Half Term Running Fun For SRC Juniors

Amelia-Womersley Westlake represented Sidmouth Running Club twice during the half term break as well as joining in a junior running club team building session at the Bear Trail in Cullompton.

Amelia and Graham finish the Two Hills Challenge

First up for the 8 year old was the Chagford Two Hills Challenge which took place on bank holiday Monday.  Running alongside her dad, Grahame, Amelia thoroughly enjoyed the tough and testing race which included an ascent up Meldon and Nattadon Hills and a stretch in a knee deep bog. The Mighty Greens finished the 5k race in 1:03:34, 173rd out of a field of 199.

Amelia at the Aquathon

Following a family walk up Snowdon Amelia was back in Sidmouth to take part in the Aquathon which involved a 50m swim and a 1k run along the esplanade and Ham. The swim and very quick change took 3 minutes and the run 5 minutes and saw Amelia finishing 36th out of a field of 40.

Great to see parents getting involved too

It wasn’t long before Amelia was off again to meet fellow SRC juniors at the Bear Trail for an afternoon of fun, mud, obstacles and team building games.  Junior run leaders Donna and Grahame Womersley-Westlake and parent helpers had as much fun as the children as they tackled 30 obstacles in unlimited mud including bear nets, zip wires and tunnels.  Donna was very impressed with their technical footwork when they were running on the uneven ground and hopes to organise a return visit.

SRC Juniors enjoying the Bear Trail

As per the Sidmouth Running Club tradition of running from the Bowd on a 5th Wednesday in a month, the adults enjoyed their run followed by a social with roast potatoes and a drink courtesy of the club.  This year the Juniors were able to partake in the tradition too and having enjoyed a 5-6.5k run through Harpford Woods including stinging nettles, mud and river crossings they were joined by their parents  to enjoy chips and drinks at the Bowd too.

Run done, ready for chips!

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Fundraising Mighty Greens At The Great West Run

The Sidmouth Running Club team photo ahead of City Runs’ Great West Run wasn’t pure green but all for good reason, charity.

Mighty Green Bob Huntington ran the 10k race for Devon Air Ambulance and finished in 56:08, 128th out of a field of 455. He found the route hillier than the Plymouth 10k he had recently run but enjoyed the experience just as much.

Nearly all the Mighty Greens (2 in the loo queue)

Sidmouth Running Club’s Colin Ryan seemingly flew round the half marathon course finishing in 1:37:51, 235th out of a field of 2109 finishers.  Well done Colin.  Mighty Green Sarah Clapham had a lovely surprise, her son Tom had returned home to run the Great West Run with her; though seeing him at the end, he might surprise her with flowers next time! Sarah finished strongly in 2:05:33 with Tom not far behind in 2:09:11.

The Mighty Green SHaH runners

Swapping green for blue six Mighty Greens ran the GWR half marathon for Sidmouth Hospice at Home alongside fellow team members Tash Evans, Charlotte Simpson and Allan Kay.  Sharon Coombes, head of fundraising at SHaH supported them all the way, thoughtfully providing bananas, water and protein bars all under the cover of the SHaH gazebo in Exeter Arena plus cheering and taking photos. The team were also very lucky to have the support of the Jenkin family, who stationed themselves at the bottom of the university hill and cheered enthusiastically which certainly made that stretch a whole lot easier to run up.

Using the experience of MG’s Kerry Salter and Clare Luke who have run the GWR several times and listening to their advice to keep with a pace runner plus chairman Terry Bewes as an earworm in our heads (left turn ahead, start moving over now, head up, chest up, breathe etc etc!) everyone finished sub 2:30 which given the hilly nature of the course was a fantastic achievement.

