In the First Chance 10k, the first event of the 2024 InStep Devon Series, 14 Axe Valley Runners ran the fast course alongside the River Exe, with Matt Frost, Tim Sibley and Suzi Blackett starting the year with huge PBs, and Carol Austin securing her best time since 2018 after a string of injuries.

First AVR home in a magnificent 34:41 was Rich Hardy, ninth overall and an excellent second M40.  Sixth M40 and 23rdoverall was Duncan Staddon in 35:22. Matt Frost was 33rd in 36:26 taking a minute off his PB.

In 113th Tim Sibley, currently in training for next month’s Seville marathon finished in a brilliant 41:36 which bodes well for the big one.  Suzi Blackett took a huge three minutes off her PB finishing in 46:54, 13th F40.

In the battle of the F60s, Eleanor Wood finished 3rd F60 in an excellent 46:51 with Carol Austin, fourth F60 in 47:37. The other AVRs were Ian Kinnersley in 43:11, fifth M60; Kerry Board in 45:05, tenth F40; Andy West, 45:51, 11th M60; Haydn Boehm in 44:35; Alan Hornibrook in 48:23; Shirley Salter and Maxine Sweetman, who ran together, finishing in 1.10:28.

Following the race last year’s InStep Devon Championship prizes were presented with AVR’s Kerry Board picking up overall Female and F45 prize and Suzi Blackett the F35 crown. Ron Seward, who was unable to attend, won the M70 category.

Dan Clist and James Hawker competed in the Walter Raleigh Round Half Marathon, finishing in a creditable 2:40.47, 95th and 96th out of 146 who completed the event.

On the other side of the world, Diane Newton took part in the Cadbury Half Marathon near Hobart, Tasmania. She finished in 3:15, coming first in the women's over 70 category.

More than 300 runners enjoyed the first Seaton Parkrun of 2024. Third finisher and in a brilliant PB time of 18:24 was Max Richardson.  First female and second on age grade was Debbie Whiston in 20:17 with Ron Seward third on age grade in 23:45. There were PBs for Simon McClellan in 21:05; Lee Brooker in 27:37 and Shirley Goy in 44:11.