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.
Ross Walton at the Barbarian Off Road Triathlon. – report to follow
Jodie Hawkins at the London Vitality 10k
Women Can Marathon, Half Marathon and 10k, 2019.
On Sunday the 26th of May, 19 Ladies from SRC took part in the last ever Women Can Marathon to be held locally in East Devon. This years version included a Full distance Marathon, a Half Marathon as well as a 10k race. This is a fantastic event that promotes, inspires and encourages Women’s running all over the world. The inspiration for this women only event came from American endurance runner Kathrine Switzer, who in 1967 was the first woman to officially complete the all-male Boston Marathon. Her competitor number was 261 and she completed in 4 hours 20 minutes. She completed this marathon despite being manhandled by officials who attempted to drag her off the course just two miles in! Kathrine’s campaign for the “archaic rules” to be overhauled helped to change endurance running for women forever. What Kathrine did showed that women can run marathons, that they’re not “too fragile”.
The Full Marathon started out from the town’s rugby club and down onto the Sidmouth seafront and headed along the Promenade and on up through The Byes to Sidford. Here the runners cross the road and head up onto Harcombe hill and down to Sidbury. After Sidbury there is a long climb up onto East hill which looks over into the beautiful Otter Valley. A long descent through windy tracks through Wiggerton and towards Ottery St Mary. At Ottery St Mary the runners turn down stream along the River Otter to Tipton St John playing fields. Here the full challenge joins the Half Marathon route which continues down stream to Newton Poppleford along the banks of the River Otter and further on to the bridge over the Mouth of the River Otter (South Farm Road). This is where the 10k race got underway. All three races proceeded along the Jurassic Coastal Path to Sidmouth with all runners finishing in the Sidmouth Rugby Club grounds. All three events set off simultaneously at 9am this year with cooler air earlier and dry conditions underfoot but warming quickly through the day.
The Full Challenge:
Kirsteen Welch took off at the start of the Full Marathon leading the way along the promenade with cheering and encouragement from spectators, in-fact Kirsteen led for the whole route and finished over thirty minutes before the next runner crossed the line. Kirsteen was ‘hitting the wall’ at around mile 20, but managed to keep herself going. She rolled into the towns rugby club ground in a speedy 3h40m18s to claim 1st place over all and first the SRC member over the line. The next MG to finish was Jess Trim in 23rd place in 5h09m09s.Then came Els Laures, Jane Hemsworth and Naomi Garrick. This was Els first marathon and it was thanks to Jo Earlam and Jane Hemsworth who encouraged her to give it a go. With the assurance that this race would be a great experience as a first marathon. Els discovered that it definitely was the best and is so grateful for both Ladies’ support. In contrast this was Jane’s 24th Marathon. Jane and Els took on the challenge together and treated it as a day out, chatting their way around. They also enjoyed the friendly atmosphere with Naomi along with the stunning East Devon scenery and eating the occasional sugary snack. All three Ladies took 6h21m16s to complete the event, ( Els 58th, Jane 59th and Naomi 60th). Previous years organiser, Jo Earlam took on the role of sweeper for the whole event this year, chalking up her 70th marathon. Sophie Trim made it to around the mile sixteen and had to retire from the event. As a team in the Full Challenge, SRC came in 3rd over all.
The Half Challenge:
When Kerry Boyle found out that this was going to be the last ever year that the Women’s Can marathon was going to take part right on her doorstep, she knew she had to be involved. So, despite not getting enough training done, she feIt she could manage a half marathon. At the start of the Half Challenge, Kerry was full of nervous energy and decided to make a quick getaway. She ran fast along the first flat seven miles, all the way to the Coastal path. She knew she would struggle with the undulation of the hills to Ladram Bay and by 10am the weather would be getting hot. After a brief stop-off for sustenance at one of the many friendly and well organised water stations, she battled on up the hill from the Ladram Bay campsite, with the knowledge, that after that there was only one more big climb, Peak hill. She felt so much joy when running down the other side being greeted and cheered on by other Mighty Greens who were marshalling. Then it was onwards to the rugby club and more importantly, the finish line! Kerry Boyle came 7th and first MG in a time of 2h01m12s. Kerry felt that this event was brilliantly organised and thanks all those involved for hosting such a great event in her home town.
Ronnie Masters was the next Mighty Green taking 9th place in a time of 2h05m10s. Sarah Clapham, Sue Collman and Sarah Ginsberg kept each other going with Sue finding the heat of the morning tough going. The trio came in with Sarah Clapham 14th in 02h16m18s, Sue taking 15th in 02h17m30s and Sarah Ginsberg 16th over all in 2h18m16s. Jemma Wiltshire came 28th in 2h29m56s just before Ruth Ray who came 30th in 2h29m57s with Helen Palmer in 2h42m04s. A huge well done for persevering to Kate Jenkins who came in on 4h34m. As a team in the Half Challenge, SRC took 1st place over all.
