Fab 5 Conquer Devon

The Fab Five Conquer Devon.

Five Mighty Green Sidmouth Running Club juniors have completed the ‘Conquer a Devon Route’ challenge set by School Games Active Devon writes Hamish Spence.

This Devon Virtual Games Event took place between 18th May 2020 to 13th July 2020 and was hosted by Active Devon and the School Games Organisers. The event encouraged the young participants to accumulate mileage by either running, jogging or walking while also following the latest government guidance on being active during the coronavirus outbreak.

For the Primary school ages, 20 miles completed, won bronze, 30 miles covered won silver and for 40 miles endured took Gold. Four juniors, who all attend Sidmouth Primary school achieved this, 3 of which gained the coveted Gold. James Jamani aged 11y did an amazing distance of 70.13 miles. Ellie Jamani aged 8y covered massive 67.1 miles and Seth Lancaster aged 10y managed an impressive 56.68 miles. Flynn Lancaster aged 8y took a silver for his magnificent 33.91 miles.

In the Secondary school age group it was quite rightly tougher and 40 miles was needed for bronze, 60 miles for silver and 80 miles for Gold. Not deterred or daunted by the distances required, Amalie Farrand took the opportunity to escape the family house for her daily exercise. Not only did she grasp at this chance, she opted for an attempt on gold. Amalie completed the challenge by doing a daily run from home navigating through our beautiful countryside. Her mileage was also supported by a longer walk at the weekend with her dogs. She covered 80 miles in just four weeks and succeeded in her quest for gold.

Simon and David on the WCM

Simon Hollyer and David Wright
   Back in 2017, when Jo Earlam organised the inaugural Women Can Marathon, David Wright volunteered to help out by course-checking parts of the route. Since then, he has wanted to have a go at the whole route himself. Over the last few years he and Simon Hollyer have done sections of the route and both thought it was about time that they did all of it. So, inspired by Jo’s recent birthday marathon effort, they both decided to make the most of the late May heatwave and take on the challenge in the Sidmouth sun writes Hamish Spence.
   The 26.2 miles course starts on the sports field of Tipton St John. However, they both live two miles away from the official start line and neither of the wanted to drive, so they set off from West Hill at a very early hour with a socially distanced gap and made their way down to join the River Otter at Tipton and pick up the route from the beginning. This would mean it would be a stretched marathon of 30 miles! There were very few people out at this time of the morning, so they had the trail mainly to themselves, only encountering the occasional dog walker and the skylarks hovering high above along the Coastal Path to Sidmouth. As the pair descended down Peak Hill the heat from the morning sun was just starting to bite and water was being consumed in quantity!
   There were a few more people out and about as they continued along the seafront of Sidmouth and along the Byes to Sidford, so where they could they ran on the grass areas of The Byes. By the time the lads had reached Sidford and due to the heat of the morning sun, they had got through 3 Litres of water between them, fortunately a pre-arranged pit-stop enabled them to top up with another 1.5 Litres each. The decision not to stop for an ice-cream in Sidmouth didn’t feel like such an error once they had cold water in their backpacks again! From the mostly flat parkland to Sidford it was then to be up, up and up onto East Hill to follow The Strips through the woodland and forest and then down to the other side of Ottery St Mary, to pick up the River Otter again back to Tipton St John.
   The Women Can Marathon route is so carefully considered, taking in so many wonderful elements of East Devon and many of its beautiful trails.  The views from East Hill were magnificent, but by the time we reached Ottery St Mary it was the thought of a John Mills style “Ice Cold in Alex” drink at the end that kept us going.  Completing the marathon took about 5 hours 55mins and the “Ice Cold” was in fact a pint of milk at Knights Farm Shop in Fluxton!  Thirty miles and 7 hours later, having spent the day at least 2 metres apart, consuming 3litres of water each with 1 pint of milk and 0 ice-creams they arrived back at West Hill in a happy, but knackered state.
Posted in SRC

Bagging a Trig & Half Marathons

Trig Pointing, Half Marathons & Getting Back To Running

Seth Lancaster had a very successful weeks’ trig point bagging, the SRC Get-Back-To-Running has woken many from their slumber and Matin Trueman introduces Zaq Bevan to off-road running in and around the hill of Sidmouth writes Hamish Spence.
So far Seth Lancaster has raised an amazing £310 for his favourite charity The Dogs Trust, by doing a sponsored trig point hunt for the four peaks of Sidmouth. He loves dogs and had heard that all charities were struggling at the moment and are unable to do large fundraising events because of Coronavirus. Also lots of people were giving up their dogs because they were finding it hard to cope with them, meaning more work for The Dog’s trust. Seth navigated 28.8 miles in total over 4 separate walks. His younger brother Flynn, did part of all expeditions and covered 17.5 miles and also got to all 4 Trigs as well.

