The Beginners Are Progressing Quickly

The Beginners Are Progressing Quickly
   Having completed their three mile, non-stop run last Wednesday evening (9th January), Jane Stein, Nikki Gosney and Lee-Ann Thomas all received their 3 mile certificates from Head Coach Tim Mitchell. They had no idea of the events that would unfold in the evening that lay ahead writes Hamish Spence.
   The three ladies ran with the beginners group to give moral support to the five other group members that were taking on the non-stop 3 mile challenge.
As the group headed along Livonia Road, one of the ‘challengers’ became unwell. So, with some quick thinking and without anyone stopping, Nikki made the very helpful call to lead the others in the group on around the route. This enabled another five more members of the Beginners Group to complete the non-stop three mile course, while Jane, Lee-Ann and Terry looked after the casualty.
Happily, it all turned out well and Terry said a sincere thanks to our three new members who absolutely embody our ethos at SRC. Without their quick thinking, the evenings attempt would have been thwarted.

The Battle Of Woodbury Common.

With Storm Ciara moving in on the darkened horizon, the Battle of Woodbury Common 10k and half marathon got underway writes Hamish Spence.
Organisers Something Wild Events, after careful consideration decided that Storm Ciara was far enough away from the Pebblebed Heathland of Woodbury Common, an AONB in Devon… The Battle Of Woodbury Common could go ahead as planned. So, along with121 other competitors, the nine intrepid Mighty Greens (Julia Hadrell, Terry Bewes, Emma Vine, Laura Broughton, Paula Farrand, Bert Dykema, Samantha Dicks, Becky McDonald and Tim Daffron) gathered together and got prepared, putting on their windy, wet-weather gear, adjusting and checking head torches in readiness to take on the battle ahead! (This time Laura remembered to charge her torch sufficiently after her last wild night event ended prematurely with a dead head-torch!)
The route followed the helm of Uphams Plantation and Crook Plantation after exiting Bicton College along the back entrance and onto the lanes. It then skirts Castle Plantation and the half marathon adds on a section through Colaton Raleigh Common towards Hawkerland, similar to the Bicton Blister.
The first 4 miles felt like a very long uphill slog and there was a lot of muddy areas.  Then when reaching the top around Woodbury Fort, the wind really hit the competitors. It was like hitting a brick wall, one step forward and then two steps back!  Fortunately as the path turned, this massive blast of wind started to come in from the side, and then eventually the last mile took the runners downhill and onto a road surface back to the finish. A great, but tough race made more difficult and interesting by the wind speeds and many of the direction arrow signs had blown in the wind, meaning self navigation had to come into play a couple of times. Luckily with the head torches worn by leading runners, the way ahead was lit. Was this the reason the 10k route turned out to be nearer a 12k?
There were some fantastic results for the club, with Tim Daffron doing really well, booking his place as the first MG to finish his battle with the elements in the 12k. He crossed the finish line in 7th place in 50m55s. Becky McDonald had a great race and had pushed herself hard. She stormed her way around the course and arrived back home in a whopping 17 minutes faster than last year’s time, 27th place over-all in 1h01m56s. She was very happy to be the 4th lady back and 1st in her age category. Next to be blown over the line was Laura Broughton, who flew in and also took a personal best time for this event, shaving off 8 minutes to cross the line in 1h08m56s in 40th place.Terry Bewes breezed back in at superb time of 1h16m07s to be 60th over-all. He too, finished three minutes faster than the previous year and gained 2nd in age category (fairly young age category). Paula Farrand blew in at 1h23m06s 68th, with Bert Dykema shortly following just12 seconds later. Julia Haddrell found her second wind just before the finish and managed a sprint over the line to take the 73rd position in a time of 1h2911s. Emma Vine fought her way through the howler finishing with a 40th place in the half marathon and great time of 2h20m44s.

 

 

