Derek Goes International while 10 Is The Magic Number For Sidmouth Running Club

Mighty Green and park run enthusiast Derek Blackburn planned his travel accommodation to be near the location of the only park run on the equator. Even jet lag, the 7.30am start and the 33o heat didn’t dampen Derek’s enjoyment as he represented Sidmouth Running Club at the East Coast Park park run in Singapore!

Derek flying the MG flag in Singapore

Fellow park run enthusiast, Clive Gilbert, didn’t have a problem with the heat!  The Mighty Green ran the Ashton Court park run in Bristol, having ran a 5k warm up beforehand which signalled the completion of his Tommy 10k challenge.  Fund raising for the Royal British Legion, Clive had to run 10k a day for 11 days from November1st to Armistice day.  Run leader Clive took on this challenge as his son Matt joined the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers in April and raised over £150.

Clive celebrating in Bristol

Vice chair Sarah Watkins and Carol Hounsell took part in the Drogo10 organised by SW Runners.  The MG duo decided on the first mile to take it slow and steady as they had past many fallen and returning runners who had gone over on the mud! They both enjoyed the hilly, muddy, cross country terrain with stunning views of the Teign Valley and finished in 2:26:02.

Junior run leader Adrian ‘Gripper’ Horne headed up to Chipping Sodbury, South Gloucestershire to take part in the aptly named Sodbury Slog.  Organised by Bitton Road Runners the 10 mile route is billed as a lung busting, trainer ruining, hill climbing multi terrain challenge.  To commemorate the fallen the race is preceded by 2 minutes silence and the last post. Gripper said it was very wet and cold but despite this enjoyed himself and finished in 2:07:01, 706th out of a field of 1057.

Gripper slogging away

The first Sunday run was another way to ruin your trainers as Sarah Clapham found out!  The route from Sidford, down the Byes to pick up the coast path to Weston, into Harcombe (10 miles) and onto Sidbury (13 miles) was full of mud and not made any easier with the persistent rain so there were plenty of slips and trips along the way.

The sea is there somewhere!

The idea of the Sunday runs is to increase your mileage and time on your legs in preparation for the Blackdown Beast, 4 Trigs, Grizzly and the clubs’ own Exe to Axe but it is also very social and gives you an opportunity to meet members of the club you wouldn’t normally run with on a club night.

Blue skies at Weston


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Mighty Green Duo Take On Dartmoor 100

At midday last Friday Sidmouth Running club’s Mark Andow and Adrian Harris started the Dartmoor 100, a 106+ mile circumnavigation of Dartmoor on the Dartmoor Way. Organised by Outer Edge events and described as a most challenging and adventurous route, the ultra-marathon had a 34 hour cut off.

Raring to go, Mark and Adrian at the start of Dartmoor 100

Adrian described the weather as surprisingly good for Dartmoor, but the cold and very muddy conditions proved challenging; even more so as night fell and slipping around in the mud in the dark became very tiring, demoralising, and hard.  Even with modern GPS technology the Mighty Green found it difficult to stay on the right path and tiredness was making it more difficult to skip over hidden roots and slippery rocks so after running for an impressive 10 hours, 42 miles, he decided to retire at Cornwood check point.

Meanwhile, strong and determined, Mark was being encouraged along by his support crew, wife Anna and dog, Ginny.  They kept his spirits up, kept him company, supplied him with dry socks and custard; the MG said he couldn’t have done it without them.

Adrian also lifted Mark’s spirits when he returned to Dartmoor on Saturday to cheer Mark through Chagford at 5pm, Throwleigh, South Zeal and Belstone before running out to guide Mark and two others in on the last section. Calling him a Mighty Green hero, Mark really appreciated Adrian’s help through the brutal, potentially dangerous, as he was so tired, final stretch and crossed the finish line at 9.40pm, back in Okehampton nearly 34 hours later.

Running through Peter Tavy

Describing Mark at the end, Adrian said he was obviously very tired and it would be wrong to call him cheery but no matter how you look at it his achievement was incredible, one of which he should be very proud. Reflecting on his epic challenge Mark said it was an awesome day/night/day/night experience, brutally hard but well worth it, a great adventure.

