half Marathon was being run. The organisers kindly put him in as a last minute effort and although he hadn't run for several weeks, he was very surprised and delighted to get round in 2 hours 5 minutes and half way down the entries. The course and organisation were good; very flat and perfect for a personal best time. Runners had rain for the last couple of miles, which most found quite welcome. Luckily it was after Alan had finished that the heavens opened - stair rods didn't even come close! Fellow runners and organisers were keen to know about what Alan was carrying as well as the race commentator who gave the Baton and Alan a huge chat up at the start and finish. Two runners have requested the use of the Baton towards the end of the year. All in all a very positive and rewarding experience for Alan.
Julie Payne and Jennie Sleeman took part in Sunday’s Bristol Half Marathon and Julie finished just short of her personal best time in 1:37:24 with Jennie pleased to finish under two hours in 1:58:06. Luckily, despite the warnings of Hurricane Katia, the sun shone and although a bit windy, conditions were pretty good
On the Sunday of the bank holiday weekend, Graham Reeves and Nick Bradley-Carter of Honiton Running Club took part in the Battle of Sedgemoor 10k road race based in Langport. It was pretty much a perfect day for running and there was a good field of 448 runners. It's mostly flat and a fast course and they both had great results. Graham did extremely well considering it is only his second 10K race and his first on road. He was 118th in a time of 43 minutes 40 seconds. Nick was also very pleased to clock up a new personal best time though it was only by 1 second. He was 145th in 45:27.
The day after, on Bank Holiday Monday, 5 Honiton runners travelled to Bampton to take part in the Quarryman’s Trail 10k multi-terrain race. This is a low key event which is part of Bampton Open Day and there were only 58 runners taking part. The race has a very tough start with runners being taken up hill which basically lasts for 2 miles. The race does become slightly easier from that point but there are still a few short sharp hills to be tackled. The last ¼ mile is a treat as runners can race to the finish down the road hill that they partly climbed at the beginning. Bruce and Tracey Strawbridge were tackling the race for the first time and both were delighted with their results. Bruce was 10th overall in a time of 46:38. Tracey posted a cracking time of 71:53 and was even more delighted when she found out that the race measured more than the promised 10k. Once again her fast sprint finish produced success as she overtook a lady just metres before the line. The race has become a favourite for Steve and Judy Davey and Steve came 14th in 48:12 managing to knock about a minute off his previous time. Judy was equally pleased with coming 23rd in 54:04 which is exactly the same time as last year. This was the second time John Burgess has attempted the run and he was slightly reticent as last time he sustained an injury and was out of action for a while. This year he not only successfully avoided that fate but he managed a category prize as well. He was 25th in 54:27.
Last Sunday, several Honiton runners took part in the Treggy 7. This is a 7 mile road run around Launceston and Honiton’s own ‘Treggy 7’ plus supporter Jo Davey ventured across the border into Cornwall to run this challenging race which attracted 375 entrants. Bruce Strawrbidge had yet another cracking run and came 48th in 47 minutes 44 seconds. Steve Davey was disappointed to come in quite so far behind Bruce but he still managed 83rd place in 50:38. Judy Davey was next back and was very pleased with her efforts coming 130th in 54:07. She was pleased to have kept ahead of Nick Bradley-Carter whose favourite terrain is road. He came 160th in 55:17. Olivia Higginson enjoyed the unfamiliar Cornish scenery and thought the castle was spectacular – she doesn’t get out of Devon much! She came 276th in 1:05:14. Launceston is old stomping ground for Tracey Strawbridge and she was more than happy to give her team mates a commentary during the car journey. She came 331st in 1:11:48. Vanessa Glyn-Jones admitted she had quite enjoyed the run and would have probably enjoyed it even more if she’d been a bit fitter but she was still pleased with her 348th place in 1:15:11.
Honiton Running Club’s Julie Payne took part in Ironbridge Runner’s Exeter 10k last Wednesday evening and was delighted to achieve a personal best time for the distance. It is a pancake flat 2 lap course on the footpaths and cycle tracks around the River Exe and Exeter Canal. Julie came 71st out of 215 runners in a time of 43:38. The race was won by Tom Merson in the incredible time of 31:03.
Fresh from a holiday in Turkey, Stephen Boyes ran Salisbury 5 4 3 2 1 Trail Marathon last week so called because it includes 5 rivers, 4 hills, 3 large country estates, 2 castles, and 1 cathedral. The race is hilly taking runners on a scenic route through the historical region of Wessex. It is run on quiet park roads, bridleways and public paths, through areas of outstanding natural beauty. Money is raised for The Salisbury Fire Fighters’ Charity. Steve found it quite hot but still managed less than four hours (3 hours 58 mins and 50 seconds). The Turkey heat probably helped acclimatize him.
Last Wednesday evening saw the 3rd running of the Dalwood Fayre 10k multi-terrain race and 14 Honiton Running Club members took part. Kevin Hawker led the team back coming 2nd overall in a time of 41 minutes 18 seconds. He was followed by Ian Stewart who has been training for a forthcoming mountain marathon. Ian was 7th in a time of 44:34. Bruce Strawbridge was next back, pleased to have beaten his time from last year coming 11th in 46:41. Richard Harris has been putting in some good training for the Berlin Marathon in late September and finished well in 16th place in 47:04. Brent Dicks, Pippa Westall and Nick Bradley-Carter had a great battle with each other with Pippa and Nick overtaking Brent at one stage but then seeing him speed past them on the last downhill stretch. Brent finished 35th in 56:09, Pippa 37th in 56:29 and Nick 38th in 56:59. There followed a considerable gap with no Honiton runners until Tracey Strawbridge did her amazing downhill sprint finish once again to finish in 68th place in 1:11:02. Completing the Honiton line up was Wendy Williams who hadn’t run for several weeks and was tired after an extremely busy day the day before involving a very early morning. Nevertheless, she was pleased with her 73rd place in 1:16. There were 78 finishers. One of the non finishers was Warren Oak who was on call and was carrying his bleeper with him. He only managed about 200 metres before he had to take a diversion and respond to an emergency call out. What lengths some people will go to avoid a hilly race! Thanks to the Dalwood Run Committee for great organisation and for providing cheerful marshals – it’s always great to have local support. Thanks also to the landowners who allowed runners to trample their fields.
Other Honiton runners: 18th Karl Hodson 47:56, 21st Ceri Oak 48:24, 29th Judy Davey 53:09 and 32nd John Burgess 55:10.
Club Junior Awards, Woodland Relay & Every Which Way But Loose (report dated 24/07/2011)
Honiton Running Club Junior Section held its end-of-year awards evening last Tuesday. The awards were presented by club captain Richard Harvey. He thanked the coaching team for another year of dedication to the club members. He also thanked the members for their commitment and enthusiasm, even on cold wet rainy winter’s nights when thirty or more often turn up for a club evening. He specially praised those who put on the club vest and compete in races, where Honiton Juniors are often the biggest junior team.
The Awards were as follows: Loyalty to the Club: Lauren Davey, Jo Davey, Ella Harvey, Dougie Keywood, Josh Cottingham: Tough Runners who have just begun to race for the club: Bea Brett, Anna Lamb, Arthur Heeler-Frood Dedicated Runners who are into their 2nd or 3rd year of racing: Jake Harvey, Reuben Heeler-Frood, Harry Whiteley Most improved runners: Morgan Davy, Iain Ross Runners of the Year: Katie Davey, who has been with the club from the beginning, has run more races than any other member and always puts 100% effort into her running. Sam Urquhart, who has worked very hard to become a very fast young runner and is the first member of the club to awarded a gold medal for running under 10:30 for a 3K track race.