Nikita and Kyle enjoying the rain

There was a cooling shower halfway round which did not dampen the very supportive crowds cheering the runners on, many of whom seemed to know your name; yes, it took a while to realise our names were on our race numbers!  Nikita Kay and Kyle Baker finished in 2:05:25, Alexa Baker 2:11:27, with a new PB, Kerry 2:18:11, Kathy Jordan 2:20:11 and Clare 2:27:04, a new PB too. Could Tash who finished in 1:49:50, Charlotte 2:12:27 and Allan 2:18:23 be convinced to join the Mighty Greens?  Could you set yourself this challenge and join Team Sidmouth Hospice at Home next year?  Sharon would be very pleased to hear from you.

Kerry storming over the finish line

Team Sidmouth Hospice at Home would like to thank everyone who has donated to this amazing charity; your support is really appreciated. The total raised by the 9 runners currently stands at just over £4,000 which will nearly cover the cost of 48 hours of their specialist palliative care nursing service.

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Hot, Hard, Hilly Beer Blazer and More International Park Runs

Sidmouth Running Club was represented in three of the four distances of the Beer Blazer on Sunday with an equal mix of adult and junior runners.

This multi terrain race organised by Beer Primary School PTA is no walk in the park, starting and finishing by Pecorama the route passes over some of the Grizzly territory including fields, tracks, cliff tops, open common, the challenging pebble beach between Branscombe and Beer Head, the undercliff and the Stairway to Heaven!

Running the 10 mile option Becky Knapman said it was hard to get her head around the fact it was like running the Grizzly but in reverse and Naomi Garrick agreed how strange it felt too.  Scott Chown found the first few fields awkward to run as the tractor ruts had dried up and become ankle breakers and all of them said how hilly, hard and hot it was!

Toby in fine form

Mighty Green Toby Garrick who’s not long back from his travels and perhaps coped with the heat better, had a terrific run finishing in 4th place out of a field of 114 in 1:22:16.  Results: Becky Knapman 2:12:31; Scott Chown 2:14:03; Naomi Garrick 2:19:58.

Four juniors took part in the 5k option and despite being as hot, hard and hilly too really enjoyed their run.  John Dunsford was the first Mighty Green to finish in 31:56, 13th out of a field of 40, with Christopher Witkowski finishing next in 37:12, followed by Emily Smith 43:11 and Amelia and Grahame Womersley-Westlake in 45:29.

Mighty Green Beer Blazers

Running her first event as a Mighty Green Junior, Catherine Witkowski, enjoyed the fun run alongside her mum Helen and 55 others.

Further afield, Derek Blackburn took advantage of the holiday day in the Netherlands and took part in not one but two park runs at the weekend.  Derek is becoming a bit of a super star in the park run community, which slightly bemuses wife and travelling partner Anne, who had to listen to park run chat at Bristol airport where there were a lot of park run runners taking advantage of this double park run weekend, all wearing their park run t-shirts and hats and on the flight.

Derek on his park run travels

The Mighty Green ran the Zuiderpark on Saturday, gaining himself a ‘Z’ in the park run alphabet and fitted in a spot of sight-seeing with Anne before they both attended a social evening organised by the race director of the following days’ parkrun. It was an evening of swapping stats and discussing favourite park runs and Anne heard more than once, oh you’re Derek Blackburn!

Wearing his Mighty Green shirt Derek ran the Delftse Hout park run the following day and caught up with Sidmouth Running Club friends Jemma and Jason Blount-it’s a small (park run) world!

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A Very Hot, Fast Paced Ottery 10k

Sunday saw Honiton Running Club’s popular Ottery 10k and fun run take place and the Mighty Greens were out in force.

The Mighty Greens Gather at Ottery 10k

SRC juniors John Dunsford and Amelia Womersley-Westlake gave an excellent performance in the 1 mile fun run with John finishing in 4th place and Amelia second female.

John Dunsford

Amelia Womersley-Westlake

The 10k race is billed as a flat route around Ottery St Mary, which is slightly deceptive as there are a few inclines involved!  It was certainly a fast paced event, despite the heat, with the overall winner finishing in 34:33!

Louise Dalton

Louise Dalton was the first female Mighty Green to finish in 49:06, 79th out of a field of 297, and Colin L’Anson the first male MG to finish in 51:41. All participants received a vest top and enjoyed the hospitality at the cricket club.

