Sidmouth Running Club
Juniors 20/10/2019

Junior members of Sidmouth Running Club receive their Mighty Green Awards for attending the half term course. Rose Ashby, Aidan Corfield and Tom Clapham all received their bronze award for attending all 5 sessions in the 12 to 14-year group.
The club is really keen to promote the 12 to 14 year olds so please come along and bring a friend to the next sessions on the 10th,17th and 24th November and the 1st and 8th of December at Sidmouth College Gymnasium and sports field where you will take part in the ABC’s of running under the instruction of our England Athletic Coaches. Please see the club website for more details.

Parkrun Update 19/10/2019

Sidmouth Running Club
Parkrun Update 19/10/2019

Once again, our dedicated Park Runners were out in force at various events around the country. David Skinner was in Newcastle under Lyme attending the Wammy Parkrun. This was originally an industrial site in the 18th and 19th centuries and the run is an out and back on the route of what was an industrial railway. The course gets it name from a huge 32-ton hammer at the old iron works that made such a noise (wham wham) that the name stuck. David’s time 32:18
Ann Cole travelled to Winchester and returned a PB of 35:02.
Nearer home Beccy Johnson 39:08 and daughter Isla 39:07 went to Killerton. Our only runner at Seaton was Sarah Powell returning a time of 35:06. The majority journeyed to Exmouth and by the number of PB’s was a good choice.
Sam Ingram PB 21:41, Steve Saunders PB 23.46,
John Sharples 25:13, Sarah Clapham 26:09,
Sarah Browne PB 28:02, Nikita Kay PB 29:03,
Alexa Baker PB 33:43, Lesley Miszewska 34:57

Haldon Night Race 10km

Sidmouth Running 19/10/2019
Haldon Night Race 10km

An impromptu very last-minute booking saw Laura Broughton enter Wild Night Running’s, Haldon Night Race 10km and one she would later wonder if it was a good decision. Not only did it turn out to be the hardest 10km she had done it was one catastrophe after another. Mile 2 saw a twisted ankle which resulted in a plod all the way to the finish. The battery ran out on her headlight, so she used her phone torch which was difficult to see with over the rough terrain but better than nothing and at least it lasted until the last few strides to the finish. Ripped leggings and some wonderful chaffing made it a race to remember.
They don’t call it Wild Night Running for nothing but as a true Mighty Green she never gave up.

Woodbury 10k

Sidmouth Running Club
Woodbury 10km 20/10/2019

Sunday saw 9 Mighty Green runners head to Woodbury for their 10km Fun Run. Hosted by Christ Church Woodbury raising funds for Hope4Kibera. Unfortunately, with half term and the International Rugby only 68 competed which was a pity as it was an excellently organised event. This is a road race starting from the village hall and takes you around the village and out towards Woodbury Salterton. There is a loop around Woodbury Salterton and then back toward Woodbury, finishing at the Village Hall. Awaiting you as you crossed the line was a medal and a bottle of water and a bacon roll, tea or coffee in the Hall and all for £12, £10 if you were an EA affiliated club member.
With only 341 feet of elevation gain It is not a particularly hilly course rather long slow climbs with some nice downhill stretches although I did hear someone say at the finish ‘why do they call it a fun run’. This was one of the first races I entered back in 2010 where I recorded a time of 57:38 so nine years later I was well pleased with my time of 1:00:47. Recovery going well and getting nearer to the sub 1-hour 10km.
Sarah prepared for this race with a Parkrun the day before, Emma was up protesting in London and David on one of his rare appearances sat in front of the television watching the rugby.

Dark Woods

The long and winding road played on the car radio as we left Sidmouth on a dreary and wet Saturday afternoon heading some 40 miles toward Watchet to run the Dark Woods night race. And it was, long and winding. Beccy had the written directions and Nikita used the satnav on her phone which worked well until the other side of Taunton where the signal was very intermittent and then was lost altogether. The Great Wood is the Quantock Forest; a mix of broad leafed woods and conifer plantations that cover several hills and valleys. This was a race that none of us had done before and talking to some who had at the recent Nightjar race it was a tough one with two big hills. The event is organised by Flying Fox Running and such is the popularity of their races that 342 competitors turned up on a cold wet night to run the various distances. On entering the wood, it is about a mile up a stony road to the car park and race HQ and heading up you noticed arrow markers and we soon realised that we would be running down here later. Arriving in plenty of time we parked near the start so were able to sit in the car, watch the rain and wait with some anticipation as to what we had let ourselves in for. We could hear the race briefing and watch the first batch of 6km, and 8.5-mile runners set off before venturing out in the rain to take on the 6 miles.
The race is set in a figure of 8 and from the start Beccy and Kyle set off together whilst I ran with Nikita for a short while before she was gone. The first loop of about 2 miles, after the drop from the start, is a gradual climb back past the start and then the mile run down the drive where the marshal tells you as you turn left “Beware of the slope”. The slope was the first hill, a mile uphill climb with an elevation gain of 500 feet to the water station but it was runnable with fairy steps in places. After refuelling there was a quieter section before the second hill which was shorter but had a much steeper incline and that was not runnable, the mud making it barely walkable. We were now on top of the ridge in the clouds, which made for some very interesting running with the headtorches through the mud and stones but at least it was fairly flat before a short nasty steep downhill run over loose stones to enter the final mile downhill sprint to the finish. Nikita has only recently joined the club after completing the couch to 5km programme and this was her first 6 mile run in the dark over a course she did not know so great respect to her. She would have beaten me but with 2 miles to go I had caught up with her and as she lost a shoe in the mud, I stopped to pull it out but left her to put it back on whilst I ran on. At the finish we received our amazing medals and tucked into the the food and drink laid out for us. It was well worth the drive, an excellent race superbly organised by Nathan and Pippa of Flying Fox Running and their team. Next up will be their Ninesprings by Night.
Kyle Baker 23rd in 59:27, Beccy McDonald 8th female and 33rd in 1:05:54, Terry Bewes 1:14:53 2nd in age group, Nikita Kay 1:16:48.