The club meets every Tuesday evening in term time at Honiton Community College. Full details can be found on their website: www.webjam.com/honitonrcjuniors
Last Wednesday it was the Met Office’s turn to organise the 2nd Woodland Relay of the year. It was held at Woodbury Common and was particularly undulating. Although each competitor only had to run just over 2 miles; this was definitely far enough with everyone agreeing it was a tough route. Honiton had a good turnout fielding 7 of the 16 teams. Honiton Ladies’ team made up of Ceri Oak, Judy Davey and Julie Payne won the ladies’ race and Honiton Men’s A team came 3rd overall. The club’s boys’ team also came first but then they were the only boys’ team taking part. The overall victors of the evening were AVR Men and AVR also took home the girls’ prize. Bruce Strawbridge and Steve and Judy Davey took part in AVR’s Every Which Way But Loose last Sunday. This is a self navigating mult-terrain social run of either 14 or 8 miles. The Honiton trio chose 14 miles and were very pleased to manage to keep it under 15 after taking a few minor detours! The base was Umborne Village Hall where runners were treated to delicious hot pasties on their return. Runners were given a list of checkpoints they had to visit but otherwise they could choose how to get from point to point. The Honiton group decided to be different and run clockwise when everyone else chose the suggested anti-clockwise direction. A question was asked at each checkpoint ensuring runners didn’t cheat. Thanks to AVR for a great morning out, especially Garry Parrett and the refreshment crew. Over £100 was raised for hall funds.
Twenty one members of the Honiton Running Club flew to Slovenia in order to run the internationally renowned, Lake Bled 10K: which takes place in the stupendously picturesque Julian Alps region of that friendly country. Due to certain individuals levels of fitness, only eighteen club members actually entered the race, nevertheless, this was by far the largest entry from any non-Slovenian team and was covered by both the local newspaper and the local radio station. The race itself involved about one and a half circuits of Lake Bled’s winding, shoreline paths. Unusually, this particular race didn’t start until ten o’clock in the evening, and consequently, each individual ran it courtesy of his own headlamp, aided by the kindness of a bright moon. The overall racing conditions were not perfect with the ambient temperature being one which a baker’s oven would have been proud to have reached. Despite that drawback, out of a field of over 2100 runners, the Honitonian contingent performed well, with two members, Brenda King and Fran Box each winning a categorised prize: proving that if you train hard, performance can improve with age.
The club’s results were as follows: Julian Gigg 43.56; Sarah Warren 54.18; Jennie Sleeman 55.07; Jan Hoekstra-Feersma 55.28; Nick Thorpe 55.45; Denis Costello 56.02; Paul Lowman 57.13; Brenda King 57.34; Gerry Evans 58.56; Pete Lyus 59.02; Rod Warren 61.01; Joanne Lowman 63. 15; Jackie Costello 64.03; Vanessa-Glynn-Jones 67.36; Wendy Williams 68.17; Maggie Dillon 74.29; and, Fran Box 80.34. Unfortunately, due to a niggling injury which has spoiled a large part of her season, Sandra Thorpe only managed to complete half the course, but full marks for trying. From a purely club perspective, the main talking point was the fact that rather surprisingly, Nick Thorpe managed to finish ahead of Denis Costello.
As is the local custom, and rather uniquely, each finisher had a ribbon placed around their neck from which a fork was suspended; which permitted you to go to a covered stall where you given a very large slice of cream cake. Let’s hope that delicious idea takes hold over here.
Last weekend, Stephen Boyes finished the Chichester Challenge in 4 hours 12 min in 20th place. The Challenge is an undulating off road 42 Km race. Some of the arrows were a little ambiguous or none existent which meant that all the runners managed to get lost within about 5 minutes of the start. Steve found the last 3 miles particularly hard as it became quite hot as it approached mid day.
Saturday evening saw Steve and Judy Davey, Nick Bradley-Carter and Olivia Higginson visit Dartmoor to take part in the popular, well established Haytor Heller. The race starts below Haytor Rock and follows a hilly, circular route before returning once again to Haytor Rock with a fast downhill finale to the finish. The 6 mile course is challenging with several steep ascents and descents and is generally run across rugged, open moorland and woodland and includes a stream crossing. Honiton results: 38th Steve 51:14, 84th Judy 58:12, 151st Nick 1:05:26 and 160th Olivia 1:06:32. There were 246 finishers.
Otter Rail & River 10k, Blackdown Beauty (report dated 10/07/2011)
Several Honiton Running Club members took part in the Otter Rail and River 10k at Tipton last week. It was a lovely sunny day and it attracted a record 160 runners. The course is very pleasant with runners treated to views of the River Otter and surrounding countryside. The race takes in the welcome shade of Harpford Woods where racers run along the old railway line. Ben Stone had a great run and was first back for Honiton in 6th place in 41 minutes 1 second. Julie Payne took the prize for 3rd lady and also formed part of the winning Honiton ladies’ team. Helen Davy and Olivia Higginson were the other members to count. Helen injured her ankle during the race and will have to take some time off running but she did very well to finish and came a great 41st place in 48:58. Olivia is running really well at the moment and was delighted to win her prize. She was 76th in 54:57. Nick Bradley-Carter was less than a minute ahead of her coming 71st in 54:07. Honiton ladies outnumbered the men considerably and all other members of the Honiton group were female. They were; 83rd Jennie Sleeman 55:48, 112th Clare Melbourne 1:00:37, 152nd Tracey Strawbridge 1:09:10 and 153rd Kim Werner 1:10:11. Thanks to all the organisers especially Jo Earlam and the very friendly marshals.
Honiton’s own Blackdown Beauty took place last Saturday with over 70 runners taking part. They had a choice this year of 18 miles or 10 miles although some who intended running 10 actually ended up running over 13 due to some creative navigating by a certain member in the group! The long route took in 5 pubs as well as a cream tea but if you chose the 10 mile route you were forced to forfeit a stop at 3 of the pubs. Both routes began at the Holman Clavel Inn and although the pub is presently being refurbished, the new owners kindly opened its doors to runners and allowed the grounds to be used as the headquarters. The long route then took runners to Pitminster and then on to Clayhidon before a visit to Pear Tree Cottage, Stapley for the delicious cream tea, appreciated by all. Thank you to the Parry family for the use of their gorgeous garden and all the ladies for making the scones and serving welcome cups of tea. Once fed and watered, runners went on to Churchinford before running back to base. Fancy dress was optional and Honiton runners were encouraged to dress with a circus theme. They looked very colourful and confirmed to other running clubs that Honiton really are a bunch of clowns! Thanks to everyone who helped in any way as well as all the landowners but special thanks must go to John Burgess who has given up many hours of his time organizing the event in so many ways including creating the booklet, tirelessly investigating possible routes, visiting landowners and publicans as well as coordinating everyone else involved.
Beat The Bus & Charmouth Challenge (report dated 03/07/2011)
Honiton runners Bruce Strawbridge and Steve and Judy Davey took up the challenge of trying to ‘Beat the Bus’ last Wednesday. The idea is that runners set off at the same time as the bus leaves Otterton and whilst the bus follows the roads to Sidmouth and back, runners are taken over fields and paths with the aim of getting back before the bus. This included a particularly hilly section on the turnaround point as runners were taken part of the way down Peak Hill just to turn and run back up it! Last year runners set off with the wrong bus and organisers were determined that wasn’t going to happen again. A bus duly arrived and runners were told not to get excited as it wasn’t the right bus. Once the bus had set off, organisers decided it was in fact the right bus but it wasn’t a problem as the bus was scheduled to come back to that point after travelling the length of Otterton and runners could set off then. Meanwhile, another bus arrived and runners did get a little confused but it all worked out in the end. Steve came back first for Honiton in 11th place in a time of 44 minutes and 2 seconds. He has recently gone up an age category and was delighted to win a shield for 1st in his age group. Bruce was next back in 14th place in 44:55 and Judy was 29th in 51:39. All three did ‘beat the bus’ as the bus came 50th in 55.45. Thanks to Bill Valentine and everyone else who helped organise this great event.
