A sizzling 1/2M

A Sizzling Half Marathon PB For Gripper

Sidmouth Running Club run leader, Adrian ‘Gripper’ Horne ventured off to Dorset on Sunday to take part in the Weymouth Half Marathon organised by Just Racing.

Running in the heat

It was third time lucky for the race, having been previously postponed twice from September 2020, but with a staggered start and guidelines in place Gripper was able to enjoy the run.

Cooling down

The popular seaside half provides runners with some outstanding scenery on a pretty flat 1 lap13.1 mile course, which Gripper appreciated. The Mighty Green said despite the intense heat it shows how running on the Sidmouth hills pays dividends as he managed to take 6 minutes off his half marathon PB and finished in 02:02:30 hours!

What an achievement in those scorching conditions: no wonder he headed straight for a paddle in the sea!

Phew what a scorcher

105 miles in 24 hours – Ross’s weekend

First Hand Insight Of The Warrior Chimps Conquer24 Ultra Running Race by Ross Walton

The Warrior Chimps Conquer24 ultra-running race held at Powderham Castle on 5th & 6th June is an event where competitors complete as many laps as possible of a roughly 5-mile course within 24 hours. The race can be run solo or as a member of a relay team of up to 8 people, starting at midday on Saturday and finishing at midday on Sunday.

I’ve run 50km and 100km ultra-marathons before but nothing which involves running constantly for so long or through the night without sleep. I had a target of 100 miles in mind during my 15 weeks of training, which started in February. My race went pretty much to plan apart from being a bit too optimistic about how much food I would be able to stomach. I managed to clock up 60 miles (12 laps) by midnight using a 3 laps running/1 lap walking strategy which took the pressure off for the second half and allowed me to ease off considerably during the night and through Sunday morning. I hit a ‘wall’ at about 30 miles though, partly due to trying to eat too much early on and partly due to the daunting prospect of not being even a third of the way towards my target distance. Thankfully, the nausea passed after a couple of slower laps and allowed me to get a bit more food down, albeit significantly less than the 9000+ calories I burnt overall.

Ross with his medal

The course was fairly undulating with about 130m of ascent per lap. I found the 2-mile section through the woods in the first half of the lap the toughest as it contained most of the short, steep climbs and seemed much hotter, humid and void of oxygen than out in the breeze of the Powderham deer park. I’ve never run non-stop through the night before, but a misspent youth and a couple of cans of Red Bull and iced coffee very much helped in that respect. Temperatures didn’t drop much overnight so, apart from a couple of laps during the graveyard shift, I was running in just a t-shirt for most of the race. Luckily, the rain held off, save for a very slight bit of drizzle, otherwise the course conditions would’ve quickly deteriorated due to the constant army of feet gradually churning it up. The sky starting to lighten at about 3:30am, and the sun finally making a reappearance at about 5am on Sunday morning seemed to inject a new level of optimism into most of the runners still out on the course, myself included.

I had absolutely no idea that I was in the running for a podium place until I checked my phone during a quick food stop between laps and saw a string of text messages from family and friends watching the live tracker. It wasn’t until the last few laps, when a couple of guys ahead of me started to struggle, that the prospect of finishing 3rd overall looked doable. I managed to complete 21 laps (plus an extra mile with my eldest son Reuben) to reach a total of 104.8 miles, equivalent to 4 marathons, in a time of 23hrs 36mins 34secs, also beating my previous personal bests for 50km by about 8 minutes and 100km by over 3 hours. I finished second in the solo men’s category to a professional ultra-runner who clocked up an astounding 24 laps.

My feet are a mess with blood blisters under three of my toe-nails, a swollen left ankle and a comedic inability to negotiate stairs – a small price to pay for an achievement I’m very much proud of but doubt I will endure again any time soon, if ever. It was great to regularly see my younger brother Guy, fellow SRC runners Naomi Garrick, Jo Earlam and Jane Hemsworth out on the course and also to have my heavily-pregnant wife, Polly, our two boys, Pixel our cocker spaniel and a number of close friends supporting me throughout the weekend.


Conquer 24

The Mighty Greens Conquer24

Midday on a hot and humid Saturday in the beautiful grounds of Powderham Castle saw five members of Sidmouth Running Club at the start line of an epic challenge and two of those were preparing to run for 24 hours!

