Twenty Teignbridge Trotters paid a flying visit to Ivybridge Rugby Club on Friday evening for the Erme Valley Relays and came away with 1st Prize in the FV35 category. Divided into teams of four, each participant is required to run a 2.5 mile circular route, on undulating rural roads. Hosted by the Erme Valley Harriers, this hugely popular event attracted a total of 91 teams and their supporters. Conditions were almost ideal with a cooling light breeze.
First Trotter team, in 7th overall position and with a combined time of 56:40 was comprised of Dave Tomlin (13:48), Roy Brown (14:27), Ian Langler (14:35) and Ronnie Jones (13:50). In second slot (24th overall) were the MV 40 team: Gary Watson (16:06), Mike Hill (15:07), Roger Hales (16:17) and John Tweedie (15:53) with a time of 1:03:23.
The third team (1:06:57), in 38th position, were: Daryl Milford (15:27), Jim Donovan (17:15), Gary Caunter (17:30) and Bruce Campbell (16:45). Fourth (1:11:35 and 60th) were: Matthew Dunn (18:07), Andy Ludlam (17:00), Dave Dunn (18:07) and Graham Penn (18:29).
The FV35 team were 66th overall in a time of 1:13:38. First runner off the mark was Clare Youngman, finishing in 17:02, followed by: Sharon Bowman (18:15), Jan Caunter (21:35) and Eyvol Aston (16:46).
This event was however just a precursor to a varied weekend for another group of race regulars. Saturday saw Mark Wotton in the Midlands for the Birmingham Black Country Half Marathon, an event that follows the canal towpath between Wolverhampton and Birmingham. The flat course involved negotiating 25 bridges and locks with the additional challenge of the 650 yard long Coseley tunnel!
The start was staggered between 0900 and 1130, with very warm conditions for the later runners. Mark crossed the line 165th out of a field of 637, in a very commendable 1:48:35.
On Sunday, lone Trotter Tom Burman attended the 17th Launceston Half Marathon, organised by Kernow Runners. The `Real Beast of Cornwall` is one of the most challenging races in the South West, with a steep ascent to the town at approximately 12 miles. The weather forecast promised rain but this failed to dampen Tom`s spirits, as he romped home 91st overall out of 371 finishers, in a time of 1:41:08.
Meanwhile, Steve Rawlinson was enticed towards East Devon for the inaugural Feniton Frolic, a 6.5 mile multi terrain event across fields and along bridle paths and roads. Hosted by Honiton Running Club and attended by Olympic runner and Exeter Harriers life member Jo Pavey, who started the race in her home village at 2pm. Steve crossed the line 59th out of 106 finishers, in a time of 58:03.
Syd Willocks ventured even further afield and ran the Aberdare 10k in South Wales, a race organised by Macmillan Cancer Support. The mainly flat on road event started at Penderyn in the Brecon Beacons National Park, finishing at the Michael Sobell Sports Centre in Aberdare. Syd posted a fine time of 46:30 and was 104th out of 276 finishers.
Photo: Mark Wotton at the Birmingham Black Country Half Marathon