There were plenty of Mighty Greens competing in Winding Paths Exe Estuary 50K, marathon and half marathon on Sunday as Jo Earlam had chosen the event to be her 100th marathon and they wanted to make it one to remember.
The ultra and marathon runners set off from Dawlish Warren at 8.30 am in high spirits. Running their first ultras were Claudia Barry, Clare Luke and Donna Womersley-Westlake.
Claudia, who is in training for a 100k run in September for the National Brain Appeal, ran with Jo until the ultra/marathon split while Clare and Donna had experienced ultra runner Grahame Womersley-Westlake to keep them on track.
Out of a field of 41, Claudia was the first SRC ultra runner over the finish line in 35th place 7:32:33 with Donna, Clare and Grahame finishing well within the cut off time in 8:36:36.
Whilst waiting for the 9.45am start from Topsham, SRC half marathon runners were comparing shoe choices (trail 5-road 1) and past experiences. Louise Dalton and Becky Knapman were running light whilst Rachel Barnard, Ann Cole, Marian Johnson and Alexa Baker had running vests with everything, but the kitchen sink inside! Louise, who joined the club in March and was first female SRC runner to finish last week’s Otter Rail and River 10k, had an incredible run.
The MG finished in 12th place out of a field of 109 in 1:54:57 and, like last week, was 2nd female to finish and was very pleased with how her run went. Becky was also very pleased with how her second half marathon went finishing in 2:08:49 despite the brutal hill at the end!
Rachel and Alexa ran the City to Sea marathon with Jo last year but were very happy with their decision to run the half this time and finished in 2:48:42 whilst Ann and Marion, both their second half marathons, finished in the rain in 3:24:04 and 3:26:31 respectively.
Hot on his success at last week’s Otter Rail and River 10k Colin Ryan had an amazing marathon run, his first in 15 years. The Mighty Green overtook the ‘steadier’ SRC half marathon runners at Sandy Bay and although they knew not many marathon runners had gone past them Colin didn’t and was very surprised to learn he crossed the finish line in 4th place, 2nd male overall in 3:56:22.
Social secretary Naomi Garrick ran the marathon with balloons tied onto her and with Richard King, paved the way for Jo and MG’s Becky Robson, Jane Hemsworth and Sarah Watkins. There was no doubt that everyone knew Jo was running her 100th marathon especially as her race number was 100 too!
Becky, who has only just started running again after a six year break, was delighted to be able to run alongside Jo on her 100th marathon as was Sarah who has run several marathons with Jo. Jane and Jo have run over 20 marathons together and at the finish line Jane presented Jo with a trophy to mark the momentous occasion. Naomi and Richard finished in 6:06:57 with Jo’s gang finishing in 6:22:59.
There was great support along the way from Mighty Greens Helen and David Palmer who cycled ahead of Jo to cheer her on and take photos; Liz Wright, Jim Hudson and granddaughter came to see the half marathon runners off and cheer the marathon runners through Topsham and Emma Grainger was spotted in Exmouth. The SRC posse joined members of Jo’s family and friends at Budleigh Salterton to cheer Jo over the finish line where the inclement weather did not dampen her amazing achievement and she soon changed into her 100 marathon club t-shirt and proudly wore her huge 100 marathon medal. A Mighty Green indeed!