Start Group

Suzi Rockey competed in the 5 mile (1 lap) category coming in 5th place in a field of 20 with a very respectable time of 45:34 minutes.

Suzi and Naomi

Jo Earlam completed her 78th marathon by opting to run 6 laps of the Conquer24 course, which actually made it an ultra-marathon. Jo was joined by fellow Mighty Green Jane Hemsworth for her final 4 laps. Jane had already participated in a sea swimming course in the morning and jokingly said she should have cycled to Powderham Castle to make it a triathlon! They both enjoyed the scenic if somewhat undulating (2,500ft of climb!) course.

Naomi, Jane + Jo

Duane Morris had set himself a target of running 50 miles, double the distance of his furthest run to date, and he achieved it running 10 laps in 21:18:51 hours. Duane said he learnt a lot during the run, it was a steep learning curve and he felt things he has never felt before but this did not stop him enjoying the experience and he is very glad he took on and completed the challenge.


Not only was social secretary Naomi Garrick the top fundraiser of the event, raising £1,516 for Rethink Mental Illness, she was delighted to be the 6th lady out of 36 to complete the 24 hour challenge running an amazing 65 miles. Teacher Naomi had set up the smile tree her pupils had made for her along the route and she was still smiling right to the end despite the blisters! Fellow running club member Richard King joined Naomi at 4am to compete in the 10 mile dawn dash bringing with him fresh supplies of plasters and cake! Naomi said she met so many fantastic people and running through the woods at night was magical, a really amazing experience.

Richard + Ross

Ross Walton signed up for the solo Conquer24 race after closely following a Devon friend’s progress in the Tarawera 100 mile ultra in New Zealand in February. The MG had been training hard over the past 15 months, running a total of 550 miles including two 70 mile weeks! Ross had planned to run 60 miles between midday and midnight split into 3 x 20 miles, running 3 laps and walking 1 to take on food and drink then hobble/crawl the last 40 miles between midnight and midday on Sunday. The training and planning certainly paid off as Ross finished in 2nd place, running an incredible 100 miles in 22:09:00 hours and 4 x marathons in 23:37:00 hours. Ross is temporarily hanging up his trail shoes to become a dad for the third time much to the relief of his feet!


The Maer 10k + 1/2M

PB’s For Sidmouth Running Club at The Clinic Maer 10k and Half Marathon

The sun shone on Exmouth seafront as the Mighty Green runners gathered for the start of LME’s The Clinic Maer 10k and half marathon race. A well organised event with an easy route to follow and really friendly marshalls.


Running the scenic if a little challenging 10k course wearing the Mighty Green shirts for the first time, both Yasmin Salter and Niall Hawkins achieved personal bests.


Yasmin, who enjoyed the perfect weather conditions, ran the route in 49:36 mins coming 4th in her age category and 8th female overall. Niall came in 8th overall and 1st in his age category with his PB of 41:18 mins despite feeling like he was going much slower than he actually was as he had figured out his splits wrong in his head and was pleasantly surprised at mile 5 when it dawned on him!

Derek and Clive

Four SRC members ran the multi terrain single lap half marathon course climbing nearly 1000 feet along the spectacular coast path; Derek Blackburn, Clive Gilbert and Graham ‘Rocker’ Shepperd ran the first 8k together before Rocker took off while Duane Morris completed the 13 mile course in 1:40:49, coming in 8th position overall and 5th in his age group. Rocker completed the half in 2:07:20, 44th overall and 7th in age category and not far behind Clive and Derek in 2:09:48, 47th/48th overall, 5th and 4th in their respective age groups.

Rocker, Clive and Derek

As Clive was running along Budleigh seafront he was approaching a couple of runners from the town who had just passed Derek and Rocker, as he pulled alongside them they said Sidmouth must be the friendliest running club in the world. Both Duane and Niall are new members of the running club and we are proud to see them (and all club members) wearing and representing the Mighty Green-hopefully they agree with those runner’s sentiment as you can’t say better than that!





