Festival run was a blast - bar opening climb!

The 10K Sidmouth Festival Run is renowned for its fearsome start. The runners climb 400ft from Jacobs Ladder to the top of Peak Hill in just half a mile, writes John Burgess.

This is a leg-aching average gradient of 20 per cent with some sections well over 30 per cent. Once up the hill the race then heads out over the flat tracks of Mutters Moor before plunging down a muddy path round Bulverton Hill. More climbing brings the runners back to the woods above the golf course and a mile long forest trail which is a joy to run.

After regaining the top of the moor there is the unrelenting sprint back town the hill to the finish. The race was won by Liam Roberts of Axe Valley Runners with the impressive time of 0:43:45. Honiton Running Club was well represented with Ian Stewart very pleased to lead them home in ninth place and nearly three minutes quicker than last year.

Next in was Graham Reeves who also moved up the order with a faster run than 2011. For Howard Bidmead this is a must-do race and he came in next, followed closely by Rod Inglis. John Burgess was going as hard as he could at five miles when he was overtaken by team-mate Graham Rooms who had enough energy to be chatting with another runner.

Rooms crossed the line 12 seconds in front of John. Nick Bradley-Carter was next home, ruing the fact that he had been for a 10 mile run the previous day.

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Finally new and improving club member Kathy Layzell came charging down the hill to the finish having enjoyed the run - well all of it after that fearsome start.

Honiton RC results: 9, Ian Stewart, 0:43:45: 23; Graham Reeves, 0:48:50; 35, Howard Bidmead, 0:51:25; 41, Rod Inglis, 0:53:28; 56, Graham Rooms, 0:55:59; 57, John Burgess 0:56:11; 78, Nick Bradley-Carter 1:01:03; 101, Kathy Layzell, 1:10:59.

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