Having come to the attention of various SRC members last week, Zaq Bevan continues to notch up his daily half marathons in a bid to raise funds for our NHS. This weekend he was persuaded by Mighty Green and fine cross country runner Martin Trueman, to try out an off-road route. For Day 42 out of the 60 scheduled runs, Martin took Zaq on a very hilly figure of eight route which took them up Salcombe Hill and over to Branscombe. A route with with 1352ft of elevation gain, many scenic views and a couple of badgers that ran alongside for a few yards. When passing the Donkey Sanctuary, a donkey eeeooring at them with an encouraging endorsement to Zaq’s efforts. It all made for a memorable 2h13m23s jaunt. If any Sidmouth Running Club MG reading this wishes to join Zaq for all or part of another half marathon then please get in touch with him.

With the prospect of a hot and sweaty week before we even got started with any running, week two of Get-Back-To-Running has gone from strength to strength. There were 31 members that completed the Mutters Moor loop or their own version of it and the run to High Peak trig or Ladram bay was completed by 14 members with 12 completed both runs.

Posted in SRC

Marathon Birthday for Jo

A Marathon Birthday For Jo
   After completing my first marathon in 2005 to celebrate being 40, if someone had told me then that on my 55th birthday I’d be running one out of personal choice, on a route I devised from my home village, I would have thought they were mad writes Jo Earlam.
   I realise some people think I’m a bit mad to have gone on to run a further formal 75 marathons or ultra, sometimes doing 26.2 miles just for the fun of it, as I did on Thursday 28th May, the anniversary of the first Women Can Marathon in 2017. It was the beauty of the East Devon countryside that inspired me to come up with the idea for that event and it was the same wonderful scenery that in Coronavirus lockdown drew me to dawdle happily through it on foot, a mixture of running, jogging, walking, with lots of photo and pit stops for food and to chat. Time was not important, but for the record it was eight hours and 20 minutes in total, of which seven hours was moving-ish. As a carer for my husband John, who’s 75 and has dementia, it’s difficult to come up with activities that we can both enjoy as we’d previously have done on my birthday, so having asked carers to cover the middle of the day, I got to do one of things I’ve missed most during the social distancing restrictions, hours of headspace with nothing else to think about but putting one foot in front of the other.
   Marathons are more in the mind, than in the legs, and it was this simple mental energy that at mile 16 when I was flagging up a tough hill, I relished, as the most stress I had in that moment was literally taking the next step. It’s so liberating to be able to let all the other worries slip away and focus on the here and now and soon plod by plod, I was past that tough section. The whole day was wonderful, the weather superb, I had the lovely company of fellow Sidmouth Running Club member Jane Hemsworth on the beautiful stretch from Tipton St John, via the river Otter and the South West Coast Path to Sidmouth. Women Can race director Pauline Beare and Peg Wiseman kindly gave back up support on route with drinks and snacks, I had a delicious tuna roll on Sidmouth esplanade, and the four of us enjoyed birthday cake, Prosecco and a lovely socially distanced catch up in the late afternoon sunshine back at Tipton.
   I was left with memories of a fabulous birthday, the weirdly satisfying muscle ache that endurance runners will understand, and a final happy postscript – I didn’t realise I’d dropped my bank card on route, a man walking his dog found it the following morning and called to let me know, good to know there are nice people out there, thank you Lester from Harcombe. The best bit though about the day was re-connecting with the feeling that when things got tough, I could keep going and feel good about it.
Posted in SRC