Jo’s Three Day Atlantic Coast Challenge.

    My training for this year’s Atlantic Coast Challenge, a three marathons in three days event from Constantine Bay to Lands End, mostly involved resting and eating cake, so I was aware from the start that a lot of walking would be involved writes Jo Earlam.
   Indeed each day I set off at a slow pace, watching the other participants run, leap and jog away from me and within a short time, I was often the back marker, which didn’t bother me at all as it meant I had the sometimes narrow paths to myself. Some while later the faster runners (arriving on the next minibus trips) would pass me, the lead runner in the blink of an eye, then a stream of nibble footed followers, with a cheery exchange of “well done”, and me stepping carefully to the landward side of steep cliff paths to let people pass.
   I didn’t bother to set my GPS as I knew the battery would pack up before my expected finish time. I just hoped my legs and mental attitude would last out. I let the terrain and tiredness dictate my pace, if both were tough I’d walk, if they were favourable I’d jog.
   The first day was dominated by strong winds, gusting so fierce at times that it was hard to stand up straight let alone make progress and by 22 miles and at more than six hours it had been become an exhausting battle! A narrow cliff edge and steep climb from Holywell Bay to Penhale Camp was particularly gruelling, leading to complete sense of humour loss! Hoever, I eventually got down to Perranporth beach and my conservative start paid dividends, I had enough energy to do a steady jog, passing several people and completing the two miles of sand in 24 minutes.
   My strategy for days two and three was similar, setting off at walking pace, watch everyone disappear, and keep plodding on behind them. Each day I also stopped at the halfway checkpoint, sat and emptied sand from shoes, had sandwiches and fabulous homemade flapjacks along with a welcomed cup of coffee. All provided as part of the amazing event hospitality. The scenery on route is incredible and offers many opportunities to pause for photo breaks and sometimes seal spotting.
   On day two, although I was tired, I power walked past several people on the last two mile road hike to the finish at St Ives Bay Holiday Park, our accommodation venue for the weekend, and on day three Lands End was like a lure, from the last checkpoint at Cape Cornwall, I fixed my sights on it and with a steely determination put every effort I could into those final six miles, managing to properly run the last half mile and elated as I crossed the line.
   All of my finish times were slower than last year, which – not being as fit – I knew from the outset would be the case. However, checking the statistics was rewarding, as I could see that my slow pace did not hold me back and more importantly did not stop me taking part. In fact rather like the tortoise and the hare, my plodding paid off, as each day my time and placing between the last the checkpoint and the finish got better, and the final day was my best.
   My times and placings were: Day one – 7:24, from place 174 to 146 between checkpoints, and placed overall 161; Day two – 7:08, from place 167 to 118 between checkpoints, and placed overall 148; Day three – 9:27, from place 153 (5 minutes before 162, who was the last person) to 88 between checkpoints, and placed overall 130. Overall finish time 23:59, overall finish place 129. I didn’t win, I wasn’t fast, but I’m really happy with how I did and now the 74th  marathon has been completed. 

