Sidmouth Celebrates The 50th Anniversary of the SW Coast Path By Land And Sea

Following a visit from the Easter bunny at SRC’s last Junior session (jumping very apt!) on Wednesday there was much excitement for the upcoming Junior Fun Run especially as this time there were optional water obstacles along the way.  Numbers swelled as Saturday approached due to football being cancelled because of the weather which meant a busy Friday evening of admin for SRC chairman Terry Bewes but worth it to see nearly 50 youngsters line up at the top of Muttersmoor.

A fantastic turn out for the Junior Fun Run

With club members and parents marshalling the route down to the grassy slope above Jacobs Ladder, their first chance to get wet and have fun loomed.

Slip Sliding away

Tony Sarsby and his Sidmouth Fit crew had set up a water slide which was thoroughly enjoyed and not just by the fun runners before they all headed down to the beach for more boot camp activities in the sea and sand.

Great team work on the beach

Now completely wet and covered in sand the smiling group continued their run along the promenade to the finish line at the Ham where they received a well deserved medal.

The finish line beckons

SRC 11+ leader Adrian Horne said what a brilliant well organised event it was, and it was great to be in collaboration with Sidmouth Fit.  He loved being involved with it.

Terry would like to thank everyone involved especially Tony Sarsby and the Sidmouth Fit crew for making the event such a success but most of all the children and their parents who had some very soggy, sandy clothes to wash!

SRC run leader Alexa Baker swapped her trainers for walking boots to lead a walk around the Sidmouth Ring on Saturday. SRC chairman Terry Bewes waved off seventeen walkers (not all SRC members which was great) and a dog called Blue as they set off from Kings Garden and Leisure Centre and headed to Core Hill to pick up the trail.

Ready to walk the Sidmouth Ring

It wasn’t as muddy as anticipated following the previous day of rain and the views were stunning over the different valleys.  The rain showers became a bit more persistent as they approached the SW coast path and waterproof trousers were donned but it did not dampen the groups spirit especially as the free cream tea was fast approaching.

Perfect photo opportunity for the Sidmouth Ring Walkers

So much so a short cut was required on top of Salcombe Hill to divert down Milltown Lane and up through Woolbrook to make sure they didn’t miss the 3.30pm deadline.  The walkers received a lovely welcome from Georgia and her team at Kings who served up endless pots of tea and huge, delicious scones with plenty of jam and cream. After 13 miles it went down a treat and was much appreciated.

Enjoying a well deserved cream tea after 13 miles


Sid Valley Cycle Club joined in the celebrations by having a club ride on Sunday morning taking in the coast path and visiting three beaches, Exmouth, Budleigh Salterton and Sidmouth.  SRC member Chris Heywood swapped his Mighty Green shirt for his SVCC one and joined 30 club riders for the 62km round trip.

SVCC at the start of their celebration cycle around the coast

Starting from Sidmouth, with two other meeting points along the way, the riders split into smaller groups.  Amazingly all the groups arrived at their coffee stop, Kings Garden and Leisure Centre in Exmouth at the same time before heading off to Budleigh Salterton on their way back to Sidmouth.

Sid Valley Cycle Club enjoying a well deserved coffee stop

Also, on Sunday morning 12 members of Axe Vale Canoe Club set off in sunshine from Seaton to enjoy the SW coastline from the sea as they paddled to Branscombe and back.

Axe vale canoe Club joining the celebrations

Once landing at Branscombe they chatted to the SRC marshals at the water station before having brunch at the Sea Shanty.  It’s a good job they fuelled up as their journey back was into a head wind making it much harder to paddle.

AVCC enjoying the coastline from the sea

The SRC marshals at the finish line at the yacht club watched their progress as they paddled across the bay completing their 9 mile trip back to their club house.


Ted Swain from East Devon Ramblers led a walk along the Coleridge Link,  open to everyone as part of the celebrations which included a lovely afternoon tea at Newton Poppleford village hall afterwards.

Admiring the views along the Coleridge Trail

31 walkers and 2 dogs joined leader Ted  to walk the 8.5 mile scenic route and a special mention must go to Martin Pratt who took part in the Sidmouth Ring walk and this one, was it the lure of the cream teas?

Afternoon tea for the East Devon Ramblers

Sunday saw the fruition of months of planning and organising for a small team of Mighty Greens Terry Bewes, David Lee, Rob Edwards, Tim Clay, Alexa and Kyle Baker , the inaugural Sweetcombe Scramble marathon and JP’s Exe to Axe race.

Most of the great Mighty Green organising team

At 8am Melissa Butcher, the only marathon walker, set off under sunny skies with a matching smile as the marathon runners gathered for their 9am start.

