Clowning around the Blackdown Beauty

Honiton’s own Blackdown Beauty took place last Saturday with over 70 runners taking part.

They had a choice this year of 18 miles or 10 miles, although some, who intended running 10 actually ended up running over 13, due to some creative navigating by a certain member in the group! The long route took in five pubs as well as a cream tea but the 10 mile route forfeited a stop at three of the pubs. Both routes began at the Holman Clavel Inn and, although the pub is presently being refurbished, the new owners kindly opened its doors to runners and allowed the grounds to be used as the headquarters. The long route then took runners to Pitminster and then on to Clayhidon before a visit to Pear Tree Cottage, Stapley, for the delicious cream tea, appreciated by all. Thank you to the Parry family for the use of their gorgeous garden and all the ladies for making the scones and serving welcome cups of tea.

Once fed and watered, runners went on to Churchinford before running back to base. Fancy dress was optional and Honiton runners were encouraged to dress with a circus theme.

They looked very colourful and confirmed to other running clubs that Honiton really are a bunch of clowns! Thanks to everyone who helped in any way as well as all the landowners but special thanks must go to John Burgess who has given up many hours of his time organizing the event in so many ways including creating the booklet, tirelessly investigating possible routes, visiting landowners and publicans as well as coordinating everyone else involved.

Several Honiton Running Club members took part in the Otter Rail and River 10k at Tipton last week. It was a lovely sunny day and it attracted a record 160 runners.

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The course is very pleasant with runners treated to views of the River Otter and surrounding countryside. The race takes in the welcome shade of Harpford Woods where racers run along the old railway line. Ben Stone had a great run and was first back for Honiton in 6th place in 41 minutes 1 second. Julie Payne took the prize for 3rd lady and also formed part of the winning Honiton ladies’ team. Helen Davy and Olivia Higginson were the other members to count. Helen injured her ankle during the race and will have to take some time off running but she did very well to finish and came a great 41st place in 48:58. Olivia is running really well at the moment and was delighted to win her prize. She was 76th in 54:57. Nick Bradley-Carter was less than a minute ahead of her coming 71st in 54:07. Honiton ladies outnumbered the men considerably and all other members of the Honiton group were female. They were; 83rd Jennie Sleeman 55:48, 112th Clare Melbourne 1:00:37, 152nd Tracey Strawbridge 1:09:10 and 153rd Kim Werner 1:10:11.

Thanks to all the organisers especially Jo Earlam and the very friendly marshals.

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