Mark completing the Dartmoor 100

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A Fire Cracking Weekend of Runs For Sidmouth Running Club

Our Mighty Green twins, Christine and Karen Farnham, enjoyed Sportivas’ Devon Trail 10k on Saturday. Three hundred and forty nine runners started from Bicton College where the single loop course took them on to Woodbury Common along some cracking trails with some tough little climbs and a couple of stream crossings; although there was water everywhere!  Christine finished in 1:06:37 and Karen in 1:07:24.

Karen and Christine enjoying their 10k

Not ones to shy from a challenge Clare Luke and Donna Womersley-Westlake joined up with friend Emma Wiles from Up and Running club, Torquay to take on Climb South Wests’ 8 Trig Challenge.  In its 4th year the self-navigating route was in an anticlockwise direction and covered 34.3 miles with 5453 feet of elevation.

A dusky trig

The previous week’s flat marathon had left its mark with Clare as her calf grumbled five miles in but this did not stop the Mighty Green and with her team mates visited all trig points to finish at 8.22pm, 12 hours and 12 minutes.  Donna said it was definitely a challenge but she enjoyed it, even after slipping over in the mud and Clare said the medal was worth the pain.  Both agreed the back sweepers were very helpful and encouraging and shared many a laugh with them all the way to the finish line.

Still smiling after 12 hours

Mighty Green Niall Hawkins headed to Bideford to take part in ‘possibly the fastest 10 miler in Devon’ on Sunday.  Niall found the wind a struggle on the Tarka Trail between mile 5 and 9 but he still finished in an astonishing quick 1:08:21!

A pint of Guinness and a solid medal for Niall

In glorious sunshine 22 Mighty Greens set off from Sidford Social Hall alongside 234 fellow runners taking part in LMEs’ Sidmouth 10k on Sunday.  Not only were the MG’s out in force running there were plenty marshalling along the course too, cheering everyone along, especially at the top of Hillside Road!

The start of the Sidmouth 10k

The out and back route takes you down the Byes, up Hillside Road, down Laskeys Lane and Beatlands, over the Ford, along the seafront and back again.  Hot from the tar barrels, run leader Yasmin Salter was the first SRC over the finish line in 52:46 in 61st position with fellow run leader Richard King hot on her heels finishing in 53:21, 64th place. Mighty Green Marion Johnson won her age category in 1:10:10, her marathon training and strength and conditioning sessions paying off. Organiser Lizzie Mayne and her team ensured the event ran smoothly and always asks the runners to bring a smile; there were plenty of smiles evident throughout the morning especially crossing the finish line and definitely no fireworks!

Most of the Mighty Greens at the Sidmouth 10k

Results: Yasmin Salter 52:46; Richard King 53:21; Clive Gilbert 55.45; Naomi Garrick 53:21; Georgia Gater 57:21; Paul Reeve 57:34; Greg Ward 57:46; Neville Hylton 58:09; Nikita Kay 58:48; Scott Chown 1:00:34; Cameron Baker 1:00:54; Charlie Fawell 1:01:02; Adrian Horne 1:06:09; Kathy Jordan 1:07:26; Alexa Baker 1:07:27; Christie Ward 1:08:08; Jo Earlam 1:10:09; Marion Johnson 1:10:10; Kay Hylton 1:16:22; Christine McCormick 1:16:29; Julia Haddrell 1:17:41; Ann Cole 1:22:11

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SRC Conquer Challenge, Canter Down The Grand Canal and Swim for Charity

On Saturday, run leader Derek Blackburn was in York to complete the A-Z of park runs; there is no X in case you were wondering!  The Mighty Green recently completed his 100th park run and we look forward to seeing which of the many park run challenges he takes on next.

Derek completes the park run alphabet

A true Mighty Green, Kathy Jordan was not going to let the flooding in Sidbury stop her from taking part in this years Sidmouth Community Swimathon even though her wellies were at work!  In huge, borrowed wellies Kathy walked and waded half a mile to reach team captain Alexa Baker in Sidford and made it just in time for the team photo-phew!  The Mighty Green Swimming Machine (Naomi Garrick, Charlie Fawell, Chris McCormack, Kay and Neville Hylton, Kathy, Alexa) swam 94 lengths in a variety of styles before heading to the pub for sustenance!