Fantasy London Marathon

Fantasy London Marathon. (Beating The Covid Blues) #26Point2 Style
   Sidmouth Running Club were out beating those Covid Blues this weekend with The #26Point2 Mighty Green Fantasy London Marathon relay race writes Hamish Spence.
   Late last week club member Paul Mitchell formed the MG fantasy London Marathon Lockdown Relay Team. He put word out on our Social Media network calling up for volunteers to do their duty. By Thursday evening he was inundated with names, he had his team of very talented and keen runners all ready to take on the challenge. There was one problem, there was no baton! So again, he asked on social media. Laura Broughton had the solution, a very bright, but perfect shade of shiny Mighty Green coloured roll of wrapping paper. 
Rules of the relay: 
1. All social distancing rules apply. 
2. The Mighty Green Baton must be taken all the way from the start to the finish. ( for health and safety the real baton may appear as an image on your cell phone).
3. During Sunday 26th April, run 2.62 miles at your own pace only 1 mile will count towards the marathon run. 
4. Run in Sidmouth colours with a rainbow adorned somewhere on your person.
5.Identify your chosen charity. Make a donation of £2.62 or multiples there-of.
View the large gallery of photos here.
  Getting the relay dream team started on its ‘remote and virtual’ social distancing fantasy event with Mighty Green Baton in hand was Laura Broughton. Wearing a dazzling rainbow head piece she set off to the sound of the Klaxton out of Greenwich Park bang on time. The crowd were all keeping a social distance, dressed in rainbow colours and waving flags. They were cheering and clapping the runners on their way. In her head Laura ran up to her favourite area, Aylesbeare Common. A place that holds special memories for her and her family and somewhere to which she has been able to visit with her children most days since the start of the lockdown. As she approached the end of her mile the sight of bright pink socks belonging to Suzi Rockey appeared ahead of her. Suzi started her jog as Laura made the approach and the baton was passed without hitch. It was then over to Jessica Davies who wanted to see Tower Bridge, but knew she would have to wait until after her stint was done. There was a Caribbean steal drum band playing a rhythmic tune and the music lifted her spirits. She imagined the tranquility and mesmerising rhythm of standing on Harpford’s bridge and listening to the running water of the R.Otter, a favourite place that Jessica likes to run. Jessica then noticed the familiar sight of another green shirt being worn by Debbie Marriott. A little confusion now took place! The gleaming Mighty Green baton needed to be given to Stuart Coles. Where was Stuart and why was Debbie here? All very suspicious! It turned out that Stuart was talking to Her Majesty the Queen who was enjoying the sun shine while out walking her Corgi’s and passing the Mayflower Pub. He also made some other wild suggestions, like for instance, that he had seen Naomi Garrick standing outside the same pub with a massive wooden clothes chest, cloths strewn everywhere.
He was claiming Naomi was wearing a strawberry outfit with a bridal vail over her head and rainbow socks on her feet! A quick phone call alerted Stuart to get back to his post asap. He managed to complete his section, gaining a few minutes on the expected time. He explained to me how this was achieved, “I imagined I had a slight descent all the way, you should try it sometime”. He continued “I pretend I’m running down The Byes in Sidmouth, works a treat”. Jess and Debbie were raising funds for Krabbes UK and Stuart donated to Allen Kay’s fund raiser.
   Having seen, felt and tasted the rainbow the Salter girls decided to draw the rainbow, so chalks in hand they did just that right across the road. Both Emma and Yasmin Salter pushed themselves hard, building on the already good start made by the previous four. Yasmin was the first to notice something strange about the bright Mighty Green baton, it was no longer cold to the touch. While flying along the streets of London Emma and Yasmin imagined their favourite route up Jacobs Ladder and Peak Hill. Both ladies have donated to the Devon Air Ambulance.
   After a swift handover of the gleaming Mighty Green baton from Yasmin, Kerry Salter started her mile. She left the area of the Cutty Sark at speed. The spectators were spaced apart and being fantastic along the route with lots of cheering and clapping. One hundred yards in she decided, it was time to check her pace. It was fast and furious, so looking around she realised the number of bulky fancy dress costumes had reduced. She told me “I thought to myself, fantastic, my running has finally reached the next level”. she continued “This spurred me on to finish with a strong handover of the baton to Cheryl Boulton.
“It was an amazing day to be part of and I’m donating to Force”. The gleaming green baton was now getting more than warm to hold as Cheryl Boulton took charge of it. Digging deep and thinking about the sound of waves on the shores of Sidmouth seafront she took on her section of the fantasy relay raising funds for the Samaritans.
   Rocker Shepperd took over for mile 9 making a perfect change over with Allen Kay. Allen had been running around a football pitch all day raising funds for The Fire Fighters Charity so its fantastic that he volunteered to divert from his circuits to pick up from Rocker and carry the baton on to a very colourful Terry Bewes. The Mighty Green Rainbow King ran like the wind. Monica Read took the baton from the south side across the R Thames over Tower Bridge and on to Richard King. Next up was Adrian Horne, earlier in the day Adrian had been pacing for Allen Kay and giving much needed support and encouragement around the football pitch. Now Adrian had to listen to his own advice and carry the very warm gleaming Mighty Green baton onto Mark Derwick. Kerry Boyle collected the baton from Mark Derwick and steadily ran her mile through the Docklands to pass it on to Cath Miller. 
   I caught up with Cath Miller after the event, she reflected on the atmosphere, “Wow, what a day “! Although the streets of London felt unusually quiet there was still a cheerfulness”. She went on “As I took the Mighty Green baton from Kerry, my legs turned to jelly and my mental state was not good”! She told me this wasn’t helped by looking over Canary Wharf. But she knew she had to just get on with it. Asking her what happened next, she replied, “I gripped the gleaming Mighty Green baton hard in my hand, boy did that baton feel hot! I then remembered where I’d come from, Sidmouth through and through, I’m a Mighty Green and that mile section will not beat me”. That was it, Cath was off, gone, taking the Mighty Green spirit with her. She raised funds for Devon Air Ambulance. Claire Ashby had been warming up for around ten minutes and was fully charged and hot to trot. Although no one could do the real marathon this year, doing one fantasy section quicker than her husband Justin Ashby is what she intended. She wanted to beat him on pace. Immediately the baton exchange happened, there was a green flash! Claire was gone, off like a rocket. We will never know the exact pace, as her recording device could not keep up! Rob Edwards nervously waited for the baton while trying to blend into the background in his camouflage kit. The hand over went really well considering the speed Claire came in at. He set off at his standard speed of 4 miles a fortnight, (his words not mine). It’s normally fairly quiet by this point in the London marathon, but that’s how Rob likes it. He told me “There is nothing like a morning run on the route up Fire Beacon Hill, with only the sound of chiffchaffs for company”. His donation went to Shelter and the Trussell Trust. David Lee took over from Rob with Jon Hanson following on, both keeping the Mighty Green pace. The change over with Julie Mitchell was not the best, she had not expected the baton to be so hot! Julie had decided to take on the really big Tower Hill. Having followed her other half around a number of marathons, she knew it starts getting difficult at this point. To overcome the thought of such a hill Julie put remembered the climb up from Weston Beach to the Frog Stone, all 262 steps! The climb up Tower Hill was going better than expected and she focused on the young runner in front of her. Helped by his regular stride (or was it his physique), anyway all she needed to do, was to concentrate on matching his pace and then overtake him on the down hill section. At the top of the hill she picked up speed, her adrenaline pumping, the crowd all well spaced and willing her on to the home straight. Her pace increased again as there was a realisation that cake was available at the end of her section, lovely chocolate cake…Victoria sponges… cookies. Julie did her bit and has raised funds for Exeter Mardon Hospital. She passed the now very hot Mighty Green baton onto Paul Mitchell. Getting too Blackfriars quickly is what Paul intended, not far to go now. I asked him about the change over and he replied, “It was a clean exchange of the gleaming but very hot green baton, I was properly warmed up ready for the challenge”. The spectators were willing him on with a cacophony of sound, chanting encouragingly, Mighty Green, Mighty Green. Halfway into his mile Paul looked around and saw a familiar face, maybe a celebrity runner or tv personality, then he noticed under the rainbow wig was ginger hair, it was Chris Evans… he’d just overtaken Chris Evans! On he went, overtaking many other tired rainbow coloured runners, doing his bit to uphold the prestige of wearing the Mighty Green shirt. Paul spots his change over buddy and SRC marathon record holder for the 60 plus age group, Colin Flood.
   Colin Flood took the baton from a tired looking Paul and set off down the Embankment. He set off fast, with good reason, apart from his top level of fitness he could hear the unmistakable sound of jazz music spurring him on. But where was it coming from? Was it behind him? It was definitely getting louder. Stealing a glance over his shoulder, he noticed a magnificent paddle steamer, smoke billowing from her twin stacks, a jazz band playing on the open deck. In a moment she was gone, around the next bend, leaving a swirl of foam in the water and a tang of woodsmoke in the air. Ever since he’d read Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn as a lad, Colin wanted to travel the Mississippi, but he realised that in these days of lockdown, the Thames would do just fine. He did find holding the scorching hot Mighty Green baton was almost impossible, so had to to keep swapping hands. Colin had managed to place the MG team in third place and Danny Baker was going to have no choice but to continue with the relentless speed. He would have to hope that his old injury would not speak up now. The change over went well, Danny picked up speed but there was now no-way he could hold that scorchingly hot gleaming Mighty Green baton! Swapping hands was no good either! What to do? Then it struck him as he passed a Bong-less Big Ben, he could juggle. So with his water bottles and the baton he maintained his pace, water bottles and baton spinning through the air as he ran. Sitting quietly on a park bench watching out for the runners, was a Majestic looking Lady and her corgis. She was so excited to see the front runner that she stood up and started to clap enthusiastically. When she saw him chucking things up in the air and catching them and running in the lead, she got her corgi’s to start barking with excitement. As a juggling Danny Baker speeds by she called out “ One is most amused”, and “Bravo, One is doing very well, keep it up young man”, Danny was still able to raise his cap as he went on his way. Question is, will HM ask for Danny to perform at the next Royal Variety Show? Danny maintained his position at the front, putting the Mighty Green Sidmouth Running Club firmly on the map.  
Posted in SRC

