Mud, mud and more mud for the Axe Valley Runners

Axe Valley Runners at the Otter Rail & River Run

Axe Valley Runners at the Otter Rail & River Run - Credit: Dave Mutter

Usually, the runners competing in the annual Otter Rail and River Run have nothing more to worry about than whether they’re wearing enough sun cream.  
However, after all the unseasonal rain, things were a little different this year as there was mud, mud and more mud to contend with.  
Despite the conditions, 216 runners braved the weather for the start of the 10K at Tipton St John Playing Fields. It’s a beautiful scenic route taking in a stretch along the banks of the River Otter and then through woods and fields, along the old railway line and the final challenge of running through a field full of cows.  
There were fine performances from all the AVR’s who took part. Graham Newton was first AVR home in 50:07, 1st MV70 and 36th overall.  
First AVR lady was Caroline French in 51:54, 43rd overall and 2nd WV35, then came Cliff Marriot 52:00 44th, Ron Seward 52:37 46th and 2nd MV70, Margaret Pearce 54:47 57th and 2nd WV45, Mark Day 60:15 81st, Louise Rawlings 60:37 87th, Shaun Vinnicombe 66:11 122nd, Charlotte Horlock 69:46 143rd, Denise Burges 72:04 159th, Rachel Hiscock 72:31 164th, Maxine Sweetman 79:25 187th and Shirley Salter 81:15 193rd.   
Well done to all of them for managing to stay upright and not succumbing to the mud. 
Jon and Gill Day competed in the Killerton Duathlon, which comprised a 5k Run followed by a 19K Bike then a 1.5K Run to finish. The first 5K Run route was around the Killerton park run route, which, after all the sudden rain, was really muddy with a few lake-size puddles to run through.  
Jon’s times were: 20:58 for first run, 36:49 for bike and 12:50 for last run. Gill's times were 32:26 for first run, 47:04 for Bike and 8:32 for the last Run. 
Due to the pandemic, the December 2020 Christmas Celtic Trail Half Marathon was postponed to Saturday, July 10, 2021. This meant Richard Hale running the second of two pre-entered trail races in six days.  
The Coed Morgannwg Way follows ancient tracks of Celtic origin mostly stony, wet and muddy, through vast mountain woodlands, and exposed boggy moor. It’s a West to East linear route starting in Resolven in the Neath Valley of South Wales.  
Beginning with over 2000ft of steep ascent, it finally descends to the Dare Country Park in Cwmdare in the neighbouring Cynon Valley 13 long miles later. There were only 13 finishers with Richard 8th in 2:45:05. 
David Cook won the July AVR 4K handicap race in 19:16, followed by Paula Cooke, 25:32; Keith Agland, 19:40; Sarah Whelan 25:08 and Andrew Hartnell, 19:08. All of the top five broke their P.B. for the run. Pam Goddard leads the rankings with 109 points with Sarah Whelan 2nd, 105; Eleanor Wood 3rd, 99; Jon Day 4th, 91 and Paula Cooke 5th, 89. 

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