The MG Swimming Machine

On Sunday three Mighty Greens headed up to Tiverton to take part in Winding Path’s Grand Canal Canter.  Taking part in the marathon option Clare Luke and Donna Womersley-Westlake had an 8.10am start and were able to forewarn Nikita Kay who hadn’t left Sidmouth as she had a 10.45am start time to bring plenty of layers as it was chilly.  The out and back route along the flat, picturesque Grand Western Canal meant that the Mighty Greens could cheer each other on as they passed each other, 1 lap for the half and two for the marathon.

Nikita enjoying her first half marathon

Nikita found the first six miles hard going and it wasn’t until the rain started that she found her rhythm and had a boost from supporting family and friends at the halfway point. This was MG Nikita’s first half marathon and her early morning training runs paid off as she finished in 2:17:24, 48th in a field of 69-a PB!  Clare was struggling with the flat course but despite this, with Donna, finished in 6:28:55, a new PB for them and just inside the cut off time.  All three were very happy with their medals.

Clare and Donna smiling despite the rain

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Sidmouth Running Club Make The Most Of The October Sunshine

On Saturday run leader Clive Gilbert returned to the town of his birth to run his 200th park run; his 74th in a different venue!  Accompanied by fellow MG and run leader Derek Blackburn, Clive enjoyed his trip down memory lane.

Clive at his 200th parkrun!

Mighty Greens represented the club at two half marathons on Sunday.  Run leader Yasmin Salter headed up to Bath where she said it was a beautiful morning to run through the city.  How much of the city did she see though as she set herself a new PB finishing in 1:54:34?!

A very happy Yasmin Salter

Sarah Clapham and Sue Collman headed off in the other direction to take part in the 13th Eden Project half marathon, Cornwall’s biggest running event organised by St Austell running club and the Eden Project.  The ladies enjoyed the route which took them through woodland, along quiet lanes and through villages where there was great support from locals.  The final stretch was downhill within the grounds which offered great views of the biomes.  They were very pleased with their 2:36:17 finish time considering the hilly terrain and thoroughly enjoyed the complimentary pasty and beer at the end. All runners had free admission to visit the biomes afterwards and one tree will be planted at the Eden project for each runner registered.  A great day out.

Sarah Clapham and Sue Collman by the biome

Much closer to home, 25 club runners including 3 Juniors took part in the inaugural ColyTEN and fun run organised by Axe Valley Runners in association with Colyton Football Club.  It was a superbly well organised event; everyone was very welcoming, there were lots of encouraging marshals and the route was marked out very clearly.  AVR know what they are doing as organisers of The Grizzly and as MG run leader Bex McDonald said it felt like a mini Grizzly with all the best bits of deep streams, sticky mud, steep hill scrambles and even a samba band!

MG’s at the Inaugural ColyTEN

In fact getting to the start line was a taste of what was to come, a five minute walk from race HQ at Peace Memorial Playing Fields which involved skirting a large section of slurry only to learn that you were soon to turn around and run through it!

We didn’t go through the gate on the way back!

Whilst the runners were getting to the start the 1 mile fun run took place and Barney, Dom and Amelia, wearing their new club t-shirts did the club proud and enjoyed themselves too.

Juniors Barney, Amelia and Dom

MG Niall Hawkins had recced part of the course the previous weekend and it paid off, he was the first SRC over the line in 1:18:17, finishing 20th out of a field of 235 runners and MG Louise Dalton was the first SRC female to finish in 1:36:10.

The multi-terrain 10 mile route involved two river crossings (a chance to wash off the slurry), a steep ascent through Ox Woods, beautiful undulating woodland paths through Morganhayes Woodland and two extremely steep climbs which made it very difficult underfoot at times.  This was reflected in the slips, trips and falls that were experienced along the way from run leader Alexa Baker sliding elegantly to her knees on a fresh cow pat to MG’s Becky Knapman and Amanda Stokes who are now sporting some nasty bruises, cuts and grazes.  It wasn’t just the MG’s who took a tumble, Christine and Karen Farnham assisted a fellow runner who took a nasty fall in front of them as did Scott Chown and Nikita Kay which reflected in their finish times but shows how supportive the Mighty Greens are.

