Last Saturday, three Honiton runners headed off to Haldon Hill to do the Haldon Heartbeat. The race starts and finishes at Exeter Racecourse so the cold wind felt even chillier as it whipped over the hill but the runners soon warmed up as they set off on the 8 mile route. The first two miles of the race is a loop on top of the hill close to the racecourse followed by a long descent on forest roads and paths into woods. After a steep muddy climb that most have to walk, the route heads back towards the racecourse with several more climbs before regaining the top of the hill and the final mile to the finish. First in for Honiton was Ian Stewart with a very good 17th place in 56:57; next home was Rod Inglis 60th in 1:03:24 and finally John Burgess, 105th in 1:10:12. John was particularly pleased as he came third in his category having over-taken the 4th placed runner a few yards from the line. The race was won by Lee Turner of Torbay AC in a time of 49:15. There were 193 finishers.
On Sunday four Honiton runners rose early to brave another chilly spring morning
to run the Plymouth Half Marathon which starts at 9am. Over 3000 runners on
Plymouth Hoe observed a 30-second silence at the start of the race to remember
those killed and injured in Boston. The race was won by Tadele Geremew from
London in 1:09. For the Honiton runners this was the first time Roger Saunders
had run this event and enjoyed the route through the grounds of Saltram House to
finish as 452 runner in a time of 1:41:16. Amazingly his ride share Mark Dallyn
came in 2 seconds immediately behind him to smash his previous PB at 1:51:51 with 1:41:18 so he was overjoyed with his time even if he didn't beat Roger. Steve Briggs also finished not far behind at 664 in 1:45:20 with a good run for him. Graham Reeves also started the race but was seen hobbling off at Saltram obviously with some kind of injury.
Howard Bidmead travelled up to Arlington Court in North Devon for a race advertised as one of Devon's most beautiful and tough off road 10k's. Runners were not disappointed with fabulous views and serious climbs but with the sun shining it was perfect running conditions. Howard ran well for the first part of the race but suffered when an injury sustained on the Grizzly forced him to slow down considerably for the last 5k. Despite this Howard still finished in 49mins and took the award for the first male vet O55.