Over 115 runners stood on the start line of the Dalwood 3 Hills Challenge last Sunday on a very cold but dry morning, writes Judy Davey.

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This is a tough multi-terrain race which takes runners up not the advertised three hills but four. The race was won by Michael Robinson in the amazing time of 1.06 hours. Honiton Running Club managed a fantastic turnout of 20 runners in the main race.

Leading the club home was Richard Harvey who came 25th in 1:23:58. He did well to stay ahead of the next three Honiton runners as there is always healthy competition between them. Bruce Strawbridge was next back in 27th place in 1:24:28 followed by Steve Davey 29th in 1:25:15. Fran Bond finished just one place and 10 seconds behind Davey and was delighted to win the trophy for second lady as well as coming first in her age category. Howard Bidmead was next back coming 41st in 1:29:54. Ceri Oak was 50th in 1:33:42 just two places ahead of Simon Spiller who ran with his wife Suzanne both finishing in 1:34:46.

Rod Inglis and Judy Davey swapped positions many times during the race but Inglis eventually pulled away convincingly to finish 55th in 1:35:09. Judy then had Mark Dallyn to chase and she finished 61st in 1:36:24 with Dallyn just 12 second behind her. Mark Andow was next back having found the hills very tough finishing 73rd in 1:40:59. He was followed by Helen Davy and Steve Briggs who took the next two positions with times of 1:41:17 and 1:41:58 respectively. John Burgess had a much better run this year than he did at Dalwood last year finishing 79th in 1:44:54. Peter Lyus has completed this race many times before and despite the hills, he keeps coming back for more. He finished 95th in 1:53:36. The next three runners were all training hard for the Grizzly and Linda Pike led them back finishing 98th in 1:54:14. Clare Melbourne was 104th in 1:56:47 and Carol Turnham 109th in 2:06:41. All they have to do now is run it twice and they have completed the Grizzly!

Juliet Hall is training for the London Marathon in April and has also been putting in some serious miles. It was her first time at Dalwood and she did well to finish 112th in 2:11:33. There were 115 finishers.

Alongside the main race is the Mini Challenge which is approximately 3 miles and is open to juniors and adults over the age of 12. First back for Honiton and third overall was Florence Swan in 28.02 minutes. She was followed by Sam Taylor who was fourth in 29:59 and completing Honiton’s entry was Morgan Davy who came seventh in 32:12.

Morgan’s sister Sasha isn’t old enough to take part in the Mini Challenge so she had to be content to take part in the 1 ½ mile fun run. She did amazingly well completing in 8:43 and finishing first overall out of a total of 19 finishers.

Thanks to Dalwood Run Committee for a well organised run. Also, thanks to their sponsors and landowners and not forgetting the marshals for standing out so long in the bitter cold and being so encouraging to the racers.

Thanks also to those who provided delicious bacon butties or homemade cakes and tea.

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