It was an early start for Sidmouth Running Club members Jo Earlam, Jane Hemsworth, Grahame and Donna Womersley-Westlake on Sunday as they headed towards Exeter Quay to take part in Winding Paths’ City to Sea marathon.
Jo, running for the first time in her 100 marathon club shirt and Jane, running marathon 42, have experience of this event and knew the last 6 miles were going to be tough but even Jo thought at one point that they might not meet the 10 hour cut off time mainly due to the heat but also the demanding stretch of coast path to Babbacombe Downs. But the Mighty Greens dug deep and even overtook some younger ladies who had run out of steam and crossed the finish line in 7:15:03. Jo’s Garmin had recorded the ascent as higher than Everest, was it overcome by the heat too? Jo said it certainly felt like climbing Everest at times just not as cold!
Some husbands might buy their wives flowers or chocolates to celebrate a birthday not Grahame; when Donna decided a marathon would be a good way to celebrate Grahame agreed to run it with her! Finding the long flat stretches harder than the ascents nearer the end of the run and slightly regretting a lack of training Donna persevered through the heat and humidity and with Grahame at her side crossed the finish line in 9:25:16. A very memorable birthday!
Much closer to home four Mighty Greens took part in the Lions 10k Trail Run on Woodbury Common. It was the first time for Ann Cole and she might have regretted asking fellow MG’s Alexa Baker, Christine and Karen Farnham for a heads up on the course because all they remembered was the countless number of hills!
In fact, the 10k is a single loop course with some fabulous trails, two stream crossings and yes, hills, but what goes up must come down! Although the sun didn’t appear until later in the morning the heat was relentless and despite running through wooded areas it was hard going; the water station was definitely an oasis!
With the help of the many friendly and encouraging marshals Christine was the first SRC runner over the line in 1:08:57, followed by Karen who happily stayed upright in 1:14:45 and Alexa who surprised herself with a sprint finish overtaking two runners right before the line in 1:15:40. They all cheered Ann over the line who was very pleased just to finish never mind about her time of 1:36:33.
Last Wednesday’s club run was a very social affair starting with a warm up by Alice in the Bowd car park before splitting into different mileage groups ready for a drink and roast potatoes on return.
Run leader Sarah Watkins made the 3 mile runners earn their rewards; they were enjoying the scenic route along the river so much they didn’t realise until the end they had run 4.5 miles which was longer than the 4-5 mile group did!
Mileage aside everyone enjoyed the Bowd Inn’s hospitality and it was a lovely end to a Summer of evening trail runs.