First chance to fight the Christmas flab

The First Chance 10K has, over the years, become a ‘must’ for all local runners wishing to rise above the excesses of the festive season. Unfortunately it has also been a victim of its own success because the demand for the 500 places on offer were all snapped up early in December, leaving many of us to kick our heels last weekend on a day perfect for running, writes John Perratt.

The well established route is along the Exeter Canal and we hear that the move of the Race Headquarters to the Climbing Centre close to the finish line on the Piazza was a big improvement over the previous facilities on offer.

Chip timing also meant that the results this year were available more quickly and these included a fair sprinkling of Sidmouth runners who managed to get a place.

Happiest of these were probably Anne Langworthy and Louise Brown who started together, ran step by step all the way and finished together in a time of 59.10 well inside their targeted one hour mark. Unhappiest by way of contrast was Laurence Bolam, who despite a brilliant time of 34.28 (another club record) had to settle for fourth place overall albeit in a high quality field.

The surprise of the day was to see Terry Bewes listed with a time of 44.46 but closer investigation revealed that it was, in fact, Paul Mitchell who had snapped up Terry’s number on hearing of his unavailability. Well done Paul and thanks also to Terry for not letting his number go to waste.

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Adrian Organ, after a long lay off with Achilles problems, romped round in 45.55 but there were perhaps a few ominous signs that the injury had not completely healed. Unrestrained by such problems, Sarah Brown showed that her improvement still continues and was well pleased with her time of 49.30. The usual solid performances from Milan Goc 37.50, Aaron Smith 42.46, new granddad Colin Flood 47.29, Becky Robson 49.42 (again under 50 minutes), Mick Allen 51.30 and Sarah Watkins 51.37 completed Sidmouth Running Club’s interest in the race.

With nothing better to do, a few runners went to have a look at the new Tesco in Seaton and, on the way, came upon the Axmouth Challenge, a nice little 10-miler based on the Axmouth Village Hall. Even more tempting was a five mile run at the same time.

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The route could have done without the climb up to the Axe Cliff Golf Course but, after that, it was pleasant enough.

Cathy Keast, Debbie Marriott and Suzanne Rampersad were in good spirits all the way round keeping Don Cawthera a discreet distance ahead of them so as to boost his morale and to ensure that he was not party to their conversation.

His time was 1.30.38 for the 10 miles and the girls finished together on 1.38.25. Byron Fitzgerald (48.42), John Perratt (49.16) and Brian Gosling (51.07) went for the softer option.

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