Sidmouth runners perform well in testing conditions

PUBLISHED: 13:17 26 January 2009 | UPDATED: 12:21 17 June 2010

The second East Devon Juniors Cross Country race took place on Saturday at Morganhayes Woodland, near Colyton.

The second East Devon Juniors Cross Country race took place on Saturday at Morganhayes Woodland, near Colyton. The weather from the preceding three days had made the course significantly wetter, muddier, and subsequently tougher for the juniors' competition between Sidmouth, Axe Valley and Honiton running clubs.

Morganhayes is an attractive area of woodland, much used and enjoyed by local dog walkers. The forest rides and tracks are notoriously muddy and the courses chosen by Garry Perratt for the races on Saturday were in keeping, on a somewhat smaller scale, with his routes for the Grizzly!

All Sidmouth runners performed well in testing conditions. In the Under-10s' race, Sam Tipton showed his current good form by finishing second, with Jacob Madeley not far behind in third. In the girls' race, Georgina Eaton was first across the line.

The Under-13s' race was highly competitive, but was won in fine style by Nick Smith who timed overtaking the lead runner on the steep slope through the Western Hemlock with good judgment.

Finlay Stone and Angus Eaton finished fifth and sixth respectively, both showing good strength in the last 800m. In the girls' race, Alice Bell and Kate Welsford both showed determination to get through the muddier parts of the course.

But the King of the Hill must go to Stephen Moss for making the steep ascent through the wood look easy. Stephen powered away from his nearest challenger in the Under-15s race, on the hill, and never looked back to finish first, well clear in the finishing straight.

The next race in the series takes place on March 14. If you would like to know more about the juniors' section of Sidmouth Running Club, then give Malcolm Bayer a ring on (01404) 812186.

On the following day, 500 runners turned out for the First Chance 10k in Exeter but unfortunately Sidmouth was only represented by half a dozen runners, the rest seemingly missing out on the very early cut-off date for entries.

The race traditionally is run over the closest Sunday to New Year but for obscure reasons was late this year and, because of this, lost a lot of its festive atmosphere.

The course is in theory a quick one but, perhaps because of a strong head wind coming back along the canal, times generally were a bit disappointing.

This did not, however, bother Andy Concannon who turned in a very good PB of 52.08.

Jess Watkins ran quite casually, keeping a couple of elderly gentlemen company for the first km or so and then sped off to finish in 42.41.

Her mum, Sarah, crossed the finish line holding hands with Becky Robson. This we think is a new technique designed to stop anyone overtaking you on the line.

John Perratt (44.59) and Mark Keast (45.08) could have done with some help in that area, although Mark did have the decency to allow his colleague to pass him unmolested as they approached the finish.

By Malcolm Bayer

Sidmouth Running Club

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