On Sunday, The First Chance 10K took place, centred around Exeter Riverside Valley Park. This race is perfect for attempting new PB’s due to the fast flat route. Many of our Trotters took the opportunity to stretch their legs and maybe bag a quick time.
A cold and frosty morning greeted the race competitors. There were some outstanding performances amongst our Club runners. Kirsty Bowman, Emma Ray and Bon Rymel all set new personal bests.
Kirsty sliced a huge three minutes off her previous best as she finished 176th. Her new 10K mark is now 00:45:46.
Emma Ray clipped another nine seconds off her best, set in Plymouth. Emma clocked a time of 00:49:47 to finish 251st.
Gary Brooking also started the year in great style by destroying his previous best time by 3 minutes, 21 seconds!! A great improvement.
The fast improving Bon Rymel smashed his 10K best by one minute 43 seconds. Bon finished in 146th place in a time of 00:44:21.
Helen Anthony has been concentrating on endurance style races of late, blunting her speed. Helen is fast regaining that race pace though as she clocked a great time of 00:41:26 to finish 96th.
The other Trotters positions and times were: Gary Brooking (138, 00:43:48), Jason Trevenen (139, 00:44:07), Hannah Jones (159, 00:44:48), Peter Hayward (173, 00:45:37), Kathryn Steemson (207, 00:47:21), Neil Pallant (250, 00:49:55), Paul Sharples (253, 00:49:46), Claire Comber (262, 00:50:22), Philip Norden (270, 00:50:55), Sharon Sharples (279, 00:51:26), Kate Williamson (286, 00:51:52), Emma Donovan (326, 00:53:23), Tamsin Cook (343, 00:54:21), Graham Baker (428, 00:58:43), Andy Distin (524, 00:1:08:03).
Philip Wylie, representing Cheltenham & County Harriers, broke the tape in 00:31:27.
There were 572 finishers.
Firstandlastrunning staged their Winter Plym Trail Half and Marathon races on 18th & 19th January
The Plym Trail is situated within an area of outstanding natural beauty within the Dartmoor National Park. The stunning views of the forests and valleys are breath taking. Formerly an historic railway, this area is now enjoyed by walkers, cyclists, runners and horse riders.
The course is a quick 1.58 mile ‘out and back’ in Clearbrook village followed by 12.31 miles ‘out and back’ run on the well signposted Cycle Route 27, which is completed twice for the marathon. The route was very well marshalled with a couple of water stations handily positioned. The start and finish line was at the turnaround point at Coypool.
Temperatures on both days were very cold with icy patches that needed avoiding!!
Sharon and Paul Sharples, alongside Karen O’Brien competed in the Marathon on the Saturday. Sharon and Paul ran together, finishing in 14th & 15th places respectively. Sharon clocked a useful 4:27:32, with Paul just a second slower!! Karen was the star of the show, as she smashed her previous best time by one hour 6 minutes, previously held when running at Barnstaple. Karen’s new personal best is 4:57:18, which placed her in 24th. Fantastic improvement.
33 runners took part.
Kevin Sampson ran a superb Half Marathon on the Sunday, setting a new PB. Kevin completed the distance in 1:36:40 to finish in 6th position. There were 26 runners.
The Gloucester Marathon took place on Sunday, with a Half Marathon and 50K races also run. The start and finish was on School Lane, Quedgeley. The route took the runners through the scenic parish of Haresfield and Colethrop villages. The course has been altered slightly from previous year’s, to incorporate a faster loop. The elevation was quite flat and run on mainly closed roads. There was still some stunning scenery to enjoy along the route. Weather conditions were bitterly cold at start time.
Ian Langler took the opportunity in testing his fitness at this early stage of the season. Ian finished in 177th position, clocking a time of 3:59:52.
Damian Holmwood won the Marathon in a great time of 2:44:06.
Zilpath and Ewan Walton took part in the Braunton 10K & 10 mile races.
North Devon Road Runners were the race organisers, in what is their oldest and most popular race. The 10 mile race is the Alby Tithecott Memorial Run, a road race with two infamous climbs. The 10K was introduced in 2017, and is known as the Steph Irwin Memorial Run. The route provided similar challenges to the longer event.
Zilpath took part in the 10K and ran very well. She finished in 168th position, posting a time of 1:17:05. There were 189 entrants.
Ewan ran superbly in the 10 mile race, finishing in 8th place, clocking a time of 1:04:45. There were 218 finishers.
The Haldon 5K Winter Series 1st Round took place on a cold and frosty Sunday morning.
Purple Gecko Events were the race organisers, and the event gave runners the opportunity to race around the undulating trails and paths of the forest.
Kate Lenthall, Kate Blackmore and junior Beth Blackmore were amongst the 78 entries.
Kate led our trio home, finishing in a lofty 6th place, clocking a time of 00:28:32.
Beth ran a cracking race and is improving fast! She completed the stiff 5K in 00:30:45 to finish in 9th place. Beth also won the female junior category. One to watch for the future!
Kate Blackmore, struggling with injury problems of late, still posted a respectable time of 00: 34:38, to finish in 19th position.
There were 78 finishers.
Louise Gentry travelled to Beachley near Chepstow to take part in The Speedway 10k. The race location was on the Welsh side of the Severn Bridge.
It’s a flat, fast, 2 lap course with huge PB potential. The race is setup with the intention of getting very strong men and women’s fields together to create a fast race! The standard was high and runners were invited to take part.
Conditions were freezing at start time, so not ideal. Louise didn’t let that deter her as she set a strong pace early on and held on to the finish. Louise’s finishing time was 00:39:44. Her aim was to beat the magic 40 minute barrier which she duly did. Louise finished 153rd from 183 entrants.
Ultra-Running staged the third running of the unique challenge, Beyond the Far Side, starting on Friday 17th and finishing the following day. Options included a 10K, 6, 12 & 24 hours. The 24 hour option is known as Beyond the Far Side Holy Grail. The idea is to run 24 laps amounting to 127.2 miles and a huge 20,000 feet elevation total. Runners who can achieve this were rewarded by having their entry refunded.
Suzie Mills was up for the 12 hour challenge and travelled to Wiltshire for the event. The course took in the lovely countryside, encompassing the edge of Salisbury Plain. The circuit covered 5.3 miles with an overall elevation of 850 feet. The idea is to run as many circuits in the allotted time. The loop contained three steep descents from the Plain down to civilisation. You may be thinking, well that sounds easy, but after descending the second hill, you are then sent back up the hill you have just come down!! Race HQ was well stocked with all dietary requirements and a bean hotpot was provided at the 6 hour point.
Suzi commented that this event was the most difficult and challenging marathon since she started running!! Conditions underfoot for a large percentage of each lap was ankle deep in mud, causing slips and sliding throughout. Suzi completed 5 laps, climbing 4,600 feet.
Mark Wotton travelled to Surrey to take part in the Phoenix Zeus & the Thunderbolt.
The location was on the right bank of the River Thames at the market town of Walton-on-Thames.
This 6 hour timed event was an out and back 3.28 loop along the river.
Mark completed the half marathon distance in 2:17:23 to finish 26th.
There were 86 finishers.