Honiton Running Club held the Honiton Hippo and Calf on Sunday 14th April, with the start and finish at Honiton Primary School. Three Teignbridge Trotters, Roger Easterbrook, Gavin Parrott and Mark Wotton travelled to East Devon to take part in this very tough and demanding race.
The weather was particularly fresh with a strong wind, but the underfoot conditions were reasonably dry for large stretches of the route, due to the lack of rain recently.
The main Hippo race was just over 7 miles in length, with varying types of terrain to negotiate, including road, woodland trails, rocky paths, styles and fields. The runners first ran downhill to the entrance of Combe Woods which they circled, before joining the road to Combe Raleigh. They then faced the challenging St Cyres Hill, running on road and through woods. A downhill off road stretch followed, heading towards Awliscombe leading into the Land Rover Experience. A quick run around the Land Rover Experience followed, involving several muddy soakings and a dunking into cold water. The runners then came across two Otter river crossings which gave the hippos a chance to clean up! Luckily help was on hand to pull runners out if necessary.
Our own, Roger Easterbrook ran a brilliant race to finish in 2nd place overall. Roger clocked a fine time of 51:58. He chased home the eventual winner, Tim Lenton, running for Axe Valley Runners, crossing the line in 50:37. Roger even managed to perform a seal like flop while negotiating the second river crossing, causing him to head butt the grassy bank!!
Gavin and Mark also ran fine races. Gavin finished in 40th place in a time of 1:05:34 and Mark dug deep to complete the demanding race in 1:22:01 to finish 98th.
The Calf is open to youngsters of 9 years and over and is approximately 1 ¾ miles in length, although younger children are allowed if they run with an adult. It followed the same route as the Hippo until coming out of Combe Woods when the Calf runners make their way back to the school.
The event was superbly organised, with plenty of enthusiastic marshals around the course. The vast array of homemade cakes were the rewards for the hungry hippos!!
Leah Harper, Colin Harper, Graham Baker and Amy Robson travelled east to take part in the 10th running of the Brighton Marathon. This race is increasing in popularity and is now the 8th largest in Europe. 16,651 took part on Sunday, with plenty of fancy dress on show, all running for their chosen charities.
For the first time this year, the Brighton Marathon ride took place. The race started at 7:00 am from Hove Lawns and finished at the Velo Village. This gave the cyclists chance to ride the marathon course on closed roads. There was also a 10K race, fast and flat but with two sharp hills, finishing on Madeira Drive on the seafront. There were also 18, one mile races for children of all age categories. These were run on the Saturday.
Weather conditions for the marathon runners was dry and bright but with a biting easterly wind. Tim Hutchings who represented Great Britain, started the race at Preston Park. The huge contingent of runners ran towards Brighton seafront, passing through the city centre. The race route took in some outstanding scenery along the way, especially along the seafront where to one side there was lush greenery and a shimmering blue sea to the other.
Leah and Colin ran super races. Colin finished in 1563rd in a great time of 3:41:43 and Leah clocked a time of 4:36:25 to finish 5724th place.
Amy Robson ran as part of the Mental Health Challenge, 12 marathons in 12 months challenge, to raise money for Mind. This was actually Amy’s 17th marathon since August 2018!! She clocked a time of 4:57:21 to finish in 7252nd position, having run in Manchester last weekend! Keep the good workup Amy.
The race was won by Peter Le Grice in a new course record of 2:16:23.
Graham Baker took part in the 10K race and ran fantastically well to win the MV 75 age category award. Graham finished in 1062nd position, clocking a great time of 55:24. Well done Graham.
Graham’s grandson ran in the under 9’s one mile race, and although only seven, ran the race in 9:12!! One for the future possibly. Ben was highly delighted with his performance.
The events were superbly organised, and there were thousands of spectators lining the streets to encourage and cheer all the runners along the way. All the runners in each race were awarded the same medal and goodies bags, which was a lovely touch for the children.