Twenty four Teignbridge Trotters descended on Whitchurch Down near Tavistock on Sunday, for the Tavy 7 road race. Proceeds this year are being donated by Tavistock AC to the newly opened athletics facility in the town. Good news indeed as the number of finishers this year exceeded the 2008 figure by 127.
There were some amazing performances from within the royal blue ranks, despite the cold blustery conditions. First Trotter, Dave Tomlin charged through the finish line, 8th overall in a field of 757, with a time of 41:03. He was followed by Ronnie Jones, 16th in 42:56 and Wavell Vigers, 22nd and 43:34.
Other runners tackling the undulating seven mile course were: Gary Watson (49:19), Wilf Taylor (50:19), Gary Caunter (50:29), Mark Wotton (51:52), Bruce Campbell (52:00), John Caunter (52:45), Nathan Elphick (53:09) and Gia D`Aprano (53:46).
Becky George made a sparkling return to competitive racing, after an enforced two year break, due to a heel injury and worked her way through the pack to post an enviable 53:51, gaining 3rd FV40 in the process. Her husband Keith was next to cross the line in 54:05.
Remaining runners were: Graham Penn (54:48 PB), Syd Willocks, 2nd MV65 in a time of 55:00, Sharon Bowman (55:41), Graeme Baker, 3rd MV65 in 56:23, Eleanor Taylor (58:xx), Stephen Wallace (59:12), Tina Caunter (1:00:01), Milos Erben (1:01:02), Steve Rawlinson (1:01:59), Marsha Garrard (1:03:41) and Rachel Besford, running her first race of this distance, in a well earned 1:17:33.
Saturday was no picnic either for the duo that attended the Yarcombe Yomp near Chard. The mainly off road course starts and finishes at the village hall and runs alongside the River Yarty, before reaching a steep climb and a descent through fields and along footpaths. Competitors can opt for a single five mile circuit, or the full double lap ten mile course.
Conditions were appalling after a recent wet spell, but Mark Wotton decided to go all the way and posted an impressive 1:34:03, 24th out of 37 finishers. Steve Rawlinson sensibly decided to conserve his energy for the Tavy 7 the following day, and opted for the five mile event. He completed the challenging race in a creditable 52:43 and was 3rd out of the small field of 7 runners.
Meanwhile, six further club members were racking up fast times at the Cheddar Half Marathon. The event, organised by Cheddar running club, is extremely popular and usually sells out well in advance. Ewan Walton led the team home, 16th out of 271 finishers, with a blistering 1:25:10 - a personal best time for the distance and a reduction of 0:2:01 from his previous best, on the same course in 2005.
Also pushing the boundaries was Tom Burman, 34th overall, with another PB of 1:30:07. He was followed by Dave Dunn, 89th in 1:39:25, Matt Dunn (1:45:27), Peter Blakesley (1:45:40) and Julia Proctor (1:53:35).
On the previous Monday evening, 2nd November, six Trotters were flying the flag at the 2nd round of the Ironbridge Runner Winter 3k series, at the Exeter Arena. Star of the show was Ian Langler, 17th out of 23 in the A race, with a time of 10:22. Gary Watson was 3rd in the C race in 11:34, followed by Mark Wotton in the same heat, 17th out of 19 in 12:18.
In the D race, John Caunter improved on last month's showing and took 7th place in the 18 runner field, with a time of 12:35. Tina Caunter posted 14:43 and 12th position in the 17 strong E race. The next round of the five race series is on Monday 7th December.
Photo`s (Andrew Penney)
Upper: Wavell Vigers approaches the finish line at the Tavy 7
Lower: Nathan Elphick