Steve and Judy Davey also took part in the Charmouth Challenge last Saturday which is the most southerly fell race in England. After a fast flat start runners are taken up Stone Barrow Lane which is a gruelling climb of about a mile rising over 120m. There was one consolation though as this was probably the only shady part of the route on an extremely hot day. The course then undulates until the 140m climb to Golden Cap. Steve came 39th in 1:08:04 and Judy came 92nd in 1:16:34. The winner was Stuart Leaney in a time of 53:44. There were 248 finishers.
Honiton Juniors also turned out for the 2 ½ mile fun run which followed the first part of the main race including the mountainous climb of Stone Barrow Lane. Sam Urquhart was 6th in 18:48 and close behind was Henry Riddle in 10th place in 19:26. Reuben Heeler-Frood was next back for Honiton in 15th place in 20:12 and his brother Arthur was hot on his heels coming in 18th place and 20:19. Katie Davey was the only Honiton girl representative and, like the others, she had a great race coming 57th in 24:33. There were an incredible 188 finishers in the fun run.
Last weekend, Steve Boyes ran the Cheltenham Circular Challenge which is divided into 4 sections with runners and walkers being given the choice of completing one or more of them. Of course, Honiton Running Club’s Marathon Man Steve decided to run the complete distance of just over 26 miles. He finished in 4 hours 25 minutes which was a great improvement on last year on this hilly off road course.
The Forde Abbey Cross Country 10k race is a pleasant off road run around the grounds of the Abbey. The route includes mud, rocky tracks, hills, big views and more hills but the highlight of the race for many is the river crossing when runners slide down a bank into the water and then climb out the other side with the aid of a rope and the strategically placed hand of a very friendly marshal. Kevin Hawker had a great run finishing in 4th place whilst Richard Harris, John Burgess and Wendy Williams also took part for Honiton all reporting that they had good runs.
Having been dull all day, Saturday evening saw the sun deciding to come out just before the Killerton Kanter and it seemed to be the hottest it had been for weeks. Runners suffered with the heat finding the hills of this off road 6 mile race a bit more challenging than usual. Honiton RC had a great turnout and was led home by Ben Stone sporting his brand new Honiton RC vest which didn’t look quite as pristine at the finish. He came in 11th place in a time of 42:13. Bruce Strawbridge and Steve Davey had their usual close battle with Bruce coming in first in 22nd place with a time of 45:10 and Steve following one place later in 45:57. Ceri Oak had yet another cracking run; taking the overall 1st lady place for the 4th time running in local races. She’s going to have to get that trophy cabinet soon! She finished in 27th place in 46:44 and was directly followed by Richard Harris in 47:15. Roger Saunders was next back in 60th place in 50:07. A delighted John was next back for Honiton in 66th place in 52:16 having overtaken Judy Davey in the last mile. Judy had followed Helen Davy in the last race for almost the entire run but this time the roles were reversed with Judy eventually finishing in 68th place and 52:44 with Helen just two places after her in 53:03. Nick Bradley-Carter struggles with off road races and the heat certainly didn’t help his cause this time. He finished 78th in 56:34. Pippa Westall came in very strongly in 90th place in 58:44 and Olivia was delighted to finish under the hour taking 59:52 and 93rd place. Clare Melbourne had a good race coming 104th in 1:05:16. Sarah Spence is not the most eager of racers so it was great to see her out. She finished 114th in exactly 1:09. Of course, the prize for the biggest smile as always should have been awarded to Kim Werner who completed the Honiton team coming 127th in 1:14:12.
The Over the Hill and Farway 10k took place on Sunday and, of course, it was well supported by Honiton runners even though they knew they had to run up Warren Hill which took runners up 460 ft. There was a cheery crowd of spectators at the top offering a cup of water! Honiton’s own Ceri Oak was crowned Queen of the Hill for being first lady to the top of The Hill. She held on to her lead and managed to come first lady overall in 13th place with a time of 45 minutes 56 seconds.
Ben Stone was first home for Honiton in 5th place and a time of 41:11 followed just over 4 minutes later by Steve Davey in 9th place. Steve, Richard Harris and Ceri were playing cat and mouse throughout the race with Richard finishing sandwiched between the two in 12th place in 45:52. Julie Payne was carrying The Baton for the charity with the same name and still managed to come 2nd lady overall. She was 15th in a time of 48:30 one place ahead of Tom Dunn who was taking a rare break from his heavy schedule of exam revision. Tom finished in 48:46.
The next four back for Honiton often have a really closely fought race and on Sunday it was Judy Davey’s turn to lead them home coming 21st in 51:07. Warren Oak followed 2 places later in 51:40 with Nick Bradley-Carter just one place behind him in 52:03. Super Hero Brent Dicks did very well to come 30th in 55:18 as he did get somewhat hot under the collar in his costume. He did attract a huge amount of attention though.
Olivia Higginson was completely spent as she crossed the line in 40th place in 59:09 and Julian Davies who has only just started coming out with the Club again after a lay off finished in 44th place with a time of 63:54. There were 53 runners.
Delicious cakes awaited the runners on their return with money raised going to Farway School.
Meanwhile, Vernon Gillard went to Paignton to take part in the Torbay Half Marathon. He had an excellent run coming 154th out of 1564 runners in a time of 1:35:32.
Run in the Wild 10k, Yeovilton Summer Series & the Umborne Ug (report dated 12/06/2011)
Last Sunday, Chard Running Club held its Run in the Wild off road 10k race around the undulating grounds of Cricket St Thomas. Six Honiton Running Club members took part and first back for the Club was Steve Davey in a time of 50:52 and 33rd position managing to knock nearly 4 minutes off last year’s time. Next back was Vernon Gillard who was racing Run in the Wild for the first time. He finished 43rd in 52:23. Judy Davey was next back coming 81st in 57:40 managing 2nd in her category. John Burgess was taking part in his second race of the weekend and ended up having a battle with Nick Bradley-Carter. John came in 93rd place in 58:41 and although off road is not Nick’s favourite terrain preferring road running he has definitely improved and is determined to beat the gremlins. He did very well to come 98th place in 59:32. Olivia Higginson also did very well once again coming 130th in 1:05:09. Conditions were excellent with the ground not too muddy and cool temperatures. The race was won by Nathan Young in 40:50.
Brent Dicks was joined by Clare Melbourne for this month’s Yeovilton 5k and he was hoping to crack 21 minutes. There was a fairly strong headwind at times and he was disappointed to finish in 21:44 and 72nd position. Clare Melbourne also felt she could have run better finishing in 27:55 and 122nd position but as it was her first attempt at this race she will have a bench mark for next time. As well as winning the Run in the Wild race Nathan Young also won this race in the incredible time of 15:48.
This was the first time the Umborne Ug race took place on a Saturday evening and it was an excellent move as the following day heavy rain fell. It was the first time the race officials could fully utilise the flashy new village hall and very splendid it is too. Entrance was by voluntary contribution with money raised going to the upkeep of the hall. Eight Honiton runners took part and the first position for the Club was hotly contested by Bruce Strawbridge and Steve Davey. Despite having a nosebleed half way round Bruce managed to hold Steve off coming back in a time of 47:11 and 9th place with Steve just 9 seconds behind. Honiton’s Ceri Oak was 2nd lady overall collecting a bottle of wine and finished in 49:36 and 15th place. Helen Davy was pursued by Judy Davey for almost the entire race and finished one place ahead of her and 14 seconds in 27th place with a time of 54:19. Judy also took home a bottle of wine for winning her category. John Burgess managed to overtake Judy at one stage staying ahead of her for about 2 seconds but a hill ensued and he was forced to follow her for the rest of the race. He came 30th in 55:07. Claire Pomeroy enjoys this race and was happy with her time of 1:05:04 and 53rd position and Wendy Williams was attempting this race for the first time and put in a gutsy effort coming 65th in 1:14:30. The race was won by former Honiton member James Denne in 40:35 and there were 77 runners.
