The Beautifully Brutal Blackdown Beast

Sidmouth Running Club was out in force on Saturday taking part in The Blackdown Beast.  The 16 mile social run with 10 mile option provides a great opportunity to use it as training for the upcoming Four Trigs, Grizzly, JP’s Exe to Axe and the Sweetcombe Scramble Marathon.

The Mighty Greens Gather Around The Flag

Organised by Honiton Running Club and with special permission from local farm/land owners the Mighty Greens had to self-navigate their way around the picturesque landscape.

One of the queues to get through the gates

Looking for white drawing pins on posts and gateways proved interesting, at one point two groups of Mighty Greens lost their way but all was not lost as they saw a deer.  Between the printed instructions in one group and the high tech version in the other they soon were back on the right track.

Mud and other farm substances also featured heavily along the route, Kathy Jordan lost her trainer early on but managed to stay upright to pull it out and gamely put it back on.

Kathy Jordan with both shoes on in the mud

The first leg was 7.6 miles on seldom used footpaths which took you to the first refreshment stop at Smeatharpe.  Here we were treated to hot pasties and mulled cider with an option to wrap the pasty in foil to save for later. A great idea as it was too cold to hang around for long.

Enjoying the hot pasty and mulled cider stop

The next 2.8 mile leg along lanes and country paths dropped down to Upottery.  This was the point where the 10 milers waited for the mini bus to take them back to the start.

The 10 milers waiting for the mini bus at The Sidmouth Arms

The 16 milers continued to Rawridge then a climb to Luppitt for the final refreshment stop before running the final 2.7 mile leg back to Dunkeswell Airfield.

As the minibus dropped off the SRC 10 milers, Mighty Greens Neville Hylton and Stuart Moul were just finishing with David Wright not far behind.

All the Mighty Greens enjoyed the well organised event and the opportunity to run without the pressure of being timed especially as the many gates and stiles naturally slowed you down.