Loving the Yarcombe Yomp

PUBLISHED: 11:00 05 November 2008 | UPDATED: 14:48 20 April 2010

AVR's Yarcombe Yompers.

AVR's Yarcombe Yompers.

Copyright Archant Ltd

A while ago, farmer David Merrick whispered sweet nothings into Robyn Carter's ear, trying to persuade her to organise a race on his land.

A while ago, farmer David Merrick whispered sweet nothings into Robyn Carter's ear, trying to persuade her to organise a race on his land. Two years later the Yarcombe Yomp was born and what an event it was. There was a single five mile race, or two lap 10 mile multi-terrain race over some of the most fantastic scenery around. The first field was used for the Yarcombe terrier races last August, but at the first gate the terriers would have been buried in foot deep gloop that stuck like super glue and was full of countryside odours. After the initial downhill there was a long section straight into a freezing north easterly gale, followed by a 500 foot ascent into woodland. The path on the final descent was once again mud, mud, glorious mud, so the option to slide down was open to all. At the end you were frozen, knackered and happy. There was no "goody bag", but all competitors were treated to a choice of homemade soup, tea, coffee and cakes - absolutely superb! The 10 mile winner was James Jackson of Dartmoor Runners in 1:14:58, with Emma Hitchins of South West Road Runners second and first lady. Bernard Fry ran his usual exemplary race, finishing fourth, third male and first M50 in 1:18:45. New dad Neil Vincent ignored the lack of sleep to be sixth in 1:20:24. Richard Hale and Chris Keeffe swapped positions many times, until at the peak of the final ascent Chris asked Richard how good at sprinting he was. Wise old Richard knew that Chris would outsprint him, so increased his pace and pulled away, finishing 12th in 1:27:00, with Chris 14th, 1:27:27. Eleanor Wood ran her usual graceful race and was third lady finisher, first over 50 lady, 17th overall in 1:20:01. Colin Pike was dead chuffed with his 25th spot in 1:37:18. Dave Mutter was delighted to finish 33rd in 1:44:29. Rebecca Creese had a good early battle with Dave, but found herself at the head of a six strong gang sheltering from the wind. This must have tired her, but she still managed a good 37th spot in 1:49:34. Young Bradley King was the winner of the five mile event in 37:37, with AVR's Hannah Bridger second in 40:23, a superb effort. Everyone had a really good time, so congratulations to Robyn and all her team for putting on such a brilliant event. Of course many thanks to David Merrick for allowing us to trample over his land, also to the ladies of Yarcombe for their superb refreshments. l On Sunday morning four Axe Valley runners travelled to south Somerset to compete in the Ilminster Lions' 10k road race. The race attracted around 300 runners and was won in fine style by James Denne of Honiton RC in 34:40, a minute clear of the rest of the field. First home for Axe Valley, ninth overall, was Luke Reed. He ran a very impressive race, roaring to a new PB of 38:02, two and a half minutes faster than last year. Next AVR home was Dom Schneiders, 36th in 41:24, an excellent performance after a three month layoff. Former AVR runner Mark Walker turned out for the first time in nine months and ran a very good race, finishing 56th in 43:57. Next AVR, 61st overall and third under 20 was Emma Kiernan, who completed in 44:36. Harry Moore finished 297th in 1:16:23, the 17th time Harry had run this race. l Will Rosindell was the victor in Monday's Junior handicap race in a new PB of 10:56. Second placed Rosie Baker also had a new PB of 15:41, and she was followed by Hannah Bradley-Norman, 14:34; Alex Hunt, 10:56, and Eli Hawkes-Wellstead, 11:27. Eleanor Wood followed up Saturday's terrific performance by winning the Senior handicap in 25:05. Luke Reed's good form continues. He was second in 21:18. Dave Mutter was ungentlemanly and overtook Rebecca Creese just before the finish line to be third in 28:48, with Rebecca fourth, 29:03. Emma Kiernan was fifth in 24:05.

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