Simon and David on the WCM

 
Simon Hollyer and David Wright
   Back in 2017, when Jo Earlam organised the inaugural Women Can Marathon, David Wright volunteered to help out by course-checking parts of the route. Since then, he has wanted to have a go at the whole route himself. Over the last few years he and Simon Hollyer have done sections of the route and both thought it was about time that they did all of it. So, inspired by Jo’s recent birthday marathon effort, they both decided to make the most of the late May heatwave and take on the challenge in the Sidmouth sun writes Hamish Spence.
   The 26.2 miles course starts on the sports field of Tipton St John. However, they both live two miles away from the official start line and neither of the wanted to drive, so they set off from West Hill at a very early hour with a socially distanced gap and made their way down to join the River Otter at Tipton and pick up the route from the beginning. This would mean it would be a stretched marathon of 30 miles! There were very few people out at this time of the morning, so they had the trail mainly to themselves, only encountering the occasional dog walker and the skylarks hovering high above along the Coastal Path to Sidmouth. As the pair descended down Peak Hill the heat from the morning sun was just starting to bite and water was being consumed in quantity!
   There were a few more people out and about as they continued along the seafront of Sidmouth and along the Byes to Sidford, so where they could they ran on the grass areas of The Byes. By the time the lads had reached Sidford and due to the heat of the morning sun, they had got through 3 Litres of water between them, fortunately a pre-arranged pit-stop enabled them to top up with another 1.5 Litres each. The decision not to stop for an ice-cream in Sidmouth didn’t feel like such an error once they had cold water in their backpacks again! From the mostly flat parkland to Sidford it was then to be up, up and up onto East Hill to follow The Strips through the woodland and forest and then down to the other side of Ottery St Mary, to pick up the River Otter again back to Tipton St John.
   The Women Can Marathon route is so carefully considered, taking in so many wonderful elements of East Devon and many of its beautiful trails.  The views from East Hill were magnificent, but by the time we reached Ottery St Mary it was the thought of a John Mills style “Ice Cold in Alex” drink at the end that kept us going.  Completing the marathon took about 5 hours 55mins and the “Ice Cold” was in fact a pint of milk at Knights Farm Shop in Fluxton!  Thirty miles and 7 hours later, having spent the day at least 2 metres apart, consuming 3litres of water each with 1 pint of milk and 0 ice-creams they arrived back at West Hill in a happy, but knackered state.
Posted in SRC

Bagging a Trig & Half Marathons

Trig Pointing, Half Marathons & Getting Back To Running

Seth Lancaster had a very successful weeks’ trig point bagging, the SRC Get-Back-To-Running has woken many from their slumber and Matin Trueman introduces Zaq Bevan to off-road running in and around the hill of Sidmouth writes Hamish Spence.
So far Seth Lancaster has raised an amazing £310 for his favourite charity The Dogs Trust, by doing a sponsored trig point hunt for the four peaks of Sidmouth. He loves dogs and had heard that all charities were struggling at the moment and are unable to do large fundraising events because of Coronavirus. Also lots of people were giving up their dogs because they were finding it hard to cope with them, meaning more work for The Dog’s trust. Seth navigated 28.8 miles in total over 4 separate walks. His younger brother Flynn, did part of all expeditions and covered 17.5 miles and also got to all 4 Trigs as well.

Having come to the attention of various SRC members last week, Zaq Bevan continues to notch up his daily half marathons in a bid to raise funds for our NHS. This weekend he was persuaded by Mighty Green and fine cross country runner Martin Trueman, to try out an off-road route. For Day 42 out of the 60 scheduled runs, Martin took Zaq on a very hilly figure of eight route which took them up Salcombe Hill and over to Branscombe. A route with with 1352ft of elevation gain, many scenic views and a couple of badgers that ran alongside for a few yards. When passing the Donkey Sanctuary, a donkey eeeooring at them with an encouraging endorsement to Zaq’s efforts. It all made for a memorable 2h13m23s jaunt. If any Sidmouth Running Club MG reading this wishes to join Zaq for all or part of another half marathon then please get in touch with him.

