Onward and upward

PUBLISHED: 09:00 07 January 2009 | UPDATED: 22:49 15 June 2010

As usual Honiton Running Club has had a busy year.

As usual Honiton Running Club has had a busy year competing in events all around the southwest, England, Europe and across the world. With over 100 members, they are one of the largest sporting clubs in Honiton and can be seen running around the town and in the lanes on most days of the week. A monthly 5k challenge and regular Monday night coached sessions have enhanced the overall fitness within the club while a dedicated group for beginners on a Monday night has also been well supported. Wednesday nights have been used for longer club runs, often offroad in the summer, while a monthly run with a pub meal afterwards in the winter has been popular.One of the most important developments this year has been the formation of the Honiton Junior Club which started in January and now has an enthusiastic bunch of over 30 runners, with nine coaches to keep them busy. Some older juniors have already moved on to run with the senior club. Over the first year the juniors have competed in several running events and socials and it is hoped that they will continue to grow in the forthcoming year.There have been several highlights to 2008, starting with the Sport Relief runs on March 16, which included one, three and six mile events and, despite appalling wet weather, attracted 460 runners including the mayor in full regalia and several town councillors. Several thousand pounds was raised for the Sport Relief charity and the club will promote the bienniel event again in 2010.The next club highlight was a record number of Honiton runners competing in the Grizzly multi terrain race from Seaton followed by a good representation in the London Marathon. These events were the culmination of a hard winter's training for many of the club's runners with sponsorship raised from the London Marathon by Bruce and Tracey Strawbridge of nearly £2,000 for Hospiscare. Sarah Evans, Janet Leach and Maggie Richards, of Whimple, raised a staggering £3,500 for their charities and this was achieved through raffles, a quiz night, an auction, a successful five mile fun run around Whimple and generous sponsorship. The club president, Alan Rowe completed three consecutive marathons for charity. The social calendar started early with a late Christmas Ceilidh. In April 20 or so Honiton runners travelled to Spain for a few lazy days and then to take on the Malaga half marathon in sweltering temperatures. The wedding of club members Andy and Ruhi on the day of the AVR Midsummer Dream subdued the numbers in that event but some still managed both. There were barbecues after the Crewkerne 9 at Rod and Sarah Warren's home and also after normal club runs, plus a wonderful evening buffet from Simon Hall after the Forde Abbey event and a barbecue after cycling the Granite Way from Lydford to Okehampton and back. In November the annual firework display was a hit at Jerry and Maggie's while the Christmas lights run drew a good crowd for mince pies and mulled wine with Pete and Suzanne Lyus and Dave and Sarah Dunne.Club coaches Jo and Paul Lowman once again organised well attended training sessions for the Race for Life charity event while Ian Jeeves again organised a superb set of runs for the Charter celebrations which attracted over 60 runners. The Honiton 12k race saw its last run as this year it will be reincarnated as a 10 mile race. There will also be other races promoted by the club in 2009. l The club meets every Monday, Wednesday and Friday evening at 6.30pm and will be organising special training sessions for the Grizzly and London Marathon again in 2009. So if anyone needs to get fit or lose a few pounds after the Christmas period then come along to the club training sessions for a friendly welcome.

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