Lung-busting triathlons

PUBLISHED: 13:30 14 July 2011




AVR’s Neil Tubbs and Sidmouth RC’s David Rampersad took part in what is described as the UK’s toughest Ironman distance triathlon in the lovely setting of the New Forest.

The event starts with a 2.4 mile swim, followed by a 112 mile cycle ride and finishing with the marathon distance run of 26.2 miles around very undulating routes. The weather added insult to injury, although beautiful for spectators the temperatures reaching high 20s was not appreciated by the athletes!

For both Neil and David it was their first ironman distance, Neil had an amazing day out, finishing in 11hrs and 49mins, 15th overall and first over 50. David had also completed in a very impressive time of 13hrs and 44mins, 27th in his age category and 81st overall - more on this event on

●On a hot Saturday morning, the Otter Valley Rail and River Run 10K undulating multi-terrain run from Tipton St John attracted many good runners. At one point a Tesco delivery lorry blocked the lane, to the consternation of the fastest runners. But this did not deter Axe Valley Runner Andrew Watson who, in his second 10K race, steamed home in seventh place in 41:11. The only other AVR in the race was Harry Moore, who completed in 1:53 winning the over 75 title.

●The Charmouth Challenge Fun Run was a circular 2.5 mile run which included the long, hot climb up Stonebarrow Hill. The first Axe Valley Runner home was Mollie Hansford who came 13th in a speedy time of 19:42. In 20th place was Liam McLean in 20:23. Alex McCloughlin just pipped Joe Blackledge by one second, who was chased in by Max Bowskill in 22:56. After a fast pace up the hill William Blackledge finished next in 24:28, followed swiftly by his sister, Chantel.

●The eight-mile Charmouth Challenge includes an ascent of Golden Cap, the highest point on the south coast.

John Blackledge was the first AVR home, 54th in 1:10:09 followed by Simon Ratcliffe 76th, 1:14:25; Geoff Woodward 81st, 1:15:09; Clare Hansford 110th 1:19:05; Steve Reynolds 116th, 1:20:07; Mark Cary 125th, 1:21:07; Alison Bowskill 146th, 1:24:27; Emma Kiernan 162nd, 1:26:41; Anna McLoughlin 168th, 1:27:43 and Robin Carter 176th, 1:28:50.

●Harry Moore ran the 3 mile Bovey Tracey Fun Run and was delighted to finish in 35:14, his best time for years.

Following two enjoyable crossings of Dartmoor in the past year, AVR’s Garry Perratt decided to up the game and go for a nocturnal jaunt.

So, at 10:30pm on Friday, he left Ivybridge with Alex Todd and Kevin Hawker, having been dropped off by a taxi driver who considered them to be complete head cases! After leaving the old tramway near Huntington Warren, navigation along some of the moor's less distinct paths proved even more challenging at night and by Hexworthy they had made a couple of time-consuming mistakes.

By the time the trio reached Postbridge, Perratt was in a bad way and ready to call it a night but how do you get a pickup from the middle of Dartmoor at 2am? You don't, so they took a break before heading out into the upland darkness for the last ten miles. Garry only managed to walk the next stretch via Steeperton Tor and on to Hangingstone Hill, but only lost the path once. Then it was almost all downhill in the daylight on good paths to Belstone, glad to have completed the 32-mile challenge in just over their target time of seven hours, but not one they are likely to repeat in a hurry.

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