Kerry Salter flies over a stile

Although all the runners knew there was a lap of the playing fields before crossing the end it was mentally challenging to turn away from the finish flags to run it.  Vice chair Sarah Watkins, loudly pronounced her dislike of it as she crossed the finish line with Carol Hounsell, referring it to the ‘slurry’ at the beginning of the race!

The flapjack, banana and buff were appreciated by all as were the stunning views from the top of the woods.  Hopefully this challenging race will be a firm fixture in the years to come.

Results:  Niall Hawkins 1:18:17; Louise Dalton 1:36:10; Mark Norton 1:40:27; Amanda Stokes 1:41:19; Stuart Moul 1:44:56; Paul Reeve 1:52:01; Rachel Bernard 1:53:02; Beccy Johnson 1:55:58; Alison Williams 1:56:04; Becky McDonald 1:56:05; Christine Farnham 2:02:58; Karen Farnham 2:03:40; Nikita Kay 2:05:17; Scott Chown 2:05:17; Becky Knapman 2:06:08; Katie Harris 2:11:43; Alexa Baker 2:12:39; Kerry Salter 2:12:40; Sarah Watkins 2:22:39; Carol Hounsell 2:22:40; Donna Womersley-Westlake 2:34:56; Clare Luke 2:34:57



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SRC ‘Hippos’ Enjoy Thigh High Mud While An SRC ‘Reindeer’ Got A Sting In His Tail!

It wasn’t just the adult runners that got to experience the wet and muddy conditions at the weekend as Honiton Running Club’s Honiton Hippo 10k also had a 2 mile calf run too. SRC junior Amelia Womersley-Westlake was determined to take part despite being 2 years below the age bracket.  Luckily the race organisers allowed dad, Grahame, to run alongside her and she thoroughly enjoyed the route down Clapper Lane, through Combe Woods and back up Clapper Lane where they both received a finishers medal. The junior Mighty Green finished in 28:28.

The Mighty Greens

Four out of the seven adult MG’s were experiencing the Hippo for the first time and the ‘helpful’ insights from the other three may not have been appreciated.  It is billed as a tough multi terrain race, just over 7 miles with plenty of mud and water to contend with not to mention the very challenging hills!

Donna thigh high in very muddy water

Once through Combe Woods you enter the Land Rover Experience site, and what an experience it is!  Stony, rutted ascents and descents with deep muddy stretches-who knows what’s lurking in there.

Happy to see what their feet are treading on!

The return leg was through glorious countryside and just as your shorts had dried out you encounter two river crossings; the second of which some people opted to swim as it was very deep.

The Mighty Greens chose to stay on two feet and use the safety rope and ladder provided as well as a helping hand from one of the many friendly marshals.

Kathy and Alexa embracing the cold

Mark Andow was the first Mighty Green to finish in 47th place in 1:14:27 out of a field of 154. Scott Chown running his first event in a SRC shirt finished with Beccy Johnson in 1:38:22, closely followed by Kathy Jordan and Alexa Baker in 1:39:32 and Clare Luke and Donna Womersley-Westlake in 1:50:43.

A lovely tote bag to finish

Avoiding mud and water SRC’s Jane Hemsworth ran The Toffee Apple Challenge organised by Running Events Devon.  The Mighty Green ran the marathon option, her 43rd, and enjoyed the very pretty out and back route along the old Exmouth railway line and finished in 4:32:00!

Jane with her toffee apple and medal

Chairman Terry Bewes also avoided the mud when he ran a recce of the upcoming Otterton reindeer run instead he found himself shoulder high in stinging nettles along the route! There weren’t many body parts that didn’t get stung and needless to say  a bit of hedge trimming will take place before December 2nd!  To find out how to enter the 10k Reindeer Run and Fun Run please go to

Good job Terry wasn’t wearing his MG shirt!

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A’moo’sing Weekend For The Mighty Greens

Sidmouth Running Club’s Clive Gilbert ventured over to Killerton on Saturday morning to take part in his 197th parkrun but it didn’t go very s’moo’thly.  The start was delayed by 45 minutes due to the Highland cattle that roam the parkland stubbornly refusing to budge from the course!  Run leader Clive said when they finally started it was a slightly shortened route to avoid the bovine squatters, albeit not the significant evidence of their recent presence!  Determined to complete the course before further disruptions the Mighty Green registered his highest ever placing at Killerton, 26th out of 179 runners.