London Marathon 26.2 Lockdown Challenge

London Marathon 26.2 Lockdown Challenge.
A Mighty Green Idea
Sunday 27th April at 9.30am

Early last week ,Jo Earlam our secretary came up with the idea while running out in the countryside writes Terry Bewes
Jo is a great marathon runner having completed over 70 towards her target of 100. She is also an exceptionally good fund raiser for several charities. The light came on, combining the two. She ran her idea by the committee and Kerry Boyle our Junior leader added to it, Kyle Baker our videographer produced a short video and our IT crew of Els Laureys, Charlotte Forrer and Paula Farrand soon had it all over the internet.
The idea was based around 26.2 the marathon distance and leaves those taking part to decide what they want to do and chose the charity they want to raise fund for.

Jo Earlam herself, who’s drive just happens to be 26.2 metres long is running it 26 times. Husband John is doing 26 Sudoku squares while dog Freddie will chase a ball 26 times raising funds for dementia and dog charities. Sidmouth Running Club Ambassador, Jo Pavey and husband Gavin both supported the Club. Jo ran a virtual relay with 11 other British Marathon women who were due to run the race, it was organised by her friend Eleanor Whyman-Davis an elite marathoner who is also an NHS doctor working on a Covid 19 ward. Husband Gavin went further and ran a full off-road marathon taking time out to take loads of photos and still finished in 3:35 :41.

