Sidmouth runners on the wild side

PUBLISHED: 10:00 12 June 2009 | UPDATED: 09:23 18 June 2010

There are probably worse things to do on a Saturday than spend six and a half hours running 32 miles on Dartmoor in torrential rain.

There are probably worse things to do on a Saturday than spend six and a half hours running 32 miles on Dartmoor in torrential rain with temperatures of 5 degrees Centigrade, but Jane Hemsworth really can't think of any. Hypothermia was creeping in on competitors taking part in the 32 mile Dartmoor Discovery last weekend and, as time wore on, the organisers were busy carrying lots of people off in nice warm cars. Flaming June it was not! Jane said: "Having said that, this is a really nice race to do when the weather is kind as it is very well organised, with plenty of marshals, drink stations (runners were even offered coffee at one of the water stops) and ambulances (only joking!) and finishers get a lovely glass trophy at the end. There are lots of interesting hills, of course, and it is recommended for anyone getting a bit bored with flat marathons. It helps if you're slightly mad too, of course."On Sunday the weather picked up again for a new race at the Wildlife Park at Cricket St Thomas. Unlike the Crewkerne '9' the week before just down the road, this was a multi-terrain event as opposed to pure road but the common theme was plenty of hills. The route through the park was as good as it gets but it was difficult to understand why the times were so slow - talking about the Sidmouth runners anyway. The hi-tech boys with their GPS equipment all said it was a fraction under the alleged 10km but our watches told a different story. We all have our own excuses but no one listens to them so best to simply reflect on how good it felt to be running in such a beautiful spot. Even so, a boring old flat race, preferably a lot under marathon distance, would be very welcome to some of us. Methinks I might have a go on the track next week!

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