Todd loves the Hippo run

PUBLISHED: 13:56 09 May 2012

An Axe Valley runner makes a splash. Picture by Alex Walton. Ref mhsp 9225-19-12AW. To order your copy of this photograph, go to and click on Myphotos24

An Axe Valley runner makes a splash. Picture by Alex Walton. Ref mhsp 9225-19-12AW. To order your copy of this photograph, go to and click on Myphotos24


Honiton Running Club’s very own Honiton Hippo race took place last Sunday. Earlier in the week, the threat of a very swollen River Otter threatened to put a stop to the infamous river crossings but the weather had turned in the running club’s favour and a quick risk assessment meant that the run could stick to its usual route, writes Judy Davey .

Sticky was certainly the order of the day as there was plenty of mud which all added to the experience as well as some good old Devon hills throughout the 7½ miles of woods, fields, paths and roads. If runners weren’t too quick, there was the chance to spot the resident Hippo wallowing in the Land Rover Experience!

The race was won by Colin Snook of Cornwall AC in a time of 51:17 and the first lady was Niki Morgan of Chepstow in 1:00:44. Second lady was local Axe Valley Runner, Eleanor Wood in 1:03:54.

Although many Honiton Running Club members were involved with organisation and marshalling, some did manage to run. First home was Steve Davey who had turned up expecting to marshal but put on his trainers ready for the off. He was glad he did as a very surprised Steve managed 1st Vet 50 coming 22nd in 1 hour, 1 minute and 54 seconds. Another very surprised first time Honiton runner to win her category was Lesley Crocker who came 70th in 1:19:05.

Other Honiton runners’ results: 34th Rod Inglis 1:05:58, 42nd Tom Dunn 1:08:05, 50th Steve Briggs 1:09:44, 66th Sarah Warren 1:17:22, 86th Gerry Evans 1:25:49 and 100th Pete Lyus 1:34:07. There were 112 finishers.

●The Hippo Calf also took place at the same time which is mainly aimed at juniors aged nine and over. It is approximately 1½ miles and is a mixture of roads and woods although the youngsters are taken back through the same river crossing as the adults. The race was won by Johnny Livingstone in a time of 18 minutes 2 seconds. Honiton’s own Iain Ross came second in a time of 18:05. He also took 1st U13 boy. Johnny’s sister Florence was the first girl in 18:47 and eighth place overall.

There were 66 finishers and the primary school cup was awarded to Feniton who also won two years ago. There were 39 primary school runners from 11 different primary schools with schools needing three or more runners to be eligible for the cup.

There were plenty of Honiton junior members achieving some very creditable results with several taking home category prizes. The first three U15 boys were all Honiton RC members: Harry Felgate was fourth overall in 18:12, Sam Pragley 14th in 19:18 and Jake Harvey 15th in 19:24. Sasha Davey was first U11G in 19:57, Jack Elsom came fifth overall in 18:13 and 3rd U13B, Morgan Davy 2nd U13G in 20:36. Other Honiton junior members included: 6th Rowan Westall 18:34, 13th Arthur Heeler-Frood 19:12, 13th Ruth Squires 19:13, 16th Harry Whiteley 19:31, 19th Thomas Lilley 20:05, 23rd Olly Talbot 20:27, 27th Joe Hollox 20:42, 28th Jack Lovegrove 20:50, 41st Ben Pragley 23:13, 42nd Hannah Land 23:35,

Thanks to the many people who supported and assisted in any way and especially the landowners for allowing many muddy feet to cross their land.

Meanwhile, in Sturminster Newton, Graham Reeves ran the North Dorset Village Marathon and after a rather chilly start to the morning, the sun came out just in time for the start of the race. Graham started the race really well and at half way he was well on course for a quick debut marathon. However, the wheels came well and truly off at about mile 18 with both legs starting to seize up causing him to drop the pace and literally crawl over the finish line in 3 hours 47 minutes. Nevertheless he was very pleased and looking forward to many more marathons in the future.

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