Goc discovers Dartmoor!

PUBLISHED: 15:20 17 June 2010

Sidmouth runners take on the Ug

The Michelmores Annual 5k Charity Run has moved from Exeter City centre to the Quay and last Tuesday over a thousand runners lined up for the start.

It was a bit crowded at the start but, once under way, the race settled down with those at the front pushing hard, whilst further back, it was a much more leisurely affair. In the end runners all finished up at the Double Locks Hotel where the sponsors had laid on their usual food, drinks and entertainment.

On the way, it was a surprise to many that the pedestrian suspension bridge over the river survived as it bounced to the rhythm of the runners pounding their way across in their hundreds. It was more than a little wobbly.

A bunch of really serious runners set the pace early on and amongst them was Sidmouth’s Matthew Szala who finished strongly to pick up fourth place, streets ahead of the bulk of the field.

Sidmouth’s ladies also met with success as Sue Dowen, more comfortable at longer distances, and Lesley Hook in only her second race with the club, took second and fifth places, respectively, in their age group.

Jill Trivett, Sarah Watkins, Richard Hedger, John Perratt and Bill Valentine provided valuable support and all finished in the top half of the field.

l On Sunday, it was off to Umborne for a more modest, but no less enjoyable, event.

The Ug was started four years ago as part of the village fundraising for a new hall and this year we were delighted to see that the old Nissan hut had disappeared and had been replaced by a very impressive new structure, though not yet complete.

Perhaps that means we will have to slog our way up that hill again next year in order to pay for its completion. The views from the top were breathtaking, or perhaps that was just the effort of getting there.

Phil Welsford announced his return from injury by leading the Sidmouth contingent home in an excellent time of 55.46 some two minutes quicker than his time last year.

Shaun Tipton and John Perratt swapped places a few times on the run in a constant struggle to pull away from each other but it was all to no avail as a sprint finish resulted in a dead heat between the pair of them in 58.59.

John Chesters 60.55, Brian Gosling 62.52 and Bev Tarry 69.53 are old hands at this race but it was nice to see Carol Goddard running again and we hope to see more of her in the coming weeks.

l On the same day, Jane Hemsworth tried her luck at the Ruby Run, a point-to-point half marathon, but the heat and heavy traffic along country lanes took some of the shine off it.

l Milan Goc, in contrast went for the fresh air of Dartmoor for the very tough 32-mile Dartmoor Discovery.

A time of 4.36.31 and a finish in 18th place was a well earned reward for all the training and effort that went into that.

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