Sidmouth Running Club Pulls Out All the Stops for Women Can Marathon

Members of Sidmouth Running Club helped organise, prepare for, marshal and participate in the recent Women Can Marathon that passed through the town. Alongside the near 20 club entrants, members took on a variety of planning, goody bag assembly, route marking, course checking, relay change-over manning, water station and marshalling roles.

Jane Hemsworth gathered prizes and goody bag contents from local businesses. Becky Robson helped sponsor the run through her Hair Temple business and did the route marking from Peak Hill to the Byes. A job not helped by race administrator Jo Earlam driving off with all the markers in her car, meaning Becky wasn’t able to complete her task until gone 10pm on the marathon eve! Jane and husband Alan helped with goody bag assembly, Alan was also marking out late on Saturday, marshalling on the Sunday and both Jane and Becky completed the full marathon, despite their training being affected by injury.

David Hedges and Bill Valentine managed the halfway relay point at Sidmouth Rugby Football Ground, assisted by rugby and fellow running club members, and were also involved in course marking out and clearance. Several other members took up marshal positions around the town, with the Sidford water station being run by Ruth Burrough and Sarah Powell. Meanwhile, David Wright and Tim Clay had an early start doing a course check at 7am.

Diane Collett, who took part in the paired relay with friend Emma Franklin, was a pivotal part of the success of the event. As a director of IP Office Limited, Diane sought the support of fellow directors for the company to become headline sponsor. As sponsors, also of Exeter City Football Club, Diane could have had a seat in the royal box at Wembley on the day of the run, but she chose to give up that opportunity to run the first half, along gruelling hills of the south west coast path. Diane and Emma completed in 5:47:20.

There were some outstanding performances on the day. Second overall was Jessica Raynor in 3:53:54 – dubbed Sidmouth’s super-mum, having given birth nine weeks earlier.

In her first ever marathon Sue Collman completed in a terrific time of 5:03:41, in 70th place, declaring on crossing the finish line she’d never do another one, but by the following morning looking around for more events to enter!

Next in 78th place was Carine Silver in 5:06:56, another fantastic run; and fast times on that course for 81st Claire Ashby 5:12:35; and 88th Lynda Hawkins 5:18:02. The rest of the Sidmouth crew put in a sterling effort. In 107th was Becky Robson 5:31:13, recovering from injury; 108th Abbi Lee 5:31:13, completing her first marathon; also on her first 110th Janice Ranson 5:32:47; 127th Helen Palmer 5:38:53; another first-timer 139th Polly Burns 5:50:55; 145th Jane Hemsworth 5:57:52; 146th Jo Earlam 5:57:52; 150th Gail Goldsmith 6:01:19, a great time for Gail and earning her 3rd place in her age group.

The last overall finisher in the individual running category came in in 9:32:53, with 206 finishers.

Taking on the team relay for Sidmouth, finishing in a great overall time of less than 12 minute miling were Sue Cunningham, Christine Nichols, Jill Trivett and Kerry Salter – Team Rusty Legs, in cumulative time of 4:55:45, 9th team out of 14. And to complete the Sidmouth line-up Paula Farrand was part of the Shepphard Team, 4th team to finish in 4:38:59.

Jo Earlam, who’s idea the race was, said:

“I want to thank everyone in the Club who’s supported my dream for this event. It wouldn’t have happened without the effort that a lot of members put in, and without the personal support I’ve had at this difficult time since sadly losing my mum six weeks before the event. I’m thrilled that so many of our ladies entered, several running a marathon for the first time, and as an organising team we’ve been overwhelmed and delighted by the positive feedback. The support from the club through loan of equipment, members and their families volunteering to help, and the business support generated through the club has been crucial to the event’s success. Thank you, Sidmouth Running Club, – you are a very mighty green!”