Splashing about at the Bicton Blister

11:20 28 November 2012

Simon Longthorne of Torbay AC who finished third in the Bicton Blister  being chased by eventual 7th place Tim Lenton of Axe Valley AC

Simon Longthorne of Torbay AC who finished third in the Bicton Blister being chased by eventual 7th place Tim Lenton of Axe Valley AC


The Bicton Blister and Bicton Lite multi-terrain races are always a challenge but last Sunday the challenge began just trying to get to Bicton College as roads were flooded and some were closed, writes Judy Davey.

Ten Honiton Running Club members managed the initial challenge and took part in The Blister which is 10 miles long whilst four members took part in The Lite which is about 4 ½ miles long. Both go over sandy, stony and muddy paths across Woodbury Common.

There was plenty of mud and water to wade through and runners were diverted across a field close to the start and finish to avoid running on the road with the water level at thigh height.

Bruce Strawbridge was first back for Honiton in 41st place in 1 hour 19 minutes. Steve Davey couldn’t quite keep up and came 49th in 1:20 although he did manage to win his age category. Richard Harvey followed five minutes later to come 79th and Judy Davey was next back coming 153rd in 1:33. Davey also came first in her age category. Mark Dallyn found the going tough and when Davey sprinted past him within touching distance of the finish, he couldn’t respond. He finished two places and just 15 seconds after Davey.

Nick Thorpe had a good run to come 189th in 1:37 ahead of John Burgess who ran out of steam after about three miles. John came 241st in 1:41. Wayne Spiller doesn’t race very often but he’s not afraid of the tough ones and he was pleased with his 311th place finish in 1:50. Sandra Thorpe is still coming back from injury but had a great run finishing 333rd in 1:52.

This was Clare Melbourne’s first time of tackling the Blister and she did find it tough but came 349th in 1:56. There were 397 finishers and the race was won by Stuart Hall in 1:04.

Three of the older Honiton juniors took part in the Lite with Henry Riddle coming a fantastic 6th place in 35:40.

Findlay Fuller was hot on his heels finishing two places and less than a minute later. Florence Swan had a great race finishing 17th in 40:17 and the only Honiton adult representative was Wendy Le Masurier who came 48th in 50:16. There were 80 finishers and the race was won by Christian Hewitt in 30:14.

Just getting to the Bicton Blister five and 10-mile races on Sunday was a challenge, having to dodge the floods and plethora of closed roads, writes Dave Mutter.

Three hundred and ninety eight hardy souls did make it for the 10-mile Challenge and what a red letter day it was for AVR. First they romped away with the men’s team prize with Alex Todd sixth, 1:07:25; Tim Lenton seventh, 1:07:34; Matt Clist eighth, 1:08:27 and Josh Coates 15th, 1:10:44. Then they roared to victory in the ladies’ event with Eleanor Wood 95th and first over- 55 lady, 1:27:27; Adele Foxwell 169th and first over-35 lady, 1:35:13 plus Anna McLoughlin 223rd, 1:40:21.

The same three ladies also won the ladies’ Veteran’s team prize. As if that wasn’t enough Robin Briton won the over-60 title finishing 73rd in 1:24:53 and Dave Thomas was second over 60, 84th, 1:25:46.

Many other AVRs survived the route and had to contend with gloopy mud and two-feet-deep floods. Suffice to say the course was a trifle damp. There were many other good performances from the AVR gang with Andrew Watson 43rd, 1:19:46; Tony Wood 71st, 1:24:34; Geoff Woodward 10th, 1:29:27; Mark Hilder 114th, 1:30:21 and Roger Bramley 132nd, 1:32:09. Dave Mutter was 245th, 1:42:27 and Gavin Warren, suffering with a pulled muscle 301st, 1:49:41.

Sue Venn finished 358th, 1:59:18, Sam Tooze 368th, 2:01:42; Gill Day 376th, 2:05:30; Janet Woodward 377th, 2:05:04, Diane Newton and Jane Bennett joint 389th, 2:09:05.

There were 86 competitors in the five-mile Blister Lite and for various reasons one of the day’s top AVR performances came from Jess Tubbs who finished 53rd in 51:18, a brilliant effort.Natalie Wakelin was 75th, 58:30.

All runners would like to convey their heartfelt thanks to Exmouth Harriers for putting on a great event in atrocious conditions and Bicton College for allowing it to be run, plus of course all those soaking marshals en route.

Away from the Westcountry in sunny Birmingham Lesley Adams completed the Cannon Hill parkrun 117th in 27:21.

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