Gruelling races ahead

Coming up in a few weeks, Sidmouth RC's Four Trigs race is one of the tougher off-roaders around.

It’s 17 miles "with an obscene amount of climb" takes runners to the four trig points around the lower Sid Valley - Weston Cliff, Buckton Hill, Fire Beacon Hill and High Peak. Some time last year the Wild Man of the Woods, aka Sidmouth's Malcolm Bayer, introduced Garry Perratt to an extended version with a fifth trig on East Hill Strips and the Five Trigs was born. It's a bit easy during daylight though, so last Friday night AVR’s Garry, Alex Todd and second-claim Kevin Hawker were joined by Sidmouth's Ben Chesters and Tiverton Harrier Chris Gill for 20m of nocturnal fun.

All went well on the not-too-cold night for the first 18m or so when four of the five began to feel the distance in their legs. (The identity of the superhuman individual who never seems to tire is left as an exercise for the reader but should be obvious!)

Harpford Woods isn't the easiest place to navigate even in daylight so it came as no surprise that Garry missed the stream crossing and instead of a long roundabout route he took the group up a near-vertical climb to get out of Harpford Gorge. But at least the end was in thought, if not quite in sight, and the five eventually returned to their starting point at Bowd three and a half hours after leaving it.

After the 20 miler on Friday evening, the last thing you would want to do is run around part of this year’s Grizzly route, but that’s exactly what Garry and Alex did – along with about 18 others on Sunday morning.

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The idea was to ensure a few more bods know the never used before section of the course and confirm the marshalling points. A fine idea, had Garry not got lost a few times. For those running this year you are in for a treat, the new one mile wooded section is awesome, with an almost uphill bog in the middle and some really steep climbs. It would pay not to run in your Sunday best as there are three main bogs, a field with one foot deep gloop and multitudinous muddy sections. It was a fantastic morning training run, in brilliant company and superb scenery. Bring on the Grizzly!

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