Gearing up for Grizzly - or just starting out?

Snowdrops are not the only sign of spring. The increase of runners out on the streets and pounding the lanes of East Devon tells us that April and the London Marathon are only a few weeks away.

Just as tough is The Grizzly in March, a 20 mile test over the coastal hills, beaches and bogs around Seaton Beer and Branscombe. Honiton Running Club has over 20 members preparing themselves for these great tests of endurance and they are well into their long run training. Last Sunday a club group, pictured, did a 10 mile run from Payhembury while other members were out training round the Grizzly course. On the right of the group is Jo Davey, a local post-lady, next to her is Jackie Costello and behind Jackie to the left is husband Dennis. All three will be doing their first marathons. Also shown are two local firemen, Warren Oak (kneeling) and behind him Dan Brown. The club marathon runners will be raising money for ShelterBox. Next Saturday the runners will be tackling the 15 mile Blackdown Beast that sets off from The Royal Oak, Dunkeswell, at 10am. This is a gentle social run divided into four legs with stops at Smeatharpe, Upottery and Luppitt before returning to The Royal Oak.

Other runners are welcome to take part in The Blackdown Beast or to join the marathon training group. There is a �6 entry fee for The Beast but no charge for the training group. The club website calendar has details at, or email club chairman John Burgess at We do need notice if runners want to do The Beast.

?If you are at least 26 miles away from running a marathon but would like to get fitter and start running, the club is also starting a beginners’ group on Monday evenings at 6:30pm at Honiton Sports Centre, with level 2 coach Jo Lowman in charge.

You can email John to let him know you are coming or just turn up.

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