Inspired by Olympics? Take first running steps..

With the Olympics still on and Team GB performing superbly, how many just wonder what it must be like to be a Wiggo or Jessica Ennis, writes Dave Mutter.

Unfortunately, not everyone can become an elite athlete, but there is every opportunity to get fit right here in East Devon. AVR, Honiton and Sidmouth are three great running clubs with Axe Valley Peddlers for the cyclists and the N1 Tri Club for triathletes. You don’t have to be the best to get the most out of these sports.

Beginners to running will get a huge buzz from running their first mile non stop and losing weight at the same time. After that it will be managing to beat your club mate for the first time and so it will continue. Running in a group is great fun and AVR have a super mix of ages and abilities for both sexes, including absolute beginner’s runs on a Friday. If you fancy joining in the fun and getting fit see or for beginners ring Jon Day 01297 625 078.

Alex Todd was back on top form with his first win of the year at the Haselbury Trail Race in 40:11. Not all went smoothly on this two-lap course through scenic fields and woods. When Alex jumped off a stile into a boggy field his shoe was sucked off in the mud. Mark Wills of Yeovil Town RC, who was winning the race at the time, sportingly offered assistance. Phil Bayliss won the over-60s prize in 45:57 and Eleanor Wood was pleased to win the third lady trophy taking 49:30. Sue Venn came in with a beaming smile in 1:05:59.

Harry Moore, who ran the one-lap 6K course in 58:54 and was awarded the oldest competitor prize for the sixth year running. Thanks to Derek Boles and North Perrott Cricket Club for the excellent organisation plus Garry Perratt for being the race referee.

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Shaves Cross run is a wonderful low key and rural experience. A five-mile run starting mostly uphill towards Pilsdon Penn followed by a mad race down fields to the finish. Kevin Hawker of Honiton RC was the victor. First AVR home and first lady was Eleanor Wood followed by Graham Newton enjoying the Dorset countryside and an AVR junior who ran really strongly. Siobhan Reddy was next home and was pleased with her run. Harry Moore completed the AVR gang in the same time as last year, 74 mins, winning oldest male runner again for the 6th time.

Following last weekend’s 70-miler, Garry Perratt decided to something a little shorter so invented the West Dorset Round, a 40-miler following the South Dorset Ridgeway and coast path. It took him seven and a half hours accompanied by various friends along the way.

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He and Alex Todd were initially accompanied by Eleanor Wood, Geoff Woodward and Andy Bowman.

The five ran from Hardy Monument down to Osmington, along the cost path to Weymouth where they dodged the heaving crowds before meeting Woodward’s wife Janet at Ferrybridge with copious amounts of food and chilled water.

Perratt and Todd then pushed on ahead since the other three planned to cut back from Abbotsbury, only covering 33 miles or so, the slackers. Much of the conversation dried up altogether once Perratt was left to Todd’s idea of an easy pace! Through Abbotsbury and on to West Bexington for milkshakes before the long, hard walk up to the ridge and the glorious run back along to the monument, just over 7� hours after leaving it.

The other three took about 6� hours.

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