There was also a 2.5k fun run mainly for the younger runners and Honiton’s Iain Ross was 2nd in 12:11. Sasha Davy is too young to attend the Club but she was 2nd girl beating her older sister, Morgan, who was 3rd. Sasha completed in 13:29 and Morgan 14:04. Katie Davey also took part coming in 14:13 just behind Morgan. Josh Coates of Axe Valley Runners won the race completing in 11:15. Thanks to all the organisers, mashals, cake makers, etc especially Rick and Eleanor Wood and of course, the landowners.
The Forces March & Talaton Trotter(report dated 05/06/2011)
The Forces March is one of the UK’s top challenge events and last week Honiton Running Club’s Stephen Boyes took part. Participants attempt to complete five stages in five days. Each stage is at least 26 miles in length – 5 marathons in 5 days! The undulating all-road route begins in Ilfracombe, North Devon and passes through Exmoor, the Quantock Hills, rural Somerset and much of Salisbury Plain before finishing just outside of Bulford Camp, the UK’s biggest Army Garrison. It is a charity event raising money for PROJECT 65 – The Veterans Charity. Steve managed to complete all of the marathons running every inch – a total distance of 134 miles. He was delighted to achieve a very impressive second overall position. Not only did he survive the running, he managed to survive the camping which he found the greatest challenge.
Last Saturday, saw the running of the local Talaton Trotter which is a 7 mile multi-terrain race based in Talaton taking in Escot Park and surrounding countryside. Tim Legg was first in for Honiton and pleased to come 5th overall in 48 minutes 44 seconds. Bruce Strawbridge was next in coming 14th in 52:53. Ceri Oak took 1st lady overall in 17th position with a time of 53:35 which was quicker than last year. Richard Harris tried to run Ceri down but didn’t quite make it coming 5 seconds and one place behind her. Ceri’s husband Warren set off too quickly, chasing Brent Dicks, then ran out of steam. Brent had to pull out with a stomach problem at about 2 miles and Warren came in 55th place taking just over the hour. Nick Thorpe was in two minds as to whether to take part due to injury and made the wrong decision as he had to pull out of the race with a tight hamstring. John Burgess ran round with his camera so probably took a minute longer than he would have done without it. He was 59th in 1 hour 2 minutes. Pippa Westall is obviously getting back to speed after the winter and came 70th in 1 hour 5 mins. It was Sarah Hadley’s first event for the club and she should be pleased with her performance coming 93rd in 1:11:43. Tracey Strawbridge had a sprint for the line with some other ladies and came 112th in 1:21:16 and Kim Werner as always finished with a big grin on her face coming 114th in 1:28:42. The weather was slightly overcast and the wind helped to cool the runners down.
The first Woodland Relay of the season took place last Monday hosted by Sidmouth Running Club. The course was a very pleasant 2.2 miles with a nasty sting in the tail. It began at the top of Peak Hill and runners were taken down to the golf course and back up again. A total of 23 teams of 4 took part entered by the Met Office, Sidmouth Running Club and Axe Valley Runners as well as Honiton. Honiton managed a tremendous turnout entering 8 teams. Honiton’s mixed team consisting of Warren Oak, Fiona Prew, Julian Gigg and Helen Davy took home the first prize in that category and Honiton boys also won their race. They were made up of Reuben Heeler-Frood, Iain Ross, Sam Urquhart and new member Henry Riddle. The Honiton men’s, ladies’ and girls’ teams all came second. Axe Valley girls won the girls’ category but they did borrow Honiton’s Morgan Davy who ran their first leg. Honiton’s Kevin Hawker was the fastest runner of the night with Sam Urquhart being the second fastest Honiton runner and 8th fastest overall. Cathy Ansell for the Met Office was the fastest female runner. She put in an almost unbelievable performance running 2 legs and posting the 2nd and 5th fastest runs of the night.
John Burgess, Vernon Gillard and Jerry Evans took part in the undulating Crewkerne 9 road race last week. John and Vernon were both pleased with their runs. They found it quite chilly to start with and they were treated to a heavy rain shower for about 10 minutes about a mile into the race. But then the sun came out and when the wind was behind it felt very warm. John was a few seconds quicker than 2009 coming 53rd in 1 hour 11 minutes. Vernon was 35th in 1:05. Jerry pulled up with a calf strain and turned round and headed back in but regretted it because he had nearly reached the half-way point and the problem eased off. The race was won by Luke Scott of Taunton AC in the time of 48 minutes. There were 107 runners.
For the second month running, Honiton Running Club’s Brent Dicks was the sole representative of the Club at the Yeovilton Summer 5k series last Wednesday. He was pleased he turned up though as he managed to knock almost a minute off April’s time. He finished in exactly 21 minutes making him 71st out of 147 runners. At this rate, he’ll win the race in September!
Fiona Prew has started attending the Park Run at Killerton which is a pleasant off road 5k race around the grounds of Killerton House. This is a weekly run held on Saturdays which is free to enter. This was Fiona’s second time and she finished in exactly 22 minutes which is a new personal best. She finished in 10th position as 1st lady overall just ahead of Heather Foundling-Hawker who finished in 11th place and 2nd lady in 22:23. Heather does have an excuse though as last week she ran 394 miles in the Balatonfured 6 Day Road Race in Western Hungary where she came an incredible 3rd place.
On Sunday, Olivia Higginson and Nick Bradley-Carter ran in the 10K road race at Curry Mallet. It is a nice course through quiet country lanes; flat for the first half and then a long hill followed by a nice downhill stretch to the finish. There were a couple of rain showers beforehand but the sun came out for the start. It was good conditions for running apart from a strong headwind between 5 and 8 kms. In fact the wind was so strong a large branch snapped and fell into the road just in front of Nick - a couple of seconds later and he would have had a very nasty headache! Nick finished in 46:48, which he was pleased with as it's a minute better than his 2010 result, but Olivia excelled herself again with another P.B. finishing in 54:45.
Black Death Run, Ottery 10k & Bideford 10 (report dated 15/05/2011)
The Black Death Run is billed as probably the toughest off road run in the Country. It is a testing ten mile route through the glorious Somerset countryside with its base at Combe Sydenham Country Park where all the marshals are dressed as The Grim Reaper. It is off-road and is mainly trail or grass with some muddy sections. Honiton Running Club members Brian Charters and Fran Bond took part in the race last Sunday with Brian coming 21st in a time of 1 hour 27 and Fran not far behind in 34th place in 1:33. Fran was second lady overall winning a skull for her efforts.
Karen Hall’s Ottery 10k road race was extremely well attended on Sunday by Honiton members with nearly a third of the club taking part. With so many representatives there were the inevitable friendly tussles amongst club members resulting in some very close finishes. Some took the opportunity to try their first race for the club and others dusted off racing shoes that hadn’t seen the light of day for some time. There were lots of personal best times obtained in part due to the ideal running conditions although some blamed excesses at a club barbecue the day before on poor performance. First home for Honiton was Steve Davey and second lady overall was Ceri Oak. There were just over 200 runners.
Honiton results: 22nd Steve Davey 42 minutes 27 seconds, 24th Richard Harvey 42:37, 25th Bruce Strawbridge 42:41, 31st Vernon Gillard 43:27, 32nd Ceri Oak 43:27, 36th Tom Bornet 43:50, 38th Roger Saunders 44:12, 40th Richard Harris 44:19, 45th Julie Payne 44:53, 48th Helen Davy 45:11, 54th Fiona Prew 46:11, 65th Brent Dicks 46:56, 66th Nick Bradley-Carter 47:00, 69th Warren Oak 47:14, 70th Judy Davey 47:21, 72nd Tristan Thorpe 47:27, 77th Greg Axsel 48:07, 83rd John Burgess 48:28, 100th Dan Brown 50:26, 103rd Nick Thorpe 50:36, 123rd Pippa Westall 52:49, 131st Brenda King 53:37, 150th Clare Melbourne 56:57, 178th Sarah Spence 1:01:54, 185th Tracey Strawbridge 1:03:35, 186th Wendy Williams 1:04:24, 189th Kim Werner 1:05:20 and 196th Maggie Dillon 1:06:12.
