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

Tim Takes On The Haria Extreme 19.5k Race In Lanzarote.

Tim Swarbrick headed off out to Lanzarote to take part in The Haría Extreme 19.5k race writes Hamish Spence.
This was an international affair with many nationalities competing from all over Europe and other far flung places. Tim was nervous about this race and it had been on his mind for months leading up to the start. The distance and terrain to be covered was going to be tough enough with the thought of the massive amount of climbing to be done, nearly 3000ft in elevation gain in race mode, made this an extremely daunting task. In preparation for this event, Tim spent many hours going up and down the hills and into the countryside around Sidmouth. Sometimes he would go training with buddies Colin I’Anson and Martin Truman. This was a great help, giving him a much needed confidence boost.
The local support in Lanzarote was absolutely fantastic, with many holding out their hands high-fiving the runners as they passed by. The spectators and crowds were brilliant giving such a friendly atmosphere to the whole event. This in turn was giving the competitors a very encouraging push to reach the finish line!
With dry conditions underfoot and warm air it made for very good running conditions which also played a part in Tim’s performance. His average pace was 13:09 min/miles (8.4min/km) over the 12.5 mile circuit with a time of 2h42m16s. Tim arrived back on the finish line 118th over all out of 228 runners and managed to be the 32nd veteran out of 97.
Tim’s wife, Lois was very supportive throughout and was his official photographer on the day. Her support in getting him race ready helped him no end. After the race Tim said “I’m glad it’s over, but it has increased my confidence”. H would definitely recommend it if you are in Lanzarote in November when the event takes place annually”

Sidmouth 10k

A very warm sunny November morning welcomed the competitors to the first edition of the LM Events Sidmouth 10k race writes Hamish Spence.
On the 3rd of November with perfect conditions for the event, 58 members of the Sidmouth Running Club gathered at Sidford Hall with 270 other runners to participate in this new event. Starting from Sidford Hall, the route followed the path down The Byes all the way to Hillside Road where it headed uphill. Then, it was back down onto and along the length of the very stoney seafront promenade. The most westerly point of the promenade was the halfway point, the runners would then u-turn here and retrace their steps back to the finish line in Sidford.
With many familiar faces on the start line, Justin Ashby set off quickly staking his claim as a front runner immediately. He pursued the two other front runners all the way around and it was the last sprint to the finish that decided who came where on the podium. Antony Hall immediately gave chase to Justin reaching a pace of a 6:04min/mile. However, he soon began to realise that he wasn’t going to match the pace the first three were punching out, so he settled into the pace of the chasing pack. As the race progressed the pack got smaller and eventually left Antony to go it solo. He keep his sights on Justin and the other two leaders. By the time he reached the turn-a-round point on the seafront the leaders had disappeared. Antony had held a fast pace and kept the pressure up on the leaders for as long as he could. His effort gained a 4th position over all and the second MG to cross the finish line. Antony had one more very important role and duty to full-fill on the finish line…take a finishing photo of Significant Other, Kat Hall who crossed the line 10 minutes later
Tim Mitchell smashed a few of his personal bests during this event, three of which were in The Byes and a sprint along the Promenade. However, he didn’t quite beat Shaun Bagwell who saved the sprint for the end and powered over the line. Naomi Garrick really enjoyed the atmosphere and was happy that recent injuries did not stop her completing the race in under the hour and to take second MG lady across the line. Christine Farnham managed to leave running buddy and sister Karen Farnham behind on the seafront in a rare unilateral spurt of power which unusually formed a gap of over a minute between them. Becky McDonald felt enlightening with the sun shining on the Sunday morning, having completed a very sluggish practise attempt at the course 2 weeks prior in the pouring rain. She said that “she had entered for the club camaraderie and the fun of it, rather than the usual ‘in it to win it’ “! She further commented, “however, along came Tim Clay who always keeps a good race pace and suddenly everything changed”! Becky had now decided she’d do her best to keep up with him. Both MG’s hurtled off down the Byes keeping a 7:30 minute /mile pace and were neck-and-neck throughout the race. Soon both were regretting the speedy start especially upon arriving at Hillside Rd! Things really slowed up here, but both runners kept on running up that hill! Becky thought she had lost Tim, but stealthily he caught up on the return leg of the seafront. They stuck it out together until the last few hundred yards. Here Becky found her final sprint energy and made it across the line about 3 seconds ahead of Tim.
For Jenny Bentley it was a race with good vibes…man. It was tougher than expected as she wasn’t prepared for the hill. However, she still managed a 10k PB of 1h02m58s. It was good to see so much Sidmouth Running Club camaraderie on the course from the Marshalls and runners.
Cheryl Boulton enjoyed getting into her stride in the warm Autumn air along The Byes. She found the hills were killers, but as determined as she is she dug deep. She found herself passing many others who had given way to the need to walk up. What is Cheryl’s secret to this uphill running? Jelly Babies or Chocolate? Answer on the back page.
Well done to Gail Goldsmith who took the 1st place in the F70 category and Colin Flood who came 2nd in the M70. Emma Grainger got off to a slower start than she wanted as the scrummage into The Byes took time to disperse. But once it did, she attacked the race with vigour only slowing for the Jelly Babies… the hills… and the stones on the promenade.
Young Rockey Tristan Chips, who only joined SRC at the start of this year as a beginner exceeded all his own expectations. Tristan has really done himself proud this year, going from a non-runner to 10k personal best time breaker in under a year. He crossed the line taking 1st in his age category. Julia Haddrell enjoyed the first 5k but the second climb nearly finished her off, however not wanting to be be defeated while wearing the MG colours, she carried on and was very relieved to finish. Julia thanks Tim Mitchell for all the 10k training. To celebrate her Birthday, Sarah Browne decided there is no better way than taking part in a 10k race completing the route in just over an hour on the clock. It was great to see our Alphabet Parkrun collector, David Skinner taking part with Dee Lawrence not far behind him. Then not far behind Dee was Terry Bewes, who was certainly not least, but defiantly last runner and volunteer race sweeper.
Thanks go Dukes for sponsoring the event and also to the 12 SRC Members who all did a fantastic job of Marshalling all around the course and it was very much noted that the club camaraderie and support was superb. This event had a lot of positive feed back from the competitors with many recommending it as a race they would like to do again.
Results:
As a club, SRC had the biggest team turnout which meant the team prize was already in the bag.
1st MG to finish was Justin Ashby 39m05s, 3rd over all and 1st in category M40. Antony Hall 40m22s, 4th over all and 2nd in cat M40. Alex Munroe 30th in 42m53s. Shaun Bagwell 14th in 45m46s quickly followed by Tim Mitchell, 15th in 45m57s. Greg Ward 33 in 49m30s. First MG lady to cross the line was Molly Vasanthakumar, 34th in 49m32s. Stuart Coles 37th in 49m35s. David King came 44th in 50m18s. Tim Swarbrick 66th in 52m59s with Naomi Garrick shortly after in 72nd place in 53m18s and Rob Edwards 81st in 54m01s. Christine Farnham 84th in 54m03s and Sarah Clapham 94th, 55m03s. In 97th place was Becky McDonald 55m32s and Tim Clay 99th, 55m35s. Karen Farnham 101st in 55m44s with Hugh Jenkins 102nd. Kat Hall 104th, 56m01s. Sue Coleman 112th, 56m31s and in 117th was Carolyn Sinclair in 56m51s. Then came Catherine Cruise, 130th in 57m42s and Thomas Sinclair in 57m46s taking 131st place. In 136th was Derek Blackburn 58m27s with Shaun Tipton in 141st in 58m37s and Paula Farrand 150th in 59m08s. Sian Jones 59m14s, 153rd. Kerry Salter 157th in 1h00m10s. Susan Reeve 162nd. Cheryl Boulton 163rd. Jasmine Reeves 164th. Sarah Browne 172nd in 1h01m29s. Zsa Zsa Croft 179th. Gail Goldsmith 1h02m40s in188th place taking first in F70 category and Colin Flood picked up 189th over all, 2nd in M70 with a time of 1h02m49s. Jennifer Bentley 191st and Jodie Hawkins 197th. Helen Palmer 1h003m45s in 202nd place. Charles Sinclair 221st. Nikita Kay 225th. Kyle Baker 226th. Jennifer Bentley 230th. Allen Kay 232nd. Rachael Burrow 235th. Jason Chipps 237th. Emma Grainger 243rd. Christie Ward 253rd and John Sharples 254th in 1h09m42s. Natasha Morgan 274th. Tristan Chipps 1st in the U20 category. Helen Wyatt 294th. David Skinner 304th. Dee Lawence 310th. Terry Bewes last runner.