Melissa Butcher came from London to walk the marathon

The self-navigating route took them along the coast path to Budleigh Salterton, an inland loop to Otterton then back onto the coast path all the way to Axmouth. Sponsors Polly Cochrane and Alex Gwillim from Sweetcombe Cottage Holidays were at the finish line cheering the runners in and presented the overall winner James Blackbourn with a plaque, medal and lovely engraved Dartington glass vase.  James finished in 4:07:55, with Adam Gregory in second place in 4:19:37 and Matthew Harrison in third place 4:22:39.

Polly and Alex presenting their trophies to the winners of the Sweetcombe Scramble Marathon

First lady over the finish line was Harriet Foreman in 5:19:24, Adele Foxwell was second in 5:19:37 and Harriet’s mum, Jenny Lailey came third in 5:26:04.

Polly and Alex presenting the female winners of the Sweetcombe Scramble Marathon

They all received an engraved Dartington glass vase and a commemorative medal. For the Mighty Green marathon runners Jane Hemsworth came 1st in her age category and Mark Andow and Hannah Maslen came 3rd in their respective age categories. Jane and Mark were using this brute of a marathon as a training one for the London marathon in a few weeks’ time!

Richard entertaining MG marathoners

It was marathon 99 for Jo Earlam and she really appreciated marshal Richard King’s rendition of ’99 marathons’ to the tune of ’99 red balloons’ at the first water station.

The 19th JP’s Exe to Axe race was started at 10am by race director David Lee and David Perratt. The Exe to Axe race was renamed in memory of John Perratt, founding member and long term treasurer of Sidmouth Running Club and it was an honour to have son David, daughter Lynne and John’s wife, Brenda present throughout the event.  SRC had one relay team, Birds On The Run, with Ann Cole setting off with 11 other Mighty Greens ready to swop with Brigid McEleney-Smith at Sidmouth.

The Mighty Green Relay Team

Starting at 11am from Sidmouth 12 Mighty Greens ran the Sid to Axe, the toughest section by far.  In fact, the total climb overall is higher than Ben Nevis.

Ladram looking lovely in the sun

First to cross the finish line was Matt Clist in 3:05:26 and hot on his heels, Tim Lenton finished in 3:06:27 and James Green finished in 3rd place in 3:15:09.  Brenda Perratt presented them with their well-deserved trophies and medals having cheered them over the line.

Brenda Perratt presenting the trophies to the winners of JP’s Exe to Axe

A special mention must go to one family who went the extra mile to celebrate the anniversary of the coast path; Justin Adkin rowed a single scull wave piercer from Exmouth to Axmouth, his brother Robert ran JP’s Exe to Axe race and his sister Emily Fabizio cycled from Beer to Exmouth, turned around and cycled to Axmouth, all starting at 10am!

A family affair-rowing cycling and running from Exmouth to Seaton

Sidmouth Running Club would like to say a big thank you to their sponsors Sidmouth Town Council, Visit Sidmouth, Sweetcombe Cottage Holidays and councillor Ian Barlow for his vision without which the weekend of celebrations would not have happened.  This is true of the members of Sidmouth Running Club too who came on board supporting the events either by participating in them, marshalling them or both.  A weekend to remember.

The Exe to Axe Mighty Greens (missing Colin, Lynda and Pete)

Sweetcombe Scramble Marathon Results: Mark Andow 9th overall, 5:15:57; Grahame Womersley-Westlake 5:53:14; Ollie Goodchild-Horne 5:54:49; Martin Barnard 6:02:37; David Chipping 6:02:37; Hannah Maslen 7:08:43; Hamish Spence 7:13:11; Jo Earlam 7:55:25; Jane Hemsworth 7:55:53; Leeann Thomson 7:57:47. Adrian Horne retired at Sidmouth

Exe to Axe Results: Colin Ryan 4:11:22; Lynda Hawkins 4:35:46; Pete Norman 4:54:35; Becky McDonald 4:55:52; Vicky Eul 4:55:55; Paul Reeve 5:03:48; Clive Gilbert 5:37:58; Mark Norton 5:37:59; Helen Palmer 5:50:43; Clare Luke 6:14:50; Donna Womersley-Westlake 6:54:28. Simon Hollyer retired at Branscombe.  Out of a field of 126

Exe to Axe Relay:  Ann Cole and Brigid McSmith 5:36:21

Sid to Axe: Christine Farnham 2:43:53; Karen Farnham 5:43:53; Derek Blackburn 2:52:48; Becky Robson 2:54:51; Ian Robson 2:54:51; Kerry Salter 3:01:10;  Beccy Johnson 3:01:10; Kathy Jordan 3:01:10; Sarah Clapham 3:03:25; Christine McCormick 3:04:41; Liz Wright 3:05:50; Jim Hudson 3:05:50.