Monday, March 3, 2014
The 2014 GRIZZLY course is 20 AVR miles of very tough running, around and through some of the best scenery in the country, with lots of hills, two official bogs (though some of the fields resemble bogs) and a soupçon of undulating pebble beach, writes Dave Mutter.
This years heavy rain and gales will make the going even tougher than last year – which was tough enough. The route is deliberately changed for each race and this year after a small loop around Seaton beach the runners will go over to Beer via Bunts Corner, Old Beer Road and Old Beer Hill, down Long Hill and Fore Street, then up Common Lane, through the Common Car Park and Caravan Site then over the common to Branscombe Mouth where there will be music by Kagemusha Taiko - Japanese-style drummers. (The Cub Run will turn left on or near Branscombe beach and return via Under Hooken). The Grizzly proceeds to the Village Hall, then lots of private land around Gays Farm where Slapjack will be jamming, then Watercombe and Elverway before finally reaching the two bogs in the Hole area. After a severely mucky experience it’s onward to The Fountain Head where the renowned Grizzly Group Stampita (formerly Rooting Around) will be boogying on. It’s then back to Branscombe Mouth on the Coastal Footpath. A jaunty jog along Branscombe beach is followed by the Stairway to Heaven climb back to Beer Common, eventually returning to Seaton by way of Beer Jubilee Gardens, Clinton Way, Beer Road and Cliff Field Gardens. En route there will also be bagpipers and Dave Somers and other musicians to entertain runners and spectators.
The best spectator vantage points will be at Seaton Sea Front, (Start and Finish), Beer Fore Street (3.0 miles), Beer Head Car Park (3.3 and 17.6 miles), the Sea Shanty at Branscombe Mouth (5.5 and 16 miles), Branscombe Village Hall (6.2 miles), the Fountain Head Branscombe (14.3 miles), and Beer Cliff Top and Jubilee Gardens (18 miles).
Please arrive in plenty of time and encourage the runners in this mass of human endeavour.
Most runners would welcome some chewy sweets e.g. Jelly Babies, or even a drink, especially near the end of the race and if the weather is hot. Wherever you decide to watch, please bear in mind that the byways around Branscombe will be very congested, so please park sensibly at correct locations, not in the lanes. Much of the middle part of the course, including the bogs, is on private land and therefore inaccessible to spectators.
For the top few runners it is a very challenging race, but for the majority it is an arduous test akin to a journey of self-discovery, combining Deep Ecology, spiritualism, One-ness philosophy and Multi-terrain running, and once again somewhere en route there will be a superbly constructed Grizzly Memorial provided by the kindred spirit of the Dungbeans. Runners can tie a ribbon, or place an object as they pass through, and have a shared moment of reflection on who or what is really dear to their hearts.
There may well be traffic delays at Seaton as The Esplanade is closed all day on Sunday and also on Saturday afternoon for the Junior races. Castle Hill will be closed between 10.30am and 5pm. Due to the Coastal path closure Beer Road will be closed for a while in sections from Castle Hill to the top of Long Hill at the start of the run then on the return Beer Road from the exit of Clinton Way to Cliff Field Gardens will just be coned off to enable the safe return of runners. Delays in Fore Street Beer between 10.50am and 11.30am, Common Lane will be closed during the event, so delays will occur near the Anchor until 4.30pm. In Branscombe Berry Hill will be closed westerly between noon and 3.30pm. Locksey’s Lane will be closed between Branscombe Village Hall and the A3052 between 11am and 3.30pm. There will be a one way system near the Fountain Head:- Up on the Right (Coxes Hill) and down on the left (Berry Hill). If going to the Masons Arms for lunch from the Sidmouth direction please keep to the A3052 and turn right just before the Beer turning and use Vicarage Hill.
The main race sponsors are the technical Sportswear Specialists Scimitar, East Devon Sports Therapy & General Injury Clinic, Seaton and Everys Solicitors. Other race sponsors are Seaton Town Council, East Devon District Council (car parking), Axe Skip Hire, Axminster (skip at finish), Fyffes Bananas, The Grove Niteclub (baggage store), Harris Lets, Seaton (franking), Marshlands Centre (massage & first aid centre), Tesco Seaton (car parking and bottled water), Quicks Engineering, Axminster (trophies), Seaton’s Fish Bar (marshal bibs), SAK Logistics (van hire) and photography by photo-fit.net.
Huge thanks all the shops and local businesses as always getting completely behind the Grizzly and going to town with their decorations and activities - it’s going to make the Town come alive for the weekend.
There is a fantastic Grizfest being planned that is crammed full of activities for locals and visitors alike starting on Friday 7th with home cooking and music at various venues around Town, then on Saturday at 10am the Grizfest will get underway at Windsor Gardens. Grizfest races will be at 1.45pm and 2,15pm from outside the Hook and Parrot. From 12 noon to 4pm the Town Square will host a heap of activities and from 2pm to 5pm the Great Grizfest Bake Off and Cream Teas will be in the United Reformed Church Hall opposite the Artisan Market on Windsor Gardens. On Saturday evening at 7pm for 7.30pm there is the Annual Griz Quiz at The Gateway, Seaton Town Hall for teams of 8. There is so much going on so please check out http://www.axevalleyrunners.org.uk/info/grizfest.pdf for all the activities.
On Grizzly day at 8am you can get a Runners Breakfast in a Bap at The Gateway, Seaton Town Hall then for the spiritual side of the event an open air service is being organised by Christians Together in Seaton from 9.30am to 10.15am at Beer Head Car Park (look out for the Gazebo).
So all is set for a great Grizzly and Cub 2014, let’s hope we have a fine day to enable you to come along and join us in all the fun.