The Blackdown Beast once again proves to be a huge hit with all who took part in it

Honiton RC mmebers at the Blackdown Beast. Picture HONITON RC

Honiton RC mmebers at the Blackdown Beast. Picture HONITON RC - Credit: Archant

The final Saturday of January saw about 240 runners set off to take part in Honiton Running Club’s (HRC) Blackdown Beast, writes Judy Davey.

Honiton RC mmebers at the Blackdown Beast. Picture HONITON RC

Honiton RC mmebers at the Blackdown Beast. Picture HONITON RC - Credit: Archant

This was a record number for this challenging run that has a course that takes in many hills and lots of mud, all providing plenty to sap the energy in the runners’ legs!

There is a choice of a 16.5-mile run or a shorter 10.5-mile route where runners stop at Upottery and are taken by minibus back to the headquarters at Highfield Sport and Social Club in Dunkeswell.

Runners come from far and wide for this annual meeting and the 2019 version had around 15 HRC runners taking part in it.

The event is a social run with several stops on route, taking in the scenery of the beautiful Blackdown Hills.

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The weather was very kind for the first few hours, which meant that most runners were back at base safe and sound before the rain set in.

The first stop, after seven-and-a-half miles, was Smeatharpe Village Hall, where participants were treated to delicious hot sweet mulled cider and equally delicious warming pasties. Thanks to the ladies of the WI for making and serving this very welcome sustenance.

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The next stop was the Sidmouth Arms, Upottery. At this point some runners who had signed up for the 10-mile, decided to make the commitment and complete the full 16.5 miles!

For those that resisted the bus back from here, it was on to the Luppitt Inn, one of the smallest pubs in the country!

Organisers made sure the family knew runners were coming as opening times are flexible!

The shortish last leg then takes runners across private land back to Dunkeswell.

For many this was the furthest distance they had ever run and for a few this was by many miles! A fantastic effort by everyone.

As always, all participants thoroughly enjoyed the day with many looking forward to the summer version: the Blackdown Beauty.

The date for this year’s event has been set for July 13 and places are likely to go fast, so look out for further information on and to register your interest very soon.

Thanks to everyone who made the event possible, including the landowners.

Money raised will go to Macmillan Cancer Support.

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