Honiton runners take on the challenge

PUBLISHED: 18:18 13 January 2011

Galina Barskaya

Axe Valley Runners’ Axmouth Challenge 10 mile multi-terrain race returned last Sunday after missing a year due to poor weather. The race starts at Axmouth Village Hall and, after a flat half mile, the racers tackle the steep ascent up to Axmouth Golf Club before running across the golf course itself. This is followed by much more pleasant, relatively flat or downhill sections, before the course returns back to Axmouth and there is a challenging seventh mile being a long uphill drag.

The route finishes with a good stretch of downhill where runners can normally put in a fast finish. However, this year, icy road conditions did hamper the more cautious runner. The conditions didn’t seem to affect AVR’s Alex Todd and Honiton’s Kevin Hawker. The training partners decided to tackle the race together and they romped home to win jointly in a time of 1:01:59. This was over two minutes ahead of Daryl Milford of Teignbridge Trotters who came in third.

Lin Lascelles of Maiden Newton Runners was first lady followed by Honiton’s Ceri Oak who came 15th overall and second lady in a time of 1:14:25. AVR’s Eleanor Wood was third lady.

Ceri had overtaken Steve Davey on the first hill and managed to maintain the position. Steve was two places behind her in a time of 1:14:57. Tom Bornet, a relatively new member of Honiton Running Club, tackled his longest race for the club so far, and he had a great race, finishing in 20th place in 1:19:17. Judy Davey was next in for Honiton after enjoying her run. She was 25th in a time of 1:22:11. John Burgess set off with good intentions but managed to pull a calf muscle before he got to the golf club hill. He decided to take the sensible option and walk back, which was very painful in itself. There were 50 finishers and all Honiton runners managed to finish in the top half.

Also on offer was a 5 mile version but no Honiton members took this option. The two junior races were attended by only three runners but as always, it is quality and not quantity that counts! The 1½ mile race was won by Max Bowskill of Sidmouth Running Club. Matthew Morbey of AVR won the three mile race in 21:01 and Honiton’s Iain Ross was second in 23:55.

The Axmouth Challenge is a particularly friendly race with great support from marshalls who have to stand in the freezing cold for hours. Once the race is over, runners are treated to delicious warming soup and home made cakes courtesy of the ladies of Axmouth with donations going to the village hall. Thanks to all for a great start to 2011’s East Devon Series.

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