Talk about a swift half!
Last Sunday some of Sidmouth’s female runners headed to the north of the county, to Bideford for some half marathon competition. The race, which is organised by Bideford AA, attracted over 1200 runners onto a course which course takes in magnificent countryside alongside the River Torridge between Bideford and Great Torrington. The course is half on roads and half on the Tarka Trail, with a tunnel at one point. The race is moderately flat with one small hill section giving the opportunity for fast times which Sidmouth runners have enjoyed in previous years.
This year the Hawkins family from Sidmouth were out in force with Lynda Hawkins supported by daughters Kaylee and Jade. All three had good races, with Kaylee setting the pace to come in well under the 2 hour mark (1:53:12), with mum and sister following nearly 15 minutes later (2:07:25).
Janice Ranson, another Sidmouth Running Club stalwart, did the race as part of her training for a marathon in May. Janice said ‘I had a great time at the Bideford half in my Mighty Green. I’ve previously only done trail and fell running, so this was my first road race of any distance. I’d aimed for a time of 2:30 so was pleased to finish in 2:14:20’.
All the runners enjoyed the atmosphere and the layout of the route which allowed runners further back in the pack to see the front runners heading back. The fastest times were recorded by Shaun Anstell of Bideford AA (1:08:39) and Charnwood’s Katie Synge (1:22:20). ‘It was fun to see the front runners’ said Janice ‘and there were plenty of friendly supporters along the way and lots of lovely cake at the finish’.