The heat takes its toll but Honiton runners do well in Spain

PUBLISHED: 16:32 15 April 2008 | UPDATED: 21:42 15 June 2010

Honiton runners have been quietly tucking away the training miles since the Grizzly to face a big week of events across England and Europe.

Honiton runners have been quietly tucking away the training miles since the Grizzly to face a big week of events across England and Europe.

A group of 25 runners and supporters headed for the Lecrin Valley in Spain for a few lazy days to take in the sun and tapas and also to run in the half marathon at Malaga. Eighteen runners braved the 75 degree heat to run a very fast course which wound to and fro along the Malaga promenade and ended in a steady hill back to a stadium finish.

The organisation was excellent and there was fantastic support all along the route, although there were also several mishaps to the Honiton runners.

Julian Gigg had a measured run and led the Honiton runners home with a steady 1.40.13 timing in 871st place of the 2013 who crossed the finish line.

Julian was tracked for most of the way by Steve Davey who was running just a little way in front of his wife Judy. But things went pear-shaped for Steve at around 11 miles as he started feeling the pace and the heat. Judy had just overtaken when a black fog surrounded him and the next thing he knew he was waking up in an ambulance. But, after a thorough checkup at the hospital, and some fluids, Steve was discharged after a few hours to face his fellow athletes' jibes and denying any knowledge that Judy had passed him on the route. Meanwhile, Judy, oblivious to what had happened, carried on to the end and finished second in her age category in 994th place with 1.42.30.

Supervet John Burgess was surprised in the last few miles as Sarah Warren overtook him after steadily pacing herself around the course. John managed to outsprint Sarah to the line in a very good 1187th with 1.46.16. Sarah finished beaming in 1208th in 1.46.38 with a personal best time by over five minutes; the heat obviously agreed with her. Malcolm Hall was next home in 1280th place in 1.48.03. Dennis Costello and Jon Bartholomew had shot off together at the start but both found the going difficult after 10 miles. Dennis kept a good momentum and finished in 1521st with 1.52.59 while Jon saw the wheels fall off and finished in 1842nd with 2.01.17.

Nick Thorpe, tour organiser, ran with Rod Warren at a steady pace and both had an uneventful race. Nick upped the pace in the final couple of miles coming home 1525 in 1.53.03 and Rod in 1595th with 1.54.48.

Alan Nicholls started the run very tentatively for three miles, then stretched his legs to eight miles where he caught up Nick and Rod. But too few training miles started to tell and a swallow dive at 10 miles didn't help, but Alan finished smiling in 1766th in 1.58.41.

Club chairman Paul Lowman had been suffering with shingles over the last few months so started the race with a "suck it and see" attitude. But he had more reserves than he thought and managed an excellent half marathon debut with 1850th in 2.01.35. Sandra Thorpe did her usual, seemingly effortless, steady run and was pleased with 1956th in 2.07.50 but was caught on the line by fast finishing Brenda King, who topped the age percentage ratings for the Honiton finishers with 1957th and 2.07.51.

Vanessa Glyn Jones was happy with her 1969th in 2.08.37 with Gerry Evans just behind, 1991st in 2.10.16, and Jackie Costello 2052nd in 2.15.48.

Tony Whiteley rounded up a good day in Malaga with 2085th in 2.21.39.

Meanwhile, the Honiton runners left behind in England woke up to see a blizzard raging outside. Undeterred, they headed for the county town of Somerset to partake in the Taunton Half or full marathon, convinced this was the race for 'real runners'. In the event, although there was a chill wind, the brilliant sunshine kept them warm and the snow showers stayed away.

Tim Legg led the Honiton runners home-coming in at 1:23. Roger Saunders was next in a good time for him of 1:32, followed closely by Guy Paddon in 1:33. Richard Harvey had a bad day, only managing 1:36. Grant Boyd finished in 1:39. Steve Boyes decided 13 miles was not enough and went round a second time to complete the full marathon in 3:22, a good day's work.

Not to be outdone, two Honiton runners crossed the channel to join thousands on the streets of Paris for the annual marathon race. Claire Pomeroy ran a superb race in her debut marathon to finish in 10512th place with a time of 3.47.12. Simon Hall was not so thrilled with his run, especially after going through halfway in 1.53. Simon finished 18605th with 4.20.05.

The weekend of racing obviously took its toll on the Honiton entry for the first race in the Yeovilton 5k series on Wednesday night as only three Honiton runners toed the start line.

Gary Endicott finished 63rd in 21.20 with Judy Davey 77th in 22.13 and her daughter Jo in 91st with 23.19.

l Honiton Running Club will again be promoting its "Race For Life" course beginning on Monday, May 12, from 6 until 7pm, at Honiton Sports Centre. The course will run for eight weeks and will cost £5.

Email: or telephone (01823) 601298 for more details.

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