Bitter at the Blister

PUBLISHED: 18:20 02 December 2010

Competitors in the Bicton Blister at the weekend. Picture by Terry Ife ref mhspwk48 4816-48-10TI

Competitors in the Bicton Blister at the weekend. Picture by Terry Ife ref mhspwk48 4816-48-10TI


On a bitterly cold day last Sunday, 12 Honiton runners set off for Bicton College to take part in Exmouth Harriers’ Bicton Blister or Bicton Lite races.

Temperatures had managed to get down to minus 5 first thing in the morning and there was still a scattering of snow left over from a shower earlier in the week. The temperature was still well below zero as the race began and Honiton runners spotted only two foolhardy racers dressed in shorts and a racing vest and they were not from Honiton! Most took the more sensible option of covering every possible bit of skin and the major decision to be made was whether to wear two, three or, if you are called John, even four layers.

The Bicton Blister is approximately 10 miles and begins on the road with most of the route being on the pebbled heaths of Bicton and the very exposed Woodbury Common. It’s becoming a bit of a habit and once again Bruce Strawbridge was first back for Honiton in 57th place with a time of 1:17:41.

Ceri Oak was next in coming fourth lady overall and first in her age category. She finished in 80th place with a time of 1:20:10.

The next trio came in after a close battle for the final order. Richard Harris just about triumphed, finishing in 99th place in 1:22:53.

Richard definitely won the prize for best fashion accessory sporting a beautiful alpaca woolly hat – he could have made a fortune if he was willing to sell it.

Steve Davey finished just six seconds and two places behind Richard. Steve had chased him up the final stretch but, although completely done in, Richard managed to hold the lead. Steve had also become aware that Vernon Gillard was not far behind and admitted that, had he not been chasing Richard, Vernon may well have caught him. Vernon was 107th in 1:23:18.

Next home was Roger Saunders who had a good race, coming 132nd in 1:26:09, just managing to keep ahead of Julie Payne. It was Julie’s first time of running the Blister and she found it tough but ran really well to finish one place behind Roger and four seconds later.

Judy Davey was next back and although slower than the previous year, she was taking consolation in the fact that the course was longer.

She came 169th in 1:29:48. Nick Thorpe has almost got back to his good level of running fitness and managed to pip John Burgess over the finish line. Nick was 208th in 1:33:20 with John one place and four seconds behind. Sandra Thorpe completed the Blister line up for Honiton coming 344th in 1:54:32. There were 369 runners.

Tracey Strawbridge hasn’t been running too much recently and decided to compete in the Bicton Lite which is a shortened version of the Blister of about 4.5 miles.

Tracey was pleased with her race especially because she could get back into the warm well before any of her club mates and pick a tee shirt of the correct size! She came 54th in 51:51 out of 80 runners.

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