Sidmouth Running Club’s ‘Exe’-traordinary and ‘Exe’-citing Weekend of Events

Despite the yellow wind weather warning and the surprise of a tree surgeon working on part of the route, the second SRC Juniors/SidmouthFit fun run was a great success on Saturday morning with 48 children taking part.

The Fun Runners

SRC Junior leaders Grahame and Donna Womersley-Westlake and SidFit’s Tony Sarsby had to amend their plans including forgoing the popular water slide down the hill and staying away from the beach at Jacobs Ladder but this did not stop the fun.

Fun Run Organisers Donna, Tony, Grahame

Starting from Muttersmoor car park trainers were lost in the mud within the first 5 minutes and many slipped and skidded down the hill including parents!  Tony led 3 fun fitness activities along the route at Connaught Gardens

Connaught Gardens out of the wind

and both ends of the promenade and the run finished with a loop around the Ham playpark where everyone received a medal.

Team games

A big thank you to everyone who took part and to the Mighty Green marshals, many of whom were involved with JP’s 20th anniversary Exe to Axe Race the following day.

Plenty of fun

The wind was still blowing strongly on Sunday but the decision made by first time race director, Adrian Harris, to move the registration venue to The Ocean in Exmouth was a blessing; especially for the Mighty Green volunteers handing out the race numbers.

Signing in

As the runners, including 8 from SRC, set off at 10am and headed into the wind towards Sandy Bay and Budleigh Salterton following the coast path, the Mighty Green marshals were struggling to set up the aid stations-gazebos were a definite no and setting up cups and food trays without them blowing away required extra thought and cunning strategies!

Well wrapped Branscombe Marshals

Opting to run the 10 mile Sid to Axe option, 9 SRC runners set off from Sidmouth seafront at 11am and it wasn’t long before the front runners from Exmouth were over taking them having run through Ladram Bay into Sidmouth and back up Salcombe Hill onto Weston mouth.

The runners were surprised to see the beach art created by marshal Mark Norton who made good use of the washed up cuttlefish to make arrows and spell out ‘wrong way’ on the pebbles!

Mark getting inventive with cuttlefish

The relentless steps up from Weston beach, the steep climb out of Branscombe and the very strong head wind on Beer Head did not deter Axe Valley Runner, Matthew Clist,

Matthew Clist

who was the first male to cross the wind battered finish line at Seaton yacht club in 2:59:53 and

Alice Kelly

Exmouth Harrier, Alice Kelly, who was the first female to finish in 3:24:40, 6th overall.

Jake running through Branscombe

Jake Rowarth was the first male Mighty Green to finish the 22 mile Exe to Axe in 24th place in 3:53:42 and Amanda Stokes the first female Mighty Green to finish in 56th place in 4:21:48. PB’s for both as it was their first time running the event.

Amanda Stokes in Budleigh

MG Scott Chown was the first male to finish the Sid to Axe in 2:38:13, having run a new PB of 26:45 at Seaton parkrun the day before and a very happy Sarah Clapham was the first female MG to finish the Sid to Axe in 2:40:46.

Scott and Sarah-Sid to Axe completed!

The Exe to Axe was the brain child of John Perratt, a highly valued SRC member, who would have been very proud of his grandson Byron Fitzgerald, who ran this brutal challenging run with his girlfriend Kate for the first time.

JP’s grandson Byron, girlfriend Kate and family

Byron’s family supported them all along the route and cheered them over the finish line where RD Adrian, presented John’s widow, Brenda with a commemorative engraved wooden chopping board to mark the occasion.

Adrian and Brenda

The club is very grateful to Adrian, Tim Clay and Rob Edwards for all the work they have done to make the event a successful one and to all the Mighty Greens who helped on the day including back runners Jessica Rayner and Grahame Womersley-Westlake who ran from Sidmouth to the start of the race!  There were a lot of tired, weary runners at the end but they all spoke highly of the encouraging marshals and the great food selection at the aid stations provided by Kings Garden Centre which included Richard’s favourite falafels!

SRC Exe to Axe Results:  Jake Rowarth 3:53:42; Colin Ryan 4:19:38; Amanda Stokes 4:21:48; Lynda Hawkins 4:38:18; Roger Worthington 4:54:32; Mark Andow 4:59:30; Alice Gill 6:14:23; Naomi Garrick 6:32:48

SRC Sid to Axe Results: Scott Chown 2:38:13; Sarah Clapham 2:40:46; Sarah Ginsberg 2:42:16; Don Cawthera 3:01:54; Helen Palmer 3:02:54; Deb Cawthera 3:02:55; Jim Hudson 3:04:19; Liz Wright 3:31:16; Ann Cole 3:31:17