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.
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