The 5 Trigs

The Climb South West East Devon 8/5 Trigs 2021

After completing some long runs earlier in the year, a group of SRC members decided to take on Climb South West’s 5 Trig Challenge. A 21 mile, self navigated, off road run, taking in 5 trig points sitting in a loop around East Devon.
MG Cath Miller said, “After much conversation about whether we had enough food (yes!) Should we wear coats (no!) Had we enough paracetamol and ibuprofen for our various age related aches and pains, we set off for High Peak the first of the five trig points.”
They ran through beautiful East Devon taking in Aylesbeare Common, Woodbury, Black Hill and West Down Beacon trigs, finishing with a spectacular decent into Budleigh, along the seafront to the end where their much longed for medal was waiting for them!

Richard and Allan

In a field of 54 runners, one of the six Mighty Greens who took part in the 5 trigs challenge, Allan Kay said, “It was a great day to be out running as a group from Sidmouth RC in an organised event.” They ran as a group right up to the last trig supporting and motivating each other. Richard King had even gone out and stashed water bottles around the route for them!


Allan, who ran the challenge last year with Adrian, found the anti-clockwise route was much better than last year’s clockwise route, the ups and downs gentler and finishing on a downhill along the SW coast path from Budleigh was special for him and Adrian ‘Gripper’ Horne as they used to play there as youngsters.


The Mighty Greens did the club proud, finishing together, half way in the field of finishers, and in Cath’s words; not bad for a bunch of oldies!

Derek and Niall

Beautiful scenery, happy conversations, local wildlife including a friendly adder were all part of a great day and the beginnings of normality again -all topped off with an icy cider on the beach, thanks Annie!

A well deserved drink


Allan Kay 26th 4.47 hrs

Cath Millar and Richard King joint 28th position 4.50 hrs

Monica Reed 30th 4.51 hrs

Helen Palmer joint 31st position 4.52 hrs

Adrian ‘Gripper’ Horne 34th 4.53 hrs

In other news the Juniors enjoyed their first session back with Tim Daffron on Sunday and Chairman Terry Bewes awarded the ‘Little Miss Chatterbox’ spot prize to Tash Morgan and Clare Pugh who managed to chat all the way around the 3.8 mile run on Woodbury Common last Monday.

Let the races begin

Let The Races Commence – Escot

Not one but two events were ‘running’ last Saturday and Sidmouth Running Club members were in attendance for both.

A smattering of Mighty Greens were amongst the 805 runners who took part in the Tough Runner Exeter Epic 10K race at Escot on Saturday April 17th. MG, Derek Blackburn said, “On a beautifully sunny morning, the undulating course around the Escot estate attracted runners from across the South West. Social distancing was maintained by staggering the start times, so runners ran in waves, starting at 10.00am, with runners crossing the start line in pairs. Once out on the course, there was plenty of room to allow a good distance to be maintained from other athletes. It was a fantastic atmosphere, and most athletes seemed delighted to have the opportunity to be running in an event again.”

For Niall Hawkins, not only was it his first run as a Mighty Green, it was his first trail run and he came in 40th overall, 5th in his age category (40-49) in 44.22 minutes and congratulations go to Kate Marriott who came in first place in the junior female category with a time of 48.23 minutes.

Mighty Greens at Escot


Niall Hawkins – 40th overall, 5th in M40-49 category – 44:22

Kate Marriott – 105, 1st in Junior Female – 48:23

Don Cawthera – 321, 3rd in M60+ category – 56:24

Deb Marriott – 418, 13th in M50-59 category – 59:06

Derek Blackburn – 431, 6th in M60+ category – 59:49

There was a great sense of achievement for Team ‘Sidbury School Run’ who thoroughly enjoyed their 10k debut at Escot. The England Athletic Run Together group was formed by Charlotte Forrer, a run leader at Sidmouth Running Club, to specifically meet the needs of parents of children at Sidbury Primary School.  They meet straight after the morning school run, and a group of parents have been training since September 2020.  Some of these parents had very little running experience and were just looking to increase their fitness.  By mixing up the running with strength and conditioning exercises such as squats and lunges the groups’ fitness increased.  They moved from short road runs to longer trail runs and over lockdown Charlotte organised socially distanced sessions and printed fitness plans for paired runs.

With confidence growing they signed up to run the 10km Exeter Epic Trail Run and dedicated themselves to train for it, even through the long lockdown winter.  On Saturday, six members of the group went with Charlotte to Escot House to complete the 10km run.  Charlotte said,”It was a gorgeous sunny day and the race day atmosphere was very exciting.  We all learnt a lot about how to run a trail race: running through puddles to overtake, making the most of a downhill, finding people to pace yourself against and choosing when to sprint for the finish line.”

