Getting ready for the Grizzly - March 7

Luke Reed took part in his first Aquathlon in Dawlish which consisted of a 600m pool swim and a 5k run.

AXE VALLEY RUNNERS - On Sunday, Luke Reed took part in his first Aquathlon in Dawlish which consisted of a 600m pool swim and a 5k run. Luke completed the staggered wave swim in 10.27mins. He then went on to complete the 5k run in 20.06 which included the transition from the pool to the run. Luke was very pleased with the effort he had made as he finished third overall in 30.33.

The annual AVR clean up of some of the local paths took place last Saturday. One of them was the formerly very stony bridle path twixt Branscombe and Beer. Andy Knight was well and truly stoned at the end of that, he even dreamt of stones that evening! All the work of course was a prelude to the Grizzly on March 7. To test out how well things had been cleared, a great big gang ran both the Cub and Grizzly runs on a wonderful Sunday morning and a great time was had by all.

However the weather in other parts of the UK was not quite as good - Dave Kelf ran the Bungay Black Dog Great East 20k run - part, and almost the only part, of his Paris marathon training. The weather threw everything it had at him - sleet and snow driven by a freezing gale - but he managed 1:53. His position remains unknown since he shot home for a warm bath without waiting to find out!

HONITON RUNNING CLUB - FIVE Honiton Running Club members took part in the Hestercombe Humdinger which is a challenging 9.5 mile figure of eight race.

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It is run entirely on quiet Somerset country roads and is organised by Running Forever Running Club. The race is set in the Quantock Hills in the heart of Somerset and starts and finishes at the delightful Hestercombe Gardens, near Taunton. The route is hilly and incorporates almost 1,500 feet total climb.

This is the third year that the race has taken place and Bruce Strawbridge has run each one.

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He led the Honiton runners home and was delighted to have beaten his previous times by several minutes to come 49th in a time of 1:09:58. Judy Davey was next home but didn't do quite as well coming 87th in a time of 1:15:39 which is slower than her last Humdinger. Sarah Warren was next in 161st place and 1:22:48 followed by Tony Whiteley, 206th and 1:28:33, who was completing this race for the first time. Tracey Strawbridge completed the team, coming in 274th and 1:42:54.

The winner was Oliver Berry of Taunton AC in a new record for the course of 55:41. There were 317 runners.

The Humdinger's baby sister race, 'The Hurtle', which follows the first 5k loop of the main race, also took place on Sunday. Katie Davey, accompanied by her dad, Steve, took part, coming in an excellent eighth place in 26:32. Steve has had an enforced rest from running but is thankfully recovering but didn't feel up to the full 9.5 miles. He ran most of the race with Katie beside him but, even though Katie has a strong sprint finish, he just had to take off on the home straight. He would never have lived it down if he had been beaten by his daughter! He finished one place in front of her in a time of 26:28. There were about 50 runners.

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