The Minster Challenge

   The Minster Challenge, a multi-terrain race of approx. 12km, (7.5 miles). A pretty route amongst farmland, woods, fields, country lanes, uneven footpaths, streams and the aptly named ‘Evil Lane’. Oh and plenty of mud writes Terry Bewes
   After the short drop down to the main road from the start, the next 6km turned out to be all uphill, rising to around 750 feet. At times due to the mud, we found ourselves going backwards down the hill. Following this section was a few kilometres of mainly meandering downhill descents before reaching another kilometre of steep climb. This was just to test us all before turning to run mainly downhill to the finish. The course is run in a figure of eight with the 5km runners completing one circuit.
   There were five Sidmouth runners, two in the 5km and three in the 12km taking part and all were recovering from one injury or another, so this was to be a stern test for them. Kate Marriott proved that her foot problem is well and truly behind her with a stunning run, winning first female, first under 15 and finishing 6th overall in 28:24. Suzi Rockey ( knee injury ) continues with the 5km races and her knee held up well in the conditions. However, Suzi felt like she had not performed to the best of her ability. Suzi, well done, you took part and it doesn’t matter were you came. In the 12km Debbie Marriott ( hamstring ) and Don Cawthera ( collarbone ) ran around together both finishing in 1:21:20. Myself, Terry Bewes ( operation ) continue on my way back to fitness. The challenge this time was to test my head and legs and to run the whole of this challenging course on my own, without walking or stopping. Runners know that the first thing to go is your head which is usually trying to convince you that it has had enough! Thanks to the physio and massage theopy, Barbra Vidion, Yoga and Lauren Clapp Personal Training over the last six weeks, I did it, crossing the finish line in 1:28:38. Next up for me is the Dark Woods 6 mile race in the Quantocks this coming weekend, it has a hilly theme again…! Bring it on

Previous SRC Swimathon Record Smashed.

   In the evening on the 5th of October, eight Sidmouth Running Club members took part in the 2019 Swimathon challenge. The intention was to smash the club’s previous years’ record number of lengths swum writes Hamish Spence.
   The 2019 Swimathon was organised by the Sidmouth Rotary Club to raise funds for three worthwhile causes, Admiral Nurse, Sidmouth Lifeboat and the Gateway Homeless Action Group. It took place at the town’s swimming pool where the participating teams had 55 minutes in which to swim as many lengths as possible.
   Team Mighty Green 2019 were ready for the challenge, with all eight team members prepped with the knowledge that we needed to complete a certain number of lengths in that time, or face the walk of shame on Wednesday night, along with the wroth of King Terry should we fail! …Sorry I’m getting carried away again.  
   We split up, with four team members at each end of the pool, all knowing that we didn’t want to let each other down and that it was to be heads down and go for it. At 20:00hrs the start whistle sounded and we were off. Fifty five minutes to beat the previous years tally of 149 laps. This was never going to be an easy target to match, never mind beat!
Jon Bull had the honour of doing the first length and absolutely flew down the pool in just 23 seconds! Susan Reeve took lap two and then Sam Ingram took over for the third and absolutely stormed along. Sarah Watkins impressed herself as she took just 22 seconds to complete her first lap. Next up was Jasmine Reeves and then myself (Hamish Spence). I counted each time my right hand plunged into the water and got to 15. I was out of breath so didn’t notice how fast Kate Johnson had taken off, but i was informed that she was like lightning. Kate handed over to Claire Ashby who attacked her first lap at high velocity and made this event look easy. We were relentless for the first half and pushed our way through an amazing 80 laps. Our diligent adjudicator Val Sharp, kept a very close watch on our team and occasionally let us know how many laps we had completed. This was an enormous boost to our team confidence, so a special thank you goes out to Val. The knowledge that we had completed so many came at exactly the right time as we were all beginning to feel the pain we were inflicting upon ourselves. Our response to this information however, was to give words of encouragement to each other. These positive words did the trick, I could see in the other team members, the determination to do this thing and to keep going. We kept up this crazy pace for the duration. Ten minutes to go and it was going to be down to the wire! Could we do it? With the last five minutes to go it was lap 147… 148 … and then we equalised with the 2018 MG team, lap 149 was done. Now the question was, how many laps could we extend the club record by? We continued, pushing ourselves as hard as we could and then the final whistle blew, it was done. The 2019 team had succeeded in its quest to trance previous attempts. We are very proud to have done 155 laps and really wish Team Leader Tony Velterop and next years team the best of luck.

The Newton Abbot Ladies 10k

Whilst driving to 22nd running of the Newton Abbot Ladies 10K, the weather warnings for heavy rain and strong winds came true with horizontal gusts of rain blowing across the road. However, as the 227 entrants gathered for the start the rain stopped, the sun came out and it stayed dry until after the prize giving two hours later writes Emma Grainger.
The event was organised by Teignbridge Trotters and the course was described as ‘undulating’ which is Devon-speak for hilly. But as we know, for every up there was a down. The course took the competitors through the pretty villages of Ogwell and Denbury, between fields, through woodlands and all on the roads. A print by local artist John Charles Skinner of a nearby view is given to each entrant at the end of the race, a unique memento with the print number being the finishing position. The event raises money for Bowel Cancer UK with £2 from each entry fee going to the charity. Over the years upwards of £32,000 has been raised.
As the only member of Sidmouth Running Club to enter this year I had the privilege of being both first and last of the Mighty Greens to finish. In fact my finishing time was 1h8m, which is nearly 3 minutes faster than last year. My thanks go to the recent 10K training given by SRC Head Coach, Tim Mitchell.