There was also a one mile fun run on offer which several of the Honiton Juniors took part in. The race was won by Honiton’s Harry Whiteley.
Sarah Hadley ran the Bideford 10k this weekend and as it was her first race she decided a flat one with good views was much more appealing than the hilly Ottery 10k! 586 people entered the race and Sarah was delighted to come 301st with a time of 54 mins 30 secs.
Olivia Higginson also decided against Ottery and took part in the 17km Endurance Commando Challenge with her cousin, James who is diabetic. This was the full route the Royal Marines do and it’s all for charity. She had fun and got wet in freezing water completing it in about 95mins.
Great West Run & North Dorset Village Marathon (report dated 08/05/2011)
Wayne Spiller and Alan Rowe MBE of Honiton Running Club took part in the Great West Run last Sunday. This is a good race for the spectator standing on Exeter High Street as runners are taken up and down it passing the same spot four times. However, this road half marathon has the reputation of being uninspiring for the runners and is deceptively hilly in parts. Wayne finished in 755th position in a time of 1 hour 51 and Alan finished in 1243rd place in 2:04. The race was won by Tom Merson of Bristol and West AC in the time of 1:10.
On the same day, Steve Boyes took part in the North Dorset Village Marathon which is a picturesque race along country lanes through local villages with its base at Sturminster Newton. Steve was pleased to beat last year’s time by 5 minutes especially considering he had some dodgy Argentine wine two days before. He finished in 3 hours 34 minutes and 75th place. The race was won by Ian Habgood of Bournemouth AC in a time of 2:36 and there were just over 300 finishers
Last Saturday Honiton Running Club members Ian Stewart, Nick Bradley-Carter and Olivia Higginson gave the new Haldon Heartbeat trail race a try. It is an 8 mile course with a nice fast flat start round the race course service track before going up in Haldon Woods. Most of the race is then on forest roads and tracks and finishes by the winners’ post on the race track again. Ian led the trio home in a time of 57 minutes 38 seconds coming in the great position of 19th. Nick was celebrating his birthday, taking him into a new age category and thoroughly enjoyed his day. He finished in 1:10:29 and 112th place whilst Olivia came in 1:17:46 and 163rd position. They were all suffering with the heat a bit, especially Olivia, but she still managed to put in yet another good time. There were 231 runners taking part. Arran Tocknell won the race setting the future record to beat of 48:50. The inaugural event was deemed as successful with a great deal of money being raised for the charity HeartSwell.
John Burgess and Clare Melbourne took part in Yeovil Town Road Running Club’s Easter Bunny 10k on Easter Monday which is a fast flat road race around Yeovilton air base and the villages of West Camel and Podimore. John finished in a time of 49 minutes 30 in 194th place and Clare came in at 57.36 in 269th place. She was a bit disappointed but it was such a hot day she was just glad to make it round! They both enjoyed the Easter egg they were handed at the finish! Daniel Cook of Poole AC won in the race in the amazing time of 31:50. There were 351 finishers.
Ten Honiton members joined the other 36,000 competitors in the London Marathon on Sunday and although it started with ideal weather conditions, runners found the going got a little too hot for the 26.2 miles.
Judy Davey was the first back for Honiton but she was only just in front of Julie Payne. Judy finished in 3 hours 38 minutes with Julie just a few seconds later in 3:39. This gave a delighted Julie a personal best time for the distance.
Roger Saunders followed Steve Davey to the finish line but was given a quicker time as he had started further back. Roger finished in 3:48 and Steve 3:50. This was Steve’s marathon debut and he was pleased just to cross the line.
Louise Saunders has completed the London Marathon before but found this year’s much harder and vowed never to do it again. Her time was 4:32 which was 10 minutes down on last year which she put down to heat and injury. Dan Brown has also been dogged by injury and fell short of his target time of 4 hours completing in 4:38. Warren Oak had the same target but he too was disappointed finishing in 4:46 after suffering cramp.
Alan Rowe had completed the Stanley Marathon just 4 weeks before and ran London carrying The Baton for the charity of the same name which aims to highlight the work of the armed forces and the support of their families by ‘keeping the message alive’. He completed in 5 hours.
This was also a marathon debut for Jo Jo Davey so she didn’t know what time to expect but she completed in 5:13. Tracey Strawbridge had run London once before and was happy to complete in 5:30.
Most of the Honiton runners have been raising money for charity with the main charity of the club this year being Shelterbox. The Honiton group appreciated support from their fellow club members who came to London en masse. They took up a considerable amount of Tower Bridge bringing the club flag with them and even managed to make themselves heard over the rest of the supporters.
On Sunday the 10th of April, according to the official figures, an enormous crowd of 900,000 spectators turned out to watch four Honiton Running Club members join up with over 23,000 other entrants to run the Rotterdam Marathon. The four marathon runners were: Nick Thorpe; Jerry Evans; and, Jackie and Denis Costello. In an unseasonal mini-heatwave, the runners made their way through the streets and parklands of this large and prosperous city with its startlingly modern architecture. Forty-two music bands were strung around the 26+ mile course to loudly help tired feet keep up with tired legs. With the oppressive heat hindering their performances over the course, the Honiton runners were delighted with their finishing times, which were: Nick Thorpe 4: 16; Denis Costello 4:40; Jerry Evans 4: 53; and, Jackie Costello 5:06. A fifth Honiton runner, Sandra Thorpe, whose recent training schedule had been affected by injury, wisely limited her ambition by entering the half-marathon, which she completed in the creditable time of, 2:14. The Honiton runners were enormously impressed by all of the Dutch people who they came into contact with, finding them hugely helpful and good natured. When Jackie Costello was asked what she’d thought of her first ever marathon, she replied: “It’s whetted my appetite for my next one.” Clearly, she’s a glutton for punishment. The Honiton Running Club’s next international event will be in Slovenia this coming July. Starting at 10 pm, the picturesque alpine route hugs the shoreline of the reportedly amazingly blue Lake Bleda . So far, 21 members have registered for the trip. Brent Dicks was the sole representative from Honiton in the first of Yeovil Town Road Running Club’s summer 5k series; a fast flat loop around Yeovilton Air Base. He set himself a solid base time of 21:54 and 88th place which he will hope to improve upon throughout the summer.
On probably the warmest day of the year so far Honiton Running Club’s very own Honiton Hippo took place last Sunday. Despite a very dry March and not too much rain in April either, there was still plenty of mud to wallow in especially in the grounds of the Land Rover Experience. The race is approximately 7 ½ miles of very multi-terrain. All runners agree it is extremely tough with the very long steep road hill going up St Cyres fairly near the start taking runners to the point of exhaustion before 2 miles are up. They haven’t reached the top even when they come off the road but have to run uphill through the woods. Runners are treated to another equally taxing hill in the Land Rover Experience where many runners spotted the hippo lurking. Other runners were running far too fast including Axe Valley Runner’s Alex Todd who won the race in a time of 51 minutes 56 seconds. Paul Thomas of South West Road Runners was second in 52:54 and James Dent of South Devon AC was 3rd in 53:49. First home for the ladies was Ros Viner in a time of 59:56 with Honiton’s very own Ceri Oak taking 2nd place and Karen Skye of Okehampton RC coming in 3rd.
There were a record number of entries with 170 finishers and although many of Honiton Running Club’s members were involved with organisation and marshalling, there were still a good number running. First home was Greg Morris in 8th place and a time of 56:59.
Other Honiton runners’ results: 19th Ian Steward 58:30, 22nd Bruce Strawbridge 58:59, 27th Karl Hodson 1:00:11, 28th Ceri Oak 1:00:15, 41st Julian Gigg 1:03:03, 45th Tom Dunn 1:05:28, 56th Helen Davy 1:07:51, 69th Greg Axsel 1:09:59, 74th Brent Dicks 1:11:20, 83rd Sarah Warren 1:12:52, 99th Nick Bradley-Carter 1:17:28, 143rd Olivia Higginson 1:26:17 and 161st Kim Werner 1:37:05.
