Autumnal bright? No, just black and grey!

PUBLISHED: 13:21 04 November 2009 | UPDATED: 00:30 16 June 2010

Forget the vibrant golds and yellows you would expect to see this autumn in the South Wales valleys and think more of black and grey drifting rain clouds!

Forget the vibrant golds and yellows you would expect to see this autumn in the South Wales valleys and think more of black and grey drifting rain clouds!

It was a soaking for runners, marshals and spectators at this year's Tour of Torfaen Half Marathon, a point to point undulating and twisting road course from Baenavon to Cwmbran Athletic Stadium.

It's a very scenic course with an easy first two miles and there was a great atmosphere at the finish with a crowded stadium and a live band. With much of the race run into a blustery headwind, Richard Hale was pleased and relieved to finish in a brilliant 1:34.

On Sunday we all woke to wind and rain, and five Axe Valley Runners' juniors probably dreaded the thought of having to leave their lovely warm beds to go and run an "undulating" crosscountry event. Well they did, and in the end the weather turned out dry for the first of the East Devon Junior Crosscountry events which was hosted by Honiton Running Club at Morganhayes, near Colyford. The U13 boys' race was won by Harry Felgate, who was closely followed by a not-feeling-very-well big sister Layla, Mollie Hansford and Lydia Clapp, who took second, third and fourth girl positions. In the U17 boys' event, Matthew Morbey flew through the mud and puddles to come in an impressive second place. A big thank you to the Forestry Commission, Honiton Running Club, Leacroft Camp Site, and, of course, our own Garry Perratt.

Water also affected the Ilminster 10K leaving wet and flooded roads. This didn't seem to have any effect on Luke Scott, of Taunton AC, who won the race in 34.32.

Luke Reed finished 1st AVR, 5th overall in 38.15 and also picked up a trophy for the 3rd male aged 21-39.

Dominic Schneiders had his first outing for a couple of months and was very happy to finish in 41.30. Steve Reynolds and Geoff Woodward also decided to have a go at this rather unfamiliar short distance compared to what they have been used to in recent times, with Geoff finishing in around 46 and Steve finishing around 49 minutes. Harry Moore still completed in 84 mins.

Graham Newton ran the Templer multi-terrain race which has two miles on road then five miles through fields and paths around Stover Park and along the Templer Way starting and finishing at The Passage House Inn, Kingsteignton. The weather was quite bad to start and, although it cleared up later, there was still a lot of water on the course.

The race was won in 55 minutes and Graham ran exceedingly well to finish 2nd in the over 60s category in 1.11.07, for which he was presented with a lovely bottle of red wine.

Seven AVRs on Friday night ran the Darkside of the Wobble.

The 12-mile multi-terrain route from Honiton Golf Club down the Coly Valley to Seaton was devised many years ago on the 06:31 from Axminster to Waterloo by the entity known far and further as the DungBean.

Much fun was had on the balmy evening with happy running and three fordings of the river. Only one of these was strictly necessary but it's hard to pass by Heathayne without enjoying a brief splash and at least their legs were nice and clean for the foray into the Gerrard Arms for a very nice Pickled Partridge. And then there were six, one having had to return directly home from Colyton. The happy half dozen continued on down to Axmouth for another brief spell of fluid refreshment before five finished on Seaton Esplanade for the excellent post-run refuelling mix of doner, chips and beer. (The other one may yet be roaming the Axmouth Straight, wondering where his companions have got to.) Roll on the Midwinter Dream ...

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