Mud, mud as runners face final series race

PUBLISHED: 12:21 03 March 2010 | UPDATED: 00:59 16 June 2010

The final race of the East Devon Cross Country Series was held at Morganhayes Wood on Saturday and, although the forecast was good, the sky wasn t listening half an hour before the start.

The final race of the East Devon Cross Country Series was held at Morganhayes Wood on Saturday and, although the forecast was good, the sky wasn't listening half an hour before the start.

Thankfully, the rain cleared but the runners still had to contend with plenty of mud.

This series is contested between Axe Valley, Sidmouth and Honiton juniors.

This type of event rarely runs smoothly and this was certainly no exception.

There are several different length races for appropriately aged juniors and they should be separated at various points along the route.

Unfortunately, this did not happen and only the under-11s actually ran their correct race.

However, marshals improvised along the way and all runners were able to complete a good fair race.

The presentations then took place and there were some strange recordings of numbers and times.

After several hiccups, one of our adult runners was heard to say, "At this rate, I could win the Grizzly next week".

No chance Bruce!

It was all sorted in the end (we think) and it was all done with good humour.

Thanks to everyone who helped, but especially John Burgess and Garry Perratt, who organised the event very efficiently but whose job was made difficult by circumstances beyond their control.

Results for Honiton were as follows:

U-15 boys - 1, Sam Urquhart; U-15 girls - 1, Katie Davey.

U-13 boys - 3, Reuben Heeler-Frood; 4, Jake Harvey; 5, Kieran Anderson.

U-13 girls- 2, Paige Fahy; 3, Ella Harvey.

U-11 boys - 1, Huw Williams; 2, Joe Urquhart; 3, Arthur Heeler-Frood; 4, Harry Boswell; 6, Max Helston; 9, Ed Cannings.

U-11 girls: 2, Paige Fahy; 3, Hester Heeler-Frood.

The series was won by Honiton Girls' and Sidmouth Boys' teams.

Some of the juniors were out again on Sunday at the Dalwood three-mile Mini Challenge which Sam Urquhart from Honiton won in a time of 27:32.

Jake Harvey was also in the medals, coming third in 31:26.

It was lovely to see Becky Matthews run in a Honiton shirt as she is unable to come to club nights in the winter due to other commitments.

She came fifth in 40:50 and managed to pick up a trophy as first girl.

Usually running much longer races, John Burgess decided to keep the juniors company as he is nursing a calf injury and wanted to take things easy. He came 4th in 38:10.

Dalwood Run Committee also put on a fun run for the under- 12s and Kieran Anderson and Ella Harvey ran this. Kieran came second in 10:06 and Ella fourth in 12:12.

The adults had the privilege of taking part in the full 10-mile Three Hills Challenge.

This is a tough multi-terrain race consisting of more like four hills.

First in for Honiton was Bruce Strawbridge, who came 22nd in 1:26:42, which was well ahead of Richard Harvey who was 31st in 1:31:45.

Next came Judy Davey, who had company in the form of Roger Saunders for much of the race.

Judy followed him to the six-mile point and then overtook him, but Roger was unwilling to give up without a fight and came back strongly for a mile or so.

Judy managed to overtake him again coming 44th in 1:35:22. Roger was 47th in 1:36:41.

The next battle was fought between Maria Wadey and Steve Davey, which saw Maria as the eventual victor.

Steve was just happy to finish as this was his first 'proper' race for some time and he has done very little training.

Maria was 66th in 1:43:01 and Steve 72nd in 1:44:36.

Simon Hall was next home coming 79th in 1:48:03.

Tony Whiteley completed the Honiton team and was pleased to come in the top 100 (he was 100th) and he also managed to come in just under two hours (1:59:03).

The race was won by Gareth Hurst in a time of 1:13:22 and there were 112 runners.

By Judy Davey

Honiton Running Club

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