The 10k Challenge:
Paula Farrand took the 1st SRC place and 15th over all in the 10k Challenge, doing it in just 1h28m53s. Not very far behind Paula were Sarah Burston, Amelia Frankpitt and Lesley Hook, who had teamed up to complete the event doing it in 1h32m23s. The 10k team shot along the coastal path and as a team, SRC took 1st place.
Soon of the soon-to-be Mighty Green Juniors took part in the Exeter fun run. All runners showed great pacing, brilliant running and enjoyed the biscuits afterwards. A big thank you to Kerry and Sarah for working with them in the past weeks.
Jess was 1st lady and 2nd overall in the Westcountry Ultra Flat (50mile) in an amazing time of 8:06:01.
This was the 2nd year running she was 1st lady.
An amazing achievement!
A Mighty Green Turnout For The Ottery 10k.
A Mighty big Green presence was felt at the Ottery 10k on a sunny and warm Sunday (12th May) morning with a whopping 37 SRC runners taking part. The route from the Ottery Cricket field took the runners along Strawberry Lane and headed through the town, up the hill passing the church and continued on past Otter Nurseries and up Gosford Road to Pattersons Cross. Here the runners turned left along the old A30 taking three first rights to end up back at Paterson Cross. Having completed the loop they then headed back down down the full length of Cadhay Lane passing The Kings School and back to the Cricket field.
A practice run around part of the course led by Terry Bewes a few weeks earlier, had given some club members an insight of what was to come on race day. It paid off with everyone completing the route and enjoying the run. There was a great team spirit and many of the faster runners had stayed on to encourage the SRC members over the line.
SRC runner results:
1st Sidmouth runner across the line was Toby Garrick who came in 2nd place over all in 35m04s. Shaun Bagwell 54th in 44m01s. Adrian Harris 74th in 46m26s. Greg Ward 76th in 46m30s. Colin I’Anson 81st in 47m06s. Sam Ingram 95th in 48m59s. Stuart Coles 101st in 50m01s with Naomi Garrick hot on his heals ,102nd in 50m05s. Tim Clay 107th in 50m17s. Steve Saunders 110th in 50m47s. Sue Collman 114th in 51m15s. Tim Swarbrick 124th in 51m54s. Christine Farnham came in 132nd in 52m44s just beating sister Karen Farnham 133rd in 52m47s closely followed by Adrian Home, 134th in 52m48s. Sarah Clapham 145th in 54m07s. Paula Farrand 165th in 55m01s. Paul Wright 171st in55m45s. Catherine Cruise 175th in 56m10s. Crossing the finish line together were Fiona Clarke 191st in 57m02s and Carolyn Sinclair 192nd in 57m02s. Kerry Salter 196th in 57m22s. Cheryl Boulton was very happy to knock 4 minutes off from her previous time to arrive 197th in 57m35s. Susan Reeve 203rd in 57m57s. Bert Dykema 211th in 58m20s. Also just making it over the finish line with a sub hour time were Becky McDonald 226th in 59m50s and Laura Broughton 227th in 59m53s. Mighty Green King, Terry Bewes 228th arrived in 59m56s. Amelia Frankpitt 261st in 1h03m46s. Graham Sheppard 262nd in 1h03m47s. Christie Ward 263rd in 1h03m59s. Rachel Burrow 271st in 1h04m29s. Natasha Morgan 291st in 1h06m20s. Jason Chipps 307th in 1h08m48s. Emma Grainger came in 308th position and was delighted to have run the race 6 minutes faster than last year in a time of 1h08m48s. Well done to Julia Haddrell who took on the SRC sweeper role coming in on 1h22m49s.
The Devon Coast Challenge.
Jo Earlam and Sarah Watkins did two of the three days of The Devon Coast Challenge marathons. This is a very tough competition, but rewards the runners with scenic and spectacular views along the South West Coastal Path. On Saturday 11th of May, both ladies did the Braunton Burrows to Combe Martin section, climbing a total of 4,000 feet in 7 and a half hours. Then on Sunday the 12th they were joined by new club member and first time marathon runner Paul Williamson, (Paul joined the beginners group in January this year). All three completed the Combe Martin to Porlock section together with around 6000 feet of elevation gain finishing in just over eight hours.
The weather was perfect, the event was incredibly well organised, they all had an amazing time. Although it was physically exacting, mentally Jo felt it was energising and restoring.