A large number of Teignbridge Trotters took part in one of the THHN City to Sea races on Sunday – either the Marathon or 34-mile Ultra.
It was an early start, with many runners getting a coach before 6:30am from Torquay to the start area at Exwick Sports Hub, for the 8:00am race start. Trotters had been monitoring the predicted weather conditions for most of the week as it looked like it was going to be bad. Alas, the forecast proved to be correct, as conditions were very wet for the whole race.
The first twenty miles or so of both race distances are relatively good under foot, but there was a viscous headwind as runners ran along the River Exe, which got event worse along the seafronts of Dawlish and Teignmouth.
The last 6-mile section was extremely tough underfoot, as it took the runners from Shaldon and on to Babbacombe along the coast path. In good conditions, the views from along there are stunning and even though the rain was still heavy, the atmosphere of the coast path is still something to behold. Marathon runners finished at Babbacombe, whereas the Ultra runners had to go into Torquay and back up to Babbacombe along the coast path, where the finishers were treated to a great race medal and T-Shirt, and also fish and chips from award winning Hanbury’s.
From a support perspective, it again showed what a fabulous club the Trotters are. In the bad weather, there were Trotters out there helping out at various places on the course, running with runners to help them along some of the parts, and various Trotters supporting out in the bad conditions to cheer on the runners. There were a couple of people who fell (Kris, twice, and Nigel), but they made it to the finish in good times.
Turning to race results, there were some great personal achievements with Gavin Forbes completing his first Ultra Marathon, and Darren Petch completing his first marathon. Also, new Trotter Annika Longthorpe was first female at the 34-mile Ultra distance.
Kurt Read (11, 4:29:21), Stephen Barker (18, 4:49:02), Travis Wood (4:55:39), Hannah Jones (25, 5:06:05), Graydon Widdicombe (40, 5:28:46), Nigel Barnett (5:41:29), Mel Dunn (65, 5:47:07), Kev Sampson (66, 5:47:31), Kate Williamson (66, 5:47:31), Christian Robinson (74, 6:01:41), Richard Keatley (6:03, 71st marathon), Lucy Evans (78, 6:08:42), Tracey Jolly (78, 6:08:42), Oli Prouse (86, 6:15:23), Sue Tremlett (93, 6:18:32), Darren Petch (151, 7:39:47), Sharon Sharples (158, 8:15:40), Kirsty Bowman (158, 8:15:40), Angela Blakesley (177, 9:01:09), Beverley Dennis (177, 9:01:09) and Ruth Johnson (213, 10:23:22).
Kris Ward (6, 5:44:55), Annika Longthorpe (7, 5:47:15), Alan Boone (8, 5:45:45), Roger Hales (8, 5:45:45), Wendy Goldthorp (21, 7:03:02), Kevin Lofts (22, 7:13:25), Gavin Forbes (25, 7:32:06), Sally Ingledew (25, 7:32:06), Neil Pallant (25, 7:32:06) and Paul Sharples (29, 7:36:00).
Several Trotters travelled to Bridgwater to take part in the 10K or Half Marathon.
Starting with the Half, Jamie Barnett was hoping to go fairly quick, before his target race of Cardiff Half that is in four weeks. Weather conditions weren’t ideal, so Jamie decided to go off fairly steadily to see how it went. The first 6 miles were into the wind, and miles 4 and 5 had some gradual, but not too significant, hills. Once the runners reached the turn around point, they had some down hills, and a tailwind, so Jamie decided to push quite hard to see if he could close on the leader.
At 10 miles there was an out and back section, and Jamie saw that the leader was a good minute or so ahead, so he just kept pushing and knew with a fast finish he'd dip under 1:14, which would be job done (finish time was 1:13:52).
Jamie has been training brilliantly with a view of getting to 2018s London Marathon, and from this Half time he’ll be able to line up at on the British Champs start, which is an incredible achievement. This Half time gives Jamie the fourth fastest time for a junior this year, which he does hope to improve on, but also shows how far he’s come since his first Half in 2015.
Turning to the 10K, there were 160 finishers and Trotter results were: Kevin Woodard (34:58, PB, second overall), Peter Heckles (36:56), Gary Smart (37:08, 2nd V50), Duncan Knight (42:19), Gary Watson (44:25, 2nd V60), Sarah Pike (46:04, 1st F40), Kim Knight (49:08), Mark Wotton (52:44) and Lucy Payne (54:20, 1st V65).
James Saunders ran the Plymouth Coasters 5-miler on Sunday, in wet and very windy conditions. James managed a time of 34:14 to give him 16th place overall and first in the over 50's. James commented that he was the only Trotter at the event, which felt a little strange!