Firstandlastrunning staged their Winter Plym Trail half and marathon races on both the Saturday and Sunday.
The Plym trail is situated within an area of outstanding natural beauty within the Dartmoor National Park. The stunning views of the forests and valleys are breath taking. Formerly an historic railway, this area is now enjoyed by walkers, cyclists, runners and horse riders.
The course is a quick 1.58 mile ‘out and back’ in Clearbrook village followed by 12.31 miles ‘out and back’ run on the well signposted Cycle Route 27, which is completed twice for the marathon. The route was very well marshalled with a couple of water stations handily positioned. The start and finish line was at the turnaround point at Coypool.
Temperatures on both days were fresh but dry, just about ideal for these length races.
On the Saturday, the marathon was won by James Blight in a time of 3:16:26. The first Trotter home was Chris McIntosh, finishing in 9th spot and recoding a time of 4:10:21. Sue Tremlett ran her second best time of 4:33:13 to finish a very respectable position of 16th. Sue is taking part in Run Every Day in January, so her legs were feeling a little fatigued going into the race, which makes her performance that much better!! Richard Keatley chalked up yet another marathon, to finish 28th with a time of 5:08:50. 33 runners tackled the route.
In the Half Marathon, Mark Lynch took the honours with a time of 1:23:03. A very good run from our own Louise Gentry earnt her 8th place with a great time of 1:41:24. The other Trotters positions and times: Eleanor Taylor (17, 2:01:39), Sally Ingledew (19, 2:03:55), Lucy Evans (27, 2:23:10). There were 28 finishers.
On the Sunday, Allen Taylor won the marathon in a great time of 3:06:36. Allen is running really well at the moment, so who knows what he may achieve in 2019. Chris McIntosh did the double this weekend, this time finishing 14th in a time of 4:48:40. Great effort Chris. There were 25 finishers.
In the Half Marathon, Andrew Vernon representing Okehampton RC clocked a time of 1:29:47 to take top spot. Joshua Taylor, son of Allen, ran strongly to take 5th place with a handy time of 1:45:15. Eleanor Taylor ran the Half Marathon double this weekend, and unbelievably ran her second Half quicker than Saturdays run!! This time Eleanor finished 13th in a time of 2:01:10. There were 25 finishers.
On Sunday, The First Chance 10K took place, centred around the Exeter Riverside Valley Park. This race is perfect for attempting new PB’s due to the fast flat route. Many of our Trotters took the opportunity to stretch their legs and maybe bag a quick time.
There were some fine performances from our club. Caroline Clark joined the Trotters a few years ago, but her running ceased due to a new-born. The beginning of 2018 began Caroline’s comeback, and today she ran her fastest 10K since 2012, and about six minutes quicker than the Newton Abbot Ladies 10K back in September. Congratulations Caroline, and obviously one to watch in 2019!!
Scott Knight, who recently joined the Trotters, established a new PB today with a time of 49:02. Scott is heading in the right direction for sure.
Lucy Payne won the FV 65+ in a time of 56:16. Lucy is on her way back!! Great to see.
Hannah Jones ran really well to finish 2nd in the FV40 category.
Danny Brown represented The Trotters today for the very first time today, and ran exceptionally well, finishing with a time of 51:56! Good work Danny. A special mention must go to Neil Pallant who acted as a pacer for Danny.
The winner of the First Chance 10K was Jim Cole in a superb time of 32:29. The first lady finisher was Serane Stone, representing Tiverton Harriers, with a time of 37:09.
Ewan Walton was the best placed finisher for the Club, finishing in 22nd spot, in a great time of 37:05. The other Trotters positions and times: Jason Trevenen (84, 42:44), Graydon Widdicombe (90,43:21), Hannah Jones (101, 44:33), Kathryn Steemson (139, 46:24), Paul Sharples (144, 46:32), Kate Williamson (192, 48:49), Caroline Clark (236, 51:04), Claire Ayling (242, 51:39), Danny Brown (252, 51:56), Emma Donovan (250, 51:59), Neil Pallant (256, 51:57), Emma Ray (297, 54:19), Lucy Payne (334, 56:16), Graeme Baker (339, 56:16), Susanne Westgate (356, 56:51), Dave McMorrow (358, 56:37), Sharon Sharples (383, 57:51), Yasemin Jeffrey (426, 1:00:11). There were 574 finishers. These times were the chipped times, but the finishing positions were the starting gun times, so the positions are not accurate!!
Katey Blackmore and Bon Rymel travelled to Dorset to take part in The Dirty Devil Stampede 10K. This was the 5th running of the event organised by Bustinskin Events. The races were run on the Bovington tank range, and were staged on both Saturday & Sunday. On the Saturday, The Little Dirty Devil Stampede 5K’ish race was run, for families and youngsters wanting to try mud for the first time!! On the Sunday, two races took place. The 10K & The Dirty Devil Double which was a half marathon targeted for the more demanding and downright dirty runner!
The multi terrain races send the runners around the iconic location of the Bovington Tank training ground, land reserved for Army training, with the tanks churning up plenty of mud for the field to endure. There were waist high freezing cold puddles, sand and boggy areas to cross. There were some steep climbs to tackle, which played havoc on the thighs!! The weather was ‘fresh’ but dry.
Unfortunately, during the race, 200 or so runners, including Katey and Bon, were caught out by a misleading sign taking them all a mile off course!! That meant two miles extra by the time they all retraced their steps back to the main route. Two miles on top of an already demanding course was not funny!! Saying that, they both enjoyed the experience, and Bon is coming back in 2020 to take on the Dirty Devil Double!!
E. Snook won the Dirty Devil in 46:31. Ort two mud larks, Katey and Bon finished together in 284th and 285th place in a time of 1:36:38. There were 369 very muddy finishers!!
The Dirty Devil Double was won by Simon Williams in a time of 1:38:04. There were 106 extremely tired finishers as you could imagine!
The Gloucester Marathon took place on Sunday, with a half marathon and 50K races also run. The start and finish was on School Lane, Quedgeley. The route took the runners through the scenic parish of Haresfield and Colethrop villages. The elevation was quite flat and run on mainly closed roads. Weather conditions were bitterly cold.
Roger Hayes was our sole representative for the Trotters and ran the marathon distance. Roger wore the new club kit for the very first time, so this may have given him the boost the time reflects! Roger finished 43rd in a time of 3:21:46. The winner was Ian Clark with a rapid time of 2:45:43. The other race winners were: Half Marathon – Phil Burden (Taunton AC) 1:12:2 50K – Charles Harpur (Mid Essex Casuals) 2:59:59