With the prospect of a hot and sweaty week before we even got started with any running, week two of Get-Back-To-Running has gone from strength to strength. There were 31 members that completed the Mutters Moor loop or their own version of it and the run to High Peak trig or Ladram bay was completed by 14 members with 12 completed both runs.

Posted in SRC

Marathon Birthday for Jo

 
 
A Marathon Birthday For Jo
   After completing my first marathon in 2005 to celebrate being 40, if someone had told me then that on my 55th birthday I’d be running one out of personal choice, on a route I devised from my home village, I would have thought they were mad writes Jo Earlam.
   I realise some people think I’m a bit mad to have gone on to run a further formal 75 marathons or ultra, sometimes doing 26.2 miles just for the fun of it, as I did on Thursday 28th May, the anniversary of the first Women Can Marathon in 2017. It was the beauty of the East Devon countryside that inspired me to come up with the idea for that event and it was the same wonderful scenery that in Coronavirus lockdown drew me to dawdle happily through it on foot, a mixture of running, jogging, walking, with lots of photo and pit stops for food and to chat. Time was not important, but for the record it was eight hours and 20 minutes in total, of which seven hours was moving-ish. As a carer for my husband John, who’s 75 and has dementia, it’s difficult to come up with activities that we can both enjoy as we’d previously have done on my birthday, so having asked carers to cover the middle of the day, I got to do one of things I’ve missed most during the social distancing restrictions, hours of headspace with nothing else to think about but putting one foot in front of the other.
   Marathons are more in the mind, than in the legs, and it was this simple mental energy that at mile 16 when I was flagging up a tough hill, I relished, as the most stress I had in that moment was literally taking the next step. It’s so liberating to be able to let all the other worries slip away and focus on the here and now and soon plod by plod, I was past that tough section. The whole day was wonderful, the weather superb, I had the lovely company of fellow Sidmouth Running Club member Jane Hemsworth on the beautiful stretch from Tipton St John, via the river Otter and the South West Coast Path to Sidmouth. Women Can race director Pauline Beare and Peg Wiseman kindly gave back up support on route with drinks and snacks, I had a delicious tuna roll on Sidmouth esplanade, and the four of us enjoyed birthday cake, Prosecco and a lovely socially distanced catch up in the late afternoon sunshine back at Tipton.
   I was left with memories of a fabulous birthday, the weirdly satisfying muscle ache that endurance runners will understand, and a final happy postscript – I didn’t realise I’d dropped my bank card on route, a man walking his dog found it the following morning and called to let me know, good to know there are nice people out there, thank you Lester from Harcombe. The best bit though about the day was re-connecting with the feeling that when things got tough, I could keep going and feel good about it.
Posted in SRC

