Axe Valley Runners deliver at Ekiden3

Axe Valley Runners members at the Minster Challenge Picture; CHRIS CARSON

Axe Valley Runners members at the Minster Challenge Picture; CHRIS CARSON - Credit: Archant

Eight Axe Valley Runners’ teams took part in last weekend’s virtual Ekiden marathon relay organised by City Runs.   
Three teams won their age group with many more individual success stories as runners competed virtually in distances from 1k to 15k, with each team completing the marathon distance of 42.2k between six runners.  
With icy conditions across the region, the relay was extended to three days to ensure the safety of runners, and times reflected the challenging conditions. 
The women’s F50 team of Eleanor Wood, Angela Kerr, Sarah Shepley and Carol Austin beat five other teams to take first F50 place in a total time of 3:35:03, just pipping Torquay AC by a couple of minutes.   
The men’s 60+ team of David Cooke, Alan Morbey, Ian Clements, Keith Agland, Kevin Feeney and Graham Newton finished in 3:27.37 and saw off a strong challenge from Honiton RC to win their age group.   
Also finishing first were the F60+ team of Shirley Salter, Maxine Sweetman, Lesley Adams, Janette Mack and Diane Newton. 
Molly Adkin and Jack Broom were making their AVR club debuts in the mixed team that finished in a very creditable tenth place overall with Molly running an excellent 33:59 for the 8.2k leg and Jack an impressive 56:04 for the 15k leg.   
The men’s M40 team just pipped the mixed team into ninth place overall in a finish time of 2:41.47. 
AVR age group first places were: Kerry Board (1k), Eleanor Wood (1k), Lee Moran (3k), Angela Kerr (3k and 10k), Sarah Shepley (5k), Rob Collier (8.2k), Carol Austin (8.2k), Keith Agland (8.2k), Lesley Adams (8.2k), Kevin Feeney (10k), Graham Newton (15k) and Diane Newton (15k); with Angela Kerr (3k and10K), Graham Newton (15k) and Eleanor Wood (15k) all achieving magnificent 80+ per cent age grade.   
Jeremy Slade, Liz Slade and Carolyn Nation all smashed their personal bests in their respective legs and, with 88 teams taking part, it was all-in-all a very successful weekend for AVR. 
Thanks to City Runs for organising the event, which helped many runners have a focus for their training during the current lockdown. 

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