Yomp was hilly Devon romp in mud

Seventy five runners turned up for the Yarcombe Yomp, a 10 or 5 mile cross country race around the stunning scenery that Yarcombe provides. Not just stunning scenery, but mud and water a plenty and proper Devon hills to contend with this race is one of the best, writes Dave Mutter.

Young Andrew Watson powered around the five mile circuit, winning in a stunning time of 36:31. Well done to James Sibley; he had a terrific run, second in 46:31. It was good to see Sarah Vincent starting running again after having a baby, she was ninth in 57:58.

Exmouth Harriers’ Mike Musgrove won the two lap 10 mile event in 1:14:30. Nic Smith, Sidmouth RC was second, 1:16:35 and Iain Robert of Royal Navy RC third, 1:17:29. There was great AVR success in the ladies’ section, with Lin Lascelles winning, fifth overall and over 40 champion in 1:19:01. Amy Greenhalgh was second lady and second over 40, ninth overall in 1:21:16. Eleanor Wood was the third lady, first over 50, 19th overall in 1:29:34. Martin Lascelles was the first AVR home and the men’s over 50 champion, sixth overall in 1:19:39. Congratulations to Robin Britton who won the over 60 title, 11th overall taking 1:23:42.

In his first 10 mile race Chris Driver powered off from the start like a lunatic, but got caught on the hills by more experienced runners, with Graham Newton just gliding up as though they were a mere slope finishing 16th, 1:27:02, just ahead of Tim Sibley in 1:27:30. . Chris eventually finished 21st, 1:32:18, one place ahead of Mark Hilder, 1:33:02. Steve Retro Reynolds put one over on his great rival Geoff Woodward, Steve was 24th, 1:33:22 and Geoff 29th, 1:36:01. Richard Dodge was 30th, 1:36:12 and Ian Clements 32nd, 1:36:17. Sue Campbell and Adele Foxwell ran most of the way together, but Sue powered away at the end finishing 38th, 1:38:05 and Adele 40th, 1:38:08.

Adele got married in Turkey earlier in the year and missed out on going to the Dylan mudbaths, but the Yarcombe mud more than made up for that! Pete Hughes usually has a good old battle with Dave Mutter and when he heard a runner creeping up on him near the race end he thought it was Dave, so powered on uphill. He needn’t have bothered as Dave was floundering in the distance, it was actually Michael Giles behind. Pete was 41st 1:40:14, Mike 43rd, 1:41:34 and Dave 47th, 1:44:45.

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Gill and Jon Day used the race as a training run for next year’s Grizzly and ran together to round off the AVR contingent. They were joint 59th in 2:06:44. All runners had an excellent time and would like to thank the farmers for letting them trample over their private land and the marshals and course clearers; Bridget Keeffe, Emma Ellyn, Rick Wood, Nathan Berry and Rosemary Britton. Thanks also to the ladies of Yarcombe who provided runners with a choice of homemade soup, including curried carrot and apple, plus delicious cakes accompanied by hot tea or coffee.

As usual, there was a thin AVR turnout at the Ilminster 10k as it follows the Yarcombe Yomp. Plenty of runners though on a lovely sunny morning for this undulating on-road race: basically a long shallow climb to 5k then down again. Dominic Schneiders completed in 41:11, a PB for this race, and was 2nd in the over 50 category. Harry Moore had the honour of being the oldest competitor and he finished in 1:36:13.

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Last Monday’s club night fell on Halloween, so a fancy dress run for all ages was organised. To start the proceedings the Witch (Sandra Porter) judged the costumes with Ethan Day winning the juniors as a mini werewolf and Lawrence Power the seniors as the living dead. The route chosen was quite often on dark paths, with Gavin Warren and Garry Perratt causing shrieks of terror as they leapt out from the shadows. The run paused at Clare Moles’ spooky abode for trick and treat games. Many thanks to them for all the prizes and Natalie Warren, the menacing Monk, for helping. A good fun night was had by all, rounded off by a chant to Dave Kelf around his labyrinth.

Eight Honiton Running Club members took part in Axe Valley Runner’s Yarcombe Yomp on Saturday.

Bruce Strawbridge had a brilliant race and was thrilled to finish in fourth place in 1:19 after sprinting to the finish, ungallantly narrowly beating the first lady. Steve Davey was next back in 12th place in 1:23. He also had a victorious battle at the finish line. Judy Davey was first back for the Honiton ladies in 23rd place and 1:33.

Much to everyone’s surprise and delight, John Burgess finished having kept upright for the entire race for the first time in four years. He finished 35th in 1:37. Olivia Higginson managed to beat Nick Bradley-Carter for the first time ever. Nick, like John, isn’t keen on off road steep down hill sections and this cost him dearly. Olivia was 48th in 1:45 and Nick was just one place and 20 seconds behind her. Gerry Evans lives in Yarcombe and only decided to take part about an hour before the start. He originally thought he would just do the five miles but got carried away and completed 10! He was 55th in 1:55. There were 60 runners.

Tracey Strawbridge decided that one loop was enough and enjoyed her race knocking 2 minutes off last year’s time. She came 11th in 1:01. There were 15 finishers.

Many thanks to AVR and all involved in organisation as well as the marshals and landowners.

but special thanks to the ladies responsible for the delicious soup and cakes awaiting runners upon their return.

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