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|Honiton Running Club||
Last Sunday saw the running of the inaugural Mrs E’s Big Wheeze and the Honiton runners who took part were relieved to find that the morning was slightly cooler than the weather had been during the preceding week. The headquarters of this 6 mile race was at Mrs Ethelston’s Primary School in Uplyme and the route was a mixture of road, woodland and tracks. The race was won in the incredible time of 36 minutes 13 seconds by visiting holidaymaker Tim Harley of Nottingham AC. It’ll be a long time before that record is broken; he was almost 2 minutes ahead of Matt Clist of Axe Valley Runners who finished 2nd. The first runner back for Honiton was Chris Entwistle who finished 5th in exactly 42 minutes. He was followed by Richard Harvey in 8th place in 45:27. Predictably, Steve Davey was next back in 10th place with a time of 46:26. Young Henry Riddle was just 2 places behind in 47:02. Suzanne Spiller was first lady overall and winner of the ‘Queen of the Hill’ collecting a gorgeous bunch of flowers and strawberry wine courtesy of the sponsors. She finished in 14th place in 47:26. Bruce Strawbridge and Simon Spiller came back in 16th and 17th place respectively with Bruce finishing in 48:44 and Simon just 10 seconds later. They had been just feet apart from each other for most of the race and only lost Judy Davey during the last mile. Judy finished as 2nd lady overall and 19th place in 50:02. Both Judy and Steve were first in their age categories winning a bottle each. John Burgess completed the Honiton line up but he suffered with the heat and a recent cold. He finished in 32nd place in 59:21. There were 42 finishers but hopefully next year there will be more as everyone who took part thought it was a cracking event with great marshals and brilliant organisation.
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Honiton Running Club had a great turn out for the second Colyton Rebel Run last Wednesday evening. This is a 10k moderately challenging multi-terrain race based at Colyton Grammar School. The temperature didn’t seem to have dropped at all from the heat of the day which probably accounted for a reduction in numbers from the first running last year. The running terrain was completely different as last year saw runners wading through mud and the scheduled run around the school’s grass athletics track was cancelled. Not so this year; the ground was hard and not a globule of mud to be seen. Matt Clist of Axe Valley Runners won the race in 36 minutes 17 seconds and first home for Honiton was Chris Entwistle in 7th place in 41:20. Richard Harvey led the next 3 Honiton runners home coming 13th in 44:58 with Steve Davey only 8 seconds behind and Richard Harris only 18 seconds behind Steve. Suzanne Spiller was next back in 19th place and 3rd lady overall in a time of 47:02. Tom Bornet put in a welcome appearance having been absent from the club for a while. He had a great run coming 21st in 47:30. He was followed by Bruce Strawbridge who came one place and 21 seconds later. Bruce had overtaken Howard Bidmead in the later stages of the race and Howard finished 24th in 48:09.Judy Davey was next back in 28th place in 48:58. Mark Andow, Steve Briggs and John Burgess had a tussle during the race with the final positions being Mark 33rd in 50:13, Steve 35th in 50:45 and John 40th in 51:19. Esme Wilson struggled in the heat but came 43rd in 52:23 followed by Pippa Westall who finished in 47th place in 53:44. Pete Lyus just wanted to run continuously for 10k and this he managed coming 72nd in 1:03:52 with Wendy Williams taking the next position in 1:04:34. Carol Turnham completed the Honiton contingent coming 75th in 1:05:51. There were 80 finishers.
Honiton Juniors were also out taking part in the 5k race which forms half of the 10k route. The talented youngsters in the form of Iain Ross, Florence Swan and Rowan Westall showed the rest how it was done. Iain won the race in 24:27 with Florence coming 8th overall and 1st girl in 28:38. Rowan finished the line-up coming 9th in 29:04. There were 25 finishers.
Thanks to the PTA for marshalling and providing cakes at the finish and also AVR for helping organise the event.
On Saturday evening four Honiton Runners headed to Dartmoor to run the Haytor Heller run. It is a 6 mile tough off road run that starts halfway up Haytor, heads along and up Hound Tor before a nice but rocky descent. Then a final climb up Haytor leads to a downhill finish. The weather was hot but there was a welcome breeze. Ian Stewart was the first Honiton runner in coming 16th in a fantastic time of 46.58. Howard Bidmead and Steve Briggs had a battle with each other on the downhill finish ending in a photo finish with Steve winning the battle by a second. He came 98th in 60.49 and Howard 99th 60.50. The final Honiton runner and the only female was Olivia Higginson who hasn’t raced since March. She was happy to finish in 72.47 and 176th. The winner was Jamie Parkinson in an amazingly fast time of 39.58. There were 235 runners.