The Sid Valley Ring

   A few weeks ago a new 14 (ish) mile challenge came to my attention and it was right on our doorstep writes Hamish Spence.
One of our Mighty Green distance runners told of his early morning jaunt on a newish trail that takes the participant on a picturesque journey into some of the most beautiful countryside around the town of Sidmouth. A trail that goes through parts of the town into woodlands, forests and villages. It weaves across heathland and fields, meanders along tracks and country lanes and over a few hills with stunning views. I had a feeling that this trail might catch the eyes of others in the Sidmouth Running Club.
I was not wrong and it wasn’t long before others in the Mighty Green tribe had reported that they too had completed the trail. Then I overheard a plan for an early Sunday morning mission to take on the trail on the last Sunday of January. A mixed ability group of eight set off at just after 8am from the Sailing Club for a steady run and warm up along the esplanade. It was then a slow climb up the Bickwell valley to Ice House Lane and a long tiring climb up Core Hill Road. Here, it’s a left turn and a climb over the first of many styes for the first bit of off-road running. It was straight into a boggy field and needless to say we all got wet, muddy feet, a theme that repeated itself many times. The trail skirts through some woodland and then up onto Fire Beacon, but not to the trig point. It was then through the woodlands to White Cross along the East Devon Way. At White Cross we turned right through a gate and descended down the hill to the pretty village of Sidbury. We followed the main road, turned into Bridge Road, over the bridge immediately turning right at the cottage. This was our first stop, drinks and snacks were consumed and photos were taken. Pushing on along Deepway we passed the cemetery and headed on through Buckton Farm to Harcombe. The route then took us around Knowle House and a hard climb up Paccombe Hill to the A3052.
After crossing the road we made our way towards the coastal path through the Donkey Sanctuary and Dunscombe Manor finally arriving
on the coastal path to be greeted with a cold head wind and a bit of rain. They group was spreading out a bit here with myself taking up residence at the back and beginning to wonder if i would be bowing out. My pace slowed to walk for half a mile
The coastal path took the group into the small village of Salcombe Regis and after the church, we turned left up the hill towards the monument. I managed to catch the group up again here just before they reached the junction to turn left through the woodland. We continued onto the Frogstone as a group again along the Coastal Path to Salcombe Hill via the trig point down into Sidmouth.
There have been more groups taking on the Sidmouth Ring since our group ran it, with a large group led by Terry Bewes doing it last Sunday (2nd of Feb). Some members have even tried it out in reverse and found it that the hills were much steeper that way around!
Shoe choice is a bit of a problem with over 4 miles running on the road. When it’s very wet, as it was on Sunday, the off-road sections were very slippery, so could have done with full studs. However they are not ideal on tarmac. We recorded various distances between us, but it’s just over 14 miles with the diversion around Alma Bridge. This is an excellent route and challenge with some beautiful views.

 

Park Running

Many of the Mighty Greens have been making the most of our local, and not so local, Park Runs.  With so many Devon Park Runs on our doorstep it would be rude not to participate in such a social and inclusive event.

 

Park Runs take place at 9am on Saturday Morning in the following Devon Locations and many more:

Seaton Esplanade 

Exmouth Seafront

Exeter Riverside

Haldon Forest

Parke National Trust

Killerton National Trust

You can find Park Runs across the world so please tell us if you participate in a more exotic one, just like Ann Cole did when she visited Cologne, Germany.

If Park Runs are your thing, you may be interested in reading a book by Devon author, Ian Mortimer,

Why Running Matters: Lessons in Life, Pain and Exhilaration From 5K to the Marathon

In his book Ian talks us through a whole year of running in Devon, from his home in Moretonhampstead.  He describes each run and reflects on why running is so valuable.

Final Countdown

Final Countdown 31 December 2019

By Terry Bewes

 

What a better way to finish the year than with a new trail run. Winding Paths organised the Final Countdown 10km race around the Dartington Hall estate. As with many races now, this one was sold out long before the day, so if you see a race you fancy do not delay signing up. There was plenty of parking, a café and toilets close to the start. Myself and Milly Frankpitt listened to the race briefing which told us that the start and finish were the same so starting off at the top of a hill for a long downhill run you soon realised that it would be a long run up hill to the finish. This is not a PB course thanks to the gates and stiles, but it does make you start at an easy pace. The run takes you through woods, up hills, along stoney paths, a bit of tarmac, across fields and lots of sticky mud. There are also a few technical sections to keep you on your toes. A third of the run is through fields by the river Dart and in places the steam railway is on the other side.

And then we were at the bottom of the hill ready for the run to the finish. We finished together in 1:16:19, 150 and 151 out of 245 finishers to collect a very nice medal for our effort.

The organisation was great and the marshal’s brilliant including two off our own, Alan Kay and Adrian ‘Gripper’ Horne who earned an entry into an upcoming Ultra. The race will return on the 31st December 2020, we will be there, and I can thoroughly recommend it.

