Bolam leads Sidmouth Running Club quartet home in final run of the Run the Exe 5k summer series.

The Run the Exe 5k summer series organised by Ironbridge was concluded on the second Tuesday of September and saw almost 100 runners on the start line, writes Iain Burns.

The monthly event took place along the smooth flat tarmac toe path alongside the river Exe in Exeter.

It is an ideal course for achieving a personal best time if weather conditions are favourable.

Whilst the kitesurfers off Sidmouth were enjoying the high winds, the strong gusts around the exe route were not ideal !

Many of the runners at the start line had rejuvenated ambitions and inspirational egos to run at lightening pace equal to that of Britain’s Mo Farah who recently got gold in the world games 5000 metre event.

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The race was won by Shaun Antell,a Bristol and West team runner in 15.15.

Laurence Bolam was the first Sidmouth man home in a very creditable time of 16.51 and seventh.

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His consistency in running times over the series earnt him a very favourable fifth place overall. His gym training regime, diet and speed work is beginning to put this 26 year old athlete consistently high up in the rankings of every event he now enters. He is certainly a credit to the Sidmouth running club and an exciting prospect as it appears there is an abundance of improvement still to come!

He undoubtedly has a formula of ambitions, fitness, dedication and natural athleticism to do well in the future.

Milan Goc, always consistent at any distance, runs with a recognisable gait which, with such long legs, consist a giraffe like stride which simply devours the ground beneath him. He would not look out of place on a Serengeti plain. He stormed home with a smile on his face in 18.17 giving him 16th position and a very commendable 8th overall place in the series.

His next race is a marathon in Cornwall to which he will undoubtedly do well in since he ran well under three hours in this years London event !

Young 19-year-old Guy Bennett, shortly due to start Plymouth University to become a marine biologist, thought with his gung ho attitude of, “I can win that !”, decided that he would run competitively before he departs for college.

Despite not running for two months, his very natural ability and thin physique allowed him to complete in a very good time of 19.21 and 26th position: “I enjoyed it”, he said, and promptly added: “But I’ll be sore in the morning!”

Not surprisingly really since his legs are thinner than a swan vesta matchstick and any hard running so often results in bruising for this talented young man.

Fourth and finally home out of the Sidmouth quartet was the old man of the party, Iain Burns.

As usual, not quite getting his predicted time, and despite having watched Mo Farah too and finishing fast, could only come 47th in a time of 20.50.The bar of chocolate on the way home soon put a smile back on his face !

Now the summer series is complete, the first Monday in the month from October is the start of the winter series.

For those of you who feel that Mo Farah or indeed Laurence Bolam can inspire you, the winter series details can be found on the Ironbridge runner website, The Sidmouth running club meets every Wednesday at the sailing club at 7pm and are due to start a beginner’s course, and although Mo won’t be there, an equally inspirational group of runners will be. For all Sidmouth Running Club matters, check out

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