Honiton runners enjoy the 2020 Blackdown Beast meeting

PUBLISHED: 13:12 27 January 2020

Honiton Running Club members at the 2020 Blackdown Beast meeting. Picture: HRC

Honiton Running Club members at the 2020 Blackdown Beast meeting. Picture: HRC

Archant

Last Saturday, about 250 runners set off to take part in Honiton Running Club's Blackdown Beast, writes Judy Davey.

This run filled up almost as soon as entries came out. It is a social but challenging run boasting many hills and lots of mud to sap the legs.

There is a choice of 16-and-a-half miles or a shorter 10-and-ahalf mile route where runners stop at Upottery and are taken by mini bus back to the headquarters at Highfield Sport and Social Club in Dunkeswell.

Runners come from far and wide and several HRC runners took part. There are several stops on route and the mainly off road run takes runners through the wonderful footpaths on the Blackdown Hills.

The weather was very kind although the fog came in and what are usually fantastic views were reduced to less than the other end of a field! The first stop, after seven-and-a-half miles, was Smeatharpe Village Hall where participants were treated to delicious hot sweet mulled cider and equally delicious warming pasties.

Thanks to the ladies of the WI for making and serving this very welcome sustenance. The next stop was the Sidmouth Arms, Upottery.

At this point some runners who had signed up for 10 decided to make the commitment and complete the full 16-and-a-half miles. Others had signed up for 16-and-a-half and decided enough was enough and took the bus back! For those who resisted the bus, it was on to the Luppitt Inn; one of the smallest pubs in the country!

Organisers made sure the family knew runners were coming as opening times are flexible!

The shortish last leg then takes runners across private land back to Dunkeswell. For many this was the furthest distance they had ever run and for a few this was by many miles! A fantastic effort by everyone.

As always, all participants thoroughly enjoyed the day with many looking forward to the summer version; the Blackdown Beauty.

This will be in early July and places are likely to go fast for this event too so look out for further information on www.honitonrc.com and to register your interest very soon. It may be a completely different route to previous years. Thanks to everyone who made the event possible including the landowners. Money raised will go to Macmillan Cancer Support.

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