Well and truly Grizzly
PUBLISHED: 09:00 12 March 2008 | UPDATED: 21:36 15 June 2010
Copyright Archant Ltd
Anxious AVR eyes drifted skywards on Sunday morning hoping that the storm forecast for later in the day did not appear early.
Anxious AVR eyes drifted skywards on Sunday morning hoping that the storm forecast for later in the day did not appear early. Happily the forecast was correct and the Grizzly was run in almost perfect weather, apart from the odd hail shower. The race was started with great aplomb by John Barrington-Rowell guided by the eloquent exuberance of commentator Dennis Elliott. Before heading to Beer and Branscombe, there was a small matter of running the length of Seaton Beach. The sound of nearly 1400 runners stirring up the shingle was unbelievable. Once in Branscombe the infamous bog was quickly encountered, almost immediately followed by a 100 yard near vertical field climb, that most could only get up with the aid of a rope. After visits to a disused quarry, Watercombe and Elverway, the runners had the chance to tie a ribbon on a memorial, which proved to be a very emotional experience. A gloriously scenic woodland trail was followed by 'Son of Bog' and another steep field climb. Soon after the smell of burning joss-sticks wafted in the air as a Buddhist shrine was encountered before a climb through a garlic floored woodland. There was terrific support at the Fountain Head followed by the huge road climb up to Berry Barton. A gentle descent down the coastal footpath to the Sea Shanty was followed by a real energy sapping run along Branscombe beach and a trudge up the hooken footpath. There was a huge noisy crowd around the Anchor at Beer that encouraged runners on the final ascent of the coastal footpath back to Seaton, where the sting in the tail was a beach run from the Chine to Fisherman's Gap. Along the course there was plenty of music to keep the runners' spirits up, with a steel band, saxophone, didgeridoo, two bagpipers, a drum band, an Irish group and another band. Billed as being 19 miles, it was a truly energy sapping course, with most runners very pleased to finish. Happily there were no major injuries and both runners and spectators had a great day out.In the main Grizzly run there were 1379 finishers, with Lee Turner of Torbay AAC powering to victory in 2:24:34. Ryan Prout, of Thrift Green Trotters, who had a team of very good runners, was second in 2:27:40, with many time top three placed Neil Holmes of Erme Valley Harriers third in 2:27:56. Donna McEwen, of Bedford Harriers, was the first lady finisher, 42nd overall in 2:45:49. South West Road Runner Emma Hitchins was second, 46th overall in 2:46:49, and Sharon Daw of East Cornwall Harriers third lady, 77th overall in 2:52:18. There were many fine AVR performances and despite running the course during Saturday evening, race director Garry Perratt finished 25th in 2:40:42, winning the Quicks Engineering Perpetual Trophy for the first AVR finisher. Thomas Elliott ran well to be 41st in 2:45:44 and Neil Vincent also managed a top 100 finish, 98th in 2:55:37. Bernard Fry was 106th in 2:57:08, just holding off Michael Legg who was 110th in 2:57:24. Young James Beard performed superbly to finish 142nd in 3:01:56. Ian Apps was 168th in 3:04:54, Luke Reed 207th, 3:09:59 and AVR's first lady finisher was Eleanor Wood, 255th overall in 3:14:51. Young Daniel Kiernan was delighted to finish 320th in 3:21:33 ahead of Jason Burt, 352nd in 3:23:57. Ian Walker was 369th, 3:25:05; Sue Campbell 377th, 3:26:00; Steve Reynolds 426th, 3:29:56; Roger Bramley 466th, 3:32:52; Geoff Woodward 563rd, 3:41:13; Steve White 633rd in 3:47:04; Graham Vere 645th in 3:48:14; Dave Mutter 673rd in 3:50:01 and was delighted to have reeled in and overtaken the next four AVR finishers starting with Andy Sayers 757th, 3:57:13; Julian Davies 763rd, 3:57:50; Peter Hughes 858th, 4:06:39 and Paul Tolchard 877th, 4:08:15. Chris Polley was 981st in 4:15:58 and Dave Braunton 1142nd 4:38:21. A special mention should go to the Seaton Mums On the Run, Ronnie Barrand, Annie Thurgood and Margaret Pearce, who were joint 1362nd in 5:34:42. There were 241 finishers in the shorter Cub Run which was won by David Tomlin of Teignbridge Trotters. The first junior home was Jamie Duffield of South Devon AC, second overall in 1:13:05. Three AVRs were next home, first Robbie Holt in 1:14:07, then Justin Holt 1:15:00, finally Chris Keefe in 1:15:33, a superb effort from the trio. The first lady home was Alicia Leal of North Devon Road Runners, 12th overall in 1:24:25. Joanne Langford of Somer AC was second lady, 13th overall in 1:26:52, and Sarah Ivory was 3rd in 1:27:10. Natasha Simmons was the first junior girl home, 125th overall in 1:59:30. Other AVRs to tackle the Cub Run were Rebecca Creese, 55th in 1:41:36; Sara Feldman 72nd, 1:47:01; Mike Barry 109th, 1:55:42 and Harry Moore 221st 2:43:15. AVR are indebted to all those who helped put on the event, especially the long suffering marshals, back markers, course clearers and drink station helpers, plus the Police, Coastguards and Raynet volunteers, St John Ambulance and a special thanks to all the landowners. Many thanks also to Dave Braunton of Quicks Engineering, Axminster who made all the fantastic trophies.Honiton Runners were out in force at the Grizzly race on Sunday being the largest team to compete with 35 on the start line. There were excellent performances by the Honiton runners across the board in this most gruelling of races. Notable runs were had by Fran Bond and Ceri Oak, who were together for much of the way and finished in front of all the Honiton men except Geoff Foster who led the pack from the gun. Steve Boyes, Bruce Strawbridge and Guy Paddon had excellent runs. Leisa Lavender, Sarah Lowman and Dennis Costello finished well in their debuts at the event. In the cub run Claire Pomeroy led the way home while Vanessa Glyn Jones came in first in her age grouping. Tracey Davey started the Cub but unfortunately suffered a fall and broke her wrist. Honiton finishers: 125 Geoff Foster 2.59.49; 180 Fran Bond 3.06.27; 197 Ceri Oak 3.08.44; 201 Paul Davey 3.09.03; 214 Steve Boyes 3.10.46; 260 Julian Gigg 3.15.41; 292 Bruce Strawbridge 3.18.45; 295 Steve Davey 3.19.17; 318 Guy Paddon 3.20.58; 333 Judy Davey 3.22.48; 342 Roger Saunders 3.23.11; 500 Richard Harvey 3.36.15; 515 Grant Boyd 3.37.21; 570 Leisa Lavender 3.41.57; 736 Sarah Lowman 3.55.57; 742 John Burgess 3.56.12; 793 Nick Thorpe 4.01.04; 837 Denis Costello 4.04.47; 952 Warren Oak 4.13.35; 1130 Bill Garvey 4.37.08; 1133 Pete Lyus 4.37.10. Cub Run: 34 Claire Pomeroy 1.33.27; 59 Pippa Westall 1.42.10; 82 Brent Dicks 1.49.31; 88 Anne Ephraums 1.50.23; 90 Louise Saunders 1.50.46; 116 Vanessa Glyn Jones 1.57.31; 148 Jackie Costello 2.05.38; 152 Mickie Dicks 2.06.15; 160 Pat Croucher 2.07.03; 185 Tracey Dingle 2.13.58; 186 Wendy Graham 2.14.03.