The club staged one of its own races on the evening of Saturday 15th July – the Haytor Heller. Billed as a tough off-road race and not for the feint-hearted, the race is a hilly 6-mile off-road event on challenging terrain, with the route containing a river crossing, steep inclines and declines, and some narrow paths through the gorse. The weather was changeable as one minute Haytor rocks were not viewable as they were clouded in mist, and the next they were clear as the sun broke through, to reveal stunning views across the moorland. The rain stayed away though, which was good news for the runners.
Many Trotters volunteer to help stage the race the race, including a team of marshals, catering, results processing, course set up etc, all led by Race Director Nigel Barnett. Nigel and the team received lots of comments from runners, saying how well organised the race was, which is always great to hear.
Dartmoor Discovery winner Adam Holland won the race, although the lead changed hands throughout the race; Adam finished in a great time of 42:20. Haldon Trail Runners won the men's team prize with James Dene (2nd overall), Matthew Menary (12th), Andrew Vulliamy and Jan Dolezel (35th). For the ladies, Plymouth Musketeers claimed the team prize, made up of Vicky Saunders (49th), Tracey Cullerton (128th), Susan Darke (149th) and Alison Caldwell (156th).
For the Trotters, Tim Pratt sustained an injury on the course but finished in 19th in a time of 48:52, Gavin Mackay finished in 50:40 for 34th and Josh Taylor finished in 52:37 and claimed first Junior Male prize for 46th. Other results were Scott Wiggins (74, 57:29), Tom Besford (1:00:11), Kate Lenthall (112, 1:02:50), Lucy Evans (130, 1:05:40, her first Heller race), Matthew Rayner (222, 1:18:22), Gary Watson (223, 1:18:24), Teresa Holmes (1:28:48) and Julie Webb (271, 1:32:46). There were 275 finishers.
Chudleigh Carnival’s Bishop Lacy Road Race took place on Friday 14th July, and had a record number of 255 finishers. The 49 Teignbridge Trotters who completed the 5.6mile course included many who’d done the event a lot over the years and others who were new to it. The runners are attracted by the challenge of the tough course and the friendly atmosphere.
Current Club Men’s Champion, Roger Easterbrook, was first Trotter and 6th overall and 2nd in the Male Veteran age 40-44. He arrived back at the Bishop in a time of 33:37. In 8th place Euan Walton, who’s no stranger to the event, took nearly 2 minutes off last year’s time, in 34:10. In 34:45, 1st Man 50-54 Gary Smart, was 3rd Trotter. These 3 were the first male team. Local Sam Crowe achieved a Personal Best time in 36:58, Julian Scaines was 3rd M45-49 in 37:52 and Kris Ward was 4th M40-44 in 38:25, 5 seconds later. 100 Marathon Club member and 1st Male 55-59, Lance Mason crossed the line in 38:30 with Chris Broadbent hot on his heals finishing in 38:31.
With a time of 40:50, Paul Sharples Sen. took 2nd prize in the M60-64 category, whilst taking 4 minutes off last year’s time, Roger ‘Smokes’ Hales, ex-Chudleigh resident and another regular to the race, finished in 40:56.
Leading home the female Trotters, and the second female team, Jacki Woon took over 2 minutes off last year’s time and completed the course in 41:14. Achieving a Personal Best, Hannah Jones’ time was 42:12. 3rd female Trotter in was Sarah Pike in 42:33. The 4th female team consisted of Jo Randall, in 42:48. Sally ‘Marathon Queen’ Ingledew finished in 47:19 and Ruth Johnson in 48:48. Ruth is on form, as illustrated by the fact that she was almost 3 minutes faster than 2016. Sally won the trophy for 2nd female 55-59. Eleanor Taylor finishing in 52:01 and Tina Caunter in 52:54 were 3rd and 4th in the same category.
Lucy Payne was 2nd female 60+ in 51:30, and Suzie Mills worked hard to run this route in under an hour, which she achieved by finishing in 59:14. Sarah Charnley celebrated her Birthday by doing this race for the first time, crossing the line in 53;12.
Another first-timer to this event, Maggie Butt finished in 55:48. Louise Stokes, who is new to running, has stepped-up to take on a variety of races and completed this in 1:07;18.
Other Trotter finishers were Russell Wheeler (41st, 38:36), Christian Robinson (49, 40:04), Derek Skinner (57, 40:38), Jason Lewis (61, 40:56), Kevin Sampson (66, 41:24), Craig Hobson (67, 41:27). New Trotter and Chudleigh resident, Thomas Gale finished in 41:41 for 68th place, Gavin Forbes (71, 41:59), at the same time - Nigel Barnett in 72nd place. Birthday boy Paul Sharples Jnr (74, 42:08), Neil Rutley (80, 42:34), Neil Pallant (94, 43:48), Jimmy Donovan (103, 44:32), Dermot Smyth (120, 46:47), Eamon Crowe (123, 47:25), Mary Goulden (145, 50:00), Emma Donovan (153, 50:27), Chris Wride (158, 51:02), Stuart Moulson (162, 51:14), Cath Pilton (168, 52:16), Scott Stephens (170, 52:17).
Mum and Daughter Sharon and Kirsty Bowman ran together and finished 175th and 176th in 52:52. John Tweedie (180, 53:10), Sarah Seymour (203, 55:49), Andy Distin (206, 56:11), Rod Payne (215, 57:11).
Teignbridge Trotters travelled to a well-organised Tamar Trotters event starting from Saltash RFC, on Sunday 16th July - the Magnificent 7. The course heads rapidly down hill after the start, reaching a creek off the Tamar, before undulating through village lanes in warm and humid conditions. There was a tough hill at about a mile to go, before a weaving route on the run in.
The finish changed this year to avoid a lap of the field, which was quite a relief to the competitors. It was well marshalled, with a good turnout from plenty of Cornish clubs (it’s Grand Prix event) and the general Trotter consensus was that it was a good but tough race. There was a bar, Mr Whippy van, hot food, tea and cake, massage tent were available so they had something for everyone.
Trotter results were: Roger Easterbrook (18, 43:44, third MV40), Craig Churchill (109, 53:43), Duncan Knight (132, 55:22), Pete Hayward (133, 55:42), Jo Randall (146, 56:39), Kathryn Steemson (170, 58:18), Kim Knight (209, 1:00:59), Jim Donovan (228, 1:02:28), Ruth Johnson (264, 1:05:09), Mark Wotton (286, 1:06:46), Eleanor Taylor (332, 1:10:28), Suzie Mills (396, 1:20:30). There were 445 finishers.
Thanks for the contributions from Eleanor and Roger.