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

Bradley 10k

The Exmouth Bradley 10k
Prior to the storm on the Saturday night 634 competitors had entered themselves into The Exmouth Bradley 10k race. However, 137 cried off, leaving 497 to brave out the bluster and rain, 7 of which were weather-proof Mighty Greens. By the morning the weather had cleared a bit, with only a moderate breeze and light drizzle which passed by the start of the race. So the Magnificent 7 ran it in either a Mighty Green tee-shirt or vest.
This is a two lap race starting on the Exmouth Promenade which heads out along the sea front and onto part of the beach passing the RLNI all the way to the zig-zag steps. Then back to the Lifeboat station and up to Maer Rd and onto Douglas Avenue and back down to the seafront where the competitors turn and do one more lap.
The first MG across the finish line and in 191st place was Becky McDonald with a new PB of 54m:08s. Suzi Rocky is continuing to improve on her performance with a very steady run crossing the line in 58m:05s and taking 248th position. Having recently joined SRC, Jasmine Reeves ran her first race in the Mighty Green colours. She did herself and SRC proud. She came 266th and ran the route in a very respectable 58h:33m. Amelia Frankpitt used this race as her final warm up before the Exeter Half Marathon in two weeks’ time. She come in at 1h00m51s taking 298th place. Just after Amelia was Rachel Burrow, who ran a steady pace all the way around and got an impressive time of 1h01m38s in315th place.
Having participated in some off road trail races in September, this was the first road race Terry Bewes had entered. The Exmouth Bradley 10k was to test out how his recovery was going. All was going to plan for Terry. As he began the 2nd lap, he could see the lead runner entering the last hundred yards to the finish line. Undeterred he powered on along the sea front again, overtaking a few runners. Then, halfway around and going up the hill for the last time, he caught up with a lady and got talking to her. She too was recovering from an operation, so they decided to run the final mile together giving encouragement to each other. This really paid off, as they both passed many runners and stormed their way to the finish line. Terry had set his sights on an 11 minute-mile pace, so he was very pleased to find he had in-fact been achieving a better than 10min/mile. This defiantly shows that it pays to have a running buddy. Terry gained the 313th place in 01h01m35s. His next race will be the Minster Challenge which will test him further over a longer distance.
It was a busy few days for David Skinner ,who also took part in the Parkrun on Saturday. So, with the stormy conditions during this 10k event in Exmouth and the fact that he is still not fully recovered from a recent illness, it was never going to be easy for him. However, he still managed a time of 1h10m05s, just 6 minutes slower than last year. David was pleased with his performance having covered15k over the weekend and feels that he’s gradually getting back to his normal form.