Thoroughbred effort from Honiton runners

PUBLISHED: 15:33 27 April 2011

Jo Jo Davey and Tracey Strawbridge on Tower Bridge during the London Marathon

Jo Jo Davey and Tracey Strawbridge on Tower Bridge during the London Marathon


Ten Honiton members joined the other 36,000 competitors in the London Marathon on Sunday and, although it started with ideal weather conditions, runners found the going got a little too hot for the 26.2 miles.

Judy Davey was the first back for Honiton but she was only just in front of Julie Payne. Judy finished in 3 hours 38 minutes with Julie just a few seconds later in 3:39. This gave a delighted Julie a personal best time for the distance.

Roger Saunders followed Steve Davey to the finish line but was given a quicker time as he had started further back. Roger finished in 3:48 and Steve 3:50. This was Steve’s marathon debut and he was pleased just to cross the line.

Louise Saunders has completed the London Marathon before but found this year’s much harder and vowed never to do it again. Her time was 4:32 which was 10 minutes down on last year which she put down to heat and injury. Dan Brown has also been dogged by injury and fell short of his target time of fours hours, completing in 4:38. Warren Oak had the same target but he too was disappointed, finishing in 4:46 after suffering cramp.

●Alan Rowe ran London carrying The Baton for the charity of the same name which aims to highlight the work of the armed forces and the support of their families by ‘keeping the message alive’. Alan stopped many times along the way to explain what the Baton was all about and finished dead on five hours, met some very inspiring people, one of whom (a former Royal Marine) stayed with him all the way even though he would normally run it in 3:40.

This was also a marathon debut for JoJo Davey so she didn’t know what time to expect but she completed in 5:13 and supporters reported she still looked strong at 24 miles. Tracey Strawbridge had run London once before and was happy to complete in 5:30.

Most of the Honiton runners have been raising money for charity with the main charity of the club this year being ShelterBox. The Honiton group appreciated support from their fellow club members who came to London en masse. They took up a considerable amount of Tower Bridge bringing the club flag with them and even managed to make themselves heard over the rest of the supporters.

●Alan Rowe had completed the Stanley Marathon in the Falkland Islands just four weeks before London and found Stanley tough with only three weeks to train due to recurring injuries from last July. Nevertheless, he was pleased to get round in 4:54 running into a head wind of 15 mile an hour for two thirds of the run on a very exposed road. Sometimes the gusts would stop the runners dead in their tracks but the sun shone so it wasn’t such a bad day all in all.

The course isn't that exciting as, in order to be accredited it must be run on a road surface, which the Islands have very little of, so the course is limited and has two long inclines, one of which is run twice.

There was a last minute hitch with flights and Alan got off the plane after 18hrs on Saturday and ran on the Sunday morning. As his muscles were a concern he ran in leggings to keep them warm. It’s easy to burn down there due to the ozone depletion, so he kept covered up.

Alan achieved his objective of taking the Baton to the Falklands and spreading its message. Whilst he was there he handed over a Honiton Running Club pennant to two members of the Stanley Running Club.

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