This weekend saw the last official Winter Sunday running group meet up at King’s Garden Centre writes Terry Bewes.
A very sunny morning followed a very wet week and so we started as we were to go on… with mud, water and more mud. Rob Dunford lead the group out of the garden centre towards the first climb of the run. As soon as we hit the trail Christine Farnham remarked about how much easier it would be to swim up the lane. Various styles of swimming were displayed, none were recognised and so all were named bog snorkelling. On we went into our beautiful Devon countryside running as a cheerful group. On reaching Southerton, the group split with Helen Palmer leading a small group on a total of nine miles back for coffee and cake at King’s Garden Centre.
The rest of us continued with Rob, who lead the group on a merry chase up onto Alysbere Common, Joney’s Cross and then over to Woodbury Common, droping down into Colaton Raleigh. It was then over the river and up Passaford Lane, which was a muddy nightmare, to the underside of Mutters Moor which was a bigger, deeper muddy nightmare, with massive muddy puddles and thick mud you would not believe unless you witnessed it! In total, Rob’s group ran a half Marathon (13.2 miles) and missed the cake! However, that big seat at the garden centre was a welcome relief. Thank you to all who have lead or taken part and supported the Sunday runs over the winter, they have been tremendous fun.
Above: The whole Sunday Group before getting muddied.
Above: Six tired Sunday runners sitting on a massive seat at Kings Garden Centre… or have they all shrunk?
“Come on a training run down to Budleigh Salterton” said Sam, “get some nice flat miles in” said Sam, “easy going prior to The Grizzly” said Sam… So, early on Saturday morning with Adrian Horne and Sam Ingram we go into the Flood Lands of the R Otter writes Bex McDonald.
Meeting at Tipton St John at 07:30, the three of us set off down-stream along the River Otter. As we made our way out of the carpark and crossed over the river, we could see flooded fields. The river had burst its banks into the field to ankle depth. So began the theme of the morning, chilly, soggy toes! That’s fine we thought, after all, it’s all part of cross country running. By the time we reached the beavers dam just before Otterton, we were up to our knees having an ice bath on our calves! It felt quite soothing and again, that’s fine we thought… Little did we know! About a mile further down stream after Otterton, there is a foot bridge. Here the water was flowing fast and flooding into the field straight across the path that we wanted to take. We ventured in carefully and soon we were all waist deep! So, wet pants all round and numbed legs for the trek back to Tipton St John. Enough was enough and a unanimous decision was made here, to choose another route which would involve less river… a lot less river and only the odd puddle. One thing was for sure, we got our Grizzly training in!
Above: Adrian Horne (left) Bex McDonald (centre) and Sam Ingram (right) Grizzly training somewhere along the soggy banks of the River Otter on Saturday morning. Photo by Bex McDonald.
David Skinner braved the chilly temperatures up in the Haldon Forest on Sunday morning to take part in the first part of a Winter Series.
Having taken part in several events previously on Haldon Hill and really enjoying them, David could not resist entering the Haldon Forest Winter Series 2020. Organised by Purple Geko Events, this race was the first of a 3 race series with the 10k and 10 mile yet to come.
As competitors arrived the organisers were concerned about ice along the route. However, the course was checked and the temperature rose by 2 degrees, so with the sun shining those fears evaporated. The start featured a steep technical descent which does include some running in the woods and going down steps, this caused a bottleneck. After the steps the undulations began, it felt however that mostly there were long climbs and the final section to the finish really was a long difficult climb. David came 50th out of 78 runners in 42m45s.
We are pleased to welcome this years Beginners to our club. Good luck to you all as you begin your running journey.
And congratulations to those of you starting in the 2020 Improvers group!
We wish all our club members a happy and healthy 2020.
Many of the Mighty Greens have been making the most of our local, and not so local, Park Runs. With so many Devon Park Runs on our doorstep it would be rude not to participate in such a social and inclusive event.
Park Runs take place at 9am on Saturday Morning in the following Devon Locations and many more:
Parke National Trust
Killerton National Trust
You can find Park Runs across the world so please tell us if you participate in a more exotic one, just like Ann Cole did when she visited Cologne, Germany.
If Park Runs are your thing, you may be interested in reading a book by Devon author, Ian Mortimer,
Why Running Matters: Lessons in Life, Pain and Exhilaration From 5K to the Marathon
In his book Ian talks us through a whole year of running in Devon, from his home in Moretonhampstead. He describes each run and reflects on why running is so valuable.
Escot 10km Runners
Escot Marathon Runners
The Mighty Green Fancy Dress Machine was out in force again on the 21st and 22nd of December with 12 members taking on various trail routes including the Extremely Jolly run, half marathon and full marathon events, all of which were in the grounds of the Escot estate writes Hamish Spence.
