The Grizzly 2019

The Grizzly 2019. Trails Of The Unexpected.

Organised by Axe Valley Runners, this year’s version of the Grizzly (2019) was given the title of The Trails Of The Unexpected. This is a tough 19 (ish) mile, cross country all terrain race with hills, mud and 2 bogs. There are streams and sea water to wade through, pebble beaches to run along and the killer Stairway To Heaven to climb. With over 3000 ft of elevation gain to get around the course, it is not for the faint hearted.

So, on the blowy but sunny Sunday the morning of March the 10th, there were 44 Mighty Greens amongst the 2000 plus runners. All of which were very excited and dead keen to get going.  All were waiting behind the start line, with hundreds of spectators looking on. The loud chatter came to a sudden stop when the Seaton Town Crier loudly rang his bell to address all in attendance. He gave encouragement to all participants raising their spirits with some light hearted banter. He also announced that this would be his last Grizzly duty… and so The Trails Of The Unexpected began.

In the Full Grizzly was Jessica Raynor, who was doing very well until around the 16th mile when bad cramp set in! She tried walking, but this made it worse! However, not wishing to stop, she gritted her teeth and continued at a slower running pace for the last push home. Back from injury was Antony Hall with an average 9.30min/mile pace, he got around in very good time having felt encouraged by the race Marshals and spectators. Danny Painter took off from the start and never held back. He even managed a PB from Branscombe Mouth all the way up The 168ft of Stairway To Heaven in13m54s. Sue Coleman survived the icy stumble through the Bog and retained her composure and an average pace of 11.19min/miles over the whole route with a superbly fast 7.31mi/mile sprint over the finish line. She ran with Charlotte Forrer, Jim Forrer and non MG Andy Rosewarm. Knocking around 13 minutes from his last time at the Grizzly was Ross Walton. Ross did a 10 mile training session the day before this race as he is preparing for a ‘back to back’ long run weekend in the East Devon Round. Martin Trueman puts his successful Grizzly run down to his pre-race prep…a banana and Latte at Le Pisani, while soaking up the warm morning sunshine. I think it’s more likely that what got him through his run was the re-fuelling of Jelly Babies and Beer sampling for pain-relief. Either way i think he had it sussed. He also thanks the fantastic Marshall that found his phone and took the time and effort to reunite him with it at the finish line. This was Sam Ingram’s first Grizzly run and he was using it as a training run in preparation for the forthcoming London Marathon. He took it easy and really enjoyed the camaraderie amongst both competitors and Marshals. Naomi Garrick having checked the days weather report, made a wise decision on her attire, opting for proper running kit instead of the fancy dress option. This was by far the toughest run to date for Els Laureys who said she loved the atmosphere created by runners, marshals at the spectators. She also enjoyed the scenery, the flapjacks and the well stocked Jelly Baby watering stations. Sarah Watkins ran with Terry Bewes for the first half saying that “she was making sure he didn’t do himself in, as she was not quite ready to take over as Chairperson”! However, at the halfway point Sarah took off and left Terry in the capable care of Helen Palmer. As it turned out, it was Terry who did the saving of the day. When the pair were running through the second bog, Helen got her foot stuck in a tree root. She then got severe cramp in her calf while in the ice cold water and was only stopped from falling head first into the bog by the Mighty Green King Terry.

In the Cub, was Ben Chesters who had decided to limit himself to this race due to oncoming orienteering events, set out to run at a constant effort pace. He stopped once at the memorial to remember lost family and friends. His effort pace worked very well for him as he took first place over the line. Colin L’Anson was impressed by the news being given to him by the Marshals who kept him informed of who was in the lead, even their encouragement to run fast and catch him up was helpful.  Steve and his son Jack Saunders ran most of the way together. Steve was very pleased to have knocked 10 minutes from his previous time. This was the second Cub for Kat Hall and although she found the Stairway To Heaven tougher this time, she also managed to make better time than the previous attempt by 20 minutes.

RESULTS: Full Grizzly.

Mark Souter 1st MG in 107th in 2h57m09s, Antony Hall 148th in 3h01m30, Jessica Raynor 177th in 3h08m24s, Danny Painter 203rd in 3h12m10s, David Chipping 255th in 3h18m29s, Nick Dicks 430th in 3h32m10s, Nicola Dowsing 510th in 3h40m09s, Sue Coleman 513th in 3h40m15s, .Jessica Trim 569th in 3h44m43s, Sophie Trim 570th in 3h44m45s, John Keast 578th in 3h45m27s, Mark Welland 583rd in 3h45m50s, Charlotte Forrer 590th and Jim Forrer 591st both in 3h46m06s, Martin Trueman 600th in 3h46m46s, Simon Stokes 628th in 3h48m35s, Greg Ward 659th in 3h50m58s, Sam Ingram 672nd in 3h52m09s, Claire Ashby 818th in 4h03m12s, Simon Hollyer 860th in 4h06m41s, Naomi Garrick 861st in 4h06m41s, Kaylee Hawkins 1009th and Lynda Hawkins 1010th both in 4h20m28s, Graham Sheppard 1235th in 4h41m41s, Els Laureys 1267th in 4h45m05s, Sarah Watkins 1332nd in 4h51m15s, Terry Bewes 1505th in 5h23m06s, Helen Palmer 1506th in 5h23m07s, John Sharples 1565th in 5h37m53s. Out of 1589 Runners. Out of 1605 Runners.


Overall Winner Ben Chesters and first SRC in 1h10m20s, Colin L’Anson 54th in 1h30m18s, Jack Saunders 62nd in 1h31m47s, Steve Saunders 182nd in 1h47m57s, Renata Mihalik 183rd