AVR trio run the Paris Marathon

PUBLISHED: 18:29 22 April 2015 | UPDATED: 18:29 22 April 2015

Axe Valley Runners at the Hippo

Axe Valley Runners at the Hippo

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Axe Valley Runners James Trewick and Shaun Denslow lined up on the start of the world’s third largest marathon alongside 56,000 runners on the Champs-Elysees, Paris, in glorious sunshine, writes Dave Mutter.

It was the first marathon for both of them and initially they were quite nervous, but the nerves soon disappeared once the race got under way.

For Shaun, it was a race of two halves. Full of strong running in the ever-increasing temperatures up to the halfway mark.

Ankle ligament damage sustained playing football two weeks earlier hampered his progress throughout the second half of the race.

Determined to get to the finish, cheers of ‘Allez Shaun’ from the Parisian crowd helped him battle his way through a wall of pain at mile 23, to finish strongly in 4.29.22, and 27,230th place.

For James the race was far less eventful. He started off at a steady pace, feeling good passing through the half way mark in 1.37. By mile 20 (in marathon running that mile seems to be the half way point) the going was starting to get tough, and James was finding it much harder to sustain the pace.

Four miles from the finish the yellow flag above the head of the 3.15 pacer loomed over his shoulder, providing a target to follow.

James stuck to him like glue until 25 miles, when inch by inch he just started getting away. The last mile was a slog, with James finishing on the cobbles of Avenue Foch in 3.15.46 and 3,011th place – a superb debut.

The city, scenery, atmosphere and entertainment throughout the race was incredible, and hobbling round the sights of Paris on aching legs the following day, certainly hasn’t deterred either of them from entering a big city marathon again!

Juniors are constantly improving and to prove a point once again all the top five finishers in the April Junior handicap produced PBs.

Caitlin Smith was the winner in 13.34, followed by Ollie Brown (13.09); Flo Swan, (12.26); Will Watson (13.25) and Oliver Rodger (11.56).

Swann is a clear leader in the Junior rankings with 61 points with Rodger second (47pts) and Ollie Brown third (44)..

Robert Kerr was the victor in the longer senior handicap in 31.17 followed by Craig Tiley, 26.28; Alan Morbey, 26.22; Luke Reed, 20.37 and Eleanor Wood, 24.36. Clare Hansford still leads the senior rankings with 71 points, ahead of Gavin Warren, and Margaret Pearce both on 46.

Three AVRs tackled the Taunton parkrun on Saturday which is one of a national network of weekly, free, timed 5k runs.

Carol Austin paced Lesley Adams to a new personal best of 27.59. a minute faster than her previous best and Angela Kerr completed her first ever parkrun in 25.49 which put her first in her age group.

The route through Longrun Meadow is very enjoyable and is well organised by the team of volunteer marshals.

A brilliant sunny morning greeted those running the Honiton Hippo. A multi-terrain 7.4 mile race, the Hippo is a very wet affair with three deep water traps and two crossings of the River Otter en route.

The race was won by James Denne in a fantastic 46.51. First back for AVR and winning the V50 category was Dominic Schneiders 18th (1.00.30) followed by Eleanor Wood 29th (1.03.28) winning FV55 class. Close behind was an on-form Clare Hansford 31st (1.04.11) winning FV45 lady. Jack Dixon was 39th (1.06.12), Stephen Morbey 52nd (1.09.57) closely followed by his father Alan Morbey 53rd (1.10.07) and Margaret Pearce 58th (1.10.42). Chris Hill was 71st (1.14.24), Andy Sayers 87th (1.17.43), Yvette Hill 108th (1.21.38) and Gillian Peach 112th (1.23.01).

In the 3K Hippo Calf for young runners, Oliver Rodger was a creditable second 12.09 and Mia Bartlett eighth in 13.26.

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