The 10k event took place on the Saturday and had six MG’s suitably kitted out in Christmas attire. The ground had been absolutely saturated with the recent rainfall, but the sky was a clear blue giving a jolly atmosphere and a promise of a fun run in the mud around the park. The start line resembled a scene of a magical Christmas wonderland with almost all of the runners wearing some form of fancy dress.
The first couple of miles were not bad and gave everyone a chance to warm up and prepare. There were a few hills but nothing a self-respecting MG couldn’t handle. Then the fun began! A loop up into the woods with some knee deep puddles and thick oozy mud! Déjà-vu of the Bicton Blister! Then six miles in and there was an optional water slide, not really an option if your belong to SRC and anyway it was a good opportunity to remove some of the mud acquired from the woodlands. Lastly, there was a short mile or so down hill to the finish line.
The extremely jolly Kyle Baker, turned into the extremely muddy Elf during this event! He set off at a fast pace, taking on the mud, woodlands and hill by himself. On arrival at the water slide he deliberated on the best approach on tackling the soggy descent. His decision to sit as he slid, turned out not so good and when arriving at the bottom, he rolled into the mud anyway! How graceful…not! Never mind, he picked himself up and carried on to the finish line to be the first MG and came in the 13th over all position in at an impressive 1h05m. Not far behind was Allan Kay taking 1h15m25s to finish followed by Emma Vine in 1h19m40s and Derek Blackburn in 1h22m42s. The best dressed Elf in the park, Laura Broughton trod carefully through the mud to arrive back in a clean 1h28m14s. Nikita Kay and Alexis Kay set off and ran the whole route together finishing in 1h41m10s. At the finish all the competitors received the Santa, with a full beard medal and a welcomed bottle of beer bringing a seasonal smile back to everyone’s faces.
Sidmouth Running Club
Junior members of Sidmouth Running Club receive their Mighty Green Awards for attending the half term course. Rose Ashby, Aidan Corfield and Tom Clapham all received their bronze award for attending all 5 sessions in the 12 to 14-year group.
The club is really keen to promote the 12 to 14 year olds so please come along and bring a friend to the next sessions on the 10th,17th and 24th November and the 1st and 8th of December at Sidmouth College Gymnasium and sports field where you will take part in the ABC’s of running under the instruction of our England Athletic Coaches. Please see the club website for more details.
In the evening on the 5th of October, eight Sidmouth Running Club members took part in the 2019 Swimathon challenge. The intention was to smash the club’s previous years’ record number of lengths swum writes Hamish Spence.
The 2019 Swimathon was organised by the Sidmouth Rotary Club to raise funds for three worthwhile causes, Admiral Nurse, Sidmouth Lifeboat and the Gateway Homeless Action Group. It took place at the town’s swimming pool where the participating teams had 55 minutes in which to swim as many lengths as possible.
Team Mighty Green 2019 were ready for the challenge, with all eight team members prepped with the knowledge that we needed to complete a certain number of lengths in that time, or face the walk of shame on Wednesday night, along with the wroth of King Terry should we fail! …Sorry I’m getting carried away again.
We split up, with four team members at each end of the pool, all knowing that we didn’t want to let each other down and that it was to be heads down and go for it. At 20:00hrs the start whistle sounded and we were off. Fifty five minutes to beat the previous years tally of 149 laps. This was never going to be an easy target to match, never mind beat!
Jon Bull had the honour of doing the first length and absolutely flew down the pool in just 23 seconds! Susan Reeve took lap two and then Sam Ingram took over for the third and absolutely stormed along. Sarah Watkins impressed herself as she took just 22 seconds to complete her first lap. Next up was Jasmine Reeves and then myself (Hamish Spence). I counted each time my right hand plunged into the water and got to 15. I was out of breath so didn’t notice how fast Kate Johnson had taken off, but i was informed that she was like lightning. Kate handed over to Claire Ashby who attacked her first lap at high velocity and made this event look easy. We were relentless for the first half and pushed our way through an amazing 80 laps. Our diligent adjudicator Val Sharp, kept a very close watch on our team and occasionally let us know how many laps we had completed. This was an enormous boost to our team confidence, so a special thank you goes out to Val. The knowledge that we had completed so many came at exactly the right time as we were all beginning to feel the pain we were inflicting upon ourselves. Our response to this information however, was to give words of encouragement to each other. These positive words did the trick, I could see in the other team members, the determination to do this thing and to keep going. We kept up this crazy pace for the duration. Ten minutes to go and it was going to be down to the wire! Could we do it? With the last five minutes to go it was lap 147… 148 … and then we equalised with the 2018 MG team, lap 149 was done. Now the question was, how many laps could we extend the club record by? We continued, pushing ourselves as hard as we could and then the final whistle blew, it was done. The 2019 team had succeeded in its quest to trance previous attempts. We are very proud to have done 155 laps and really wish Team Leader Tony Velterop and next years team the best of luck.