Four Sidmouth runners take part in the 2013 Mitchelmore’s Exeter run

A wet Tuesday morning did not look very promising for the running of the Mitchelmore’s annual charity race, writes Helen Palmer.

However, the rain cleared during the day and it was a lovely sunny evening for the 920 runners who lined up on the Cathedral Green. This was the 14th year that this event has taken place and it had a brand new city centre course, having moved from the quayside course of the last few years.

The start on the Green and was a pleasant place for runners to meet up and then take part in a warm up led by a rather beefy Royal Marine with some interesting warm up moves.

Lining up at the start for Sidmouth running club were Josie Vick and Sue Bennetts, who were looking forward to their first race, Nigel Dupain backed up by his entire family and Helen Palmer who usually prefers longer distances but was lured by the venue.

Mitchelmores the Solicitors run this well organised fundraising event and have over the years raised over £250,000 for local charities. Runners were sent either a white or pink tee shirt to wear, with the white shirts setting off 10 minutes ahead of the pinks and this worked well in making sure that runners were well spaced out and there did not feel too much congestion.

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The course took runners down through the Cathedral grounds, up Western Way and after running past the civic centre went up and down Southernhay – a reminder of part of the Great West Run course.

After a few meanders round the city centre shopping precinct, where there was support from families, late shoppers and people finishing work, runners went past the RAMM museum to enter Northernhay. All reasonably flat so far but then a marshall pointed runners up a steep path into the grounds of Exeter Castle. A few choice words were heard as further ups and downs sapped runners speed and the finishing straight took runners out of the Castle grounds again only to have to run up to the main Castle entrance.

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However there was a real party feel at the end with a live band, food and drink stalls and a beautiful setting. Runners had water, flapjacks and jute goody bags waiting for them, as well as families, friends and a beautiful summe’rs evening. Times were: Nigel Dupain 24.40; Helen Palmer 25.26; Josie Vick and Sue Bennetts 34.30.

The week before young Jason Drew and Grey Grierson had a good battle in the Devon Schools’ 3000m track. They seem to alternate positions but this time it was Jason’s turn to take the Honours with a very impressive time of 9.37.

Further afield Ruth Burrow again took up the challenge of the hilly Ruby Half Marathon which runs in alternate directions each year between Holsworthy and Hatherleigh. Her time of 2.21 reflects the difficulty of the course but will not put her off going for it again next year.

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