Colin L’Anson

Results: Louise Dalton 49:06; Colin L’Anson 51:41; Yasmin Salter 54:43; Sam Ingram 54:44; Christine Farnham 56:52; Cheryl Boulton 58:08;  Sarah Clapham 58.33; Karen Farnham 59:14; Christie Ward 1:04:45; Bex McDonald 1:04:54;  Emma Grainger 1:18:16;  John Doherty 1:18:41


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Thank You Kerry

At Sidmouth Running Club’s recent AGM, Kerry Boyle was presented with a token of the club’s gratitude for her leadership of the Junior section over the past six years.  Kerry has worked hard with the Junior section to make it the success it is today and has inspired the next generation of Mighty Greens.  Although stepping down from the coach’s role Kerry will still help out with the group and is enjoying leading the off road runs.

Kerry Boyle with her award

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A Weekend Of Ordinary People Achieving Extraordinary Feats

The May bank holiday wasn’t all about gardening and relaxing in the sun; for a few Mighty Greens it was the culmination of months of training and preparation.

Sidmouth Running club’s Mark Andow, Grahame and Donna Womersley-Westlake took part in Ruby Red Running’s East Devon Round ultra marathon.  The event was a serious undertaking but race director Alistair lightened the start by cycling up dressed as Darth Vader wishing the runners well and ‘May the fourth (force) be with you!

MG’s Grahame, mark and Donna with Jess

The race started from Offwell village hall at 5.30am and the course featured abundant bluebells and a mixture of paths, lanes, roads and forgotten less obvious routes, covering 69 miles with 10,000 feet of elevation gain in 3 areas of outstanding natural beauty and 1 world heritage site.

The event aimed to cover costs rather than make a profit with the hope of raising money for local causes and safety was a priority, using OpenTracking, as all runners were expected to self-navigate although the course was marked along continuous stretches and intricate turns.  Unfortunately for Donna the self-navigating proved more tricky than she had anticipated and ended up going off in the wrong direction several times adding miles and time; the hard decision was made at check point 3 to finish.  On the positive side it meant she was able to get to the finish to cheer Grahame and Mark over the line.

Mark Andow and a view and a half

Mark and Grahame enjoyed chatting to fellow competitors as they ran around Axminster, Lyme Regis, Colyton, Ottery and Honiton and were pleased to see fellow Mighty Greens Sarah Watkins and Scott Chown who were marshalling at Sidbury and Weston respectively.

They both finished in the early hours of Sunday, two of the 60% of runners that were able to complete it in the time allowed.  Grahame suffering with blisters said it was a truly brutal but beautiful event. Mark said it confirmed his view that East Devon is beautiful in the Spring time and he was impressed about the time and thoughtfulness that the race organisers put into providing an exceptionally challenging local route.

Not to miss out on the running action, Amelia, Grahame and Donna’s daughter, took part in the fun obstacle course on Sunday morning too.

Amelia taking part in an obstacle race

Whilst the ultra MG’s were recovering, SRC’s Nikita Kay and Megan Pewsey travelled up to London to compete in HYROX, a fitness competition series that combines both running and functional workout stations. The ladies have been training hard with Josh Solman from JMS training alongside running the streets of Sidmouth in preparation for this high octane event held in London Olympia.

The Mighty Greens entered the doubles category where you split the stations in a ‘you go I go’ format, encouraging each other all the way. A 1k run is followed by a functional workout station repeated 8 times; stations included sled push and burpees and all under the watchful eyes of a referee ready to apply time penalties for not following the correct route round.  They were delighted to finish in 1:20:16 and enjoyed the experience so much are looking at next year already.

