Mighty Greens out Trig Point collecting and taking in sea views

Sidmouth Running Club member Simon Hollyer with his new 'running buddy'. Picture SRC

Sidmouth Running Club member Simon Hollyer with his new 'running buddy'. Picture SRC - Credit: Archant

With the 26Point2 Lockdown Challenge over, it is a case of what’s next for Sidmouth Running Club (SRC) members.

Sidmouth Running Club member Simon Hollyer with his new 'running buddy'. Picture SRC

Sidmouth Running Club member Simon Hollyer with his new 'running buddy'. Picture SRC - Credit: Archant

What would be next thing or idea to keep the running spark alive during the lockdown?

I wondered about personal goals or aims during these extraordinary times. With no races or events likely to be given the go ahead, now or in the near future to train up ready for and no real idea of when it will be safe to do so, it would be very easy to just stop any training schedules.

Indeed, many may well have stopped or are having a break from running at the moment.

It would be fair to say that a few of us or maybe a lot of us have lost our running ‘Mo-jo’ on more than one occasion sofa during lockdown.

Mighty Green 'King' Terry Bewes. Picture: SIDMOUTH RUNNING CLUB

Mighty Green 'King' Terry Bewes. Picture: SIDMOUTH RUNNING CLUB - Credit: Archant

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I, for one have suffered from the ‘I can’t be bothered to pull myself together’, on more than one occasion. The last time I told myself to buck up my ideas was getting sorted for the 26Point2 Lockdown Challenge, the brain child of Jo Earlam.

I now fall into the group of ‘had a break - and have got back to it’.

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Setting myself a big challenge with something to focus on gives me a reason to stay fit, both physically and mentally.

I have signed up to Just Giving, reset my original annual target mileage from the start of the year to something more realistic along the lines of running at least 700 miles by the new year.

So with this challenge in mind, longer routes will have to be returned too. However, Lockdown rules have for very good reasons, not made it easy to do, as jumping into the car to go running somewhere else other than your own neighbourhood was a great big ‘No No!’

The 26Point2 Lockdown Challenge was the wakeup call I needed, and my own challenge will be the on-going motivation to see me through the year.

A good idea when trying to keep the love for running alive is to avoid too much repetition and to plan a new route now and again.

With interesting countryside to transit through and a destination with something to enjoy on arrival, like a view across the Otter Valley or the view from Peak Hill.

Having an end purpose helps focus the mind and when you arrive at your destination, there’s a feeling of achievement.

Amelia Frankpitt posed a good question on FB to club members.

She asked: “I’d like to run to view the sea, but I’m just outside Ottery!”

She did not wish to break lockdown rules by taking the car from Ottery, she continued: 2So, what would be the best, mostly off-road route to get to the coast?”

For those of us that live further in land and don’t live in the town of Sidmouth, the distance to the coast is, for some, out of reach.

Many answers came flooding in and soon Amelia was on her way to view the sea for the first time in weeks and all done without the automobile.

She chose a bright, sunny and warm Spring day, headed up onto the East Hill Strips and onto Fire Beacon Hill.

A clear day with a fair distance covered across mostly country paths and bridleways.

The reward... a fantastic view of the sea and the bonus of a trig point in the bag; mission, for her, was well and truly accomplished.

Another good idea for aims and goals came from Danny Painter.

Danny has notched up nearly 60 trig points, most pre-lockdown.

His latest runs have been to revisit to several trig points in his own area.

Trig points often, (but not always), give a reward with a stunning view as Danny Painter will undoubtably agree.

With the idea of trig point bagging and Amelia’s run to view the sea, my own mind returned to setting myself to getting back into longer routes and ramping up the mileage.

A six-to-seven-mile solo run around the woodlands on East Hill to enjoy the views across the Otter Valley, the Bluebells and the noise of the birdsong in Mid-Spring would do for a start!

My first distance run for over two months was all of the above and more. It turned from a medium run into a long run of over 11 miles with a trig point in the bag and that fantastic view from Fire Beacon Hill. This has reminded me of why I love cross country trail running.

Recently, Paula Farrand and Daughter, Richard King, Rocker Shepperd have also been going on Trig hunting expeditions. Ann Cole, who was inspired by posts on FB by Terry, Alexa Baker, Rocker, Richard King and myself, took herself off up onto Buckton and Western Trig.

Two steady jogs up two steep climbs and all direct from home without jumping in the car.

Then another Mighty Green stepped into the light and took it all up to another level.

Simon Hollyer planned a massive distance challenge from his home, a challenge which would take him to all the trig points around Sidmouth, would take him on a route that would climb a total of 4,350 feet in elevation gain, covering a marathon and a bit distance of 26.77 miles with an average pace of 14:14 minute/miles in a not to a shabby overall time of 6:21:16.

Had he chosen not to stop for a selfie with the donkeys after a flying start then I’m sure his time keeping would’ve been a good 20 minutes faster.

His route took him through Harpford Woods, over Fire Beacon Hill to White Cross and down into Sidbury.

Then up onto Buckley Plantation and Buckton Hill.

He then joined part of the Sid Valley Ring and continued on to Weston Trig. Heading back on himself along the Jurassic Coastal Path to Salcombe Hill, he then continued through Sidmouth and up Peak Hill.

Not content with the number of hills already climbed and spying Higher Peak Hill beckoning him on he proceeded all the way up to that trig point as well. With another TP bagged he then navigated over Mutters Moor and down Back Lane, a stoney downhill track.

It was then a fairly level river run to Tipton St John and back home for a well-earned break.

An epic route to run, with fantastic views from so many points along the way.

If, like me, a marathon distance is just a bit too far for you, then Terry Bewes, the Mighty Green ‘King’, has just organised a Come Back To Running Course.

Over 30 SRC members have been inspired to commit to it and get back out there.

Terry felt Monday May 18 would be a good start date to motivate those that need motivation, to complete a three-mile route of their own choosing.

A route that would still have to obey current lockdown rules, but would inspire those who may have almost completely stopped running.

He was extremely pleased to see 23 recorded ‘Come Backers’ complete their first Runspiration routes.

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