Sidmouth Running Club Defeat The Blackdown Beast
When you hear a Sidmouth running club member mention The Blackdown Beast you get carried away with tales of pasties, mulled cider, pub stops, picturesque countryside and before you know it you have signed up… then you hear of the many hills, mud, slurry and self-navigation involved!
Twenty five intrepid Mighty Greens gathered by the club flag on Saturday morning having signed in, down loaded the what3words app and said who they were running with before setting off with 215 runners from a very windy, damp and freezing Dunkeswell Airfield.
Slow progress was made over the first mile or so with a series of stiles and gates but it prevented you from setting off too quickly especially useful for those running the full 16 miles. Armed with a set of instructions, a map of the area and on the lookout for white drawing pins on sign posts many of the first timers teamed up with an experienced Beast club runner who could remember the route-most of the time!
The first stop off/check in point was at Smeatharpe Village hall, 7.5 miles in, where you were able to have a welcome cup of tea and a doughnut. Previously this was the pasty stop and Richard King enabled the tradition to continue for SRC members by asking MG Monica Reed to collect and deliver some freshly made pasties from Kings Garden Centre to the village hall car park. They were much appreciated by the club runners.
The next leg of the run was 2.8 miles of country lanes and tracks to The Sidmouth Arms at Upottery. This was the finish point for the 10 milers who then got the mini bus back to the airfield and a chance for the 16 milers to get more sustenance before heading towards Rawridge, crossing the river Otter and climbing to the viewpoint above Luppitt.
Mulled cider was on offer at the final refreshment stop at Luppitt village hall to help the runners complete the final 2.7 mile leg up and over Luppitt Common and back to the airfield.
Despite the mud there was some mighty strong running from the club and everyone thoroughly enjoyed themselves. Thanks and congratulations go to Honiton Running Club for organising this charity event for Macmillan Cancer Support so smoothly.