Honiton Running Club’s own Blackdown Beauty took place last Saturday around the Blackdown Hills’ countryside. It was the hottest yet, with temperatures reaching close to 30 degrees. With runners setting off just before midday, the heat of the day was a particular challenge this year. The main choice of routes was either 18 miles or 10 miles with runners able to pick which points they ran enabling them to run a distance of their choice. The base was at Priors Park Farm, Culmhead courtesy of Jim Hill and family. The long route took in 4 pubs as well as a cream tea taking runners to Pitminster and then on to Clayhidon before a visit to Pear Tree Cottage, Stapley for the delicious cream tea, appreciated by all. Almost as welcome as the tea was the sprinkler system where runners took a welcome shower. Thank you to the Parry family for the use of their gorgeous garden and all the ladies of Smeatharpe WI for making the scones and serving welcome cups of tea. Once fed and watered, runners went on to Churchinford before running back to base. Runners were invited to dress as Dr Who characters to celebrate its 50th anniversary, as a superhero or another fancy dress costume. As it was so hot, some runners chose their fancy dress costume as an athlete! Thanks to everyone who helped in any way as well as all the landowners. Special thanks must go to John Burgess who has given up many hours of his time organising the event in so many ways including tirelessly investigating possible routes, visiting landowners and publicans as well as coordinating everyone else involved. Also Jim Hill for giving up part of his farm for the day by providing the ideal base for the run including a barn for the post race barbecue with plenty of shade.
On one of the hottest days of the year so far, ten Honiton Running Club members took part in the 30th anniversary Charmouth Challenge last Saturday which is the most southerly fell race in England. The race is just under 8 miles and after a fast flat start runners are taken up Stone Barrow Lane which is a gruelling climb of about a mile rising over 120m.Once at the top runners go out towards the sea where the views of the Jurassic Coast are breathtaking. The course then undulates until the 140m climb to Golden Cap. Runners have forgotten the views by then but are treated to an equally stunning sight once the summit is reached. There is terrain for everyone with road, fields, woods and cliff tops. The only thing lacking this year was the usual mud.The race was won by Ceri Rees in an amazing time considering it was so hot of 51 minutes 56 seconds. First back for Honiton was Chris Entwistle who was attempting this race for the first time finishing in 26th place in 1:04:10. Richard Harvey was next back having had a great run to come 38th in 1:07:14. It was also Hadleigh Davies’ first Charmouth Challenge and he also had a fantastic race finishing 43rd in 1:08:52. Steve Davey was next back coming 48th in 1:08:52 having battled with both Richard and Hadleigh during the race. Bruce Strawbridge hasn’t raced much this year but he felt strong and was pleased with his 68th place in 1:12:34. Mark Dallyn finished next coming 94th in 1:16:05 having overtaken Judy Davey at about mile 6. Judy found the first half of the race alright but then found the heat sapped all her energy climbing Golden Cap. She finished 112th in 1:17:19. Howard Bidmead had given Judy a run for her money over the first few miles with positions changing frequently. He also suffered during the second half and finished 123rd in 1:18:55. Mark Andow struggled throughout finishing 168th in 1:25:44 and the Honiton line-up was completed by Katy Campbell who finished 185th in 1:27:55. There was an excellent turnout of 265 runners.
Honiton Junior members took part in the 2 ½ mile Mini Challenge seeing Henry Riddle come 2nd overall in a great time of 22 minutes 24 seconds. The Juniors were also taken up the gruelling Stone Barrow Lane although spared Golden Cap. Arthur Heeler-Frood was 9th overall in 24:13 and Flo Swan was 1st girl back for Honiton in 10th place in 24:38. Sam Taylor was next back in 12th place in 25:27 followed by Hope Horsfield who came 16th in 27:36. Iain Ross would usually have been one of the first few back but he was sent the wrong way by a marshal. He ran up an extra section of a hill before having to run back down to continue the correct route .He was given a position of 30th place in 35:55. There were 34 finishers.
Once back at Charmouth School runners were treated to a welcome hosing down and a Fete put on by the School where delicious and welcome refreshments were on offer.