The Hippo Calf also took place at the same time which is mainly aimed at juniors aged 9 and over. It is approximately 1 ½ miles and is a mixture of roads and woods although the youngsters are taken back through the same river crossing as the adults. The first three boys were; 1st Honiton’s Sam Urquhart in 11:02, 2nd Karl Still and 3rd Talasi May. The first three girls were; 1st Ruth Squires in 12:10, 2nd Phoebe Killen and 3rd Lydia Clapp. There were also a record number of entries in the Calf with 80 finishers. Local primary schools are encouraged to put forward a team of three participants and this year the trophy went to Stockland.
There were plenty of Honiton junior members achieving some very creditable results with several taking home category prizes: 4th Iain Ross 11:58 (2nd U13 boy), 5th Reuben Heeler-Frood (3rd U16 boy), 6th Arthur Heeler-Frood 12:05 (1st U11 boy), 10th Harry Whiteley 12:40, 17th Isaac Williams 13:23, 18th Anna Lamb 13:31 (2nd U13 girl), 20th Snezhana Klimentino 13:38 (3rd U13 girl), 21st Becky Matthews 13:42 (3rd U16 girl), 24th Harry Boswell 13:51, 26th Katie Davey 14:06, 27th Morgan Davy 14:06, 31st Sasha Davy 14:17 (1st U11 girl), 32nd Bea Brett 14:18 (2nd U11 girl), 56th Alex Boswell 17:07, 57th Hester Heeler-Frood 17:11 and 65th Sophie Lear 18:00.
Thanks to the many people who supported and assisted in any way and especially the landowners for kindly allowing everyone to rampage through their land.
Exe To Axe, Taunton Marathon & Half (report dated 03/04/2011)
Five Honiton runners took up the challenge of Sidmouth Running Club’s Exe to Axe on Sunday. This is a 21 mile race along the Jurassic coastal path from Exmouth to Seaton going through Budleigh Salterton, Sidmouth, Branscombe and Beer. It is a particularly tough race with constant steep ascents and descents often involving awkward steps but with gorgeous views helping to numb the pain slightly. Runners are expected to stick to the route by keeping the sea on their right and following the footpath signs. Tom Merson won the race in 2:32:59 and the first person back for Honiton was Heather Foundling Hawker who was 3rd lady in 15th position overall and a time of 3:22:19 which is amazing as she ran 100k last week in Scotland. Bruce Strawbridge was next back delighted with his 17th position and 3:22:54 time. He had a sprint finish to the line with fellow club runner Brian Charters who finished one place and 4 seconds after Bruce. Fran Bond was next back in 23rd place in 3:24:32. Not far behind was Ceri Oak who completed the Honiton entrants. She was 28th in 3:29:08. There were 120 finishers.
If runners didn’t fancy the Exe to Axe, there was always the Taunton Marathon or Half Marathon on offer. Mark Jenkin won the Half Marathon in a time of 1:10:18 and the first home for Honiton was Vernon Gillard in a time of 1:36:37 and 174th position which is a great improvement on last year. Several runners used the half marathon as the last long training run before the London Marathon in two weeks’ time and the first of these Honiton runners home was Roger Saunders in a time of 1:39:23 and 213th place. Maria Wadey was also using it as a training run for London and finished in 1:41:29 and 307th place. Nick Bradley-Carter was next in finishing 508th in 1:49:48. Claire Pomeroy was pleased with her position of 579th in 1:52:41. Olivia Higginson would have been happier if she had got back in under the two hours having just missed it in 2:01:26 and 777th position. This was Clare Melbourne’s first crack at the distance and was pleased to have come within the first 1000 runners in 990th place in 2:14:41. There were 1232 finishers.
The Marathon is a two lap version of the half marathon and inevitably runners find it a lot lonelier with far fewer runners and less support too. Nevertheless, three Honiton runners battled the demons and completed the full 26.2 miles. Steve Boyes was first back in 77th place and a time of 3:36:02. Simon Hall had overtaken Wayne Spiller at about mile 17 and Wayne was clearly struggling. Simon finished in 4:22:02 in 186th and with no formal training other than the Grizzly a few weeks ago; he was very pleased. Wayne obviously found second wind from somewhere as he amazed Simon to finish just under 4 hours 30 in 198th place. There were 215 finishers.
Reading Half, Cotswold Marathon, British 100k Championships (report dated 27/03/2011)
Last week, Honiton Running Club’s Nick Bradley-Carter ran the Reading Half Marathon. It was the second time he had taken part in the race and finished in 1:51:21 in 4362nd place which is a small improvement on last time. There was a really great atmosphere with over 12,000 runners and lots of spectators round the course cheering the runners on. The sun even came out towards the end of the race. The race was won by Simon Kasimili in a time of 1:03:07.
On the same day, Stephen Boyes ran the Cotswold Marathon. He enjoyed the run which was helped with the great weather. He was delighted to have managed to run the three lap course, with one big hill on each lap, in 3 hours 39min and 34 seconds. The race was won by Paul Davies of Centurion RC in a time of 2:57:08.
Heather Foundling-Hawker won the individual Bronze Medal at the British 100k Championships in Perth, Scotland at the weekend. This was a beautiful 2km lap course beside the River Tay. Though a misty freezing foggy start in twilight it turned into a glorious day. This now means Heather has secured her place as part of the Great Britain 100km team at the world championships in Holland later this year. Well done Heather.
It was a very busy weekend for the London Marathoners with most getting their longest runs in the bag. Jo Jo Davey and Sandra Thorpe did 20 miles along the Exeter canal and Nikki Campbell and Louise Saunders ran from Dawlish to Exeter and back, a total of 22 miles. Warren Oak and Judy and Steve Davey also ran 22. They went to South Petherton to take part in Crewkerne Running Club’s fully supported training run. The route is circular and relatively flat taking in many towns and villages including Langport, Muchelney and Drayton. Support was great with cyclists on route for the whole way and refreshments provided afterwards.
The Grizzly & Cub, Dutchy Marathon, The Steyning Stinger (report dated 14/03/2011)
Honiton Running Club managed a good turnout for Axe Valley Runners’ Grizzly & Cub runs on Sunday. The Grizzly boasts that it is an extremely tough race of twentyish miles taking in plenty of mud, hills, bogs and beach and runners were definitely not disappointed. The weather was ideal for running and some people even managed a sun tan. Adam Stirk of Sandhurst Joggers won the race in the impossible time of 2:38:23 and Kevin Hawker was first home for Honiton in 58th place and a time of 3:05:03. Fran Bond put in a great performance managing to come 6th lady in the fantastic time of 3:09:24. She even managed to beat her training partner, Brian Charters, much to his disgust! Bruce Strawbridge continues his fine form and deserved his time of 3:18:30 in 141st place. Ceri Oak also had a great run despite niggles during the week but there were, of course, others who suffered terribly. Greg Axsel had a particularly painful race from about mile 12 and couldn’t manage to drive himself home because of excruciating leg cramps. Some Honiton Running Club members who don’t often race dusted off their best off road shoes to take part in this local ‘must do’ race and many spent many months and covered hundreds of miles in training. It was lovely to have some familiar faces marshalling from the Club vocally encouraging Honiton members around mile 6 to 8 where there was a particularly challenging hill. Runners were well supplied with jelly babies throughout the race. Thanks to AVR for organising the race, especially Race Director Garry Perratt. Also the cheerful marshals, some of whom were out for over 6 hours, as well as the landowners for allowing runners to churn up their land.
Other Honiton results: 129th Brian Charters 3:17:39, 197th Ceri Oak 3:26:19, 203rd Steve Davey 3:27:08, 233rd Ian Stewart 3:31:37, 384th Guy Paddon 3:42:37, 381st Julian Gigg 3.45:24, 388th Judy Davey 3:45:47, 414th Richard Harvey 3:47:34, 445th Roger Saunders 3:49:49, 921st Dan Brown 4:24:37, 961st Simon Hall 4:27:47, 1044th Greg Axsel 4:34:08, 1101st Wayne Spiller 4:39:11. There were 1675 finishers.