The Extremely Jolly Escot Run

 The Mighty Green Fancy Dress Machine was out in force again on the 21st and 22nd of December with 12 members taking on various trail routes including the Extremely Jolly run, half marathon and full marathon events, all of which were in the grounds of the Escot estate writes Hamish Spence.
   The 10k event took place on the Saturday and had six MG’s suitably kitted out in Christmas attire. The ground had been absolutely saturated with the recent rainfall, but the sky was a clear blue giving a jolly atmosphere and a promise of a fun run in the mud around the park. The start line resembled a scene of a magical Christmas wonderland with almost all of the runners wearing some form of fancy dress.
   The first couple of miles were not bad and gave everyone a chance to warm up and prepare. There were a few hills but nothing a self-respecting MG couldn’t handle. Then the fun began! A loop up into the woods with some knee deep puddles and thick oozy mud! Déjà-vu of the Bicton Blister! Then six miles in and there was an optional water slide, not really an option if your belong to SRC and anyway it was a good opportunity to remove some of the mud acquired from the woodlands. Lastly, there was a short mile or so down hill to the finish line.
   The extremely jolly Kyle Baker, turned into the extremely muddy Elf during this event! He set off at a fast pace, taking on the mud, woodlands and hill by himself. On arrival at the water slide he deliberated on the best approach on tackling the soggy descent. His decision to sit as he slid, turned out not so good and when arriving at the bottom, he rolled into the mud anyway! How graceful…not! Never mind, he picked himself up and carried on to the finish line to be the first MG and came in the 13th over all position in at an impressive 1h05m. Not far behind was Allan Kay taking 1h15m25s to finish followed by Emma Vine in 1h19m40s and Derek Blackburn in 1h22m42s. The best dressed Elf in the park, Laura Broughton trod carefully through the mud to arrive back in a clean 1h28m14s. Nikita Kay and Alexis Kay set off and ran the whole route together finishing in 1h41m10s. At the finish all the competitors received the Santa, with a full beard medal and a welcomed bottle of beer bringing a seasonal smile back to everyone’s faces.

Celebration!

Otterton Reindeer Run 2019

The Otterton Reindeer Run

 

A fantastic turnout for this years Otterton Reindeer Run with 25 SRC members in attendance writes Hamish Spence.

   Festive spirits were in full flow in Otterton on Saturday the 7th of December and just to be clear in the form of attire not drink. Some competitors were dressed in fancy dress including a Gingerbread man, Reindeer or wearing Santa hats or deer antlers. The weather was kind to the runners on the day giving them a mild and dry day with no wind. The ground was not too wet, so not much slipping around going on under foot either, making it possible for some great time keeping.
   First Mighty Green to cross the line was Alex Munro in 15th over all in 49m08s, John Keast 53:57, Kyle Baker 54:20 Ellen Keast 54:26 and Catherine Hilton 56:37. Christine and Karen Farnham as usual headed off together with Christine pulling away leaving Karen behind. This lasted until halfway around when Karen caught her sister back up and then overtook. Karen stayed ahead for the rest of the run and crossed the line just one second in-front, 1h02m05s. Then came Sarah Clapham in1:03:01 with David wright at 1:04:55 and Cathy Keast 1:06:37. Derek Blackburn 1:08:09, Susan Reeves 1:09:12, Jon Bull 1:11:16, Nikita Kay 1:12:37. Bert Dykema took part with his sister Frederiek and they ran the whole route together in 1:13:43. Helen Palmer 1:28:09, Julia Haddrell 1:25:44, Lesley Miszewska 1:26:16. Helen Neighbour came in at 1:28:04 with Sue Cunningham following 2 seconds later. Gingerbread man Ronnie Masters took 1:28:27. Caroline Ball enjoyed the run and finished in 1:29:08 beating Alexa Baker who finished in 1:29:24. Terry Bewes found himself playing cat and mouse with Ronnie Masters aka Gingerbread man, finally being over taken for the forth time just before the end coming in at 1:30:02.

 

The Mighty Green Juniors Take Part In The Otterton Reindeer Fun Run.

 

Fifteen mighty green antlered juniors took part in the Otterton 3km Reindeer Fun Run on Saturday and all had a great time writes Kerry Boyle. 

   On a lovely clear day, and the 15 SRC juniors lined up excitedly with the adults at the back of Otterton church, the race started straight up a hill which prevented the youngsters going off too fast. There were several running club coaches and parents running with them to help them keep to a steady pace and to ensure they didn’t take the turn off for the 10k run by mistake! The route took them along tracks around the back of Otterton, with a well earned water and jelly baby stop at the half way point. Then the route followed the river Otter path back into the village of Otterton finishing down a footpath at the back of the village hall.
   First in for Sidmouth juniors was Robin Dafforn finishing in 3rd place, with Aidan Corfield 7th and Frazer Felton-Smith in 14th. Maisie Crouch was the first female for Sidmouth juniors finishing in 17th, with Seth Lancaster close behind in 18th who said ‘it was a hard race but really fun’. Arden Chipping was next in 24th place and James Jamani 27th, 8 year old William Hall had a fantastic run dressed as a reindeer finishing in 28th place with his brother Dominic ‘The Grinch’ not far behind in 30th place.  All 15 finished the race and wore their antlers with beaming faces, congratulations you have done Sidmouth running club proud!

