Clist first of the AVRs on duty at the 2013 Drogo 10 event

PUBLISHED: 09:09 20 November 2013 | UPDATED: 09:09 20 November 2013

The AVR runners on duty at the Drogo 10 event

The AVR runners on duty at the Drogo 10 event


Even the raw chill and the minor mist couldn’t spoil the fantastic vistas encountered by the 507 runners in the Drogo 10 mile cross country race, writes Dave Mutter.

Castle Drogo itself is in the middle of a massive restoration project and after running this somewhat hilly event many of the runners were in need of restoration themselves!

The race was won by Tom Merson from Exmouth Harriers in a stunning 58:17. AVR’s Matt Clist had a good old battle with Michael Robinson of Tamar Trotters for fourth spot with the lead changing many times, unfortunately Robinson was a tad stronger on the final cardiac hill leaving Clist to finish fifth in 1:02:32 – that’s six-minutes-and-thirty-second mileing over torturous terrain!

James Guler was the next AVR home, 42nd in 1:12:23, but he was not satisfied with that and reckons if he had oats instead of frosties for breakfast would have finished higher.

James Trewick ran 10 miles for the first time and ran superbly to be 51st in 1:13:46 as did Rupert Pady who was 61st, 1:15:13. Robin Britton was another to have a fine run finishing 123rd in 1:22:07, winning the over 60 title and Eleanor Wood was the first AVR lady home, 130th in 1:22:54.

As well as being the AVR charabanc driver and disco champion, Paul Johns put in a pretty mean performance to finish 154th in 1:25:23.

Ian Apps started too far back and got held up at the two early pinch points, but he overhauled many a runner to be 174th, 1:26:43, with Roger Bramley one place and nine seconds behind. Patrick Kinsella was 182nd, 1:27:13; Richard Hale 216th, 1:30:40; Anna McLoughlin 274th, 1:34:59 and Margaret Pearce 287th, 1:35:51. Arguably the best personal performance of the day was by Phil Bayliss trained Paul Tolchard.

Quite what Eleanor put into his pre-race biscuit we’ll never know, but he ran like he was 10 years younger, even overtaking Margaret on one of his flying descents eventually finishing 290th in 1:36:21. Alan Morbey was 293rd, 1:36:42; Dave Mutter 303rd, 1:37:31; John Larcombe 312th, 1:38:55; Stephen Lewis 335th, 1:41:00 and a very much improving Chris Hill 342nd, 1:41:23.

Everyone had a great time, with many achieving course PB’s due to the relatively dry conditions.

Many thanks to South West Road Runners for organising yet another great event and Castle Drogo refectory for excellent post-race scoff and beverages, lady Eleanor for her organisational skills and of course to coach driver extraordinaire Paul Johns.

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