Fantasy London Marathon

Fantasy London Marathon. (Beating The Covid Blues) #26Point2 Style
   Sidmouth Running Club were out beating those Covid Blues this weekend with The #26Point2 Mighty Green Fantasy London Marathon relay race writes Hamish Spence.
   Late last week club member Paul Mitchell formed the MG fantasy London Marathon Lockdown Relay Team. He put word out on our Social Media network calling up for volunteers to do their duty. By Thursday evening he was inundated with names, he had his team of very talented and keen runners all ready to take on the challenge. There was one problem, there was no baton! So again, he asked on social media. Laura Broughton had the solution, a very bright, but perfect shade of shiny Mighty Green coloured roll of wrapping paper. 
Rules of the relay: 
1. All social distancing rules apply. 
2. The Mighty Green Baton must be taken all the way from the start to the finish. ( for health and safety the real baton may appear as an image on your cell phone).
3. During Sunday 26th April, run 2.62 miles at your own pace only 1 mile will count towards the marathon run. 
4. Run in Sidmouth colours with a rainbow adorned somewhere on your person.
5.Identify your chosen charity. Make a donation of £2.62 or multiples there-of.
View the large gallery of photos here.
  Getting the relay dream team started on its ‘remote and virtual’ social distancing fantasy event with Mighty Green Baton in hand was Laura Broughton. Wearing a dazzling rainbow head piece she set off to the sound of the Klaxton out of Greenwich Park bang on time. The crowd were all keeping a social distance, dressed in rainbow colours and waving flags. They were cheering and clapping the runners on their way. In her head Laura ran up to her favourite area, Aylesbeare Common. A place that holds special memories for her and her family and somewhere to which she has been able to visit with her children most days since the start of the lockdown. As she approached the end of her mile the sight of bright pink socks belonging to Suzi Rockey appeared ahead of her. Suzi started her jog as Laura made the approach and the baton was passed without hitch. It was then over to Jessica Davies who wanted to see Tower Bridge, but knew she would have to wait until after her stint was done. There was a Caribbean steal drum band playing a rhythmic tune and the music lifted her spirits. She imagined the tranquility and mesmerising rhythm of standing on Harpford’s bridge and listening to the running water of the R.Otter, a favourite place that Jessica likes to run. Jessica then noticed the familiar sight of another green shirt being worn by Debbie Marriott. A little confusion now took place! The gleaming Mighty Green baton needed to be given to Stuart Coles. Where was Stuart and why was Debbie here? All very suspicious! It turned out that Stuart was talking to Her Majesty the Queen who was enjoying the sun shine while out walking her Corgi’s and passing the Mayflower Pub. He also made some other wild suggestions, like for instance, that he had seen Naomi Garrick standing outside the same pub with a massive wooden clothes chest, cloths strewn everywhere.
He was claiming Naomi was wearing a strawberry outfit with a bridal vail over her head and rainbow socks on her feet! A quick phone call alerted Stuart to get back to his post asap. He managed to complete his section, gaining a few minutes on the expected time. He explained to me how this was achieved, “I imagined I had a slight descent all the way, you should try it sometime”. He continued “I pretend I’m running down The Byes in Sidmouth, works a treat”. Jess and Debbie were raising funds for Krabbes UK and Stuart donated to Allen Kay’s fund raiser.
   Having seen, felt and tasted the rainbow the Salter girls decided to draw the rainbow, so chalks in hand they did just that right across the road. Both Emma and Yasmin Salter pushed themselves hard, building on the already good start made by the previous four. Yasmin was the first to notice something strange about the bright Mighty Green baton, it was no longer cold to the touch. While flying along the streets of London Emma and Yasmin imagined their favourite route up Jacobs Ladder and Peak Hill. Both ladies have donated to the Devon Air Ambulance.
   After a swift handover of the gleaming Mighty Green baton from Yasmin, Kerry Salter started her mile. She left the area of the Cutty Sark at speed. The spectators were spaced apart and being fantastic along the route with lots of cheering and clapping. One hundred yards in she decided, it was time to check her pace. It was fast and furious, so looking around she realised the number of bulky fancy dress costumes had reduced. She told me “I thought to myself, fantastic, my running has finally reached the next level”. she continued “This spurred me on to finish with a strong handover of the baton to Cheryl Boulton.
“It was an amazing day to be part of and I’m donating to Force”. The gleaming green baton was now getting more than warm to hold as Cheryl Boulton took charge of it. Digging deep and thinking about the sound of waves on the shores of Sidmouth seafront she took on her section of the fantasy relay raising funds for the Samaritans.
   Rocker Shepperd took over for mile 9 making a perfect change over with Allen Kay. Allen had been running around a football pitch all day raising funds for The Fire Fighters Charity so its fantastic that he volunteered to divert from his circuits to pick up from Rocker and carry the baton on to a very colourful Terry Bewes. The Mighty Green Rainbow King ran like the wind. Monica Read took the baton from the south side across the R Thames over Tower Bridge and on to Richard King. Next up was Adrian Horne, earlier in the day Adrian had been pacing for Allen Kay and giving much needed support and encouragement around the football pitch. Now Adrian had to listen to his own advice and carry the very warm gleaming Mighty Green baton onto Mark Derwick. Kerry Boyle collected the baton from Mark Derwick and steadily ran her mile through the Docklands to pass it on to Cath Miller. 
