Ball skis to medal glory in UK Special Olympics

Caroline ball in action during the Special Olympics

Caroline ball in action during the Special Olympics - Credit: Archant

It was a very variable Easter weekend for members of Sidmouth Running Club with an Olympic twist thrown in, writes Terry Bewes.

Brendan Sheppard, Sarah Brown and Suzi Rockey at The Fast Friday run.

Brendan Sheppard, Sarah Brown and Suzi Rockey at The Fast Friday run. - Credit: Archant

The outstanding achievement was by Caroline Ball a very active running member, but on this occasion it was skiing that brought her glory rather than running. Taking part in the UK Special Olympics Alpine Event, held in Serre Chevalier, France, she returned home with gold medals in the Super G and Giant Slalom events together with a bronze in the Slalom.

She now has a few weeks to wait to see if she has made the British team, we all wish her every success.

On Easter Saturday four members went to Exeter to run the Fast Friday 10k, part of the Run Britain series.

It is a two-lap, traffic free and pancake flat 10k run on footpaths and cycle tracks around Exwick Playing fields and the river Exe flood relief and is perfect for anyone trying for a personal best over this distance.

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First home was Justin Ashby who came 16th overall in 36:09 and third in his age category, Brendan Sheppard recorded 50:44, Sarah Brown 57:35 and Suzi Rockey 57:50.

It was a very hot day and having to run through crowds of swans did make them run faster.

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However, the crème eggs at the finish made it worth it!

For Suzi it was the complete opposite the following day in Cardiff, taking part in the World Half Marathon Championships along with Olympic Champion Mo Farrah and a further twelve thousand plus competitors. This race was run in torrential rain and 35mph winds. Despite the weather and the after effects of the 10k race the day before she came home in 2:11:53 to receive her medal and to record a personal best for the distance.

Nearer home, 13 runners took part in the Sunday run from Newton Poppleford covering 9.5 miles

in sunshine and showers over Aylesbeare and Woodbury Commons to Colaton Raleigh and back up the river to the start to enjoy hot cross buns provided by Helen Palmer.

All minds and bodies now turn to the toughest race around here in my opinion, The Exe to the Axe, which takes place this coming Sunday (April 3).

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