Richard thrives in the mud of South Wales

Richard Hale in action at Craig y Allt Winter Fell Race

Richard Hale in action at Craig y Allt Winter Fell Race - Credit: AVR

To the relief of runners at the start of Saturday afternoon’s four-mile Craig y Allt Winter Fell Race in South Wales, the torrential overnight rain had not returned. However, the Race Director was justified in describing the route as the muddiest and wettest he had seen.  

After one of the steep descents, runners suddenly entered deep mud, reminding Richard Hale of the infamous Grizzly Bog! The return of cold rain during the final ascent spurned runners on to a fast Zig Zag downhill finish. Entries were limited to 50 to comply with Welsh Government Covid law and Richard finished 40th in 50:12 

It was great to see 56 runners having a go at the new 3.3 mile AVR handicap for 2022 so ably organised by Garry Perratt. This has now replaced the Virtual handicap that Andrew Hartnell had organised during the height of the pandemic.  

Suzi Blackett was first home but, alas, along with many other runners, had not completed two qualifying runs. The actual winner this month was Thomas Parsons in 22:04 with Kevin Feeney 2nd, 26:52; Sue Hayes 3rd, 23:27; Karen Eyre 4th, 23:23 and Janette Mack 5th 31:12. The result means Thomas leads the rankings with 22 points Kevin 21, Sue 20, Karen 19 and Janette 18. 

It was cold and wet last Saturday morning, but that didn’t stop 142 people having a go at the Seaton parkrun that was won by James Denne of Gloucester AC in a very sprightly 17:01. AVR’s Joel Seward was 2nd, 18:42 and Colin Davies 3rd in 19:30. 

The Axe Valley Runners are based in Seaton and many of their members hail from the surrounding area, including Beer, Axminster and West Dorset. 

The club organises Couch to 5k programmes, sessions for beginners, improvers and experienced runners and #RunandTalk. 

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Everyone is welcome, from beginners to ultra-runners, and the week is packed with a range of different runs for members to enjoy.  

These include the multi-terrain run from Seaton, the Tuesday Club night, runs in Axminster and Seaton, interval sessions and beginner groups, plus regular competitions.  

Visit www.axevalleyrunners.org.uk for more information.