   I caught up with Cath Miller after the event, she reflected on the atmosphere, “Wow, what a day “! Although the streets of London felt unusually quiet there was still a cheerfulness”. She went on “As I took the Mighty Green baton from Kerry, my legs turned to jelly and my mental state was not good”! She told me this wasn’t helped by looking over Canary Wharf. But she knew she had to just get on with it. Asking her what happened next, she replied, “I gripped the gleaming Mighty Green baton hard in my hand, boy did that baton feel hot! I then remembered where I’d come from, Sidmouth through and through, I’m a Mighty Green and that mile section will not beat me”. That was it, Cath was off, gone, taking the Mighty Green spirit with her. She raised funds for Devon Air Ambulance. Claire Ashby had been warming up for around ten minutes and was fully charged and hot to trot. Although no one could do the real marathon this year, doing one fantasy section quicker than her husband Justin Ashby is what she intended. She wanted to beat him on pace. Immediately the baton exchange happened, there was a green flash! Claire was gone, off like a rocket. We will never know the exact pace, as her recording device could not keep up! Rob Edwards nervously waited for the baton while trying to blend into the background in his camouflage kit. The hand over went really well considering the speed Claire came in at. He set off at his standard speed of 4 miles a fortnight, (his words not mine). It’s normally fairly quiet by this point in the London marathon, but that’s how Rob likes it. He told me “There is nothing like a morning run on the route up Fire Beacon Hill, with only the sound of chiffchaffs for company”. His donation went to Shelter and the Trussell Trust. David Lee took over from Rob with Jon Hanson following on, both keeping the Mighty Green pace. The change over with Julie Mitchell was not the best, she had not expected the baton to be so hot! Julie had decided to take on the really big Tower Hill. Having followed her other half around a number of marathons, she knew it starts getting difficult at this point. To overcome the thought of such a hill Julie put remembered the climb up from Weston Beach to the Frog Stone, all 262 steps! The climb up Tower Hill was going better than expected and she focused on the young runner in front of her. Helped by his regular stride (or was it his physique), anyway all she needed to do, was to concentrate on matching his pace and then overtake him on the down hill section. At the top of the hill she picked up speed, her adrenaline pumping, the crowd all well spaced and willing her on to the home straight. Her pace increased again as there was a realisation that cake was available at the end of her section, lovely chocolate cake…Victoria sponges… cookies. Julie did her bit and has raised funds for Exeter Mardon Hospital. She passed the now very hot Mighty Green baton onto Paul Mitchell. Getting too Blackfriars quickly is what Paul intended, not far to go now. I asked him about the change over and he replied, “It was a clean exchange of the gleaming but very hot green baton, I was properly warmed up ready for the challenge”. The spectators were willing him on with a cacophony of sound, chanting encouragingly, Mighty Green, Mighty Green. Halfway into his mile Paul looked around and saw a familiar face, maybe a celebrity runner or tv personality, then he noticed under the rainbow wig was ginger hair, it was Chris Evans… he’d just overtaken Chris Evans! On he went, overtaking many other tired rainbow coloured runners, doing his bit to uphold the prestige of wearing the Mighty Green shirt. Paul spots his change over buddy and SRC marathon record holder for the 60 plus age group, Colin Flood.
   Colin Flood took the baton from a tired looking Paul and set off down the Embankment. He set off fast, with good reason, apart from his top level of fitness he could hear the unmistakable sound of jazz music spurring him on. But where was it coming from? Was it behind him? It was definitely getting louder. Stealing a glance over his shoulder, he noticed a magnificent paddle steamer, smoke billowing from her twin stacks, a jazz band playing on the open deck. In a moment she was gone, around the next bend, leaving a swirl of foam in the water and a tang of woodsmoke in the air. Ever since he’d read Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn as a lad, Colin wanted to travel the Mississippi, but he realised that in these days of lockdown, the Thames would do just fine. He did find holding the scorching hot Mighty Green baton was almost impossible, so had to to keep swapping hands. Colin had managed to place the MG team in third place and Danny Baker was going to have no choice but to continue with the relentless speed. He would have to hope that his old injury would not speak up now. The change over went well, Danny picked up speed but there was now no-way he could hold that scorchingly hot gleaming Mighty Green baton! Swapping hands was no good either! What to do? Then it struck him as he passed a Bong-less Big Ben, he could juggle. So with his water bottles and the baton he maintained his pace, water bottles and baton spinning through the air as he ran. Sitting quietly on a park bench watching out for the runners, was a Majestic looking Lady and her corgis. She was so excited to see the front runner that she stood up and started to clap enthusiastically. When she saw him chucking things up in the air and catching them and running in the lead, she got her corgi’s to start barking with excitement. As a juggling Danny Baker speeds by she called out “ One is most amused”, and “Bravo, One is doing very well, keep it up young man”, Danny was still able to raise his cap as he went on his way. Question is, will HM ask for Danny to perform at the next Royal Variety Show? Danny maintained his position at the front, putting the Mighty Green Sidmouth Running Club firmly on the map.  
Posted in SRC