Nikita and Megan complete HYROX

This event has helped Nikita prepare for the Great West Run, half marathon, which she is running for Sidmouth Hospice At Home alongside fellow Mighty Greens Kerry Salter, Kathy Johnson, Kyle Baker, Clare Luke, Allan Kay and Alexa Baker. They have raised £1,429.00 so far with two weeks to go. If you would like to make a donation for this amazing local charity please go to www.justgiving.com/page/teamgreatwestrun

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Sub 60 Minute 10ks All Round For Mighty Greens

Bob and Shirley Huntington have hit the ground running since recently joining Sidmouth Running Club and have already taken part in local running events including the 10k/5k event organised by RunPlymouth.  Bob finished the 10k in 55:43, 4th in his age category and Shirley finished the 5k in 38:05, 3rd in her age category. Fantastic results as the couple have not been running for long and they would like to thank the club for helping them improve their running fitness as it helped with the hilly bits!

It was a weekend for fast 10k times as all three Mighty Greens who took part in LME Events Maer 10k finished well under the hour. Enjoying the sunny conditions with a nifty breeze Scott Chown was chuffed with his 55.03 finish time, club secretary Cheryl Boulton finished in 57:02 with Judith Jeeves not far behind in 58:56.

In preparation for the 100k East Devon Round next weekend, Mark Andow took part in LDWA’s Devon Dumpling.  Although a long distance walking event runners are encouraged and the very reasonable entry fee and well catered aid stations make it all the more appealing.  The Mighty Green took part in ‘The Main Course and Dinner’, approximately 30 miles which took in Budleigh, Kersbrook, Otterton, East Budleigh, Yettington and Woodbury.

SRC juniors Amelia Womersley-Westlake and Emily Smith had a very enjoyable time on Saturday when they took part in the Inflatable 5k at Westpoint.  Emily was the first to finish in her wave, leaving her dad behind in the tube you had to crawl through and Amelia gave her mum Donna a run for her money too!

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A Very Mighty Green Weekend

Sidmouth Running Club members Amanda Stokes and Louise Dalton ran Winding Path’s Total Coastal on Saturday. Both ladies, who joined the club last year, have been steadily upping their distances and this event pushed them to the max.

Amanda Stokes enjoying the views

The 50k route had over 6500 feet of elevation including some of the steepest hills Amanda has faced so far and when you consider she recently ran the Exe to Axe that is saying something!  Louise enjoyed the stunning views despite the technically tough course and said the sea was turquoise in some bays. Amanda finished 21st out of a field of 116 in 6:57:04 and Louise finished 39th in 7:32:20. Well done Mighty Greens!

Louise Dalton following the estuary

Further down the country in Cornwall, park run addicts Clive Gilbert and Derek Blackburn gained an ’E’ when they took part in the Eden Project park run. Or as Clive put it, two Mighty Greens ran around something mighty and green! It turned out is was Derek’s 5th ‘E’ and is part of his second alphabet challenge.

Clive and Derek in search of an ‘E’

On Sunday the focus was on the London marathon with many club members downloading the app to follow the progress of the seven Mighty Greens who were taking part including three first timers. Richard Summerhayes was one of them, getting his place from the ballot, and he had a cracking run finishing in 3:14:34.  David King was the second Mighty Green to finish in 3:45:00, 12th in his age group (70) and 1 hour 10 minutes under the good for age time-fantastic!

Lynda Hawkins at the start

Experienced London marathoners Lynda Hawkins, Richard King and Jane Hemsworth thoroughly enjoyed the atmosphere; Richard said the crowds were exceptional and highly recommends the experience.

Richard King loving every minute

This marathon was Jane’s 50th and she ran to raise money for Cancer Research.  Lynda finished in 3:48:16, Richard 4:00:56 and Jane 4:58:16-brilliant!

Jane Hemsworth celebrating 50 marathons!

It wasn’t that long ago when Kathy Jordan joined the beginners’ course with SRC so it was a very proud moment to follow her progress running her first marathon.  Kathy had also been lucky in the ballot and took the opportunity to fundraise for Millwater School where she works.  Her hours of training paid off and she ran very consistently to finish in 5:23:03.

