THE clue was maybe in the name - the 'Honiton Hippo' run featured a lot of mud and water crossings!
THE clue was maybe in the name - the 'Honiton Hippo' run featured a lot of mud and water crossings! At least the day was perfect weather wise. The 7.5 mile off-road course had some surprises in store for the seven Sidmouth runners who took part, including part of the 'Landrover Experience' track and, on foot, that was an experience in itself. There was a lot of water around. In fact there were four crossings of almost waist deep water, and just a few hills thrown in for good measure. This race can only be described as a mini Grizzly.Jess Watkins (39th 1.03.43) was the first Sidmouth runner home and fourth lady overall, seeing that her tactics of starting off slower than usual paid off. She followed Mark Keast into the last river crossing and left him for dead up the last hill. Mark (40th 1.03.48) had a good run and really enjoyed it considering a slight set back recently with a dodgy knee which led to him missing out on the Exe to Axe run. Next to cross the finish line was Rob Dunford (53rd 1.06.13) who also judged his race nicely, picking up his pace from Naomi Garrick (54th 1.06.22) and then brushing past her through the Otter at the same spot where Mark had given best to Jess. Naomi running on and off this past year due to injury problems but it was good to see her back racing again. She also had support from her son Jake who was Sidmouth's only representative in the Junior race finishing in a respectable eighth place.John Perratt (71st 1.11.48) could have done with some water wings and found the first half to be harder than expected. Brian Gosling (94th 1.19.05) and Rachel Burrow (111th 1.30.14) both found the course extremely tough but put in plenty of effort and completed the Hippo with smiles on their faces. Brian's wife, Sheila, deserves a mention as she spectates at a lot of the races and this time was especially grateful to see Brian cross the finish line. Also in this race Sarah Watkins, who had to drop out due to illness, came along to cheer daughter Jess over the finish line. This was the first year of the Honiton Hippo and it is definitely one to put on the running calendar for next year.lThe first Sidmouth RC time trial of the season was followed by the AGM and presentation of awards. Chris Long, after three years, stood down as chairman and handed over the post to Di Puzey.Colin Flood takes over as secretary from Debbie Marriott. Brian Gosling became the first recipient of the ne "Runners' Runner of the Year" Trophy.