Off road running in the snow

Off Road Running In The Snow

It doesn’t happen very often in the Sid Valley but the light dusting of snow which fell on parts of the week two off road challenge route meant a new experience for some Sidmouth running club members.

Possibly the most dangerous part was getting out of the house after the rain which had followed the snow froze and the pavements and roads were decidedly dicey!

Mighty Green’s Brigid McSmith and Ann Cole, Tracy Scannell and Beccy Johnson, Christine and Karen Farnham took up the Chairman’s challenge and ran up through Buckton plantation,

while MG Hamish Spence followed the OGLE (Ottery Group Lockdown Exercise) route and found snow on top of East Hill.


An early start from Ottery for shorts wearing Dan Prettejohn awarded him with an impressive amount of snow and blue skies on top of Fire Beacon.

Dan Prettejohn

Meanwhile, Alexa Baker was on the trail of another lockdown challenge. To test how observant we are on our club runs, chairman Terry Bewes has compiled a sheet of 65 photos of seats we have run past over the last year for us to name the location. The one Alexa found on Fire Beacon might not have been on it but it did have a lovely view and a mini snowman on it.

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Blue Lights Challenge

Allan Kay Takes On Blue Lights Charity Challenge

When Sidmouth running club member, Allan Kay, heard about the first UK wide Blue Light Active challenge and saw that the Fire Fighters charity was one of the beneficiaries, he quickly signed up as it is a charity close to his heart.

Allan was set to run the London marathon last year on behalf of the supportive charity and had been busy raising the money required by holding coffee mornings, quiz nights and beetle drives. When the first lockdown disrupted the event he joined in the 26.2 challenge running around the football field 26.2 times alongside London landmarks realising that the charity would suffer from the postponement.

Allan Kay

The Blue Lights charity challenge was set for emergency service workers, which retained Sidmouth fire fighter Allan certainly is as he is also a full time (temporary) fire fighter at Exmouth station and is supporting South West Ambulance Service Trust (SWAST) by covering driving duties.

The Mighty Green has set himself the challenge to run a minimum of 5k per day for 32 days, no mean feat when you take in the 12 hour shifts and the five day residential course he is about to embark on to become a permanent whole time fire fighter.

Run leader Allan explained that the Fire Fighters charity offers specialist, lifelong support for members of the UK fire services community, empowering individuals to achieve mental, physical and social wellbeing throughout their lives.

If you would like to support Allan and make a donation to this worthwhile charity please go to

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Lockdown #3 Clallenges

The Lockdown #3 Challenges Commence

Sidmouth Running Club chairman Terry Bewes has laid down the gauntlet again and this time round over 70 members have risen to the challenge(s).

New for this lockdown and alongside Terry’s challenges which are based in the vicinity of Sidmouth, run leader John Chesters has devised the OGLE (Ottery Group Lockdown Exercise) challenges for running club members living in the Ottery area. These challenges involve check points and trig points and it has been great to see on the running club’s FB page where the runners have been and what they have or haven’t found!

If you happen to look on the Sidmouth web cam early in the morning or later in the evening you might spot a Mighty Green completing the lamp post challenge as set by club runner Christine Hellier. The challenge is to start from the flag pole, run to the first lamp post and return, run to the second lamp post and return, etc, etc, all the way to the end, approx. 10k! It has already become competitive with the challenge completed in under an hour and the mileage increased!

There is also an artistic challenge, run a route of 4+ miles which makes a recognisable picture on their Strava/Garmin. Entries so far include one from Yasmin Salter, an upside down outline of South America from David Welsh and a heart by Carol McManus. It is a lot harder than it might sound!

This month sees the start of the beginners and improvers courses which despite the current restrictions have commenced (virtually) with everyone signed up recording a bench mark run. The supportive club spirit is with them and we look forward to running alongside them when allowed.

This week saw two on road challenges, an off road one and a weekend Chairman’s Special!

