Cheered home in Festival 10k

PUBLISHED: 13:29 18 August 2011 | UPDATED: 13:29 18 August 2011

Tracey Strawbridge had friends and fellow runners from Honiton Running Club cheering her home at the Sidmouth Festival 10K on Sunday, writes John Burgess.

She put in a terrific finish sprinting down the long grassy slope to Jacob’s Ladder, but with 100m to go she had no time to acknowledge the cheers as she put all her effort into the final dash to the line.

It is a great way to finish a run but, of course, the lovely downhill finish means a ferocious uphill start as the runners have to charge up the slope and on all the way to the top of Peak Hill, a total of 450ft of climb in half a mile. Lungs are bursting and legs are begging to stop at this point but the the race has only just begun so there is no let up as the runners follow the hill to Mutters Moor and through the woods round Bulverton Hill and Greystone Hill, before heading back to Sidmouth.

The Honiton team was led in by new dad Ian Stewart, who was doing the race for the first time and came in a very good 19th, followed just over a minute later by Tracey’s husband Bruce, who, for some reason, enjoys running up hills. Next in was Ceri Oak, who was just back from holiday, but still managed to win the prize for third lady. Graham Reeves, another young runner, did well to hold off club stalwart Vernon Gillard, who is now showing his old form.

John Burgess decided he must do this race at least once while his old legs could still manage it and he had a good tussle with Nick Bradley-Carter for half the race but managed to get away and finish about a minute ahead. Nick was pleased to finish at all, having had to pull out through injury the previous two years. The race was won by Adam Holland in the very quick time of 39:30 and Lucy Commander was first lady in 44:53.

●Nick Bradley-Carter and Olivia Higginson went over to Dartmoor to run the Totnes10K, which follows a really picturesque course mainly along the River Dart.

Fortunately, the weather was good for the race and Nick was reasonably pleased to finish 203rd in a time of 54:45. Olivia was not happy to finish with a slow time for her of 1:00:09, but paid the price for two consecutive nights out clubbing! Vernon Gillard ran a half-marathon at Sturminster Newton and was pleased to come 81st out of 415 ,in a time of 01:35:13.

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