Running club accolade for ‘unsung hero’ John

Sidmouth Running Club member John Perratt was one of the team of three runners who were victorious i

Sidmouth Running Club member John Perratt was one of the team of three runners who were victorious in the British Masters Road Relay Over 75's event on Saturday. Photo by Simon Horn. Ref shsp 2692-21-14SH To order your copy of this photograph go to and click on Photo Orders - Credit: Archant

A ‘pivotal’ member of a Sidmouth club has been honoured for his contribution to running in the town.

John Perratt received the Chairman’s Award for his involvement since Sidmouth Running Club began 12 years ago.

He received a standing ovation for his dedication at the club’s annual general meeting last Wednesday (April 1).

Chairman Helen Palmer said: “He is a well-known and well-respected member of the club, in a way, a fixture and fitting of the club and a very modest person.

“His achievements are too quietly recorded and it is time to acknowledge the huge contribution he has made, not only to Sidmouth Running Club, but to running in the wider area.”

Helen called John the ‘real unsung hero’ behind the scenes for his organisation of the Exe to Axe race and the popular festival run, which took place for more than a decade.

The 78-year-old also holds several club records, including the best half marathon in a number of age categories.

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John took to running in his early 50s, completing a series of triathlons. In 1989 and 1990 he completed the Comrades Marathon, the world’s oldest and longest course covering 56 miles across South Africa.

After living in Zimbabwe for more than 40 years, John moved to Sidmouth in 2001.

He joined the running club committee as treasurer when it was set up by Malcolm Bayer 12 years ago with member Bill Valentine. John has remained treasurer ever since.

John said: “There was no running club in Sidmouth, so I joined Exmouth Harriers and I was quite happy to be running for them. Malcolm felt there was a need for a club and more people became involved.”

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