The off road route took in the Bowd, Harcombe Woods, Fire Beacon and Core Hill. The idea was to replicate the route set by Terry. Many of us failed, some realised reading instructions wasn’t their forte but Tim Swarbrick and Derek Blackburn did it perfectly as did Bex McDonald and her intrepid family. Jenny Kay and Alexa Baker ran the route on Saturday morning following the heavy rain during the night; this added two river crossings and a lot of mud but also added to the adventure!

It has to be said Terry is one who leads by example, and he certainly immersed himself on Sunday following an interview with Howard Jones on Exmouth Air about Sidmouth Running Club. Spring tides meant an opportunity to run along the sand in front of the Bedford Steps rock groyne all the way to Lade Foot. Remembering his karate training when they used to run bare foot, in their gis, knee depth in the sea from Jacobs Ladder to Lade Foot, the Chairman’s Special was born.

Low tide on Saturday and Sunday saw club runners taking on the chilly challenge by running on the firm sand and in the invigorating sea, which took a lot more effort to run through but was very exhilarating.

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Inspirational Senior Mighty Greens

Inspirational Senior Mighty Greens

As 2020 drew to a close, two members of Sidmouth running club had cause to celebrate their mammoth undertakings.
John Sharples ran his 1,000 mile of the year, although the icy conditions made it a challenging one. Daughter and fellow SRC member, Christie Ward accompanied John on his final run of the year and said in places it was more skate than run!

John Sharples

John wore his original club vest from when he lived in Manchester as he wanted to remember his best friend and running pal who is no longer with us. Chairman Terry Bewes commented that is an achievement not accomplished by many.
Rob Edwards set off on the 1st July to complete the 874 miles from Lands End to John O’Groats by the end of the year. Before the start of Wednesday 30th December’s club run Rob Edwards was presented with a well-deserved bottle of Prosecco and 3.5 miles into the club run, a big round of applause marked the end of his challenge.

Rob Edwards

Committee member and web editor Rob, is already planning his next challenge, up and back!

Very inspirational club runners indeed.

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River Crossing + Alternative Calendar

Chilly River Crossings For Derek Blackburn and A Different Kind Of Advent calendar For David Welsh

Two Sidmouth Running club members have been flying the Mighty Green flag this December.

Derek Blackburn

Derek Blackburn competed in The Mothecombe Beat The Sunset Race on 20th December, which saw him crossing the River Erme twice during the 14k route, while David Welsh has been running the Advent Calendar 5k series. Not long to go now David!


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GWCV 10k

Is SRC In The Running For The Grand Western Canal Virtual 10k Most Participants Trophy?

Over 60 Sidmouth Running Club members signed up to run the GWC 10k in December in a bid not only to raise money for children’s charity Clic Sargent but to bring the most participants trophy home!
Yasmin Salter was first off the starting blocks, registering, running and receiving her medal all before December 5th.


A group led by Terry Bewes ran on club night last Wednesday evening and successfully completed 10k whilst taking in the Christmas lights of Woolbrook and Sidford. A very impressive first run for new club member Paul Reeves.

Greg + Christie Ward and John Sharples

Greg and Christie Ward, John Sharples, Allan Kay and Kyle Baker completed the run in under an hour while not far over the hour were Paula Farrand and Bert Dykema, Zsa Zsa Croft and Catherine Cruise, Carolyn Sinclair and Cheryl Boulton, Tash Morgan, Lottie May and Julia Gardiner.

Allan Kay

Runs weren’t kept to the Sidmouth area, Julia Haddrell and Ann Cole were dropped off at Otterton and enjoyed the coastal views as they ran back to Sidmouth and a group of Mighty Greens donned fancy dress and ran along the Grand Western canal from Sampford Peverell towards Tiverton and back.

Jo and the canal runners

For most of the group of ladies that wore fancy dress and ran around Sidmouth including Waitrose car park to cheer the queueing shoppers up, it was their first 10k and first medal won. They finished their run to the sound of Sidmouth Town Band playing in the Market Square.

Festive runners about town

A special mention must go to Leeann Thomson and Lisa Colton who joined the beginner’s course in January this year and both completed the 10k challenge. True MG’s and a great achievement to be proud of.
With another week to go for the registered runners to complete the challenge, chairman Terry Bewes will have to wait before he finds out if he needs to find room in the trophy cabinet.

