On Sunday, five Teignbridge Trotters travelled to Cornwall for the inaugural Eden Project Marathon and Half Marathon, organised with the assistance of the St Austell running club. The challenging multi terrain courses had been imaginatively created `to give the competitor the opportunity to witness the extraordinary scenery, both manmade and natural that the area has to offer`, with both races sharing a common start and finish area.
The event, started by Tim Smit CBE Chief Executive and co-founder of the Eden Project, saw over a thousand runners participate under leaden skies, with a steady cooling drizzle throughout.
Clare Youngman and Dave Dunn elected to run the Marathon and both came away with age category awards. Clare crossed the line in 63rd position in a field of 306 finishers, with a very respectable time of 3:50:29, 7th lady overall and 3rd FV40. Dave finished 112th in a well earned 4:04:44, to take 3rd MV55.
Meanwhile, Mark Wotton had already completed the Half Marathon, 127th out of 773 finishers in 1:49:36, followed by Graham Penn 208th in 1:55:23. Peter Blakesley completed the trio with a time of 2:01:50, in 292nd position.
Also on Sunday, Graeme Baker was sampling the delights of rural Somerset and the Weston AC organised Mendip Muddle. The gruelling 20k (12.43 miles) off road event, with 420 metres of ascent was hampered by driving wind and rain, with extremely poor visibility in places. Graeme laboured through the idyllic sounding Velvet Bottom, Rhinos Rift and Rains Batch to post an admirable 2:04:23 and was 164th out of 253 finishers.
More wind and rain was in store for the stoic band that descended on Central Park in Plymouth, for the Westward League Cross Country. In the men's race over a distance of 8230 metres, Ian Langler led the Trotters home and was 80th in a field of 130 runners, with a time of 33:37. He was followed by Daryl Milford (34:02), Roger Hales (35:36), Wilf Taylor (36:15), Gary Watson (37:11), Christian Robinson (37:56) and John Caunter (38:55).
In the ladies' race over 5400 metres; Gia D`Aprano crossed the line in 53rd position out of 88, with a time of 25:16. Tina Caunter (27:37) and Eleanor Taylor (28:44) completed the line up.
On the previous Monday evening, ten Trotters were at the Exeter Arena for Round 1 of the winter 3k series, supported by Ironbridge Runner and Puma.
In almost perfect running conditions, Ian Langler posted a superb time of 10:19, with Tom Burman in 10:42 and Stewart Dunn 11:04. Remaining runners were: Roger Hales (11:47), Gary Watson (11:47), Gary Caunter (12:14), Mark Wotton (12:15), John Caunter (12:55), Dave Dunn (13:02) and Tina Caunter (13:55).
Upper: Clare Youngman on the `Home straight` at the Eden Project Marathon (Graham Penn)
Centre: Men`s Cross Country team in Central Park, Plymouth (Vicky Hales)
L to R: Christian Robinson, Gary Watson, Roger Hales, Wilf Taylor, Ian Langler, Daryl Milford & John Caunter.
Lower: Ladies` Cross Country team (Milos Erben)
L to R: Eleanor Taylor, Tina Caunter & Gia D`Aprano.