Good causes benefit from Grizzly generosity

Outgoing Race Director with a memento of his five Grizzly events

Outgoing Race Director with a memento of his five Grizzly events - Credit: AVR

More than £34,000 has been donated to local, national and international good causes following the hugely successful Grizzly event last month.   
Almost 1,800 runners completed either the Grizzly or the Cub race and another 300 children and young people participated in Grizfest, all hosted by Axe Valley Runners.    

Grizzly organisers confirmed this year’s donations at a presentation evening at Axmouth Yacht Club. The event also saw the official end, after six years, of Tony Smith’s period as Race Director for the Grizzly.  

It is always such an uplifting and enjoyable evening and this year it was particularly great to be back and able to make donations to so many local groups after two years away due to the pandemic.   

Donations have gone to some 35 groups who marshalled and provided water stations as well as a number of organisations that supported the town and start/finish area. Land owners that allow access to their land were also able to nominate a charity of choice.    

In total, more than £34,000 has been distributed, meaning the grand total, over the 34 years of the Grizzly, now exceeds £490,000.   

The range of local organisations that benefit is vast. Seaton Cricket Club, Sidmouth Cricket Club, Flamingo Swimming Pool, Lyme Regis Gig Club, N1 Tri-Club, Branscombe Cricket Club, Colyton Football Club, Branscombe Cricket Club, Honiton Running Club and Seaton youth football all received donations to support keeping people of all ages fit and active. 

Schools, nurseries, guides, scouts, village halls, parishes, churches, libraries, conservation and environmental groups were all beneficiaries, ensuring local communities can thrive and come together.  

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Major charities with local interest such as RNLI, Royal British Legion and Devon Air Ambulance also received generous donations. 

Outgoing Race Director, Tony Smith who presided over five Grizzly races during his six years was presented with a beautiful hand-crafted bowl made by local potter, Gilly Humphreys, as a memento and to remind him of the pressures of dealing with the ‘Beast from the East’, and Covid restrictions. 

The Race Director post for 2023 will be jointly held by Andy West and Steve Haines with the Grizzly date set for Sunday, March 5, 2023.