Mighty Green congratulations to Johanna Mitchell, Nicole Bates, Nicola Meek and Lucy Ingram who completed the course in just over an hour.


Charlotte Forrer 52:47

Johanna Mitchell 1:01:05

Nicole Bates 1:02:10

Nicola Meek 1:07:31

Katie Harris 1:07:59

Lucy Ingram 1:08:14

Ruth Dale 1:11:39


Plym Trail Marathon

Mighty Greens Conquer Plym Trail Marathon

Sidmouth Running Club members Jane Hemsworth and Jo Earlam thoroughly enjoyed participating in their first marathon event in 15 months.

This was Jo’s 77th marathon and she said how great it was to run a proper marathon again. Jane described the event as very relaxed and low key with a maximum of 30 entrants.

Before the start

The ‘out and back twice’ route took the MG’s along the Plym Trail between Cledbrook and Coypool and whilst they felt the early morning chill (1o) at the start line, the sudden rise in temperature took them by surprise and as they crossed the finish line it was a very warm 15o!

Despite this they completed the 26.1 mile route in 5.06 hours and were rewarded with a very nice well deserved medal.

Jo + Jane with their medals

Granddad & Grandson 1/2M

Grandad and Grandson Duo Complete Exe Estuary Virtual Half Marathon

As well as setting the lock down challenges, Sidmouth Running Club chairman Terry Bewes has been completing them himself using them as training towards the Exe Estuary Virtual Half Marathon which he ran last week. When Terry entered the race back in March he had to enter his expected finish time, which as he had been training for it back then put 2:30:00. In reality it wasn’t until the start of the lock down #2 challenges that saw him start training with a six mile run. Using the challenges he planned the flat(ish), circular route which he would run two loops of, this included Harcombe, the Byes, seafront and Bickwell Valley.

With grandson and fellow Mighty Green Kyle Baker joining Terry on the day for the craic they completed the half marathon in 2:37:00, a result they were very happy with; Kyle because he had not been training and had ran an extra 2.5 miles to get to the start and back and Terry because he received another medal for his growing collection.

Terry has an eye for the running bling and has set the next Mighty Green challenge which is as a club to get as many members to enter the Virtual Grand Western Canal 10k Walk and Run for CLIC Sargent and win the team prize. There is a smashing bit of bling for all who complete the run in December so it should be a win/win challenge.

The Battle Of Woodbury Common.

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.



The Blackdown Beast 2020

Fourteen members of the Sidmouth Running Club ventured out into the beautiful East Devon countryside to take part in The Blackdown Beast on Saturday the 25th of January.
   This very popular event is a very sociable, non timed and self-navigating 10 or 17(ish) very muddy mile run that travels through some of the stunning Blackdown Hills.
   The Mighty Green team members were Jessica Raynor, Sarah Watkins, Paul Williamson, Helen Palmer, Millie Frankpitt, Cathy Keast, Monica Reid, Richard King, Els Laureys, Jane Hemsworth, Simon Hollyer, Richard Summerhayes, Carine Silver and Alan
   They all made their getaway from Dunkerswell at 10:00hrs and headed along 7.6 miles of infrequently used footpaths to Smeatharpe where a reward of a delicious hot pasty and some mulled cider was served up in the village hall. Then it was just a 2.5 mile jog along some lanes and country paths which dropped down into the village of Upottery. It was into the Sidmouth Arms where more sustenance was consumed. The 10 mile option finishes here and so did Millie who opted to jump on the bus back to Dunkerswell and head to Exeter for the rugby…mixed priorities here Milly! The 17 milers continued along the road to Rawridge where they turned right, crossed the river Otter and climbed to the top of the ridge to the viewpoint above Luppitt. Here they enjoyed a non-existent panoramic view of the grey sogginess mascaraing as the surrounding countryside, it was very wet and misty! However, it was just a short soggy 3 mile jaunt to the Luppitt Inn for yet more very welcomed delights that any self-respecting public house would have on offer. Lastly a 2 mile section, cross-country over the Luppitt Common and back into Dunkeswell for a very well earned drink and some more food at the race Hq.