Off-road running is back

Off Road Running Back On the Calendar

The first of the Sidmouth Running Club winter weekend off road runs led by John, Ruth and Ben Chesters took place on East Hill last Sunday.
Ben led the faster runners over 6 miles while John led the rest over a 5 mile course. It was a beautiful sunny morning with views of the Blackdown Hills and Exmoor behind.
John is into his weather forecasting and decides each week whether we run on a Saturday or Sunday or if it is really dire we all stay in bed.

Sunday Runners

The club is currently mustering support amongst its members to enter the Virtual Grand Western Canal 10km run for which there is a trophy for the club with the most participants. The Mighty Greens are currently lying in second position but looking for a sprint finish!

Sunday Runners

Sunday Training Group
Led by Helen Palmer, the Sunday social training group met at the Stantyway Farm. The group of thirteen headed straight for the Jurassic Coastal path to enjoy the views and get to grips with the undulating, but very scenic route, all the way to the mouth of the River Otter. Here, the group followed the river up to Otterton, then through the village and on up to the Honesty Cafe where tea and cakes were devoured.

Sunday Training

Sunday Training
There were two Sunday training groups on Sunday, which both met up at the Mutters Moor carpark for a 9 o’clock start. A group of six led by Tim Mitchell took on the Hangover Route, so named by the Keast boys. It seems a mostly flat route…seems! It actually comes with 900ft of accumulated ascent, most of which is at the end. The route from the carpark goes to Four Elms Hill to Northmostown, Colaton, Otterton, (the hilly part started now). Over to Ladram where some of the coastal paths are used and then a bit of a circuit around Mutters Moor to get the distance above 10 miles and back to the carpark. It was a great morning for it and the rain and wind were avoided.
The more sociable run was led by Terry Bewes. Two dogs and eight runners took a more leisurely trek over eight miles, taking a very similar route but not doing an extra circuit of Mutters Moor. The group crossed paths with twins Karen and Christine Farnham en-route to Peak Hill. 
Both groups have successfully upped the mileage this week and are well on target for the distance events to come in the New Year.

Sunday Training

Sunday Training Sessions

There were three training groups on Sunday. Terry Bewes took the the two social 6 and 9 milers while Tim Mitchell led the 9 mile express group, Justin and Richard, so if you blinked, they were gone!

The 9 milers met at Newton Poppleford and ran upstream to Tipton St John where they met up with Julia Hadrell and Jo Earlam (who were the 6 mile group). All the groups carried on up along the river to Ottery St Mary, through the town and across Sidmouth Rd. Then they all crossed fields and went along the lanes all the way to Fire Beacon Lane. At this point the 6 milers headed back down to Tipton St John and the 9 mile group carried on until reaching the donkey field, they headed down through the field into Harpford woods back to Newton Pop. Joining in were two guest runners from North Devon, Vicky and Nick, standing on the right side in the photo. Vicky, having recently run a staggering 120 miles in under 24 hours spent the whole 9 miles deep in conversation with Debbie Marriott while Don Cawthera looked after the dog.

Sunday Morning

Sunday Morning On The Common

Last Sunday’s training route took an enthusiastic group of 16 Sidmouth runners and two very keen dogs on a trek over Woodbury common. This particular session was in preparation for the Bicton Blister race, which takes place on Sunday the 25th of November. They met about a mile away from Bicton College and headed out onto the common, keeping as close to the Blister route as memory served. For the first mile Terry Bewes led the group on to the beautiful pebble-bed common in the warm Autumn sunshine. The group made their way over to Warren Car Park where there will be a water stop on the day. Then edged around the common, through some woodland and back to where they had started. A very useful morning out, checking and acclimatising to eight of the miles that the race takes on the day. With precision timing they even got back in time to observe a minutes silence, in respect to those that fell for our country.

Sunday Runners

Sunday Sessions out in the Country

With many medium and long distance events coming up over the next few months, the Autumn training program is in full swing now. So, it is of no surprise that the dampness of Sunday morning didn’t put off one K9 and 19 members of Sidmouth Running Club from the mornings session.

They met in Newton Poppleford and were led by Helen Palmer from the tennis courts carpark, up into the Harpford woods to the Bowd where they joined and followed the old railway track to Tipton St John. Then along the River Otter, across some fields to Fluxton and into the country lanes to Venn Ottery and Sotherton. There was a lot of good off road running including Aylesbeare Common. This was an eight mile loop with something for everyone, enjoyed by all and more importantly, done and dusted before the weather set in.

Grizzly training

Grizzly training for the tough

Every year at about this time Sidmouth Running Club members can be found getting up to all sorts of eccentric activities as they prepare for the annual challenge of ‘The Grizzly’ on Sunday 18th March. This year was no different.

The Grizzly is an epic 20 mile off road event that takes in beaches, bogs, cliffs, rivers and valleys in East Devon that has become legend in the running world. It takes a lot of grit and a lot of preparation and 17 members of Sidmouth Running Club had just that in mind when they planned a club outing for training on 4 March. They hadn’t factored in the snow that fell in abundance in the few days before the trip.

Undaunted they set off in the coach, with one group being dropped at Seaton for a 12 mile jaunt back to Sidmouth along the coast path while another group went on to Colyton and followed the East Devon Way for 14 miles back to home.

Els Laureys and Polly Walton were in the coastal group and agreed that they’d experienced four seasons in one run. ‘We ran through hail, rain, sunshine, icy rivers and muddy fields and then at Weston Trig ploughed through knee-deep snow, but we had an absolutely great time’ said Elys. ‘We danced the conga, threw some snow balls, joked around and enjoyed the scenery’. ‘We did the 12 miles’ said Polly ‘it was very leisurely for us, but a lot of fun & we had a lot of snack breaks’.

New club member John Sharples enjoyed the experience. ‘It was like being a kid again. Playing in the snow, jumping in the big puddles, sliding in the mud, flapjack, chocolate, Stanley the dog. Oh yes, and some running’.

Meanwhile Cath Miller was on the East Devon Way route under Don Cawthera’s navigational guidance. Cath said ‘it was beautiful to look at but I was not prepared for the melting icy water! I think we ran with frozen wet feet pretty much all the way’. Debbie Marriott agreed. ‘They were tough routes, but fun. The sort of fun that you enjoy after the event’.

All agreed it was a good preparation for the Grizzly and the Grizzly cub run, as it’s good to get to know the hills and it seems the weather will be quite similar on Sunday. 

Sunday Explorers

Two great Sunday Runs

Great club outing. Coach to Seaton then 12 miles back along the Coastal Path. The coach then carried on to Colyton for 14 miles back along the East Devon Way. A day to remember.