Beccy McDonald took a 26.2 mile run almost entirely off road, Tim Swarbrick ran 262 metres up Winslade Road 26 times, Rocker Shepard and Emma Grainger seeing how far they can run in 26.2 minutes, Alan Kay 26.2 laps of the football pitch complete with London Landmarks dotted around, Alexa Baker 26.2 minutes of Morris dancing, Laura Broughton cycling 26.2 miles with her children for part of the way, Hamish Spence and dog, The Spanner ran around a customer’s garden while the dog retrieves 26 balls, Ann Cole Yoga poses, Naomi Garrick dressing up in fancy dress 26.2 times, Toby Garrick 26.2 exercises in 26.2 minutes, Jane Hemsworth 26 times up and down Jacobs Ladder slip way complete with pictures of London Landmarks, Claire Ashby and family 26.2 minutes of squats, press ups and burpees in the garden, Kerry Boyle running 5km in 26 minutes around her 10 x 2 metre yard complete with London Land marks, while son Seth save 26 football shots. Emma Salter 26.2 minute jog, David Palmer 26.2 pints Old Peculiar…(in his dreams), Els Laureys and family 26 different activities in 26 minutes like star jumps, squats, press ups, then a 26 minute run, Brigid McSmith 26.2 tunes on 1 instrument while Steve plays 1 tune on 26 instruments. Terry Bewes 26.2 minutes of pyramid hill reps up Stowford Rise. Joe Kent and family joined in with various activities from Australia and 3 members of Sid Vale Folk joined in, Tess 26 scales in 2.6 minutes, Sue 26 sunshine songs in 26 minutes and Rita 26 of their songs.


Charities include Ottery Community Volunteers, Brain Tumour Research, Refuge, RAF Benevolent Fund, Samaritans, PETA, Cancer Research, St Rocco’s Hospice, Halo’s Children Foundation. Devon Wildlife trust, Force, MIND, Krabbes UK, RSPCA, Asthma UK, National Autistic Society, St Raphael’s Hospice, South West Children Hospice, Team Shelter, CRISIS, Prostate Cancer UK, Diana Brimacombe Animal Rescue Charity, Queens Nurse Institute, Fire Fighters Charity, Headway Stroke Charity, Hospice UK, Devon Partnership NHS Trust, Shelter, Sid Valley Food Bank, Women’s Aid, CRY, Devon Air Ambulance, RNLI, PHAB Children Charity, Alzheimer’s Society, BRACE, MS Society, Heart Failure Aware, Fareshare, Rethink Mental Illness, National Autistic Society, Trussell Trust.

A message from Chairman Terry Bewes. “As the very proud Chair of this great Club, the response from the members and their families, even with the short notice was nothing short of amazing. There were so many different challenges and a great deal of thought and energy was put into them, especially the children. Over 40 charities received donations from their efforts, a brilliant result, I thank then all”.

