The Grizzly weekend started with the Grizfest and Sidmouth Running Club Juniors were there to enjoy it, writes Alexa Baker. John Dunsford and Christopher Witkowski took part and successfully completed the 4k Junior Grizzly. John finished in 19:43 and Christopher in 21:36.

Emily Smith, Marcus Wieffer and Amelia Womersley successfully ran the 2k Junior Cub finishing in 10:08, 10;17, and 13:57 respectively with Emily finishing 34th in a field of 103. They all got to experience running on the pebbles and, despite the rain, finished with smiles on their faces.

Thank you to Junior leaders Donna and Grahame Womersley-Westlake and all the parents for their support in this event which is open to up to 400 entrants!

SRC’s Exe to Axe fun run is fast approaching on Saturday, April 6 and is open to age 16 and under. The event starts at 9.30am from Muttersmoor and finishes by The Ham and includes optional beach activities and water slide provided by Tony Sarsby of Sidmouth Fit. For more information contact

Sidmouth Herald: SRC Juniors

Sunday dawned a completely different day, which surprised many of the 41 Mighty Greens who listened to the heavy rain during the night. For Cub first-timer Sarah Clapham, her night was disturbed by dreaming she turned up to the start line without her leggings!

There were many first-timers in the SRC contingent and as they were lined up at the start line and heard the announcer say the course was treacherous, they might have had a moment of doubt of what was to come but they knew they had trained well with the club’s Sunday runs in very adverse weather conditions; they were Mighty Greens - bring it on!

Brigid McEleney-Smith had taken injured chairman Terry Bewes’s cub number and it seemed like she had taken on his persona too. She was very encouraging going up the hills, using Terry’s mantra: fairy steps, head up, chest out; she was looping back and fell on her way into Branscombe. Brigid said no sooner as she had hit the floor, two very kind men scooped her up on to her feet as if she was as light as a feather!

Sidmouth Herald: Iconic East Devon Grizzly

Mighty Green Colin L’Anson was the first of the 16 SRC cub runners to cross the finish line in 1:41:14, 57th out of a field of 635 and Christine and Karen Farnham were the first MG ladies to finish in 2:02:40 with fully clothed Sarah Clapham not far behind.

The support along the way from friends, family, Mighty Greens (especially injured Richard King at Branscombe), marshals, fellow runners and total strangers goes a long way to boosting morale, as do the bagpipe players, the drummers, the sax players and musicians often in the middle of nowhere. A special mention goes to the staff and residents of the nursing home on the way out of Seaton, who line the street with their banners and instruments. All make the event very special and memorable.

It was Helen Palmer’s 15th Grizzly and she found this one the muddiest by far, in fact the muddy sections of the course weren’t much muddier than most of the route, although there were definite rivers of mud to plough through and the rope section was very challenging and comical! Helen ran mostly by herself and was amply entertained listening to other runners and seeing club members at various points along the way.

All this mud did not stop Richard Summerhayes from having a great run. He was the first Mighty Green to finish the Grizzly in an amazing 3:18:33 with SRC’s Jake Rowarth not far behind, finishing in 3:39:03.

Sidmouth Herald: Mighty Greens

Running the Grizzly for the first time, Louise Dalton said the distance was fine, the pace was fine, the sun was shining but the terrain was tough. Despite finding it hard on her feet, ankles and hips, Louise was the first MG female over the finish line in 4:33:53 with her fellow SRC runners, including first-timers Amanada Stokes and Becky Knapman not far behind. Becky loved it and. although she found it incredibly challenging. the Sunday runs were great preparation and she enjoyed running as a team too, including Mark Norton and Yasmin Salter.

Social secretary Naomi Garrick really enjoyed completing her third run for International Animal Rescue dressed as a dalmatian. The spotty Mighty Green loves to run in fancy dress and make people smile.

Mighty Green Lynda Hawkins was joined by her family, including her son Jake, who celebrated his birthday by running his first Grizzly - one to remember!

Running the Grizzly for the first time, Cameron Baker, Megan Pewsey and Nikita Kay had the benefit of head coach Kyle Baker’s experience, as he had run it once before. Cameron found it very hard going at times, especially on his knee, but they stuck together, dug deep and finished in a very respectable 5:24:51.

Beccy Johnson ran with another group of first time Grizzly-ers, Kathy Jordan, Kerry Salter and Alexa Baker and said that completing the full Grizzly was probably the most challenging run she has ever done.

Luckily, they are used to hills and mud and had put the training in with great support and advice from Sidmouth Running Club. The beer stop before the descent into Beer certainly hit the spot for Kerry and Beccy who flew down the hill, the end in sight! Beccy felt a huge sense of achievement and said it was a real honour to finish with her MG friends, a sentiment shared by the others.

Huge congratulations to all the Mighty Greens who took part in the very muddy Cub and Grizzly.

Sidmouth Running Club would like to extend their appreciation and thanks to Axe Valley Runners, who organise this enormous event and to the many friendly encouraging marshals who spend many hours out in the middle of nowhere.

Next up SRC’s very own Exe To Axe!

Sidmouth Herald: Fun in the mud

Cub Results: Colin L’Anson 1:41:14; Neville Hylton 2:02:14; Christine Farnham 2:02:40; Karen Farnham 2:02:42; Sarah Clapham 2:08:27; Kerry Boyle 2:08:56; Catherine Hylton 2:08:57; Scott Chown 2:10:24; Alison Williams 2:11:07; Steve Thomson 2:13:08; Brigid McEleney-Smith 2:19:16; Christie Ward 2:23:53; Amelia Frankpitt 2:32:56; Sarah Watkins 2:37:18; Carol Hounsell 2:37:19; Ann Cole 2:43:19

Grizzly Results: Richard Summerhayes 3:18:33; Jake Rowarth 3:39:03; Louise Dalton 4:33:53; Becky Knapman 4:34:56; Yasmin Salter 4:34:56; Amanda Stokes 4:34:56; Mark Andow 4:34:56; Lynda Hawkins 4:41:43; Sam Ingram 4:48:06; Rachel Barnard 4:51:26; Emily Morrison 5:23:17; Nikita Kay 5:24:51; Megan Pewsey 5:24:51; Kyle Baker 5:24:51; Cameron Baker 5:24:51; Naomi Garrick 5:35:45; Helen Palmer 5:53:03; Beccy Johnson 6:00:33; Kathy Jordan 6:00:34; Alexa Baker 6:00:35; Kerry Salter 6:00:35; Clare Luke 6:01:00; David Wright 6:10:40; Donna Womersley-Westlake 6:37:35 Graham Sheppard DNF.

Sidmouth Herald: Sidmouth runners