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Co-op Award

Co-Op Community Recognition

When Kirsty Cunningham, the store manager at Sidmouth Co-Op, put out a FB request on the Sidmouth Community page last Sunday looking for recommendations of individuals / organisations that have gone the extra mile for the community this year, members of Sidmouth Running Club had someone in mind straightaway!
Terry Bewes has maintained a sense of community in the running club throughout the year despite two lock downs and ever changing guidelines.
He would be the first to say he hasn’t done it by himself and that he has a supportive committee and team of run leaders who willingly give up their time to the club but he has gone above and beyond.

Terry with his award

Terry organised a weekly quiz on zoom, with the help of John and Caroline Ball and he put together a back to running programme for those that lost motivation during the first lock down. This created a sense of camaraderie between the runners as they shared their runs on the running clubs FB page.
He adapted the group sizes and start locations in response to the Government and EA guidelines keeping members updated and created two challenges during the second lock down, which again created a lot of banter and friendly competitiveness but also a lot of admin on his behalf keeping track of everyone’s records.
Terry is currently hand delivering trophies and prizes individually and compiling a video presentation, again giving the club members a sense of community lost by not being able to sit down and celebrate achievements together.
The Mighty Greens are very grateful to Kirsty and Sidmouth Co-Op for letting them show Terry how appreciative they are of all he has done for the club and them.

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Running Courses

Sidmouth Running Club Courses Suitable For All Abilities

Running is a great way to boost your health and fitness and with Sidmouth Running Club it is very sociable too. Booking is now open for the beginners and improvers course which will start on Wednesday 6th January at 7pm from their new HQ at St John’s School, Broadway, Sidmouth.

The gentle 8 week beginners course is for those of you who have never run before to ease you into being able to do 3 miles comfortably and progress to the 3 mile group and beyond. The improvers course is an 8 week programme for those that have run before but need an incentive to get going again or for solo runners who would like to progress with a group. Each course is £25 which includes club membership for 2021 and public liability insurance.

Completed the couch to 5km? Why not come along and join our friendly 3 mile group, £15 for 2021 membership. Numbers are limited on the courses, to book your place please email or phone 07734581782.

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Club Awards

Sidmouth Running Club Covid Friendly Trophy Night

The committee of Sidmouth Running Club are a determined bunch. Their AGM was due in March with the first lock down looming, so they held it in the open air at Manor Road car park. Secretary Jo Earlam did a great job taking the minutes in strange circumstances.

However, trophy night proved harder to arrange due to Covid restrictions on group club activities and despite a few attempts they were foiled at every occasion until chairman Terry Bewes and head coach Kyle Baker came up with a plan.

For the first time in the club’s history Terry will be presenting the trophies individually with Kyle taking a photo which will inserted into a video presentation narrated by Terry and compiled by Kyle Baker Videography.The video will be available for all members to view.

Amelia Frankpitt

Two awards have been presented so far, Amelia Frankpitt won the wooden spoon for turning up to run the Ottery 10km one week early, only later to discover that she had also entered the Beer Blazer the following week as well.

John Chesters

John Chesters won the Chairs Award for all the time he puts into organizing and leading the weekly off road runs throughout the year, sometimes three a week. Such is his knowledge of the tracks and trails around our AONB that we never run the same route twice.

Photos by Kyle Baker Photography of Amelia Frankpitt with the wooden spoon and John Chesters with the Chairman’s Award.

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Off-road running is back

Off Road Running Back On the Calendar

The first of the Sidmouth Running Club winter weekend off road runs led by John, Ruth and Ben Chesters took place on East Hill last Sunday.
Ben led the faster runners over 6 miles while John led the rest over a 5 mile course. It was a beautiful sunny morning with views of the Blackdown Hills and Exmoor behind.
John is into his weather forecasting and decides each week whether we run on a Saturday or Sunday or if it is really dire we all stay in bed.

Sunday Runners

The club is currently mustering support amongst its members to enter the Virtual Grand Western Canal 10km run for which there is a trophy for the club with the most participants. The Mighty Greens are currently lying in second position but looking for a sprint finish!