London Marathon 26.2 Lockdown Challenge

London Marathon 26.2 Lockdown Challenge.
A Mighty Green Idea
Sunday 27th April at 9.30am

Early last week ,Jo Earlam our secretary came up with the idea while running out in the countryside writes Terry Bewes
Jo is a great marathon runner having completed over 70 towards her target of 100. She is also an exceptionally good fund raiser for several charities. The light came on, combining the two. She ran her idea by the committee and Kerry Boyle our Junior leader added to it, Kyle Baker our videographer produced a short video and our IT crew of Els Laureys, Charlotte Forrer and Paula Farrand soon had it all over the internet.
The idea was based around 26.2 the marathon distance and leaves those taking part to decide what they want to do and chose the charity they want to raise fund for.

Jo Earlam herself, who’s drive just happens to be 26.2 metres long is running it 26 times. Husband John is doing 26 Sudoku squares while dog Freddie will chase a ball 26 times raising funds for dementia and dog charities. Sidmouth Running Club Ambassador, Jo Pavey and husband Gavin both supported the Club. Jo ran a virtual relay with 11 other British Marathon women who were due to run the race, it was organised by her friend Eleanor Whyman-Davis an elite marathoner who is also an NHS doctor working on a Covid 19 ward. Husband Gavin went further and ran a full off-road marathon taking time out to take loads of photos and still finished in 3:35 :41.

Beccy McDonald took a 26.2 mile run almost entirely off road, Tim Swarbrick ran 262 metres up Winslade Road 26 times, Rocker Shepard and Emma Grainger seeing how far they can run in 26.2 minutes, Alan Kay 26.2 laps of the football pitch complete with London Landmarks dotted around, Alexa Baker 26.2 minutes of Morris dancing, Laura Broughton cycling 26.2 miles with her children for part of the way, Hamish Spence and dog, The Spanner ran around a customer’s garden while the dog retrieves 26 balls, Ann Cole Yoga poses, Naomi Garrick dressing up in fancy dress 26.2 times, Toby Garrick 26.2 exercises in 26.2 minutes, Jane Hemsworth 26 times up and down Jacobs Ladder slip way complete with pictures of London Landmarks, Claire Ashby and family 26.2 minutes of squats, press ups and burpees in the garden, Kerry Boyle running 5km in 26 minutes around her 10 x 2 metre yard complete with London Land marks, while son Seth save 26 football shots. Emma Salter 26.2 minute jog, David Palmer 26.2 pints Old Peculiar…(in his dreams), Els Laureys and family 26 different activities in 26 minutes like star jumps, squats, press ups, then a 26 minute run, Brigid McSmith 26.2 tunes on 1 instrument while Steve plays 1 tune on 26 instruments. Terry Bewes 26.2 minutes of pyramid hill reps up Stowford Rise. Joe Kent and family joined in with various activities from Australia and 3 members of Sid Vale Folk joined in, Tess 26 scales in 2.6 minutes, Sue 26 sunshine songs in 26 minutes and Rita 26 of their songs.

