Hale and hearty at height!

PUBLISHED: 13:51 13 June 2012

Running Shoes.

Running Shoes.


Richard Hale struggled with the heat and the high starting altitude of almost 6,500 ft during the Deadwood Trail Half Marathon in the USA recently but he hung on to finish strongly in 1.52.39 collecting a third age group prize, 326th out of 1941 finishers.

The race was a point-to-point trail course through part of the Black Hills of South Dakota, a region still held sacred by the Lakota Sioux Indians, and one of spectacular scenery of steep canyon walls and thick ponderosa pine forests filled with wildlife, waterfalls and freezing streams.

Sections of the trail crossed gulches on high wooden trestle bridges. Bottles of iced water and cold showers were in abundance and most welcome at the finish of an exemplary organised event.

●Heather Lowman-Riggs ran the Chagford two hills race and it brought back grizzly memories with 1,076ft of climb over 5.5 km. The main difference is that the lower age limit is 14 years old and much of the path is only one runner wide so there were lots of little trip-hazards and the bog section was wetter than other years. Lowman-Riggs was happy with coming in sixth female in 43.59 and was second in her age category, so narrowly missed out on a trophy.

●Sam Studley and Natalie Wakelin ran the Ninesprings near Yeovil 9km multi terrain run and completed it together in 1:13:12. Special congratulations to Wakelin as it was her first race for AVR. Studley’s daughter Savannah and friend Zak both ran in the Fun Run. This was also their debut runs for the club.

●Nearly 100 runners, including 17 from the New Forest Runners had a go at the Umborne Ug, a 10k around the stunning East Devon scenery with many a hill and superb woodlands encountered en route, making it a highly enjoyable race.

Tim Lenton of Norfolk Gazelles was the winner in 41:27, with Exmouth Harriers’ Mike Musgrove second, 45:00 and Dan Hall of the Army AA third, 45:40. Emma Hitchins of Haldon Trail Runners was the first lady, sixth overall in 47:23. AVR’s Phil Bayliss had an exceptional race, finishing fourth in 46:16, winning the over-60 title for his trouble.

Many other AVRs had a good race, with Robin Britton 14th, 50:14; Tim Sibley 15th, 50:21; Matt Morbey 17th, 50:26; Paul Johns 19th, 50:39 and Ian Apps 22nd, 51:00. Myrtle Croad has vastly improved over recent months, he was 25th in 51:30. Ian Clements was 29th, 53:00; James Sibley 32nd, 55:07 and Richard Dodge 34th, 55:23.

A whole gang of AVRs followed, with Roger Bramley 43rd, 57:28; Steve Reynolds 44th, 57:45; Adele Foxwell 45th, 58:15 was almost caught by Pete Hughes 46th, 58:21 with Alison Bowskill 47th, 58:39.

Dave Mutter and Paul Tolchard had a rare old battle near the end. Mutter took a deep breath and just squeezed past beating him by a gnat’s whisker. Mutter was 52nd, Tolchard 53rd both in 1:00:37. Alison Gould was delighted to have knocked a minute off her PB, 65th, 1:08:27 with Sam Tooze 66th, 1:08:42 and Claire Moles 67th, 1:08:45. Then followed another troupe of AVRs with Diane Newton 79th, 1:18:13; Graham Newton 80th, 1:18:24; Alan Morbey 81st, 1:20:46; Gill Day 82nd, 1:20:47; Janet Woodward 83rd, 1:20:48 and Marilyn Hughes 84th, 1:20:15. Harry Moore was accompanied by Steve Atkins and they completed 91st in 2:00:00.

●There were 35 runners in the shorter Fun Run which was won by Iain Ross of Honiton RC.

Ethan Day was the first AVR home, fifth in 25:55, just pipping Max Bowskill sixth in 26:08. It was Hanna Bramley’s first race and she ran well to be ninth in 26:40 with Pete Johns 17th, 30:07.

Many thanks to the race organisers, especially Rick and Eleanor Wood and all the Umborne folk and landowners that cheerily helped out. Thanks also to Gilly Lee Cox who made the winners’ jugs. The real winner was Umborne Village Hall as the run generated around £1,000 towards its upkeep.

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