Choice of two races for Honiton runners

Honiton runners had the choice of two races last Wednesday evening. There was a fast flat 5k at Yeovilton and a hard, hilly 10k at Dalwood.

Honiton runners had the choice of two races last Wednesday evening.

There was a fast flat 5k at Yeovilton and a hard, hilly 10k at Dalwood.

Both races have their merits and it was down to personal preference which athletes ran at which event.

Dalwood lies in a valley and the only way out seems to be up long hills but, despite this, the race was an enjoyable mix of road and country. And, as it was a circular route, there must have been as much down as up - but it never feels like it.

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The runners set off at a steady trot up the first mile-long hill and were soon strung out along the road.

Honiton star runner Kevin Hawker hung back for a while and watched the leaders push up the first hill before making a move, which was to prove decisive. Kevin steadily moved past the early contenders and ran away from the front and extended his lead throughout the race to finish in a pleasing 40.34.

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Richard Harris seems to improve every race and also seems to enjoy the hills. His seventh place finish in 48.22 led home the rest of the Honiton runners who crossed the line to applause every minute or so.

Bruce Strawbridge finished well in 9th with 49.04 and Vernon Gillard was just behind, 11th in 50.05. Judy Davey was next home in 17th with 53.25 well clear of John Burgess in 29th place who shared the same time as Nick Thorpe in 30th of 56.12.

David Gage was just one place and three seconds down on this pair. Alan Nicholls enjoyed the run but just missed the hour in 42nd place with 61.51 while Pete Lyus ran well in 46th with 64.04.

Gerry Evans also finished in a respectable 66.11 but the best finishing sprint of the race was by Tracey Strawbridge who had obviously been inspired by Usain Bolt as she blasted the last hundred metres to the tape.

A thoroughly enjoyable race was had by all, which ended at the pub with a curry supper.

Meanwhile, at Yeovilton, the speed merchants were testing their anaerobic fitness with a lung-bursting flat 5k burn-up.

James Denne pushed himself to 4th place with a 20 second improvement on his July run in 16.05. Brian Charters improved his best performance to 17.29 in 15th, while Milan Goc is also pushing the envelope with a 10-second improvement to 17.46 in 20th.

While husband Kevin was winning at Dalwood, his wife Heather made the Yeovilton trip and posted an excellent time of 18.07 for 29th which is a good turn of speed for someone who will be doing the Commomwealth 100km champs at Keswick in a few weeks time.

The next two home were only two seconds apart. Gary Enticott finished 68th in 20.48, while young Tom Dun was next home in 20.50. Brent Dicks has run all five races at Yeovilton this year and has improved at each one. This time he chipped another 41 seconds from his time and finished 71st in 21.01, so the pressure is on next month for him to finish the season in style with a sub-21 minute preformance.

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