Otterton Reindeer Run was great success

PUBLISHED: 09:55 09 December 2010

The runners make their way alongside the river Otter. Photo by Simon Horn. Ref shsp 7246-49-10SH

The runners make their way alongside the river Otter. Photo by Simon Horn. Ref shsp 7246-49-10SH


The Reindeer Run at Otterton has become a good fun fixture on the local running calendar.

It is a scenic route heading out to the coastal hills beyond the village and then turning back along the Otter Valley, before a final mad dash down to the village green.

Some take it seriously and gallop round the course like.... well like reindeers, but the abundance of Santa hats, tinsel and costumes show that most runners are just out for some Christmas fun. As well as the 148 adults, who did the six mile main run, there was a tremendous turnout of about 200+ young runners below the age of 17 who, together with some 50 adults, ran the 3K Fun Run.

All the runners start together with the first 500yds up hill. John Burgess set off smartly but was soon puffing and gasping on the hill and was easily out-paced by a small girl and several other youngsters who skipped effortlessly past him and shot away into the distance.

Fortunately, this humiliating state of affairs came to an end after half-a-mile where the two routes separated.

The Fun Run was won by Zac Francis of Sidmouth Running Club in the excellent time of 13:56. The first girl, Maya Elston, was also from Sidmouth RC and she finished sixth overall in 15:35. Honiton Running Club’s sole representative was Brendon Campbell, running his first race for the club. He did very well coming in 16th in a time of 16:53 and sixth U12 Boy. There were 187 finishers.

Six Honiton RC adults tackled the main course and were led home by Paul Davey who had a good run, but perhaps not as quick as he would have liked.

Julie Payne, after a great run at Bicton last week, put in another good performance and came in seventh lady.

Having been beaten by each of the two Nicks in the club in recent events, John Burgess was expecting to be overtaken at some point on the course but put in a determined run and managed to hold off the challenge. Nick Bradley-Carter had John in his sights all the way round and was catching him on the hills but losing him on the descents and finally coming in a minute behind him. It was the turn of Nick Thorpe to fall in a race, but, sensibly, it was in a soft grassy field so he only suffered wounded pride.

Having overtaken John in the last 100yds at Bicton last week, Nick was hoping for a repeat performance but the shorter race was to John’s advantage and Nick had to settle for fifth place in the Honiton pack.

Warren Oak enjoyed wading up to his waist last year so was disappointed to find the course much drier, but he still enjoyed the fun and can be pleased with his performance. The race was won by Nic Smith in 41:41 and first lady was Lyn Lascelles of Maiden Newton in 44:16. All 148 finishers were presented with commemorative mugs, which were quickly in use at the village hall where mulled wine and mince pies made a fitting end to the event.

Honiton Results

Paul Davey, 00:45:47, 26th: Julie Payne, 00:49:58, 46th : John Burgess, 00:51:40, 57th : Nick Bradley-Carter, 0:52:41, 62nd Nick Thorpe, 00:53:14, 64th Warren Oak, 00:54:44, 67th

●Six Honiton Running Club runners lined up for the start of the Full Monty-cute based at Ham Hill Country Park in Somerset.

This trail race is slightly more than 10 miles and is organised by Crewkerne Running Club. It is extremely popular and sells out months before the event takes place. Organisers boast 10 challenging hills and a few more insignificant ones thrown in for good measure.

Conditions were taxing with plenty of ice on the ground and, where the temperature had risen, plenty of equally slippery mud. This is usually a race that offers magnificent views but, in some places, it was so misty, it was hard enough watching where you were placing your own feet.

Nevertheless, the sun struggled to come through and at times it felt almost warm.

Bruce Strawbridge didn’t feel great at the start of the race and decided that the most sensible option was to pull out after he had completed about half mile.

This meant that Richard Harris was first back for Honiton, having obtained a number from another Honiton member just before the race. This confused organisers and he was nearly awarded first lady! Despite this, he had a great race finishing in 46th place in 1:33:21, well ahead of Steve Davey who was next home in 56th place and 1:35:46. Steve’s wife Judy followed and, although she felt she could have run faster, she was delighted and surprised to find she had won her category taking home a bottle of wine and a ‘Piece of the Hill’ in the form of a stone from Ham Hill. She also managed a spot prize giving her free entry to next year’s race. She was 93rd in 1:42:08. Simon Hall came in next in 157th place and a time of 1:54:55, followed by Claire Pomeroy in 196th place and 2:06:16. All finishers were given a well deserved seasonal gift of a Christmas Pudding.

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