Posted in SRC

The Grizzly – 2020 Hills Aplenty

The Full Grizzly “Hills Aplenty”.
The 2020 Hills Aplenty, Full and Cub Grizzly got underway promptly on a bright, but blustery Sunday morning at 10am. With forty four Mighty Green Sidmouth Running Club members taking part, twenty eight doing the Full Grizzle and sixteen opting for the Cub. There were some super-fast MG runners, some not so super fast, but definitely all super. There was mud aplenty, sweat in abundance and a whiff of shear determination. All were offered a free-high-intensity-wash on the finish line, given with pleasure by our local Fire Brigade writes Hamish Spence.
   With so much rain having fallen over the whole winter, the competitors were in for a very wet and muddy event. But that has never been a problem for any Mighty Green runner, we laugh in the face of muddy events and just say “Bring it on”! However, before the mud is experienced there is a run along the beach of Seaton. This is a stoney beach and Marshalls have been known to extract any competitor not running this particular stretch! It’s then a flat run along the towns Promenade, with applause and cheering as the runners pass through the start line and head up the steep Castle Hill and onto Beer Road towards Beer. From Beer the runners go along the coastal paths to Branscombe and then it’s time for the mud, bogs, hills and then more mud…much more mud!. After finishing with this section there is another mile of stoney Branscome beach to run along and then the infamous Stairway To Heaven to climb. Before embarking on the last section of this endurance trail run there is a refreshments tent at Beer with cakes, sweats and beer on offer for the victims of Hills Aplenty. So, feeling refreshed, it was one last short push back to the finish line on Seaton seafront.
   Antony Hall was supposed to be taking this race more as a long run training session. However, his inner competitive voice spoke and told him to get a move on. In-spite of falling flat on his face in the very first river crossing, he still took three minutes off from his previous attempt. His average pace was 8:54min/miles and Antony was the first Sidmouth runner to cross the finishing line taking just 2h57m14s to complete the route. Richard Summerhayes came 131st in 3h11m14s with Tom Knight not far behind in 140th with a respectable time of 3h20m27s. Ross Walton 3h35m45s, Ronnie Masters 3h39m57, Dan Prettejohn 3h55m26, Nicola Dowsing 3h57m, Danny Painter 4h03m, Martin Trueman 4h07m, Naomi Garrick 4h19m. Running together were Charlotte 4h26m43s and Jim Forrer slightly later in 4h26m45s. Racing each other over the finish line were Simon Hollyer in 4h32m06s (765th) and Kaylee Hawkins in 4h33m52s (768th).
   Charlotte Forrer convinced Bex McDonald to ’upgrade’ from Cub to the Full Grizzly a couple of months ago. So leading up to the event, Bex began to worry about biting off more than she could chew! With the awful weather and various other commitments prior to Sunday, she had not done as many long runs recently as she’d hoped to do. However, on the day all that was forgotten, she just got going. She commented “The Grizzly was brilliant, but brutal! You have to see it to believe it in some places”. Continuing, “Trudging through thigh-high muddy gloop and up forceful streams, not to mention the rope climbing and beach sections. All very much worth the burning hamstrings during the last 10k, at which point it was time to put my head down and get back home before the rain drove in”. She was very pleased with her first attempt of 4h35m, and looks forward to coming back for more next year. She particularly gives thanks to the brilliant team for giving her the confidence to get around!
   Next to finish was Carine Silver in 4h56m. Carine found this event tough as she was behind in training. However, running with a friend who came down from Bath really helped and having her sister (from Surrey) who did a spectacular face-plant, required first aid and was possibly the muddiest person out there, lifted her spirits. They all aimed for a sub-5 hrs and succeeded. Then in came Graham Sheppard in 5h04m closely followed by Richard King 5h05m02s, Cathy Keast 5h05m04s and Monica Read in 5h05m06s. Adrian Horne arrived back in 5h10m with David Wright 5h13m27s, and Gemma Wiltshire 5h13m59s.
   Jane Hemsworth took part in The Grizzly for the first time. She thought it was about time to bite the bullet, but as someone not too keen on mud, it was probably one baptism of fire too far! She was joined by fellow Mighty Green ladies Helen Palmer, Els Laureys and Millie Frankpitt. By running together for the majority of the way, the group enjoyed a more leisurely and sociable time giving each other encouragement along the way. Speaking to many other runners from all over the UK whist negotiating the mud, they found out that for many, that it was the first Grizzly and they were in awe of our beautiful East Devon hills and coastline. There were cakes, biscuits, sweets and amazingly a beer tent at mile 18. Jane thought that she must be hallucinating, at the sight of the liquid beverages. She found that a few mouthfuls of stout at that point was like nectar! She, like others said “The conditions were naturally as tough as to be expected and the mud made the beach run seem easy”. She almost lost a trainer up in the hills when crossing the bog! She learnt her lesson and will make sure laces are tied tighter. She loved the motivational quotes on the signage boards all the way around. Jane crossed the finish line in 6h06m51s. Els and Helen were pleased with their times of 6h06m. Millie did her last full Grizzly 6 years ago and felt that this years should be renamed to 2020 Sweat, Pain & Tears A Plenty! She enjoyed the team camaraderie until mile 15 when she insisted they go on ahead without her. (they didn’t listen). After lots of internalised argument with herself she decided at Branscombe that she would pull out! But, just when she needed it, a lovely runner caught her up, realised how much she was struggling, gave her a gel and a kind pep talk about how she’d done the hard bit. The kind runner stayed with her all the way back to the finish line. Amelia crossed the line in 6h06m52s.
   Marshall support was superb and we thanked every Marshall as they stood out in rain, hail and sunshine being incredibly cheerful giving encouragement and directions. The route was exceptional (as to be expected), with the cakes, sweats and all beverages being gratefully received, definitely aiding the completion of one of the toughest races in the South West. A total of 1462 runners took part.
   A very fast young Toby de Gruchy took the 1st place in the Grizzly Cub, completing the route in a very speedy 1h07m57s. This means that SRC retains this crown for the second year running. Then in 5th place was Ben Chesters with a fabulous time of 1h13m10s and not far behind Ben was Tim Dafforn. Tim felt he’d had a very good race, renaming himself as Mr Consistent for improving his three seconds faster than last year’s time. He tried very hard to keep up with Ben Chesters, but lost sight of him on the cliff path to Branscombe. Tim had a quick ‘comical’ fall near the beach and tried to save a bit back for his return trip to the finish line. He took 10th place in a time of 1h18m19s.
Greg Ward did very well coming 75th in 1h35m30s and Sue Coleman who was aiming for a sub 2 hour time, was thrilled that her impersonation of a penguin sliding down to Branscombe beach didn’t stop her quest. She arrived back in 1h45m11s. Kathrine Hall did herself proud by knocking around two and a half minutes from last years time. An extremely muddy Kat arrived back on the line in 1h47m and was immediately hosed down by the fire brigade. Really enjoying himself and showing it, was John Sharples who was 184th and took 1h51m41s. Next in were Derek Blackburn in 1h57m, Paula Farrand 2h01m36s, Sam and Nick Dicks who ran together and both arrived back in 2h01m43s. Bert Dykema did very well in his longest race for a few years arriving back in 2h11m.
   Suzi Rockey, Catherine Cruise, Sarah Burston and Terry Bewes ran as a group. Suzi who was recovering from an injury hit the pain barrier near the end, but came through with a 2h19m47 time with Catherine at 2h19m48 and Sarah Burston 2h19m54s. Terry who has done 10 full Grizzlies over the years and was glad to do the Cub managed a time of 2h19m55s. This was Julia Haddrell’s first Grizzly Cub and she found out what an energy sapping start on pebbles was like! However, not to be deterred she kept her spirits high and enjoyed the fabulous views when on the tops of the hills and grabbed a time of 2h33m46s. There were a total of 587 competitors.