The Cub run is about 8 miles and just as challenging albeit a little shorter than the main run. Runners are still treated to a fair stretch of beach right at the start which saps the energy of even the fastest runners. They escape the bogs but there are still plenty of hills and mud. There were 364 finishers and the race was won by Ben Trigg of Erme Valley Harriers in a time of 1:01:21.
Honiton results: 63rd Sarah Warren 1:30:05, 78th Brent Dicks 1:32:43, 113th Claire Pomeroy 1:37:14, 117th Olivia Higginson 1:37:44, 206th Sarah Spence 1:49:30, 226th Clare Melbourne 1:52:02, 234th Pete Lyus 234th, 299th Kim Werner 2:05:36 and 336th Sandy Chugg 2:20:37.
On the same day, Heather Foundling-Hawker ran the Dutchy Marathon which is a two lap course up and down the north cliffs from Portreath and Redruth. She came 1st lady completing in 3hrs 3mins. She is off to Scotland now to represent England in the Anglo Celtic Plate 100km British Championships. She flies to Edinburgh on 26th March. We wish her well with the challenge.
After being awarded the prestigious Captain’s Cup at HRC’s AGM recently, Stephen Boyes took part in the The Steyning Stinger which is a Grizzly like off road marathon in the South Downs between Worthing and Shoreham-by-Sea. He managed 4 hours 47 seconds giving him 36th place out of 182 runners. He was delighted to report that he did not walk and finished strong. He even managed to enjoy some lovely views of the South Downs whilst taking part.
Bideford Half Marathon, Combe St Nicholas 10k (report dated 06/03/2011)
The Bideford Half Marathon is also known as the 'Swift Half' as it is an ideal course for obtaining a personal best time. The first half is slightly undulating taking in magnificent countryside alongside the River Torridge between Bideford & Great Torrington. The second half is pancake flat following the Tarka Trail along the old railway line. PBs were certainly in abundance amongst Honiton Running Club members which was helped with the dry, cool and still conditions. There was an entry list of over 1200. Pipes and drums, buskers and Bideford Phoenix Morris Dancers brought a carnival atmosphere to the event and for those runners needing a little TLC after the race the Bideford Wellbeing Centre generously offered free leg massages. There was no shortage of home baked cakes and savouries or indeed ‘swift halves’ either.
Honiton results: 236th Roger Saunders 1:36:36, 239th Julie Payne 1:37:05, 424th Nick Bradley-Carter 1:45:39, 436th Dan Brown 1:46:10, 443rd Warren Oak 1:46:19, 582nd Nick Thorpe 1:51:28, 614th Denis Costello 1:52:56, 842nd Alan Rowe 2:04:39, 861st Gerry Evans 2:06:03, 869th Jackie Costello 2:07:11 and 908th Jo Jo Davey 2:10:15 Meanwhile John Burgess and Vernon Gillard went over to Combe St Nicholas to do the 10K. It’s put on by the PTA of the Primary school and there was a fun run too, so lots of kids about. Neither John nor Vernon had taken part in it before and were taken by surprise with the level of ascents and descents. Runners climb about 150ft in stages from the start then there is 400ft of downhill for about 2 miles which is nice but then runners pay for that with a steep ascent and then a climb back into the village. John was pleased with his finishing time of 51:14. Vernon is not at his fittest so he was also pleased with his time of 47:23 for this hilly course.
Last weekend saw the running of the Hestercombe Humdinger 9 ½ mile road race based at the beautiful Hestercombe Gardens near Taunton. Nick Bradley-Carter ran it for the first time and found the course every bit as hilly as everyone warned him but he enjoyed himself and was very proud of himself managing to get to the top of Humdinger Hill without having to walk. The route includes almost 1500 ft of total climb. It was a cold grey and overcast day but otherwise good conditions for a race. Nick came in 104th in a time of 1:21:01 which he was quite satisfied with. Jennie Sleeman also ran it and finished 170th in 1:28:47. There was a field of 234 entrants.
Oliva Higginson continues to get faster in each race she runs. She had entered the 5K Hurtle race which follows the first lap of the Humdinger course and finished 24th out of 81 runners in a new personal best time of 26:17. Honiton Junior members Sam Urquhart and Jake Harvey also took part in the Hurtle. Sam was delighted to come 6th in 20:26 and Jake Harvey was pleased with his run coming 17th in 24:56.
On Sunday, over 20 Honiton Running Club members took part in a very muddy Dalwood Three Hills Challenge. The weather was ideal on the day but the lead up to it had been very wet. The main race is a particularly challenging mainly off road run with 3 hills of about 500ft each as well as ½ a hill that proved quite a challenge in itself. The race was won by Tom Merson of Bristol and West in a time of 1:07 and the first lady was Ali Young in a time of 1:18. First home for Honiton was Ian Stewart who had run really well in the Dalwood 10k in the summer and had obviously enjoyed the hills of Dalwood so much that he returned for a few more. He finished in 19th place in a time of 1:23. Bruce Strawbridge continued with his consistent improvement and finished in 22nd place also in 1:23. The next three runners had a battle going on throughout the race with Karl Hodson looking the strongest of the three. Unfortunately, for Karl he took a slight wrong turning and after finding himself leading Steve Davey and Richard Harvey, he suddenly found himself behind. Steve and Richard continued their own battle with Richard beating Steve by 2 seconds in a time of 1:28 and 35th place. Steve was 36th. Ceri Oak was the first of the Honiton ladies home in 45th place and 1:31. Greg and Judy also had a battle throughout and Greg resorted to the most ungentlemanly act of leaping into the stream just before the finishing line in front of Judy which meant that he was 76th in 1:40 with Judy having to settle for 77th! Richard Harris really struggled for the last few miles as he has not run much since Christmas and finished in 98th place in 51:33. John Burgess was also much slower than his previous Dalwood runs but he blamed this on taking photos on route. Pete Lyus is always very positive about his running and happily finished in 111th place and 1:57. Linda Pike and Carol Turnham had only been persuaded to take part earlier in the week and the only aim they had was to finish. They suffered with the hills but finished together in 132nd place in 2:08.
Several Honiton junior members took part in the Mini Challenge of 3 miles which could also be known as Dalwood 1 Hill as they have to climb the first of the hills of the main run. Honiton took the first 5 spots with Reuben Heeler-Frood winning in a time of 28 minutes 22 secs. Findlay Fuller was next back in 31:56 and Katie Davey was first female back in 3rd place and a time of 34:43. Rowan Westall ran with his mum, Pippa and they came 4th and 5th with Rowan just coming in ahead of her in a time of 34:44. Pippa’s time was 34:50 and earned her the 2nd female trophy. Jake Harvey came 7th in 37 minutes and found the going really tough on the back of his Hestercombe effort. There were 10 runners.
Also on offer was the Fun Run of about one mile length. Honiton’s Iain Ross won the race in 16:10 and was followed by Arthur Heeler-Frood who finished in 16:15. Verity Fuller was the first female home and 4th overall in 16:52 and Ella Harvey completed the Honiton runners finishing 5th in 17:23. There were 11 runners.
Thanks to Dalwood Run Committee for organizing a great race, delicious cakes and cheerful marshals. Thanks also to the landowners for allowing runners to enjoy some spectacular views.
Winter 3k Series, Slay the Dragon 10k, Oh My Obelisk, Plymouth Hoe 10 (report dated 20/02/2011)
SAM GETS GOLD!! Honiton Junior runner, Sam Urquhart ran his ELEVENTH successive PB in the winter 3K Series at Exeter Arena this month. He was the first Honiton Junior ever to run in the fast A-race and he came in 11th out of 16, just 2 seconds behind one of the clubs fastest adult’s Tim Legg and 8 seconds in front of ex-Honiton runner, Milan Goc. Honiton Juniors receive a bronze, silver or gold medal by getting under set times and Sam with a sub 10:30 is the first junior to get a GOLD MEDAL. He ran the 3K at 5:36 min/mile pace which is a terrific speed for 15 year-old.
