Junior running club at Honiton

PUBLISHED: 09:00 09 January 2008 | UPDATED: 11:26 11 June 2010

Axe Valley runners
pic by Alex Walton

P7826-02-08AW Axe Valley runners pic by Alex Walton

Copyright Archant Ltd

HONITON RC Honiton runners have been busy over the Christmas and New Year period in several races. The club coaches have also been making preparations for the long-awaited opening of the Honiton junior section which will be operating soon.

HONITON RCHoniton runners have been busy over the Christmas and New Year period in several races. The club coaches have also been making preparations for the long-awaited opening of the Honiton junior section which will be operating every Tuesday evening from this week. The Sunday before Christmas is the traditional day for the Wellington Monument Race. Starting in Hemyock, the six mile race takes the road out of the village up to the Wellington Monument and back again. Having battled upwards with aching lungs and tired legs for over 500ft, the 200 runners have the compensation of the descent when gravity is on their side. It was a cold, clear day and 11 Honiton Running Club hopefuls turned up to pit themselves against the famous climb. The race was won in 35.17 by Peter Monaghan of Torbay AC. Star Honiton performers were Kevin Hawker, a past winner, who came in fourth in a time of 36.36, and Fran Bond who was fifth lady in a time of 44:38. Julian Gigg was the second Honiton runner in 43:15 and, together with Kevin, Steve Davey (56th in 45:56) and Bruce Strawbridge (68th in 46:51), helped Honiton to third place in the team competition. It was good to see Grant Boyd (75th in 47:22) out for the club again and he was followed by Judy Davey (88th in 49:15) who was almost caught on the line by veteran John Burgess. New member Greg Axsell had a good first outing for the club (109th 51:13) and the final club placings were Nikki Gigg (147th 54:22) and Tracey Strawbridge (191st 65:26)The last Sunday of the year was cool and windless, ideal conditions for the Exeter Last Chance 10k, and resulted in a clutch of personal best times for Honiton runners. This is a popular race along the canal towpath from Haven Banks and attracted a capacity entry of over 500 runners, including 15 from Honiton. The race was won by duathlete Kairn Stone in the excellent time of 31:40, just two seconds ahead of Tavistock's Peter Freedman. The Honiton pack was led home by Paul Davey (56th) in a time of 40:20, half a minute faster than last year, followed by Julian Gigg (61st) in one of his best performances at 40:41. Julian will be pleased to have run Paul so close after doing few races this year. Then came a battle between the next four Honiton runners; Guy Paddon (86th) managed to hold off Fran Bond (89th) by 12 seconds in 42:03 but Fran was pleased to improve on her personal best 10k time by nearly three minutes and was fourth in her category. Steve Davey (91st in 42:29 also a PB) had a tussle with Fran before she got ahead and he in turn was pursued closely by Stephen Boyes (99th 42:48). Perhaps the performance of the day was by Bruce Strawbridge who ran 58:04 last year but knocked an astonishing 13:30 off that time and came in 130th. Judy Davey was chasing Bruce but just lost touch in the last mile. Nevertheless she was very pleased to achieve a PB time of 45:10 and finished in 141st place and was fourth in her category. John Burgess (166th 46:24) had a battle with Simon Hall (181st 47:10) and Claire Pomeroy (187th 47:17) but managed to get ahead at the 5k mark and stay there. John was also second in the 60+ male category. Gary Enticott, running his second race for the club, also improved on his previous 10k time (233rd 49:48) but there was no PB for Tony Whitley (373rd 56:49) who was suffering from a back strain and still feeling the after-effects of Christmas. Two more PBs rounded off a good day for Honiton with Tracey Strawbridge (453rd 01:01:31), an improvement of over three minutes, and Mickie Dicks (455th 01:01:40) who was an excellent nine minutes faster than her best 2006 10k time.Last Sunday saw the club enter runners in the prestigious South West Cross Country Champs for the first time in their history. County and club teams from all across the South West met at Bicton Park to race around a challenging cross country course. There were races for runners of all age groups so next year might see some Honiton juniors toeing the start line. The senior men's race was run over 7,590 metres and entailed running two short and two long laps around the park. The underfoot conditions were very good so some fast times and great racing was seen. As expected the elite county runners took off at a suicidal rate but amazingly managed to maintain the pace throughout with a sprint finish for the line for first and second, Bristol & West clubmates, Robbie Bugden for Cornwall and Kevin Heywood for Devon, who were separated by just a metre at the tape in 21.44. The Honiton lads finished a little behind the leaders but all enjoyed the race. Tim Legg and Geoff Foster were to the fore for Honiton from the start with Tim pulling slowly away from Geoff after a mile or so. Tim kept up a strong pace and finished in a time of 26.39 with Geoff on 28.01. Vernon Gillard has been running well on the roads for some time now but didn't find the country quite as easy for his natural style. Vernon was looking over his shoulder most of the way at Roger Saunders who was having an excellent run but couldn't quite get on terms with the hundred metre gap. Vernon finished in 30.15 with Roger just 39 seconds back. Steve Boyes held on to Roger and Vernon for the first three laps but slipped back slightly on the last to finish in 31.31. The men have now had teams finish in the Devon and South West champs so may take a crack at the national cross country championships in March. Fran Bond is getting better with every race and had been asked to run for Devon at Bicton, but instead ran in the Axmouth Challenge. She finished first lady and eighth overall in 72.04 in a small field of 41 runners mostly comprising of AVR runners. Steve Davey and Bruce Strawbridge finished 14th and 15th respectively in 74.07 while Judy Davey was just behind in 20th with 75.50. Claire Pomeroy finished off Honiton's interest with 29th place in 85.46.AXE VALLEY RUNNERSHarry Moore was in action twice over the last week. First he was accompanied by Steve Atkins when he ran the drier-than-normal six mile Brown Willy run on Bodmin Moor, both finishing in 1hour 38 min. Then on Sunday he completed the Axmouth Challenge in 41st spot taking 2:16:48. Sidmouth RC's Malcolm Bayer blasted ahead of all the AVR chasing pack to win Sunday's rather hilly 9.5 mile Axmouth Challenge in 1:03:49, forty seconds ahead of Phil Bayliss. Luke Reed was delighted to finish third in 1:06:54. There was a terrific battle for the ladies' title which was won in dramatic fashion by Honiton RC's Frances Bond. She stayed just behind Julia Phillips all the way around, then burst past with 150 metres to go to finish eighth overall in 1:12:04, with Julia ninth. Eleanor Wood, who has a chest infection, was third lady home, 16th overall in 1:14:57. The course was redesigned this year, missing out Seaton sea front and beach, but including a longer climb back through Axmouth just as runners were getting tired. AVR dominated the rest of the results starting with Ian Apps 4th 1:07:56, a jetlagged Neil Vincent 5th 1:08:32, Gary Phillips 6th 1:10:04 and Bernard Fry 7th 1:10:16. Richard Hale was 11th 1:12:48, Geoff Woodward 12th 1:13:41, Roger Bramley 13th 1:13:57, Paul Johns 17th 1:15:09, Daniel Kiernan 19th 1:15:49, Steve Reynolds 21st 1:16:43, Jonathan Day 23rd 1:17:00, Ian Walker 24th 1:17:06, Steve White 25th 1:18:08, Andrew Sayers 26th 1:19:18, Sue Campbell 27th 1:19:24, Dave Mutter and Tikka-Lou 31st 1:27:04, Graham Vere 32nd 1:28:11, Julian Davies 33rd 1:29:01, Peter Hughes 35th 1:30:11, Alison Gould 38th 1:39:49 and Liz Elliott 39th 1:39:50.AVR's Alex Hunt won the associated 3 mile fun run and was 1st 13-16-year-old finisher in 21:13. Although only three miles, the route did include the tortuous climb up golf course hill, followed by a rapid descent down Stepps Lane. Sidmouth RC's Ellie Stone finished 2nd in 22:10 and was the first girl in the 8-12 year category. AVR's Romy Philips was 3rd in 24:40. Other finishers were: Georgia Hanson, Sidmouth RC 4th 24:57; Jackie Morris, Dorchester AC 5th 25:18, Jessie Davies, AVR 6th 25:25; Andrew Green, Sidmouth RC 7th 26:14; Maddie Morris, Dorchester AC 8th 26:24; Kate Welsford, Sidmouth RC 9th 26:28; Zoe Sing AVR 10th 27:14 and the youngest competitor Callum Hawker 11th 27:15. The race was put on to raise funds for Axmouth Village Hall. There was some sumptuous post race grub devoured by the hungry athletes that hopefully added to the coffers. Many thanks to Garry Perratt for organising the event and all the marshals and helpers who made it such a great occasion.l Rosie Baker was first home in the January AVR Junior handicap on Monday evening, but has not run enough qualifying times, so the winner was Jake Richards in 1:22. Will Rosindell was 3rd, 12:08; Matt Ellis 4th, 12:02 and Samuel White 5th, 13:35. The first four all beat their PB.It was a case of out with the old and in with the old in the Senior Handicap. Old Dave Mutter trundled around to win in 29:01, followed by Julian Davis, 27:49; Steve Reynolds, 25:33; Bernard Fry, 22:56 and Sue Campbell, 25:57.l The AVR crew before the start of the Axmouth Challenge. Pic: Alex Walton. ref. 7840-02-08AW.

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