Teignbridge Trotters Running Club
Newton Abbot, Devon
Established 1982
Born to Run

Tom and Graeme scoop silvers at Bideford

Bideford Half Marathon, March 1, 2009

Twenty-four Teignbridge Trotters travelled to North Devon on Sunday (March 1), to take part in the 15th Bideford Half Marathon. Organised by Bideford AAC and often called the 'Swift Half', this popular event boasted a field of just over 1,000 runners. Conditions were ideal and similar to those of 2008: dry and bright, with a slight breeze.

The route follows the undulating A386 road for over six miles, before joining the `Tarka Trail` at Torrington Railway station - now known as the `Puffing Billy` pub and restaurant. This footpath and cycle path utilises the track bed of the now closed Barnstaple to Torrington branch line and includes a tunnel, and on the final approach to Bideford, an impressive girder bridge over the River Torridge.

Leading the 'Royal Blues' home in a superb 01:32:28 was John Crocker, who came 136th overall. He was hotly pursued by John Tweedie (01:32:33) and Mark Becker (01:32:51). Thomas Burman proved what a hot prospect he is for the club, picking up a silver medal in the Male Under 20 category with his time of 01:35:30. And Graeme Baker (01:46:16) proved that the Trotters have strength in depth by scooping up another silver medal - in the Male Over 65 category.

The event also marked a welcome return to the racing community for Jeanette Howard. Her hard-fought 01:57:30 was a pleasant contrast to last year's Bideford Half from which she had to withdraw after tearing a hamstring.

Other times were as follows: Ian Langler (01:35:23), Andrew Ludlam (01:35:45), John Skinner (01:35:52), Nigel Penwarden (01:36:23), Adrian Bailey (01:36:34), Roger Hales (01:39:39), Mark Hamling (01:40:26), John Caunter (01:40:45), Dave Dunn (01:44:48), Stephanie Ross (01:45:22), Tracy Elphick (01:46:59), Rod Payne (01:52:51), Syd Willocks (01:53:58), Stephen Wallace (01:58:56), Tina Caunter (01:59:18), Matthew Dunn (01:59:18), Sarah Ingham (02:04:20) and Jo Becker (02:07:44).

Photo: Jeanette Howard on the approach to Torrington - Bideford Half Marathon.