Official photos can be found and purchased here:


Beating the Covid Blues – 3

Beating Those Exe to Axe Covid Blues (Part Three)
   Sunday the 5th of April 2020 and many Mighty Greens were to take part in the JP’s Exe to Axe race along the Jurassic Coastal Path from the RLNI station at Exmouth, to the Promenade of Seaton. However, the dreaded Covid Virus put an abrupt end to that writes Hamish Spence!
   Fortunately, as a population we are still allowed (at the time of writing this), to take a daily breath of fresh air and have some exercise in and around our own local areas, as long as we abide by the social distancing rules. ** (fullfact . org states… You can leave the house to exercise once a day. The government has said you should use open spaces near to your home where possible, and advised against unnecessary travel for exercise (such as driving to a national park or beauty spot). 
   This weekend (4th and 5th of April) was no different, with many Mighty Green Sidmouth Running Club members doing exactly that and they have clocked up some good mileage. So I thought I should put together a collage of an alternative version of the Exe to Axe event. None of the participants knew they would be taking part in any form of competition and therefore the rules of the “Race” were retrospectively as follows. 
  Firstly. All Social Distancing rules were observed at all times.
  2nd. Well behaved dogs were welcome. 
  3rd. No headphones were used.
  4th. There was no minimum or maximum distance to cover.
  5th. Participants could take part at any point of the weekend. 
  6th. This comes under the currant daily exercise allowance.
   Christie and Greg Ward have been ticking over on 2 or 3 runs week, so come the weekend it was inevitable that they would take off for a jaunt. They got off to a very tough start though, by heading up Milltown Lane and Salcombe Hill with the aim of re-creating the Woodland Relay. That didn’t go to plan as they both managed to miss a turning. Something else they really missed, was the fabulous cakes at the end. Both ran at a steady pace covering around 4.5 miles whereas their Whippet who joined them, went like a rocket for the duration doing approximately 22.2 miles.
   While no one was watching Danny Painter did some Strava graffiti art with a tribute to the NHS on his daily run, he also worryingly clocked 6.66 miles, how Devilish! He had an average pace of 9:02 min/miles and climbed 709ft of elevation grain.
   My running buddy for the real Exe to Axe race was Adrian Horne. He took a little outing yesterday on his own, but was really missing the club runs with all the camaraderie that goes with it. His Exe to Axe was a circuit around the very picturesque Sid Valley Ring. 14miles in 2h48m. I took myself (Hamish Spence) and my Dog (The Spanner) to complete a job in a customers garden. After which we both ran circuits around the garden. I have no idea how many times we ran around that garden as dizziness had set in halfway around, but I clocked up 2.8 miles and The Spanner I’m guessing about 4.5 miles. There were no jelly babies, the route was not Marshalled and we didn’t see any fellow runners. However, it was such a beautiful afternoon with wall to wall sunshine. The birds were singing for Queen and Country, bumble bees and butterflies were out in force and there was some rather sweet smelling blossom.
   Jo Earlam, like many, many people right now, is finding it hard to keep motivated to run. Missing the company or the goal of an event to look forward to. She, like others is finding mental energy is at full stretch! However, she has decided in the meantime to start using her walking poles and stride it out. Doing an average of 15 min/miles even off road and uphill.
Also walking was a chilled Nick Jennings, except for one spurt of speed up Filcombe Hill where he achieved a personal best time. Out for 2h09m completing 4.6 miles with a very relaxed over-all pace of 28:06min/miles.
John Chesters made the most of the sunny day with a 7+ mile round trip from Ottery to Tipton via Knightstone and Lancercombe and back along the river. His only company a Kingfisher and some ducks. Time keeping was good with 1h36 on the clock. 

