Mud, floods and fun at Tipton Rail and River 10k

Sixteen brave, dedicated and mud-loving runners from Sidmouth entered the Otter Rail and River Run in Tipton St John. After a week of flooding and heavy rain, it was encouraging to see 117 runners, plus a large number of juniors braving the elements to compete, writes Sarah Brown.

With the junior race kicking off first, a number from Sidmouth completed the 1.5km course and arrived back at the pavilions covered in mud and very wet, giving us a warning as to what to expect!

The 10km course starts at the playing fields in Tipton and then immediately goes off-road, through fields and on tracks before picking up the old railway line and going through the woods. The ground was muddy and hard, and only the runners at the very front dared to race. This, as ever, included two Sidmouth runners – Lawrence Bolam who finished 4th in a time of 37.54 and Milan Goc in 41.32. Sidmouth ladies also produced a good showing, with Naomi Garrick and Di Puzey completing the course in around 47 minutes.

Colin Flood and Iain Burns raced all the way to the finish line, with Iain finishing 15 seconds before Colin in a time of 52.23.

Not far behind, Sidmouth veteran, treasurer and all round organiser John Perratt finished strongly, as did Tess Stone and Richard Hedger.

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Returning from injury, Sarah Brown had a comfortable run just within the hour, accompanied closely by Polly Burns, Helen Palmer and Terry Bewes, although this group definitely walked through the puddles rather than running through them as many others did.

Lynda Hawkins, also struggling with an injury, ran for the first time with her daughter Kaylee, and on a tough course in bad conditions, were pleased to finish, as was Sue Cunningham who rounded off a very strong Sidmouth performance.

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Weather aside, the run was a lovely route, and despite encountering mud, tree roots, horses, a badly parked van and lake-like puddles, runners were all pleased to finish the run and be rewarded with a jar of honey for their efforts.

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