Sidmouth runners take on the H-Otter Rail River Run

PUBLISHED: 14:05 19 July 2018 | UPDATED: 14:05 19 July 2018

Jennifer Bently, Suzi Rocky and Paula Farrand at the Otter Rail River Run. Picture: Kit Woodcock.

Jennifer Bently, Suzi Rocky and Paula Farrand at the Otter Rail River Run. Picture: Kit Woodcock.


The 2018 Otter Rail and River Run, organised by Jo Earlam and the Tipton Playing Field Association, took place on Saturday, July 14, writes Hamish Spence.

The Mighty Green team at the Otter Rail River Run.The Mighty Green team at the Otter Rail River Run.

It was sponsored by Harrison-Lavers and Potbury, Michelmores Solicitors, Otter Brewery and The Good Pub Guide.

Being a very hot day with temperatures in the higher 20s, this year’s race has earned the nickname of the H-Otter Rail River Run. It made for a very challenging run, with hardened and very dusty tracks.

This race starts by circling the cricket pitch and heading towards the car park. The route then crosses the road and follows the path along the river heading downstream towards Newton Poppleford. It then crosses the river to Hartford and into Harpford Woods up to the old railway bridge and then up the steps and follows the old railway track back into Tipton. The route then heads to Sargent Mill over the bridge and heads off towards Fluxton, along a lane heading back towards Tipton, across a field and bridge to enter the top of the playing field and a sprint to the finish. It is an undulating off-road run with many of challenges.

In this year’s race, due to the extreme hot weather, a shortened route for those finding it too much has been introduced. Those who wished to were able to do a 7km route.

The Mighty Green team at the Otter Rail River Run.The Mighty Green team at the Otter Rail River Run.

There were 24 Sidmouth runners who took part in this event, with Sam Ingram, Hamish Spence (myself) and Nick Dicks battling it out at the front for the first part of the race. Finally, Nick took off just after the first water stop and Sam left me behind along the old railway line. With Sarah Clapham and Tim Swarbrick hot on my heals, I knew my pace would need to be maintained. Also, too close for comfort and not far behind, were Christine and Karen Farnham, who are very well matched. They spent the whole race fighting it out for supremacy and as usual, it’s always left to the last few yards for a high octane sprint to the finish line. David Miller and Shaun Tipton must have witnessed the twins as they both fought it out around this route.

The next group of battling Mighty Greens were Dave Wright, Colin Flood, Paula Farrand, Suzi Rocky and Jennifer Bentley. Not far behind and trying to close the gap were John Doherty, Micheal Ginsberg, Samantha Dicks and Jane Powell.

Toughing it out and sweeping up at the tail end with determination were Richard Hedger, Rachel Burrow, Sarah Ginsberg, David Skinner, Lara Millmow and Emma Grainger, all of whom showed us how to do a sprint finish.

The 1st Sidmouth runner back was Nick Dicks 49:48, 2nd, Sam Ingram 52:08, 3rd Hamish Spence with a time of 53:27, and then Sarah Clapham 54:28, Tim Swarbrick 55:20, Christine Farnham 56:46, Karen Farnham 56:48, David Millen 57:27, Shaun Tipton 58:49, Dave Wright 1:01:04, Colin Flood 1:01:32, Paula Farrand 1:03:43, Suzi Rockey 1:03:43, Jennifer Bentley 1:03:44, John Doherty 1:04:13, Michael Ginsberg 1:05:35, Samantha Dicks 1:05:27, Jane Powell 1:05:34, Richard Hedger 1:07:47,Rachel Burrow 1:10:46, Sarah Ginsberg 1:11:20, David Skinner 1:13:08, Lara Millmow 1:15:44, Emma Grainger 1:16:20.

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