Terry Bewes chilling out at the Fire Beacon Trig point

Terry Bewes chose Sunday to participate. He opted for running up onto two of the Sidmouth trigs on his route, Buckton Trig and Fire Beacon Trig. He set off from Stowford Rise and along the main road to Sidford, passing the Blue Ball Inn where he turned into Harcombe Lane to Snodbrook Cross. Then followed the lane passing Boswell Farm up to Knowle House and on into Harcombe. From there he followed the path up the field into Buckton Wood and up to Buckton Trig Point. Carrying on across the top of the hill he then followed the East Devon Way down into Sidbury to make the steady climb up through fields and lanes to White Cross. He continued on the East Devon Way along the top and through the woods were possible onto the Fire Beacon Hill Trig Point. He then dropped down through Harpford Common and Woods to Stowford Cross. It was then back home. With an elevation gain of 1375 feet, he completed his 9 mile run in 2h02m. He said “I really enjoyed running on my own as I had no rush on me. I could take time out to not only enjoy the fantastic views but to sit, close my eyes and listen to what was going on around me, something you cannot do running in a group. It was a great experience and I would recommend it the next time you run on your own or with a likeminded friend”. Terry almost bumped into Ben Chesters at the bottom of Greenway lane on his way home after a 10km run up and over Mutters Moor out to the Coastal Path. Ben had a bit of a surprise while going slightly off-piste and following animal tracks. He passed a naturist taking full advantage of the sun.

Emma Grainger and Luna having a break at Escot before heading back home

Emma Grainger took her faithful hound Luna for a cannie-cross session from Ottery to Escot and back. Amazing how fast Emma runs when attached to her dog, who was training who? Derek Blackburn did his usual round trip route, but in reverse just to shake things up a bit. He made great time covering the 6.9 miles in 1h06m. Back from injury was Cathy Miller, who sprinted at an average pace of 9:08min/miles on a 3.5 mile route down the Byes, along the seafront, zig-zagging her way back home all in 31m38s. Sue Coleman started and finishing at the Ottery River bridge. She followed the River Otter down to Tipton and then headed back along the road passing Fluxton and Salston. She took 56m16s to run the 5.8 mile route.

   Well done to all who managed to take their daily dose of exercise, the results are as follows. In 1st place was The Ward Whippet for outstanding pace. 2nd was Danny Painter for his Strava art and joint 3rd, Ben Chesters and Terry Bewes for their quick thinking collision prevention skills. The Spanner and Luna share the wooden spoon. Luna for being patient and running while still attached to Emma and The Spanner for getting distracted when losing her ball. 

Beating the Covid Blues -2

Derek Blackburn taking a breather and enjoying the sunshine outside the Sidbury Church half way around on his once-a-day daily run.

Beating The Corvid Blues (part two).

   So, it’s been another week of keeping the Mighty Green fitness levels up, observing social distancing and keeping the Corvid Blues at bay writes Hamish Spence. 
   Before Corvid came along I had set myself a realistic target of running 1000 miles over the whole year and more if possible. I happened to mention this to fellow SRC member and Alphabet Parkrun addict David Skinner. Now he too is taking up this 1000+ mile challenge. David recently completed his 150th Parkrun and is now having Parkrun withdrawal syndrome! Parkrun is for obvious reasons canceled until further notice, but David is making use of his daily, one outside exercise period allowance, to run around the lanes of Newton Poppleford where he lives. Unlike myself he is using metric distances and so his target is actually 1609km over the year. Like me he started on January 1st and has so far have covered 397.7km. (He needs to average 31km a week). He admits to wanting to give it a miss on some days, however his wife sends him off out, reminding him that it is also good for his mental health and that he’d regret not keeping on schedule. David fully blames me for his decision to take on this challenge and I’m very chuffed to be blamed. Glad to be of service David. Are any other SRC members picking up this 1000+ mile gauntlet?
   The Baker household has set up their own fitness studio. Kyle Baker’s Photography Studio is now The Baker Keep-fit Space. Kyle has set up some weights and follows Joe Wicks on YouTube. The family all follow LC Fitness and JM Dance. Alexa does a bit of Zumba and Fitsteps. All are managing a daily run at some point during the day. 
   Karen Farnham took herself off for an early Sunday morning 9 mile run up Buckton Hill and along the East Devon Way. Then on through Sidbury to East Hill Strips and onto Fire Beacon. She made a quick visit to the trig point and admired the view, before descending back down into Sidmouth. She was accompanied by her running buddy. Having not seen her running buddy for quite sometime (about 6 months), it was good to have her Shadow back. Shadow runs at exactly the same pace and really doesn’t mind where Karen goes. Shadow doesn’t talk and never complains about the hills. However, Shadow does need to understand a bit more about the 2 meter social distancing rule! 
   Paul Mitchel tries hard to find reasons not to do too much DIY every day while we are on this lock-down and one of the best reasons was found online. A great workout via Face Book led by Honiton runner Paula Ferris. There is a link to her web page which has sample stretch exercises. It’s then off for a daily single run, rounded off with a session of hill reps…he has to do this really as he lives at the top of a hill.