SRC’s Jo Earlam attended her first 100 Marathon Club run and AGM at the weekend. The event was held in Ironbridge, Shropshire and Jo opted for the half marathon route over the full marathon so she could enjoy the stunning scenery including beautiful, wooded valleys and historic buildings. Jo took it slowly, with other runners passing her putting in lots of effort on the full marathon course and was delighted to finish in first place as it turned out the Mighty Green was the only entrant in the half!

Jo at her first 100 Marathon Club AGM and run

MG Emma Grainger went to Newton Abbott for the Teignbridge Trotters Dornafield 10 on Sunday. Not only did Emma enjoy the scenic route she came 2nd in her class (FV70+) and won a lovely bottle of wine and a finisher’s memento of a scene on the route.

Emma with her prize

LME’s Bradley’s 10k also took place on Sunday where four SRC members took part, although Gail Goldsmith was running for her old club.

The Awesome Foursome

The blustery conditions were nothing like the weather conditions Yasmin Salter and Alexa Baker ran in the week before but did make the flat two lap course along Exmouth seafront a bit more challenging.

Yasmin battling the blustery conditions

Despite this Mighty Green Nikita Kay knocked 7 minutes off her previous 10k time and Alexa 4 minutes; they were delighted to finish in 57:29 although a long way from catching Yasmin up who finished in 50:04!

Alexa and Nikita Jumping For Joy

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Sidmouth Running Club’s Character Building Club Outing

When SRC’s Becky (Bex) McDonald approached chairman Terry Bewes about organising a club outing to Haytor to run The Templer Way having previously experienced and enjoyed the ‘downhill’ route the weather wasn’t an issue.  But it was no mean feat to organise as a low tide was crucial and the trip, which was put out to all club members, had been postponed once. Was it knowing this that pulling out was not an option despite a yellow weather warning or that Mighty Greens aren’t made of sugar as said by vice chair, Sarah Watkins?  Either way, 18 club runners, some like Kerry Salter, way out of their comfort zone, boarded the coach at Teignmouth, having driven through heavy rain and flooded roads to get there.  There was hysterical laughter when press officer Alexa Baker asked how everyone was feeling as the coach driver dropped them off in disbelief into thick fog and rain, Haytor nowhere to be seen.

Haytor is there somewhere!

Wisely Bex suggested the runners kept together to pick up The Templer way, a scenic and historic waymarked route linking Dartmoor and the South coast of Devon.  With Richard King keeping everyone’s spirits up by repeatedly saying ‘it’s not cold though’, it wasn’t long before the distinctive granite rails were visible.  It was great teamwork between Adrian Harris, Mark Andow and Bex for safely navigating everyone from the coach to the start requiring exemplary navigation skills and knowledge of Dartmoor in such poor visibility.

Running through very poor visibility on Dartmoor

At this point the larger group naturally split into 3 based on pace; the faster group had the advantage of Bex’s knowledge and GPX technology were soon out of sight, the second group realising their map reading skills left a lot to be desired teamed up with Clare Luke, Donna and Grahame Womersley-Westlake who also had the technology. The group still managed to doubt themselves mainly because the markers were few and far between especially on the road section which they doubled back on! On the outskirts of Bovey Tracey, Clive thought about diverting to the House of Marbles as he felt he had lost his a few miles earlier while luckily for the second group Kathy Jordan had remembered reading about going past the House of Marbles which put them back on the right track having followed Grahame’s GPX through some nearby woods. A quick chat to a local put them back on the right (cycle) track where the groups split again.

Following the granite tram lines

On reaching Newton Abbott, Yasmin Salter picked up her prearranged dry lift home whilst the other members of her group ploughed on.

You don’t go over THAT bridge!

For the second group it was where it all went disastrously wrong, having asked for directions when they couldn’t see a way marker anywhere, they ended up the wrong side of the wrong river having run around the edge of Newton Abbot racecourse!  There was no time to be disheartened, the only option was to retrace their steps. A quick call to Richard in the advance party (they were already in Shaldon having waded through several flooded areas) put them back on the right track.