 

 

Bicton Blister 2019

 

 

 

 

 

The Muddiest Bicton Blister Ever (in memory of Dave Eveleigh)

A fantastic turnout on Sunday the 24th of November with 43 SRC members taking part in the muddiest Bicton Blister ever writes Hamish Spence.

Despite the rain deluge that the West Country has received over the last weeks if not months, it held off for the duration of this event. Before the race began, organisers Exmouth Harriers read out the pre-race instructions. This included take care not to trip on the tree roots or the oversized rounded flints and to follow the coloured tape around which ever course was relevant, be it the Blister or the Lite. Then came a statement on the state of these routes set by the diligent and encouraging Marshalls. It read that there were no hills, no puddles, and absolutely no mud to wade through this year. The statement continued that the Pebble-bed Heathland of Woodbury Common an AONB was fairly dry and easy going underfoot…..They lied! This years Bicton Blister and Blister Lite was in honour of Dave Eveleigh, a member of the Exmouth Harriers and out of respect to him the race was started one minute early. All 539 runners from both races started together.

   In the 10 mile Blister Anthony Hall made a very speedy get away and led the Mighty Green team all the way around with an average pace of 7:06min/miles. He took 19th place in 1h11m06s. Richard Hayes followed suit with Anthony and made very good time coming in 40th place in 1h16m44s. Colin L’Anson had a real blast and was very happy to get back in 1h29m25s coming in 123rd. However, Colin wondered where everyone had got too! He’d seen everyone at the photo before the start, but that was the last he saw!-No mighty green near him at the start, no Mighty Green passed him (normal) and he passed none (not normal). He spotted one MG in the form of Sam Ingram who vanish onto the 5K course. Colin, I’m told (obviously I can’t confirm this) it’s lonely at or near the front, ask Anthony he will understand. John Keast blazed a trail heading out quickly and maintained a steady pace to take 127th place in 1h29m54s.

   Kyle Baker, Hamish Spence (Me), Allen Kay and Adrian Horne started this event together. As we started to warm up, our pace quickened and all four of us began to overtake other competitors. This continued all the way to the first proper down-hill section which headed into the narrower, steep and slippery track through the woodland. This is where I made a break for it with Kyle following suit. The track was very muddy with some deep puddles to navigate. At one point I went nearly waist deep, but still I managed to pass others. Kyle got stuck behind those that had chosen to take the sludge route so had to fight the thick, sticky mud to keep his shoes on. Both Kyle and myself were catching up with Stuart Coles and Catherine Hilton. Kyle overtook me two miles before the watering point and then passed Catherine and that was the last I saw of him. Finally, after three more miles I finally overtook Catherine Hilton. Meanwhile, both Allan Kay and Adrian Horne continued to run together for most of the race, helping each other along and controlling their pace. Kyle Baker came in 156th in 11h33m11s just before Stuart Coles 1in157th, with Hamish Spence (me) taking 178th in 1h37m30s and Catherine Hilton 179th in 1h37m39s. Allan Kay 1h42m28s in 212th place.

Then came Sarah Clapham 214th in 1h42m32s, Deb Marriott 217th in1h42m39s with Don Cawthera crossing the line in 218th in 1h42m49s. Karen and Christine Farnham made a steady get away from the start line, keeping to a modest pace all the way around. They navigated the mud with care enjoying the perfect air temperature and zero wind resistance. This time Karen allowed her sister Christine to lead the way and held onto her shirt tails. Both of them showed the spectators how a Mighty Green finishes a race with a burst of speed specially saved for the last one hundred yards. Christine came 225th in 1h43m32 and Karen 226th in 1h43m34s. Both ladies had just passed Adrian Horne who said at the finish that he “felt a real sense of achievement having waded through the mud”. He arrived back in 229th, 1h43m40s. Next over the line was Graham Sheppard 257th in 1h47m35s with Sarah Ginsberg 270th in 1h50m32s. Emma Vine completing it in 1h50m46s closely followed by Michael Ginsberg 276th in1h5103s.

