Tortuous Stonebarrow hill

PUBLISHED: 14:30 06 July 2011

Beat the Bus run at Otterton. Picture by Alex Walton. Ref mhsp 4981-26-11AW. To order your copy of this photograph go to and click on myphotos24

Beat the Bus run at Otterton. Picture by Alex Walton. Ref mhsp 4981-26-11AW. To order your copy of this photograph go to and click on myphotos24


Honiton runners Bruce Strawbridge and Steve and Judy Davey took up the challenge of trying to ‘Beat the Bus’ last Wednesday.

The idea is that runners set off at the same time as the bus leaves Otterton and, whilst the bus follows the roads to Sidmouth and back, runners are taken over fields and paths with the aim of getting back before the bus. This included a particularly hilly section on the turnaround point as runners were taken part of the way down Peak Hill just to turn and run back up it! Last year, runners set off with the wrong bus and organisers were determined that wasn’t going to happen again.

A bus duly arrived and runners were told not to get excited as it wasn’t the right bus. Once the bus had set off, organisers decided it was, in fact, the right bus but it wasn’t a problem as the bus was scheduled to come back to that point after travelling the length of Otterton and runners could set off then. Meanwhile, another bus arrived and runners did get a little confused, but it all worked out in the end. Steve came back first for Honiton in 11th place in a time of 44 minutes and 2 seconds. He has recently gone up an age category and was delighted to win a shield for 1st in his age group. Bruce was next back in 14th place in 44:55 and Judy was 29th in 51:39. All three did ‘beat the bus’, as the bus came 50th in 55.45. Thanks to Bill Valentine and everyone else who helped organise this great event.

●Steve and Judy Davey also took part in the Charmouth Challenge, last Saturday, which is the most southerly fell race in England. After a fast,flat start runners are taken up Stonebarrow Lane which is a gruelling climb of about a mile rising over 120m. There was one consolation though as this was probably the only shady part of the route on an extremely hot day. The course undulates until the 140m climb to Golden Cap. Steve came 39th in 1:08:04 and Judy came 92nd in 1:16:34. The winner was Stuart Leaney in a time of 53:44. There were 248 finishers.

●Honiton Juniors also turned out for the 2 ½ mile fun run which followed the first part of the main race including the mountainous climb of Stonebarrow Lane. Sam Urquhart was sixth in 18:48 and close behind was Henry Riddle in 10th place in 19:26. Reuben Heeler-Frood was next back for Honiton in 15th place in 20:12 and his brother, Arthur, was hot on his heels, coming in 18th place and 20:19. Katie Davey was the only Honiton girl representative and, like the others, she had a great race coming 57th in 24:33.

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