Team spirit is often what you’ll hear people mention when they talk about the Teignbridge Trotters. Many casual observers remark on the club camaraderie, the sense of fraternity and the genuine friendships (plus the rest) that arise from this supportive bubbling broth of blue and green.
So… this weekend was a good one because team Teignbridge displayed the characteristics described in the above ruminations and bagged a few prizes.
Plus, let us not forget that the individuals themselves helped things along a little bit by running superb races.
Haldon Heartbeat on Saturday May 14 attracted 19 Trotters. The 8.5-mile race takes runners around Harcombe Woods in Haldon Forest and is entirely off-road.
The quartet of ladies club captain Eleanor Taylor, Kirsty Bowman, Lucy Payne and Katrina Zaple grabbed the winning female team.
Full results were: Tim Pratt 52.30 fifth, Chris Cleave 56.20 13th, Bruce Campbell 1:00.34 26th, Colin Harper 1:01.54 32nd, Peter Blakesley 1:06.16 46th, Jim Donovan 1:07.34 59th, Tim Theobald 1:09.18 64th, Kirsty Bowman 1:16.05 83rd, Lucy Payne 1:19.32 94th, Eleanor Taylor 1:09.59 95th, Katrina Zaple 1:21.04 99th, Rod Payne 1:21.07 100th, Sharon Bowman 1:22.10 103rd, Tim Hartley 1:22.20 104th, Emma Pearcy 1:25.06 111th, Angela Blakesley 1:25.07 112th, Leah Harper 1:26.03 114th, Mark Wotton 1:32.14 120th, Mark Walker 1:45.08 (including giving up his race time to help a runner who’d got into difficulty - what a credit to the services of South Western Ambulance’s First Responder scheme).
*Ottery St Mary was the destination for this year’s club trip organised by tenacious club secretary Kevin Besford.
Ottery 10k is a fairly flat run on lanes around the town starting from the cricket club and starts with a steep-ish climb out the town centre. Peter Heckles led the Teignbridge group home clocking 40.17 and 22nd place. He was followed by: Tom Besford 43.09 37th, Alan Boone 43.44 40th, Bruce Campbell 43.45 41st, Gary Watson 44.03 45th, Nigel Barnett 45.18 54th, Gavin Forbes 46.37 64th, Oli Prouse 48.10 75th, Jim Donovan 49.48 86th, Kevin Besford 51.26 96th, Eamon Crowe 52.30 107th, Alex Wallace 53.17 116th, Eleanor Taylor 53.41 121st, Sharon Bowman 55.06 129th, Rod Payne 55.44 134th, Lucy Payne 56.04 138th, Joanne Barber 56.04 139th, Graeme Baker 56.05 140th, Andrew Watson 57.55 152nd, Kathryn Steemson 58.07 154th, Darren Patch 1:10.35 202nd, Maggie Bishop 1:15.07 211th. Afterwards, lots of members invaded a pub and refuelled significantly.
*A clutch of Trotters headed to Cornwall for the Imerys marathon on Sunday May 15 and collectively landed third place for the men's team.
This race is a hard undulating course in and around the clay pits of St Austell. It’s run on private land and is the only time of the year that anyone can access it. Likened to running on the moon albeit with lots of lakes (not sure Buzz Aldrin spotted those when he tentatively trudged around up there), sunglasses were a must to protect eyes from the chalk glare.
On the day, a nice breeze helped prevent Trotters from sizzling in the scorching sun. This race was a warm up race for Allen Taylor who is tackling a 37-mile ultra next weekend and a final long run for the others, apart from Roger Hayes, who are taking part in the Dartmoor Discovery.
Results were: Allen Taylor 3.34.18, 13th and 2nd MV40, Roger Hayes 3.36.02, 14th, Kris Ward 3.46.19, Paul Sharples SNR 3.59.12 and 2nd MV60, John Tweedie 4.25.49, Ruth Johnson 4.58.39 and Paul Sharples JNR 5.10.34.
The first four gents - Allen, Roger, Kris and Paul won the 3rd mens team and this was also Kris Ward’s first race as a Trotter.
*Steve Barker ran the Hope24 event in Plympton, a round-the-clock trail run around Newnham Park estate covering 5 mile loops and starting midday Saturday through to midday Sunday May 15.
While he may have been flying solo, Steve returned home with the team in mind, saying: “The route was much hillier than I expected and the temperatures dropped significantly during the night. I threw in the towel after 12 laps which was slightly less than I was aiming for but excellent hill training ahead of the DD.
“The event is for soloist or teams of up to 8, a number of our local clubs took part as a team event. I would recommend this to our fellow runners next year as it looks great fun and real team effort.” So, how about it? Potential combined club camp/club trip next year? Over to you…
*Back in Devon, Exeter was the destination for a few runners taking part in the resurrected city marathon. Derek Skinner kept up his fine form. He was the first Trotter to cross the finish line in a time of 3.44.23. Other results were: Roger Hales 4.01.35, Peter Kirby 4.02.09, Dermot Smyth 4.10.28, Lance Mason 4.38.40, Sally Ingledew 4.38.40 and Donna Walker 4.41.57. As with the Imerys marathon, all seven Trotters were using the Exeter marathon for their final race before the Dartmoor Discovery on 4th June.
Report by Emma Pearcy
Thanks to Chair & Donna Walker for the pix.