Cathy Keast 277th, Richard King 278th both with a time of 1h51m14s, Cath Miller 279th 1h51m15s and Monica Read 280th in 1h15m16s. All four ran together for the duration. Next to finish was Els Laures in 1h52m27s, 287th place and Dave Wright coming 298th in 1h54m25s. Jennifer Bentley was not far behind taking the 301st slot in 1h54m59s and Cathy Kelly was just 6 seconds short of passing the post with a sub 2 hour finish laying claim to the 319th place.

Milly Frankpitt, and Terry Bewes ran with Helen Palmer and Lesley Hook for the first few miles along with Sarah Watkins and Paul Williamson. They warmed up steadily giving each other lots of encouragement. On entering the first woodlands Terry had the words of George Chalstrey ringing in his ears, “if this was a race Terry you would be up through the middle”. This meant when it comes to water or mud you try to find a way around it rather than through it. So, with Milly following, all six of them went right down the middle, sometimes in mud halfway up to their knees, but all passed many runners this way. Milly and Terry slowly but surely left the other four behind and took it in turns to be the pace setter. They made a great team and managed to increase their lead on the other four by nearly fourteen minutes. Milly took 325th and Terry 326th in 2h01m27s. Then came Sarah 366th in 2h14m40s, Lesley367th, Helen368th and Paul 369th in 2h14m41s, the last of the MG Blisterers to cross the finish line and they did it together, all holding hands and very happy to be finished.

 

The Bicton Lite.

Taking part in the 5 mile Bicton Lite were ten MG’s with Kate Marriott leading the way and taking 1st SRC runner in 41m21s and 7th over all. Hot on her heels was Sam Ingram 10th in 42m34s and Sue Collman 46m29s in 25th place. Becky McDonald came 31st in 47m35s and Derek Blackburn arrived back in 49m35s taking 32nd place. Kerry Salter 58th, 53m23s and then crossing the line was Jodie Hawkins in 54m16s, 62nd over all. For some reason best and solely known to herself,  Emma Grainger had cleaned her running shoes prior to the race, she also chose to put on white socks!? It’s fair to say that said socks will never be white again. No, they really won’t, not ever. She also discovered that plunging straight into the (in places) knee deep mud, was curiously satisfying compared to the teetering around on the slippery edges. Her time was 57m33s finishing 75th. Next was Julia Haddrell coming in just before the hour marker in 59m30s taking 85th. Our one and only Parkrun Alphabet collector David Skinner, took 117th place. There were 142 runners competing in the Lite.

Both events were great to take part in and were very well organised. All runners from SRC conveyed their thanks and as always after finishing, members of the SRC headed to the finish line to cheer on the rest or the club as they in turn arrived back. This illustrates what a great club it is and what a friendly and supportive bunch of people we have.

 

Kirsteen’s Patagonian Quest.

Kirsteen Welch put everything into training for The World Mountain Running Championships 2019 (up and down) which took place on the 16th of November 2019, at Villa La Angostura in Argentina writes Hamish Spence.
She worked so very hard throughout the year to qualify for this event, winning many competitions to get there. However, preparing for an event in an environment such as Patagonia, when you live and work in Devon is a tall order. Although in Devon we have great rolling hills that are still a challenge to the majority of us, we do not have the altitude problems that come with running in the mountainous region that this competition took place. Before the race Kirsteen took part in many acclimatisation training sessions in the mountains. Short runs, long runs, stretches and exercises. Physically this girl was ready to take part in this gruelling event.
However, on the day just before being setting off and under starters orders, she began to feel unwell! Things got worse during the first 5k, so much so that had it been any other competition, she would have bailed out and stopped. But this was not any other race and she was wearing the Team GB kit. Over the next few miles other things started to niggle as-well! First her hamstrings, then her quads cramped up and then to add to the problems, her calves also cramped up causing her to really struggle through the pain. All this time she still felt ill and didn’t know how she could go on! But on she went, digging extremely deep inside herself, fighting the severe pain she felt and carrying on although everything was screaming at her to stop.
The fact that Kirsteen finished this race, feeling as ghastly as she did, with the severe cramps that slowed her down all the way through the 26 plus miles, is a testament to her complete and utter grit and determination. In Kirsteen’s first Team GB event, having felt so rough throughout it, she still managed to finish in 32nd position overall out of the 75 runners who actually finished this event. Shortly after crossing the finish line, Kirsteen collapsed and got taken to the medical tent were she was immediately put on a drip to re-hydrate.
She definitely gave her all in this event and from all those that know her, we are all incredibly proud of her achievement in Argentina. Kirsteen is a fantastic role model to young girls everywhere, in fact I know she inspires the members of the SRC, myself defiantly included. GREEN she certainly felt, but MIGHTY she did run, well done Kirsteen