 

Charities include Ottery Community Volunteers, Brain Tumour Research, Refuge, RAF Benevolent Fund, Samaritans, PETA, Cancer Research, St Rocco’s Hospice, Halo’s Children Foundation. Devon Wildlife trust, Force, MIND, Krabbes UK, RSPCA, Asthma UK, National Autistic Society, St Raphael’s Hospice, South West Children Hospice, Team Shelter, CRISIS, Prostate Cancer UK, Diana Brimacombe Animal Rescue Charity, Queens Nurse Institute, Fire Fighters Charity, Headway Stroke Charity, Hospice UK, Devon Partnership NHS Trust, Shelter, Sid Valley Food Bank, Women’s Aid, CRY, Devon Air Ambulance, RNLI, PHAB Children Charity, Alzheimer’s Society, BRACE, MS Society, Heart Failure Aware, Fareshare, Rethink Mental Illness, National Autistic Society, Trussell Trust.

A message from Chairman Terry Bewes. “As the very proud Chair of this great Club, the response from the members and their families, even with the short notice was nothing short of amazing. There were so many different challenges and a great deal of thought and energy was put into them, especially the children. Over 40 charities received donations from their efforts, a brilliant result, I thank then all”.

Posted in SRC

The Beginners Are Progressing Quickly

The Beginners Are Progressing Quickly
   Having completed their three mile, non-stop run last Wednesday evening (9th January), Jane Stein, Nikki Gosney and Lee-Ann Thomas all received their 3 mile certificates from Head Coach Tim Mitchell. They had no idea of the events that would unfold in the evening that lay ahead writes Hamish Spence.
   The three ladies ran with the beginners group to give moral support to the five other group members that were taking on the non-stop 3 mile challenge.
As the group headed along Livonia Road, one of the ‘challengers’ became unwell. So, with some quick thinking and without anyone stopping, Nikki made the very helpful call to lead the others in the group on around the route. This enabled another five more members of the Beginners Group to complete the non-stop three mile course, while Jane, Lee-Ann and Terry looked after the casualty.
Happily, it all turned out well and Terry said a sincere thanks to our three new members who absolutely embody our ethos at SRC. Without their quick thinking, the evenings attempt would have been thwarted.

The Sid Valley Ring

   A few weeks ago a new 14 (ish) mile challenge came to my attention and it was right on our doorstep writes Hamish Spence.
One of our Mighty Green distance runners told of his early morning jaunt on a newish trail that takes the participant on a picturesque journey into some of the most beautiful countryside around the town of Sidmouth. A trail that goes through parts of the town into woodlands, forests and villages. It weaves across heathland and fields, meanders along tracks and country lanes and over a few hills with stunning views. I had a feeling that this trail might catch the eyes of others in the Sidmouth Running Club.
I was not wrong and it wasn’t long before others in the Mighty Green tribe had reported that they too had completed the trail. Then I overheard a plan for an early Sunday morning mission to take on the trail on the last Sunday of January. A mixed ability group of eight set off at just after 8am from the Sailing Club for a steady run and warm up along the esplanade. It was then a slow climb up the Bickwell valley to Ice House Lane and a long tiring climb up Core Hill Road. Here, it’s a left turn and a climb over the first of many styes for the first bit of off-road running. It was straight into a boggy field and needless to say we all got wet, muddy feet, a theme that repeated itself many times. The trail skirts through some woodland and then up onto Fire Beacon, but not to the trig point. It was then through the woodlands to White Cross along the East Devon Way. At White Cross we turned right through a gate and descended down the hill to the pretty village of Sidbury. We followed the main road, turned into Bridge Road, over the bridge immediately turning right at the cottage. This was our first stop, drinks and snacks were consumed and photos were taken. Pushing on along Deepway we passed the cemetery and headed on through Buckton Farm to Harcombe. The route then took us around Knowle House and a hard climb up Paccombe Hill to the A3052.
After crossing the road we made our way towards the coastal path through the Donkey Sanctuary and Dunscombe Manor finally arriving
on the coastal path to be greeted with a cold head wind and a bit of rain. They group was spreading out a bit here with myself taking up residence at the back and beginning to wonder if i would be bowing out. My pace slowed to walk for half a mile
The coastal path took the group into the small village of Salcombe Regis and after the church, we turned left up the hill towards the monument. I managed to catch the group up again here just before they reached the junction to turn left through the woodland. We continued onto the Frogstone as a group again along the Coastal Path to Salcombe Hill via the trig point down into Sidmouth.
There have been more groups taking on the Sidmouth Ring since our group ran it, with a large group led by Terry Bewes doing it last Sunday (2nd of Feb). Some members have even tried it out in reverse and found it that the hills were much steeper that way around!
Shoe choice is a bit of a problem with over 4 miles running on the road. When it’s very wet, as it was on Sunday, the off-road sections were very slippery, so could have done with full studs. However they are not ideal on tarmac. We recorded various distances between us, but it’s just over 14 miles with the diversion around Alma Bridge. This is an excellent route and challenge with some beautiful views.

