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.

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

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.