Splashing around at Bicton

PUBLISHED: 09:00 02 December 2009 | UPDATED: 00:38 16 June 2010

Axe Valley Runners enjoy the river crossings

Axe Valley Runners enjoy the river crossings

AXE VALLEY RUNNERS: You don t really need reminding, but the weather early on Sunday morning was dreadful, with howling winds and bucket loads of rain.

AXE VALLEY RUNNERS: You don't really need reminding, but the weather early on Sunday morning was dreadful, with howling winds and bucket loads of rain.

Most people would certainly baulk at the idea of going for an enjoyable running race, not so the many AVR's who had a go at the Bicton Blister - a 10 mile multi-terrain event run mostly over a sodden Woodbury Common.

The race director summed up the course at his pre-race briefing: "it's very muddy!" The understatement of the year. Gloopy paths and trails were interspersed with what normally would be gentle flowing streams, but were deep brown torrents of water, some well over a foot deep.

Add to the mix a variety of hills and exposed quarries and you have a superb race.

SWRR Tom Mearson found the going easy enough; he won in a very respectable 1:01:36. Luke Reed's run of form continued, he was the first AVR home, 20th out of 356 in 1:09:55. En route Bernard Fry espied the runner in front twist his ankle in a concealed hole, so to even things up a bit he decided to fall over in sympathy. This had no profound effect on his performance as Bernard ran on to be the second over 50 finisher, 56th overall, in 1:15:31.

Graham Newton would have been very happy with the conditions as his is a very accomplished canoeist, maybe that gave him an edge as he was second over 60 finisher, 91st overall in 1:20:13.

Graham was followed by AVR's most enthusiastic racer, Eleanor Wood. Once again she did the club proud, winning the over 50 ladies' title, 111th overall, in 1:23:06.

Richard Hale did manage to find the concealed hole and twist his ankle, but he ignored the pain to finish second over 55, 134th overall, in 1:25:02. Sue (The Taxi) Campbell had a very good run, she was fourth lady vet, 153rd overall in 1:27:01, with Mark Hilder hot on her tails. He was 155th in 1:27:08.

Steve Reynolds had a ding dong battle with Chris Irving but, after a final pass on an uphill section, Steve pulled away to be 161st in 1:27:49, with Chris 173rd in 1:29:30. Klara Pritasilova didn't exactly follow the coaching manual for race preparation. Instead of a pasta meal and early night, Klara worked at the Grove until 4am, then kebab loaded. After three hours sleep off she went and ran her heart out, finishing 179th in 1:29:57, looking forward to a good night's kip.

Dave Mutter was chuffed with his effort, 227th in 1:35:17. Gill Day had husband John to keep her going and, in her first long off road adventure, ran very well to complete in 2:12:48.

All runners agreed it was a brilliant race, especially considering there was a last minute change of venue. The technical T shirt given as a race memento was of superb quality, so next year why not come along and have a go at either the 10 mile Blister or 5 mile Blister Lite.

l Harry Moore and Steve Atkins ran the RNLI 5 mile around Colyton event in 63 mins.

This was a road walk/run to raise much needed funds for the RNLI and Harry's effort will certainly add many pounds to the coffers. Paul Morgan was also spotted en route - is he making a running comeback?

HONITON RUNNING CLUB - Two weeks of rain and wind had made the 10 mile Bicton Blister cross country course on Woodbury Common a very tricky race to negotiate last Sunday morning.

Water was in evidence from the off, as the first mile of gently sloping road saw the runners coping with floods of over a foot deep.

This was followed by miles of deep mud, water, stones, boulders and sand which all added to the enjoyment for the Honiton runners who had turned out for this ever popular event.

Even with the difficult underfoot conditions, the course was very runnable, as was proved by the excellent finishing times with Honiton's Milan Goc coming home 37th in the strong time of 1.12.39.

This was only 10 minutes down on his road time for October's Honi-ten so Milan was very pleased with the result. Bruce Strawbridge has been improving well in recent months and had another solid run to finish 87th in 1.19.58, while his wife Tracey finished the shorter Bicton Blister Lite course in 51.54 in 64th place.

Ceri Oak and Judy Davey always enjoy a close race and, this time, Ceri made the running, finishing 120th in 1.23.57 with Judy not too far behind in 143rd with 1.25.51.

Roger Saunders made the mistake of starting at the back and took several miles to get through to his normal running partners, but must have been hoping to catch Judy towards the finish as he was only nine places behind her in 152nd in 1.26.56.

John Burgess has been hampered with a calf sprain of late, but still managed to get round in a fair time and finished 217th in 1.34.11.

Alan Nicholls set off a little exuberantly for the first few miles then suffered for a couple of miles until John Burgess came past.

He tucked in behind John and was pleased to almost hold on to him at the finish in 225th in 1.34.59.

Nick Bradley-Carter chose the race as his first introduction to winter trail running and finished muddy, but smiling, in 298th in a time of 1.45.59, while Honiton stalwart veteran Vanessa Glyn Jones proved her speed and stamina by just getting under the two hour mark with 1.59.28 in 341st place.


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