Honiton Running Club's Blackdown Beast proves a hit

PUBLISHED: 23:10 28 January 2015

The weather was perfect for this year's Honiton Running Club's Blackdown Beast; a little chilly, but the sky was blue and the sun shone, writes Judy Davey.

There was a good amount of mud and other substances to sap the legs meaning the 16.3 miles were hard work. Runners were faced with a menacing looking bull in one of the fields, but he turned out to be quite friendly and used to visitors on his patch!

The Beast is always a sell out and this year saw a record number of 170 runners taking part with runners coming from all over Devon and some from further afield. The event is a social run with several stops on route taking in the scenery of the beautiful Blackdown Hills.

The event began and ended at the Highfield Sport and Social Club, Dunkeswell. 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, where some runners took the opportunity of taking a mini-bus back to Dunkeswell having completed 10 miles.

For others, it was on to the Luppitt Inn; one of the smallest pubs in the country! Organisers made sure the landlady knew runners were coming as opening times are flexible! The shortish last leg then takes runners across private land back to Dunkeswell.

As always all participants thoroughly enjoyed the day with many looking forward to the summer version; the Blackdown Beauty. 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. Thanks to everyone who made the event possible including the landowners for allowing runners to churn up the already churned fields. Money raised totalled over £1,000 once expenses have been paid and will go to Macmillan Cancer Support.

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