Starting in October 2008 Sam’s times for the track 3K have been as follows: 12:47, 12:23, 12:22, 11:45, 11:25, 11:22, 11:19, 11:12, 11:07, 10:56, 10:45, 10:26
Last weekend, Helen Davy took part in her first race as a Honiton Running Club member and finished in spectacular style. She took part in the Slay the Dragon 10k which is a multi-terrain race based at Hinton St George. Helen took home the trophy for winning the ladies’ race in a time of 52:07. Jennie Sleeman also took part and thoroughly enjoyed her run. She was 24th overall in a time of 61:20. There were 43 runners. Helen’s daughter, Morgan who is a Honiton RC junior member, took part in the Dragon’s Tail which is a race of about 2 ½ miles following some of the main race route. She came 6th out of 15 runners. Morgan’s younger sister, Sasha, who is not yet old enough to be a Honiton member took part in the 1 /2 mile fun run. She had a fantastic race coming in 7th out of 89 runners.
On Sunday, Bruce Strawbridge and Steve Davey tackled the Dawlish Coasters’ ‘Oh My Obelisk’ 11 mile multi-terrain race. It starts at Dawlish Leisure Centre and takes runners up towards the Obelisk before looping round it and coming back home. The winner was Andrew Chambers of Bristol and West in a time of 1:09:24 and the female winner was Eleanor Wood of Axe Valley Runners. Bruce produced another magnificent performance coming 33rd place in a time of 1:24:49. Steve couldn’t keep up but was still pleased with his run coming 42nd in 1:28:09. Both runners improved on previous times and positions considerably.
Part of Nick and Sandra Thorpe’s training schedule for their forthcoming marathon is a 10 mile road race so they chose to do the Plymouth Hoe 10 at the weekend. The race is on road and is a gently undulating double loop of Plymouth taking in the Hoe and finishing at Brickfields track. Nick was disappointed to finish in 354th place in a time of 1.26.40 but Sandra had a great run completing in 1.33.35 and 433rd place which was really good considering she is nursing a bad back and hasn't run much in the last 2 weeks. The race is a popular event with over 600 entries.
Fulfords 5 miles, The Better Half Marathon (report dated 13/02/2011)
After a bit of prevarication, Honiton Running Club’s Nick Bradley-Carter decided to run in the two lap Fulfords 5miles race in Exmouth last week and was pleased he did. It was very windy but at least it was relatively warm and didn't rain. He had a good run finishing in 36:32 which was a couple of minutes faster than he did last year and a new personal best for him for this distance albeit by just 7 seconds.
Julie Payne completed the all ladies’ Women’s Running Network ‘The Better Half Marathon’ in Exeter last Sunday in particularly grim conditions. She completed in 1 hour 40 mins which was a pb for her and she was 9th out of 120 entrants some of which were relay teams. The winner was Polly Randall Johnson who completed it in 1:33.
Meanwhile, many other Honiton RC members were saving their racing legs whilst training hard. They endured the pouring rain getting the miles under their belts in preparation for spring marathons or The Grizzly.
The second running of Honiton Running Club’s Blackdown Beast took place last Saturday. The Beast is a social run with several stops on route at convenient pubs with the route taking in the scenery of the beautiful Blackdown Hills.
The day began bitterly cold but runners soon warmed up once they got going. The freezing conditions did mean that the promised mud was rather scarce as the ground was rock hard in most places. Some did manage to find more than their fair share of what mud there was and even managed to lose a trainer!
The run was the creation of HRC member Alan Nicholls but he has since moved to Wales. It was lovely to have him make the journey to Devon and take part again.
The event began and ended at the Royal Oak, Dunkeswell with runners’ cars taking over the village for the day. The first stop, after 6 miles, was Smeatharpe Village Hall where participants were treated to delicious hot sweet mulled cider and equally delicious warming pasties.
The next stop was the Sidmouth Arms, Upottery and then on to the Luppitt Inn. Mary had been given prior warning so the pub was duly open with a welcoming log fire enticing runners in. It was a good thing that runners had spread out at this point because the bar and lounge are very compact!
The rest of the route was entirely on road, taking in two long steep hills. After these, runners were ready to return to the Royal Oak and much needed sustenance in the form of drink and very reasonably priced food.
The whole run was 15 miles long unless you took a wrong turning. Over 80 runners took part from local and not so local clubs as well as those who are not so used to running. The atmosphere was brilliant and the run was thoroughly enjoyed by all. Thanks to the many landowners for allowing everyone to pass through their land.
The previous weekend which also happened to be a cold, crisp day found two Honiton runners, Nick Bradley-Carter and Olivia Higginson travelling to Bicton College to take part in a race that had been postponed from December - the Women’s Running Network Bicton ELF muli-terrain 10km. It is a tough and hilly course. Nick was pleased with his great time of 54.57 minutes and Olivia was pleased to finish in a time of 63.48 considering her legs had run out of energy at the halfway mark. There was also a women’s only 5km which Jo Pavey ran as she is a patron of Exeter Leukaemia Fund, which the profits of this race were going to.
Steve Boyes took part in the first running of Gloucester 50K last Sunday. He suffered on the last lap finding it hard to do a fourth lap when all the marathon runners were completing their third and going to the finish! It took Steve 4 hours 50 mins to complete which meant he was the third over 50 male to finish but then there only were three! The first person home took 3 hours 7mins which was an eye opener for Steve.
Axe Valley Runners’ Axmouth Challenge 10 mile multi-terrain race returned last Sunday after missing a year due to poor weather. The race starts at Axmouth Village Hall and runners are first directed along the road towards Seaton. After about ½ mile of flat running, the racers turn left and tackle the steep ascent up to Axmouth Golf Club before running across the golf course itself. This is followed by some pleasanter relatively flat or downhill sections before the course returns back to Axmouth. There follows a challenging 7th mile being a long uphill drag. The route finishes with a good stretch of downhill where runners can normally put in a fast finish. However, this year icy road conditions did hamper the more cautious runner. The conditions didn’t seem to affect AVR’s Alex Todd and Honiton’s Kevin Hawker. The training partners decided to tackle the race together and they romped home to jointly win in a time of 1:01:59. This was over 2 minutes ahead of Daryl Milford of Teignbridge Trotters who came in 3rd. Lin Lascelles of Maiden Newton Runners was first lady followed by Honiton’s Ceri Oak who came 15th overall and 2nd lady in a time of 1:14:25. AVR’s Eleanor Wood was 3rd lady. Ceri had overtaken Steve Davey on the first hill and managed to maintain the position. Steve was two places behind her in a time of 1:14:57. Tom Bornet is a relatively new member of Honiton Running Club and this was his longest race for the Club so far. He had a great race finishing in 20th place in 1:19:17. Judy Davey was next in for Honiton after enjoying her run. She was 25th in a time of 1:22:11. John Burgess set off with good intentions but managed to pull his calf before he got to the Golf Club hill. He decided to take the sensible option and walk back which was very painful in itself. There were 50 finishers and all Honiton runners managed to finish in the top half.
Also on offer was a 5 mile version but no Honiton members took this option. The two junior races were attended by only 3 runners but as always; it is quality and not quantity that counts! The 1 ½ mile race was won by Max Bowskill of Sidmouth Running Club. Matthew Morbey of AVR won the 3 mile race in 21:01 and Honiton’s Iain Ross came 2nd in 23:55.
The Axmouth Challenge is a particularly friendly race with great support from marshals who have to stand in the freezing cold for hours. Once the race is over, runners are treated to delicious warming soup and home made cakes courtesy of the ladies of Axmouth with donations going to the village hall. Thanks to all organisers, marshals and caterers for a great start to 2011’s East Devon Series.