Woodland relays at Escot

East Devon clubs battle it out in relays

There was a fine gathering of runners for the latest round of the Woodland Relay series at Escot Park. This event was organised by Honiton RC.. It was a flattish 13/4 mile route including a brilliant woodland trail. AVR first team of Alex Todd, Chris Keefe, Tom Hilder and Jon Blackledge fairly stormed around to win in 36:29. The Met Office was second in 38:14 then AVR’s second string, comprising Jim Jackson, Phil Bayliss, Bernard Fry and Mark Hilder, were third in 39:49. The ladies’ winners were the Met Office and Honiton Boys were the first Junior team. The AVR girls, Layla Felgate, Lydia Clapp, Emily Elliott and Mollie Hansford were the first junior girls team to finish in a superb 44:09. The AVR boys also ran well with Ellis Bee, William Blackledge, James Sibley and James Hansford second juniors overall in a very good 43:05. Many other AVR teams took part in a very enjoyable evening’s running, many thanks to Honiton RC for organising it all so well.

? Luke Reed ran the second of Exeter’s 5k summer series finishing 6th in 17:32. He was fairly happy with a small 5 second improvement from last month’s race.

l Eleanor Wood was the lone AVR runner that attempted the Haytor Heller. Eleanor was fifth lady in, beating her previous best for this run by a full minute, coming home in 54:16, winning the 1st vet 50 prize along the way.

? The Votwo Kamikaze run is a totally mad event so of course there was some AVR interest.

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The race involves incredibly steep gradients up and down, a nice deep bog and a kamikaze slide half way round.

There were 277 finishers with a very large number of DNFs . Luke Reed was the first AVR home finishing third in 1:11:39 coming away with a free bottle of wine and a shirt.

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Chris Keeffe was very pleased to finish ninth taking 1:14:24. Both enjoyed the event a lot and would like to thank the organisers for putting it on and will certainly be back next year.

? How do you spend your birthday when you are definitely the wrong side of 60? Well Dave “The Dungbeetle” Kelf has just given himself a spiffing birthday treat - running 28 miles along the Marriots Way long distance footpath twixt Norwich and Aylsham. At least it was flat! Anyone wishing to emulate this celebration should contact Dave, somewhere in deepest Norfolk.

HONITON RC - It was Honiton’s turn to organise the second Woodland Relay of the season which took place at Escot. Twenty five teams of four took part and it was much enjoyed.

Axe Valley Runners Men’s A team completed in the fastest time in 36 minutes 29 and the Met Office produced the fastest ladies’ team time of 42:08. Honiton Boys’ A team won the prize for the juniors, coming home in exactly 42 minutes. There were some notable performances amongst the Honiton teams with Brian Charters running under 10 minutes after coming fourth in a fell race in Wales the day before. Tim Legg also came in under 10 minutes – twice in fact as he ran the first leg for Honiton and the final leg for the Met Office, running faster second time round! The only other Honiton runner to achieve a sub 10 minute run was fastest junior, Sam Urquhart who improves every time he puts on his trainers. Warren Oak was running leg 3 and had a head start over his wife, Ceri. Warren was determined that Ceri would not catch him and probably ran the fastest he has ever run before! She didn’t manage to get him. Julian Gigg had the fastest sprint finish of the evening.

Several of the Race for Life trainees took part, the Westpoint Race for Life having been the day before. They ran round at their own pace and were accompanied if they wished. Hopefully, it has given them a taste for other races for the club. Thanks to everyone involved but especially Roger Saunders for doing the lion’s share of the organization.

The July Yeovilton 5k series last Wednesday was a bit windy and no Honiton runner managed a pb although Steve Davey ran his best of the season and Jill Harrison was second lady. Tim Legg was 17th in 17:37, Jill 41st overall in 18:55, Tom Dunn 58th in 20:05, Steve 67th in 20:41, Roger Saunders 77th in 21:04, Judy Davey 90th in 22:04 and Claire Pomeroy 107th in 24:31.

The 25th Haytor Heller six mile race saw runners set off half way up the ascent to Haytor which is challenging for the hardiest runner. It’s usual to see St John’s Ambulance in attendance at events but to have the Mountain Rescue Service present is worrying! This was the first time the race has been run in the evening and it was a complete sell out before the day. The race is mainly run across rugged, open moorland. Brian Charters was first home for Honiton in 46:48, 18th. Bruce Strawbridge and Steve Davey crossed the line together in 47th place in 52:49 after a real battle. Judy Davey, 69th, 56:28, took home a bottle of wine for coming second in her category. Tracey Strawbridge was really pleased with her time of 1:17:11 and 219th position. There were 240 runners.

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