One of the things that makes running so special is that no two runs are the same. There are lots of reasons; how you are feeling, who you are running with, mileage, terrain and the weather. This year the weather for the 4 Trigs Challenge totally transformed the run as the sun was out and the horrendous conditions of last year became a distant memory. It was possibly why two longstanding records were broken, Samuel Kelly was 1st man home in 2:09:15 beating G Perratt’s record of 2:09:40 back in 2004 and Jo Meek was first woman home in 2:36:31 beating L Kendon’s record of 2:37:00 in 2010. Richard Summerhayes was SRC’s first man home 2:48:05 in 18th place and Jessica Watkins was SRC’s first woman home in 3:34:33-fantastic running by both.
Organised by Marion and Robert Hayman, the local event is now in its 21st year and supports the charity Cardiac Risk in the Young (CRY). The aim is to visit each of the four Triangulation Pillars around the Sid Valley with runners choosing their own routes, but they must visit each Trig Point in order (Weston Cliff was first this year) taking in the 5 Check points to help taper the route.
It is not for the faint hearted, Mighty Green and one of the sponsors for the event, Richard King rates it above The Grizzly for toughness with 3,740 feet of elevation over 17 miles. However, this did not deter Sidmouth Running Club members with 36 entering some having ran the Blackdown Beast the previous week. The Mighty Greens had been preparing for the challenge by upping their mileage on the Club Sunday runs. This year the training was in worse conditions underfoot than the actual event; no slip sliding down the mud to Weston mouth and running through rivers of water for example!
It is always further than you think to get to Weston and you somehow forget how many steps there are but clipping two check points in quick succession you start to feel you are getting somewhere.
The welcome banana and water stop near the Donkey Sanctuary sends you on through Harcombe to Buckton Hill following a new diversion, and what a steep one it was. Heading down into Sidbury it was a lovely surprise to see MG Derek Blackburn cheering everyone on before the road crossing.
After following the Sidmouth Ring to White Cross and the last water/banana checkpoint, you know you are very near Beacon Hill trig, 3 down one to go! Heading down the valley decisions need to be made, down the zig zag path or through the wood-the wood is quicker for sure.
Next into Harpford Woods for the 8th check point by the bridge then keeping your eyes peeled for the river crossing before heading up through the wood to try and cross the main road at the top of Four Elms Hill safely! Up again to Keebles seat onto Muttersmoor which always seems to be never ending but knowing the final trig is in sight keeps you going and soon you are thinking one more up then it is all downhill!
Recovering from long term injuries MG’s Cath Miller and Monica Read walked 2 trigs whilst Sue Collman ran the first two and was nearly persuaded to carry on to Beacon Trig-next year apparently! The rest of the MG’s completed all four, some for the first time but all with a smile.
SRC’s Neville Hylton enjoyed running with his son and daughter in law but didn’t join in their celebratory handstand at each trig!
Mighty Greens Grahame Womersley-Westlake and Colin Ryan both had a great day enjoying the wonderful weather, views, and company. Grahame had aimed to complete the race in under 3.5 hours and was pleased to finish in 3:29:42 while Colin was delighted to knock 5 minutes of last years’ time, finishing in 3:20:02-possibly due to the 100+ Jelly Babies he ate on route! MG Becky McDonald said she was so glad she did a last minute sign up as she got to enjoy the best conditions ever for the 4 Trigs! Running together Sarah Watkins, Kerry Salter, Clare Luke and Alexa Baker kept repeating chairman Terry Bewes’ mantras, head up, chest out, use your arms, fairy steps especially towards the end when High Peak beckoned.
The welcome back at The Sailing Club was second to none especially as the baked potatoes and cake could be enjoyed on the sunny balcony and Kate Truman from Phyzz Soft Tissue Therapy was generously offering a post-event massage in return for donations to CRY.
But the very best bit was there were no muddy wet shoes to sort out!
Sidmouth Running Club would like to thank the organisers, marshals and kitchen volunteers who made this event happen. A special mention and thank you must go to the sponsors of the event, Nigel Winchester, of Ian Winchesters and Sons, and Richard King of Kings Garden and Leisure.
Marion and Robert are delighted with how the event went especially as approximately £2,500.00 has been raised for CRY this year and would like to thank everyone for their generosity.
Richard Summerhayes 2:48:05, Antony Hall 3:09:50, Martin Barnard 3:15:45, Jim Forrer 3:15:45, Ross Walton 3:19:17, Colin Ryan 3:20:02, David Chipping 3:21:50, Adrian Harris 3:27:23, Grahame Womersley-Westlake 3:29:42, Jack Rowarth 3:33:28, Jessica Watkins 3:34:33, Richard King 3:35:34, Mark Norton 3:42:50, David King 3:47:17, Ronnie Masters 4:01:21, Mark Andow 4:04:42, Becky McDonald 4:04:42, Stuart Moul 4:04:42, Paul Reeve 4:04:42, Neville Hylton 4:09:54, Graham Sheppard 4:19:11, Naomi Garrick 4:39:30, David Palmer 4:42:44, Adrian Horne 4:46:31, John Keast 4:52:48, David Wright 4:55:32, Cathy Keast 5:01:59, Helen Palmer 5:01:59, Alexa Baker 5:15:54, Clare Luke 5:15;54, Kerry Jones 5:15:54, Sarah Watkins 5:15:54