 

Sunday Running Is Back.

This weekend the Sunday Groups met at the Sidford Village Hall for a sunny warm 9am start writes Hamish Spence.
John Keast led the long distance group on a 9.5 mile route and Terry Bewes took the social runners. There were two hills to ascend, the first started from the Blue Ball Inn and up Harcombe Lane and then up the field to Buckton Hill. They continued across the top of the hill to pick up the East Devon Way and on to Mincombe Wood. The group turned back through Harcombe Hill Plantation across the road to the second hill. This is one of the steepest hills around here, but the good news was that the group would be going down it. Then into Harcombe and back via Knowle House and Boswell Farm to the Hall again.
Kyle Baker ran in his new shoes…carefully, managing to avoid all the puddles and mud, whereas Molly Vasanthakumar actively jumped in both at every opportunity along with Sarah Clapham. Sarah managed to do what we now refer to as a Nikita, and left her shoe deep in mud. The Sunday Sidmouth Social Running Club Group will now be known as The Sunday Mudlarks.

Posted in SRC

Final off road run of the year.

After a great season of Off Road running, we found runners relaxing in the Kings Arms after the last Monday Off Road run. The whole club is very thankful to John and Ben for leading some spectacular runs! In this post we have added some photos of the first Road runs of the year.

Cheryl Flew The Swindon Half Marathon.

Back in 2017, The Swindon Half Marathon was given a brand new route. A predominately flat and fast course making it ideal for beginners and elites writes Cheryl Boulton.

I had lived in Swindon for 15 years and never entered the Swindon half marathon (due to the old route being so hilly). Now that I’ve lived in Devon for a while and conquered some proper hills, Peak Hill being one of them, I felt it was time to give Swindon a go. I then saw some recent reports on social media, which were suggesting that race directors were unable to make this event work financially and that his would be the last Swindon Half Marathon ever! That was it, the deciding factor, I entered immediately!  

The event starts in the town centre of Swindon, with the new route passing various landmarks of the town, including the notorious Magic Roundabout, The County Ground, the Oasis, the Railways, the McArther Glenn Outlet Village as well as the Old Town before a downhill dash back into the Town Centre to finish line under the big screen of Wharf Green.

I started training on 4th August, with a 7 mile distance run once a week, increasing by a further mile every week with my last long run of 12 miles, being on the 8th of September. 

Before the start, It was great to see so many runners from my previous running club, the Swindon Allstars. Even better was that one of them, Kim Tindskard Christensen, agreed to run with me throughout, but only after agreeing a target of 2:05-2:15. This would prove to be invaluable in helping me cross the line. 

Within 2-3 minutes of setting off at 9.30am, heavy rain began to fall and continued for the duration of the run. Both of us were doing well achieving 6 miles in an hour until the 7.5 mile point where I stepped into a rain filled pot hole outside the Mc Arther Glenn shopping outlet. I twisted my left ankle, went flying and scraped my right arm on the ground as I slid. The pain was horrific but despite a Race Marshall calling for a medic, I managed to get up, wrap my handkerchief around my bleeding arm and continue with the remaining 5.5 miles. My friend was a great support carrying my water bottle, motivating me and encouraging me along (especially at mile 11 at Pipers way. Amazingly I finished in 2h:06m:17s. Resilience, perseverance, a friends encouragement and the wearing of a Mighty Green shirt got me round the remaining 5.5 miles. The question now is-will my ankle heal in time to run the Great West Run on 13th October?

Featured Image: Cheryl Boulton (left) with her friend and Swindon All Stars member Kim Tindskard Christensen after completing the Swindon half Marathon.