Last Sunday saw Honiton Running Club members out in force with a brilliant turnout of 18 members for The Drogo 10. The multi-terrain 10 mile race is based in the grounds at Castle Drogo and boasts spectacular views across Dartmoor. The route takes runners to Fingle Bridge before climbing the first major hill. The route undulates before following a track beside the River Teign back to Fingle Bridge. After crossing the bridge, runners ascend the energy sapping infamous Hunters’ Path before going back to Drogo. Roland Hall was first back for Honiton in 31st place in 1 hour 10 minutes. Chris Entwistle followed 5 minutes later in 66th place. Bruce Strawbridge had a great race finishing 84th in 1:18 just 35 second ahead of his race rival Steve Davey who came 92nd. Julie Payne was first lady back for Honiton winning her age category prize and coming 133rd in 1:23. Mark Dallyn and Howard Bidmead had run much of the race together with Mark taking the final sprint to the line to finish 152nd in 1:25 with Howard hot on his heels just 2 seconds later. Judy Davey finished next in 169th place in 1:26 having knocked 7 minutes off last year’s time. Judy had overtaken Steve Selley within a mile of the finish and he mustered all the energy he had to pass her again before admitting defeat following her 2 places and just 8 seconds later. Steve Briggs was running The Drogo for the first time and listened to all the warnings. He had a great run coming 192nd in 1:28 with Rod Inglis just 4 places and 11 seconds later. Richard Harris struggled but was happy to come 227th and just missing out on 1 ½ hours coming back in 1:31. Roger Saunders felt he had not trained enough for this race and also struggled coming 253rd in 1:33. Jennie Sleeman thoroughly enjoyed the race to finish 394th in 1:48. John Burgess had taken his camera to distract him from inevitable pain but the pain won in the end and he was disappointed to finish 429th in 1:53 telling club mates he wasn’t racing next week! Jo Jo Davey looked very strong at the finish and with the encouragement of her supporters she sprinted home to finish 456th in 1:57. Wendy Le Masurier had a consistent race to finish 486th in 2:04 and Michelle Selley completed the line-up having waited at the final corner for 2 fellow runners she had built up an affinity with during the race to finish 495th in 2:06. Tom Merson won the race in an incredible time of 58 minutes and there were 507 finishers.
Alan Rowe MBE was part of the Allied Forces Foundation Team in the US Marine Corps Marathon on 27th October. The team was 135 strong including many very special guys with varying injuries, some double and triple amputees. Alan felt privileged to make many new friends, especially those from the Danish Armed Forces who he will be keeping in contact with, maybe even running with them and a Baton in the Copenhagen Half next year.
The MCM course is by no means an easy one, with quite a few hills in it, especially the cheeky 300 metre steep incline to finish. The weather was beautiful, perfect for running, the race was brilliantly organised, the crowd fabulous with their genuine support and if all goes well Alan will be taking a team over for 2014's run.
Alan ran with a great guy and former Royal Marine Stuart Taylor, who has been badly injured in the past. As usual they stopped on their way round talking to the crowd handing out the Baton's message to them as they held the Baton. Alan also took footage from a Go Pro camera which has turned out to be quite useful, though had to stop three times to put in new batteries (a good excuse for a breather!)
Alan’s eldest daughter, who is a Baton Trustee, came with him for the trip and they were both taken to the National Guard HQ, The Pentagon and the Senate with the Baton - not the easiest thing to take something that resembles a stick of dynamite into a very security conscious place, but they managed it with a bit of friendly persuasion.
All in all Alan found it a wonderful experience!
On Sunday, 27th October four Honiton Running Club members took part in the Colyton Fiver which is a 5 mile race around Colyton in aid of BBC Children in Need organised by Axe Valley Runners. Matt Clist of AVR won the race in 27 minutes 55. Mark Dallyn was the first Honiton runner back in 20th place in 36:17. He was soon followed by Steve Briggs who finished 2 places later in 37:55. John Burgess was next back in 29th place in 39:45 and the only female representative for the club in the form of Vanessa Glyn-Jones was 68th in 53:59. There were 70 finishers.
On the same day, other Honiton runners went to North Devon to take part in the South Molton Struggle. This is almost 8 miles of mult-terrain running through the stunning countryside of South Molton. Chris Entwistle was first back coming 14th in 53:15. Steve Davey and Bruce Strawbridge had their usual close race with Bruce leading for the first half and Steve leading for the second. Steve eventually came 28th in 57:09 with Bruce 35th 42 seconds later. Howard Bidmead completed the line-up having had a great race to come 39th in 58:30. There were 209 finishers and the race was won by Daniel O’Boyle in 44:03.
Last Saturday, AVR held another event in the form of the Yarcombe Yomp. Runners can choose to run one lap of 5 miles or take part in the full challenge by running 2 laps. Again, Matt Clist won in 1 hour 8 minutes. Chris Entwistle led Honiton home to finish 7th in 1:21 in his first running of the event which was pretty good considering he ran it in shoes suitable for road running. The Yarcombe Yomp definitely requires a grippier trainer than this as it is nearly all off road through fields and tracks which get very slippery. Steve Davey would usually be further behind Chris but he finished just 2 minutes and 3 places later. It was also Tim Wigram’s and Steve Briggs’ first time for the race which saw Tim finish 21st in 1:35 and Steve 23rd also in 1:35. There were 48 runners. Iain Ross and John Burgess completed the one loop 5 mile race which saw Iain winning it in 39:30. John was 6th in 49:17 and there were 14 runners. As usual, runners were treated to delicious homemade soup and cakes in the Village Hall upon their return. Thanks to the ladies who did the cooking as well as the organisers and land owners for allowing runners to trudge through their land.
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