Charity race under threat - as there’s no bus to beat!

Bill Valentine is pictured handing over a cheque for £700 to Sidmouth's Living With Cancer group whi

Bill Valentine is pictured handing over a cheque for £700 to Sidmouth's Living With Cancer group which was raised by the Beat the Buds event. Photo by Simon Horn. Ref shs 8503-28-14SH To order your copy of this photograph go to and click on Photo Orders - Credit: Archant

Bus cuts have put a unique Sidmouth race - which raises hundreds of pounds for a local cancer charity - under threat.

Organisers are appealing for sponsorship for this year’s Beat the Bus after Devon County Council axed the 157 service, which runs from Otterton to Sidmouth, as it looks to slash £1.7million from its public transport budget.

The race’s chosen charity, Sidmouth Living With Cancer has provided its minibus as a stand-in for the nine kilometre costal run.

However, the event is in need of sponsorship after the council cutbacks led to the withdrawal of £500 from Stagecoach.

The donation from the bus company has normally covered most of the cost of the race, including the purchase of prizes, water and licences.

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Sidmouth Running Club’s Bill Valentine, who has organised the event since it began in 2010, said: “It is quite a unique race - the only one in the world like it. I am determined for it to continue because it is so unique.”

“We are looking for anything we can, but it would be nice if someone could sponsor us the whole £500.”

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The 65-year-old added that he hoped more participants could be attracted to this year’s race thanks to the flexibility the minibus will offer.

Entry fees for the event can raise up to £800 for the valued Sidmouth Living With Cancer group.

Bill Lankester, from the charity, said: “We want to keep to event running, we get up to 100 runners. It would be a shame for it to stop. It is good for the town, for the runners and for our group. It is important to us.”

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