Honiton runners survive hornet attack during Stockland Scamper

Honiton runners at the Stockland Scamper meeting.

Honiton runners at the Stockland Scamper meeting. - Credit: Archant

Several Honiton Running Club (HRC) members took part in the local Stockland Scamper organised by Stockland Primary School PTFA with the help of Axe Valley Runners, writes Judy Davey.

It turned out that it was a never-to-be-forgotten race for those who took part.

Unbeknown to the lead runners, they had disturbed a hornets’ nest about a mile from the finish!

This was in a very narrow lane and depriving the hornets of a Sunday lie-in meant they were not just angry, they were livid! First of all, they stung the odd runner before coming into the middle of the lane as a swarm. Runners were upon them before they knew what was happening and all they could do was run through them as fast as they could.

Most runners fell victim to at least one sting and many suffered multiple stings.


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Matt Clist won the race in 39 minutes 40 seconds and the first HRC runner back was Adam Hennessey who came ninth in 45:30.

Nick Silkstone followed in 11th place in 46:41 and Rod Inglis came in 21st place in 50:12 with Steve Davey coming one place later in 52:13.

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Roger Saunders had a great run, winning his age category to come 27th in 54:15. First Honiton lady was Jo Davey, who came 29th overall and fourth lady in 55:52 just ahead of her mum Judy, who came 32nd in 56:39. Tim Wigram came 38th in 58:35. Stockland’s principal, David Perkins, was dressed as Batman following a raffle amongst the primary school’s children to decide what David would be dressed as.

David did extremely well, feeling very hot under his costume, although it did act as pretty good protection against the hornets, getting away with just one sting.

Paula Ferris was 45th in 1:01:37 and Charlotte McKenzie 53rd in 1:07:49. Asilah Jarrald, Mandy Ward and Rachael Hennessey finished together in 57th place and 1:09:55.

The final HRC runner was fairly new member Pip Vanham, 63rd in 1:13:14. There were 67 finishers. Runners were treated to a well-deserved slice of chocolate brownie on their return. Thank you to chief organiser Emma Parris, who had a very stressful time dealing with the hornet casualties on top of the usual race organisation.

Thanks also to the marshals and landowners for what, despite the hornets, was another fantastic event. Definitely a race with a sting in the tail!

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