Tales of merry harriers in the Axe Valley Runners

There were four AVR teams taking on the tram at last week s annual Race the Tram from Seaton to Colyton event

There were four AVR teams taking on the tram at last week's annual "Race the Tram" from Seaton to Colyton event.

It is a relay race, with each team racing from the Seaton tram terminus to Colyton via Colyford road and the river Coly fields. There were actually two trams, a racing tram with just the driver on board and a tram full of AVR supporters.

The racing tram was the first to arrive taking 16.10 min, then followed the AVR Senior team comprising Liam Roberts, Luke Reed, Dan Clapp and Ian Apps in a very quick 16:10. The full tram was next to appear followed by the AVR Veteran team in 17:34. The next two teams were made up of adults with juniors running the field legs. The first of these to finish completed in 18:20, with the final team in 19:00, still a very good time.

A great time was had by all, and a good donation was given to the tram company that will be passed on to their charity of choice. Following the race we adjourned to the famous Bayliss beach hut for a barbecue. Sumptuous sausages were devoured swiftly, just in time for the rain to appear. Spirits were still high and a great time was had by all. Thanks to Vicky and Phil for all their help.

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l Steve Reynolds and Geoff Woodward set off at 4am to compete in the Chichester triathlon, which consisted of a 600m swim, 42k bike ride and a 10k run. Steve started at 7.20am but swam like a chicken and flapped out of the pool into the bike ride. Geoff had a later start of 8am and, on a mission to improve on Steve's swim time to attempt to narrow the 40min gap. The wind and rain made it a real slog and the belief that Sussex was flat was shattered by the appearance of three hideous hills. Geoff managed to narrow the gap to 31min but ran out of steam reducing to a jog on the run much to Steve's glee, as he beat him by a tad over 1min. The pair completed their first triathlon, Geoff in 2.36hrs and Steve in 2.44hrs.

l Dartmoor's Autumnal weather, with occasional driving rain, was sufficient to keep runners cool at the 24th annual Moorland Run at Haytor. It's an undulating, off-road six mile route over wet peaty paths, steep stoney tracks with two Tor climbs and two stream crossings. AVR had a threesome attending with Bernard Fry having an excellent run and leading them home in 16th place with 48.28 and 3rd in age category. Eleanor Wood was 46th with her first victory over Richard Hale at this event and was third lady overall and first age group finisher with 55.17. Richard had a 56th place, 3rd in age category with 57.21. The race remains one of our favourite off-road runs.

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l Last Saturday, Garry Perratt, Jamie Lambert, Jon Day and Chris Keeffe headed up to the Holman Clavel pub in the Blackdown hills to take part in Honiton RCs Black (down) Beauty run. The idea here is simple, 18 miles 5 pubs and a cream tea like the old AVR midsummer dream. The AVR gang had been dropped off by Bridget Keeffe which allowed them to all be able to drink as they pleases and so they did, starting with a half pint before the off which, for Jamie and Jon, quickly turned into a pint.

They were quickly into the lead but had a couple of wrong turns.

They stopped off at the Queens Arms, at a play park so that Garry could have a go down a slide in a children's park, The Merry Harriers, The Half Moon, the cream tea stop the York Inn and back to the Holman Clavel where fish and chips or sausage and chips for a fiver a piece was consumed with relish. It was a brilliant event and all will be back again next year. Cheers to Honiton for organising it and choosing a fantastic route.

Pictured below: The AVR Blackdown Beauty crew at one of the refreshment stops en route.

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