After the deluges of last week it was great to wake up to a bright crisp morning, with mist over the Axe estuary, frost on the verges thick mud on the tracks, and a thin shell of ice over puddles, writes Dave Mutter.

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A perfect day for a run and a day after most of the football was cancelled a perfect day to compete in one of the Axmouth Challenges.

Because of the rain the first field ascending out of the village was perilous, particularly on the return leg after footfall had churned the grass into slippery gunk. The plateau above Axmouth, with long stretches of gently undulating country lanes and farm tracks allowed for a sustained pace. Running east, sunlight flickered though the bare hedges, while on the return leg clear views were enjoyed through fields to the distant chalk cliffs at Beer.

There were some fine AVR performances with Matt Thurgood winning the short fun run event in 9:21. Archie Clode was fifth, 10:39 and Darcie Morton 10th, 11:50.

Congratulations to AVR’s Simon Bayliss, who in the main 10-mile Challenge kept fourth position throughout both loops, until shortly before the final descent where he spurred past three runners to win in 1:01:14. Tim Lenton was one of those Simon overtook and he finished second in 1:01:26. The first lady home was AVR’s Amy Greenhalgh, ninth overall, 1:07:22, while Dave Thomas won the over 60 male title, 44th overall in 1:20:05.

James Trewick put his personal training to good use, even managing to overtake Amy by performing a perfect bum slide down the final field to be eighth, 1:07:11. James Guler managed to forget his trainers and had to run back home to get them before the start and despite feeling unwell at two miles! He finished 11th in a time of 1:09:23.

Jonathan Day was overtaken by Martin Lascelles at four miles, but fought back and overtook him later in the run to finish 12th, 1:09:51 with Martin 14th, 1:10:07.

There were many other tales of glorious mud sliding and overtaking from the rest of the AVR gang and their results were: Hannah Bridger, 15th, 1:10:13; Lin Lascelles, 17th, 1:10:26; Rupert Pady, 23rd, 1:13:01; Ian Apps, 28th, 1:15:34; Chris Keeffe, 31st, 1:16:50; Eleanor Wood, 32nd, 1:17:12; Shawn Denslow, 41st, 1:18:26; Roger Bramley, 42nd, 1:18:27; Carol Austin, 47th, 1:21:06; Richard Hale, 49th, 1:21:28; Mark Tremlett, 56th, 1:23:22; Neal Baker, 57th, 1:23:39; Geoff Woodward, 58th, 1:23:42; Steven Maclure, 65th, 1:25:35; Alan Morbey, 69th, 1:27:20; Anna McLoughlin, 70th, 1:28:09; Kirsty Bate, 72nd, 1:28:46; Chris Hill, 76th, 1:31:15; Andy Mear, 79th, 1:32:01; Steven Lewis, 81st, 1:32:21; Dan Aylish, 88th, 1:35:19; Stephen Morton, 89th, 1:36:09; Tracey Beckett, 94th, 1:37:11; Andrew Sayers, 105th, 1:44:15; Janette Mack, 106th, 1:44:28; John Larcombe, 110th, 1:45:41; Angela Kerr, 112th, 1:52:05 and Martin Kerr, 113th, 02:03:12.

The 5-mile event was won by Honiton RC’s Findlay Fuller in 39:45 with AVR’s Ollie Caute finishing second in 39:55 and Bobby Simpson was third in 40:04. Other AVR times were: Stephen Morbey, sixth, 52:15; Jane Calvert, 11th, 1:00:59; Lesley Adams, 16th, 1:07:03 and Liz Thomas, 17th, 1:16:57.

Along with those AVR’s who ran, many helped put on the race with Garry Perratt and Alex Todd course marking and checking, Janet Woodward, Gill Day, Alison Gould, Heather Lowman-Riggs and Robin Britton back marking plus Phil and Vikki Bayliss with Sandra Porter timekeeping.

Also thanks to the many Hall volunteers sustaining the runners with soup, roll and teas.

Everyone had a really good time in sunny Axmouth and the race which was the first in the newly formed East Devon Community Race Series raised much needed funds to Axmouth Village Hall.

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