Honiton runners led home at the Exmoor Stagger by Ben Stone

PUBLISHED: 22:09 21 October 2014 | UPDATED: 22:09 21 October 2014

Honiton runners at the Exmoor Stagger

Honiton runners at the Exmoor Stagger

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Honiton Running Club members filled a mini bus heading for Minehead last Sunday to take part in the Exmoor Stagger and Stumble, writes Judy Davey.

The Stagger is a 16-mile off road course using the steep and varied terrain surrounding Minehead. There were plenty of spectacular views as it was a bright clear day and the race has a total ascent of 3627 ft.

The route runs from Minehead to the highest point on Exmoor, Dunkery Beacon and then back to Minehead following a mixture of paths, rough terrain and tracks and both the outward and return leg involved tough climbs. James Baker won the Stagger for the fifth year running with a time of one hour 56 minutes and 20 seconds. Ben Stone was first back for Honiton and one of four of the Honiton contingency to take a wrong turn adding about one-quarter milee to the distance. Ben finished 29th in 2:27:04. Richard Harvey was 42nd finishing in 2:37:12 with Alasdair Moffett one place and 20 seconds behind with Alasdair taking in the added distance. Steve Davey was next back in 51st place in 2:40:16 closely followed by Bruce Strawbridge who finished 60th in 2:43:10. Judy Davey was the first Honiton lady back and also took the wrong turn. She was 68th in 2:46:44. Mark Dallyn finished next in 93rd place in 2:59:21 and Esme Moffett also went wrong and finished 107th in 3:03:18. There were 175 finishers.

Runners had the choice of tackling the much shorter Stumble race which is 6.8 miles long. Although not taking runners to Dunkery Beacon, it is still a testing course. Anthony Vangasse won the race in 46:57. Howard Bidmead was first back for Honiton winning his age category and coming 22nd in 1:00:18. Richard Harris had been overtaken by Howard just before the finish line and had to be content to finish one place and just four seconds later. Pippa Westall was first Honiton lady home in that race coming 39th in 1:05:55. Juliet Hall and Clare Melbourne ran together to complete the Honiton contingent coming 75th and 76th with Juliet 1:21:03 and Clare nine seconds later. There were 90 finishers.

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