Kathy Jordan smiling all the way

Running her first (and last!) London marathon was the mightiest of Mighty Greens, Marion Johnson. Marion (76) is an inspiration to Sidmouth Running Club, training relentlessly, working closely with PT Josh Solman to build strength, running here, there and everywhere and raising an incredible amount of money for Leukaemia Care whom she was running for.

Inspirational Marion Johnson

Although Marion found it hugely hard and challenging especially after mile 19, the MG finished under her target time in 6:09:15, a good for age time!

All the Mighty Greens said it was a great day out with amazing support from the spectators and are encouraging the club runners to enter the ballot.

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Plyometrics Session For SRC Juniors Ahead Of Trail Runs

Sidmouth Running Club juniors kick started the term with a fantastic plyometrics session led by Josh Solman from JMS Training.  Josh had everyone jumping from side to side, lifting their knees, jumping up from a squat position and quietly landing as well as lots of fast feet activities using the ladders.

Fast feet

The session was organised by junior leaders Donna and Grahame Womersley-Westlake in preparation for a series of local trail runs where the children will have to navigate obstacles like tree roots and loose stones at speed.  It would be difficult to say who enjoyed it the most, the juniors or the helpers as although Josh got them working hard it was done in a very fun way.

Plyometric session with Josh Solman

The juniors had their first opportunity to test their new skills on Wednesday evening when they ran through the woods and along the coast path on Salcombe Hill.  Junior leader Kerry Boyle took the 11+ group off on a longer loop while the 8-11 group explored the trails through the bluebells and visited the frog stone.

Juniors at the frog stone

There are currently spaces available in both age groups; please visit www.sidmouthrunningclub.co.uk , contact junior coach for more information.

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Half Marathons Are A Big Hit With The Mighty Greens

Avoiding the strong coastal winds the Exe to Axe runners had to deal with, Sidmouth Running Club’s Judith Jeeves headed up to the capital to take part in the London Landmarks half marathon.

Judith at the London Eye

Wearing very apt leggings depicting the landmarks she was going to run past, Judith said it was a fabulous route, very well organised with lots of entertainment and support. The Mighty Green was running for Alzheimer’s Society, a charity close to her heart and was delighted not only to have raised over £450 but to finish in 2:08:56. Brilliant!

Climb South West organised sunshine for their 4th Sid Valley Ring half marathon on Saturday and what a difference it made, even the ground had started to dry up.

Ready to start

New this year was the earlier start time for walkers and slower runners which club runners Carol Hounsell, Sarah Watkins, Clare Luke and Alexa Baker opted for. They thoroughly enjoyed themselves, taking in the stunning scenery and were pleased that the first runner from the main race didn’t pass then until the other side of Harcombe, 8.5 miles in.

Beautiful sunny views

Mighty Green Colin Ryan had an exceptional run, passing the early start ladies on the coast path after Dunscombe Manor and finishing 9th overall in a field of 99.  Colin said he enjoyed running in the sun and was pleased not to slip up on the muddy sections. His time of 2:04:29 was a PB too-result!

Colin powering up the hill

Neville Hylton, who had cheer leaders by the Frogstone, finished in 2:41:31; Christine and Karen Farnham running in sync finished in 2:50:23 and Christie Ward finished in 3:18:58.  The early birds finished in 3:23:42-five minutes to spare before Carol’s carpark ticket ran out.

Christine and Karen

For anyone questioning why you would pay to enter a route you can freely run around at any time Climb South West provided a well stocked aid station at Sidbury, clearly marked out the route with many more signs than the SVR ones, first aid cover, friendly road marshals, a very impressive weighty medal, homemade cakes at the finish line, photographers and a video of the event-a full package.

The Early Birds

Sidmouth Running Club will be cheering Mighty Greens Richard King, Jane Hemsworth, Lynda Hawkins, David King, Richard Summerhayes, Kathy Jordan and Marion Johnson on next Sunday as they run the London Marathon.  This will be Kathy and Marion’s first London Marathon and both have been fundraising; Kathy for Mill Water School and has raised £600 so far and Marion has raised an incredible £4316 so far for Leukaemia Care.

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