Richard testing the depth of the flood water

There are two hours within low tide to access the Teign Estuary shoreline, which is uneven and very slippery after heavy rain, never mind during it but this didn’t stop the advance party running on it. Although at least one member in each group slipped and fell on this stretch whether they were running or walking it. It felt monotonous at times having to skirt the edges to avoid the sinking mud but the rain had finally stopped and the sight of Grahame’s coat ahead in the distance lifted the misguided groups spirits as did the sight of the Shaldon/Teignmouth road bridge.

The Estuary path

Respect to Becky Knapman, Amanda Stokes, Stuart Moul, Louise Dalton, Clive, Mark, Adrian, Richard and Bex for running beyond the bridge to the official end of the trail despite the ferry not running.

Teignmouth in sight

The other runners were content to get back to the car park especially Clare who had not run for 7 weeks and the group that ended up running 20 miles.  It turned out to be a great London marathon training session for Kathy, who doubled the distance of her previous longest run, had to dig deep to keep going especially when retracing her steps and kept on running through the atrocious weather!

Pleased to have found a sign!

To round off the day some of the earlier runners got changed and enjoyed a late lunch while Naomi Garrick entertained her group as she tried to prevent a flock of seagulls eating her well deserved ice cream before heading back to Sidmouth through the floods.  A Mighty Green thank you to Bex and Terry for organising this memorable outing. Clive now feels that SRC members should be issued with care(less) instructions that read “Mighty Greens may still run even if immersed in water at 20 degrees”!

Smiling all the way!


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SRC’s Claudia Barry Smashes Fundraising 100k Challenge Despite 33 Degree Heat!

When Claudia Barry chose to run the 100k Thames Path Ultra Challenge in September to fundraise for The National Brain Appeal she hadn’t anticipated it would be the hottest day of the year!

In fact, 331 runners withdrew from the race which shows how determined Claudia was to finish and how her support team played an important part in keeping her cool and hydrated during the 19 hours 54 minutes she was running.

Some of Claudia’s’ support team

Starting from Putney, the ultra, which is just shy of 2.5 continuous marathons, follows the Thames Path to Henley where a jubilant Claudia crossed the finish line at 3.30am, 56th woman out of 251 and 245th out of a field of 609 overall.

A Jubilant Claudia

The Mighty Green, who first joined the club when she was 17, is very grateful to her support crew and support runners who ran with her from 29k including SRC’s Richard King and his friend Rick Bollenger who followed her the whole way with food, first aid and ice packs which were essential to keep her cool.

For Claudia losing a couple of toenails and dealing with some horrendous blisters was well worth the £5,000+ she has raised for a charity close to her heart.  Huge congratulations Claudia!

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The Mighty Green Shirt Puts Sidmouth On The Map

Sidmouth Running Club’s Liz Wright and Jim Hudson completed the 9 Edge Challenge on the hottest day of the year in the Peak District!  The couple thoroughly enjoyed the stunning scenery and there was only one answer for Jim when someone said it was a long trip from Sidmouth to take part and that was why not!

Liz Wright On The 9 Edge Challenge

Further afield Adrian ‘Gripper’ Horne took the opportunity to wear his Mighty Green shirt whilst travelling through Switzerland to Italy. Gripper decided to do some high, high altitude training up in the Alps!

Gripper wearing the MG in the Alps

Closer to home a few club members including two juniors, Jack (wearing the new Junior SRC t-shirt)and Amelia, took part in the Sidbury Fun Run. Although according to Emma Grainger it wasn’t much fun as it was very hot, very hilly with much walking!  Despite this Emma, along with the others, enjoyed the views and the finishers pottery bowl made it all worthwhile.

Some of the MG’s at Sidbury Fun Run

Over 20 children were welcomed back to the Junior club night on Wednesday following the Summer break.  Both age groups 8-11 and 11+ took part in circuit training on the sports field at St Johns School where the new agility ladder provided entertainment.

The Juniors have started back after the summer

The 8-11 year olds will be enjoying sessions on endurance, jumping, throwing and sprinting with group games, warm ups and cool downs over the next few weeks and the 11+ group will be out running, improving techniques, developing stamina and having fun too.  Please contact Junior Coach Kerry through the website for further information.

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