The Grizzly, what can you say about this 20 mile multi terrain race? Renowned as one of the toughest going, that takes in shingle beaches 3 times, river runs twice, hills many, muddy woodland trails, no make that very wet and muddy, flint paths, fields, and not forgetting the two bogs and the famous Stairway to Heaven. A race that sold out 2000 places in a matter of hours back in September and is greatly oversubscribed, attracting runners from all over Europe, well one word, FANTASTIC.
Fantastic organisation by Axe Valley Runners, start by the Town Cryer, route, views, marshals, supporters all around the course, entertainers, water and food stations, competitors and the fantastic 25 Sidmouth Running Club members nearly all resplendent in their Mighty Green Club shirts who took on the challenge.
Of the 1573 that started the main race 1569 finished, with the Club having 6 runners in the top 500. Danny Painter 109th in 3:00:33 (last year142nd in 3:02:19), Antony Hall 124th in 3:03:09, Gary Anning 317th in 3:26:48, Nigel Maeer 419th in 3:35:19 followed by Julian Bartlett in 3:37:40 and Mark Welland in 3:37:48. This is the second race in a row that Danny has just gone over the hour mark by just a few seconds, third time lucky Danny.
Other club results Susie Perry 3:49:26, Carine Silver 3:48:26, Alan Colwill 3:55:03, Charlotte Forrer 3:58:24, Katie Kent 4:03:14, Naomi Garrick, 4:04:35 who ran dressed as a Strawberry in preparation for her attempt at the world record for the Guinness Book of records at the upcoming London Marathon.
Simon Hollyer 4:06:46, Rocker Sheppard who last year took the ambulance to the finish when an injury got the better of him at Seaton Hole managed to finish this year in 4:12:11, Becky Robson 4:23:47, Lynda Hawkins 4:27:33, Jonathan Dale 4:38:52.
The Rusty Runners, Helen Palmer, Cathy Keast, Moncia Read, Terry Bewes along with Janice Ranson and David Wright all ran the course together and finished in 4:48:39.
We had 2 runners amongst the 494 that started the 10 mile Grizzly Cub Run, Suzi Rockey 2:03:36 and Sarah Burston 2:06:54. Suzi was outstanding when you consider that only a few weeks ago she was hobbling around on crutches.
A feature of this race is the tree of remembrance where runners can tie a ribbon to it in memory of someone. This year it was particular moving and emotional to see Debbie and Don by the tree as runners tied their ribbons in memory of Debbie’s 19 year old son Sam who recently died so tragically.
Another great Grizzly and we all look forward to the next one.