Beat The Bus cash bonanza

Beat the Bus challenge cheque presentation to Sidmouth Living With Cancer group. Picture by Alex Wal

Beat the Bus challenge cheque presentation to Sidmouth Living With Cancer group. Picture by Alex Walton. Ref shs 6821-28-13AW. To order your copy of this photograph go to and click on Photo Orders - Credit: Archant

A UNIQUE running race has proved a winner, yet again, for a Sidmouth charity group.

Beat The Bus – a 9k event devised by Bill Valentine, a runner from Sidmouth Running Club – was recently held for the fourth time, raising £400 for Sidmouth Living With Cancer.

The money will go towards the running costs of the charity’s mini-bus.

Bill Valentine, members of the charity and this year’s race winners – Jason Drew, 16, and first lady home Jane Beech – were at the cheque presentation event, held in bright sunshine at Sidmouth’s Triangle. In addition, Lisa Craig, the widow of former Sidmouth paramedic Colin Craig, presented the Colin Craig Challenge Trophy to the winner.

Beat The Bus is the annual race where runners try and beat the Otterton to Sidmouth Stagecoach bus.

Sponsored by Stagecoach, entries were down this year – from 100 in 2012 to just below 70 this year – but organiser Bill Valentine is hopeful that more people will compete in 2014.

“We could do with a few more runners and a few more youngsters mainly,” he said.

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Despite the reduced field, the £400 raised was still a sizable donation, greatly appreciated by Sidmouth Living With Cancer.

“We’ve got a mini-bus, which the Herald helped us to raise the money for in 2010,” said Bill Lankester, MBE, executive chairman, Sidmouth Living With Cancer. “We probably use £1,200 in diesel a year, so £400 covers a third of our running expenses, which is absolutely brilliant.”

“It’s tremendous what the Beat The Bus runners do,” said Bill Lankester, summing up this year’s fundraising event. “And Bill Valentine has been brilliant.”

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