Sidmouth Running Club had great presence last Sunday at the Bicton Blister, a tough 10-mile cross country run, writes John Keast.

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Over 30 club runners took part, there were 430 finishers in the 10-mile race and 80 in the shorter, but equally tough, five-mile race.

Justin Ashby (15th) continues to defy the ageing process and with the perfect running conditions gained a personal best in this event finishing very strongly in a time of one-hour-and-eight-minutes.

Whilst Ashby was unable to get onto the heels of the much younger Exeter Harriers runner Simon Minting (10th), snapping at his heels was teenager Jason Drew (20th). Watch out for young Drew in the future, to do so well at this distance when only 16 is unusual and bodes well for the future!

Milan Goc (37th) has had a restful summer and seems to be quickly getting back into form despite only training for a few weeks.

Simon Minting’s dad, Bob (108th), running first claim for Blackheath and Bromley took the honours for the over 60s age group, a really impressive run, though Simon may be feeling a little smug as through computer generated age adjusted results he just beats his dad (by 0.46 per cent!)

Also making a return to the running scene after a longer lay off due to parental commitments was Jessica Raynor (89th) who had an amazing run to finish 10th lady. She certainly looked full of beans at the end as she was escorted home by her minders, Shaun Bagwell (90th) and Tim Mitchell (91st). Second lady home for Sidmouth was Naomi Garrick (154th).

For many running is a sociable affair, getting out with like minded folk to enjoy the beauty of the East Devon running side, this is reflected by the grouping of some of the Sidmouth finishers who will have had a hard run, but also a bit of a chit chat on the flatter parts of the course. Alan Colwill (164th), David Palmer (168th), Lewis Brown (177th) and Rocker Sheppard not only managed to put the world to rights, but at the same time all finished in under 1hr 30mins. It was Rocker’s first run in a Sidmouth vest and at the finish he looked as fresh as a daisy and although pleased with his result felt he could have pushed on a bit earlier in the race.

George Chalstrey (217th) had a surge in the final couple of miles to push on from Jon Ball (266th) and Andy Shearer (267th) who were keen not to be seen crossing the line with Colin Flood (277th) supporting a strange looking Movember!

David Welsh (321st) despite taking a walk up the first hill at mile 3 manage to stay ahead of a rather large and sociable group from the Running Club who talked for the entire race! This group consisted of Becky Robson (332nd), Abbi Lee (323rd), Nicole Madely (348th), John Doherty (350th and the honorary male of the group), Claire Ashby (359th), Jo Earlam (377th), Cathy Keast (379th), Helen Palmer (380th), Lynda Hawkins (381st) and Jade Hawkins (382nd). A couple of ‘old boys’, Terry Bewes (419th) and John Podmore (420th) fell off the back, with John claiming an ankle injury and Terry looking after him, more training is probably required!

Sidmouth Running Club also had four runners in the shorter five-mile race. All four runners ran well with Sarah Brown (17th) the first of the Sidmouth Runners home in this race ahead of Brian Gosling 31st and Caroline Ball (56th). Chris Long who finished so fast was missed off the results!

Thanks to Exmouth Harriers who organise this race, as well as a great course the venue lends itself to a great atmosphere which is enjoyed and appreciated by the runners. In addition it also makes a good event for spectators.

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