Leap-Year Park Running

   With this year being a leap year, the 29th of February was coincidently a Saturday. Nobody has run a Parkrun on a Saturday the 29th of February before, as the last time was back in 1992, long before Parkrun began. The next time it will be possible to do this will be on Sat 29th Feb 2048, so put that date in your diary… just under 28 years to go writes Hamish Spence.
   Shaun Tipton headed up north to take part in the picturesque Parkrun in Worsley, Manchester. There was a great atmosphere with some rain, a bit of sunshine, woodlands and one stream, all on a flattish route. Shaun particularly enjoyed the cheerful high-fiving Marshall’s. At Henstridge Airfield Arthur and Christine Vince managed a 45m41s and 48m38s timing respectively and traveling even further afield, to the other side of the globe in Queenstown Park Run, New Zealand was Karen Farnham and David Millen. A pleasant route alongside Lake Wakatipu and through woodlands and gardens. It including three hills and felt very slow, However both managed to get around in under 30 minutes. Nearer to home David H Welsh, David Skinner, Christie Ward, John Sharples Sarah Powell and  Beccy Johnson all leapt into action at a blustery stoney Seaton. Julia Haddrell was joined by eight other MG’s at Exmouth, they had almost every weather type thrown at them, wind, rain, hail, a beautiful rainbow and then finally the sun came out! Sarah clapham was the first back in a respectable 25m54s, Derek Blackburn 26m17s, Paula Farrand 26m50s, Al Colwill 27m02s, Bert Dykema 28m52s, Julia Haddrell 32m06s, Jane Stein 32m44s, Lesley Miszewska 32m59s, Joanne May 49m37s.

Sunday Winter Running Comes To A Close.

   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?

Saturday Mudlarkin’ and Wild Swimming

  “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.

Wednesday Night Run – 4th March

Wed 4th 19:00 Sailing Club, Sidmouth. 3 miles: Terry | 3 miles: Chris | 4 – 5 miles & Warm Up: Paul | 6 miles steady: Claire | Interval/Speed: Tim M | Floater: David \off-road Newton Poppleford Tennis courts: Hamish |Map click here.