Sidmouth trio run Parks Marathon in London

PUBLISHED: 11:12 16 October 2011

There were three Sidmouth runners amongst the twelve thousand on the start line for last Sunday's Royal Parks Half Marathon, run through the streets of London, writes Lesley Roberts.

More than twelve thousand runners came from across the UK and 30 countries around the world to race through the streets of London last Sunday in the hugely popular Royal Parks Half Marathon and three of them, Lesley Roberts, Becky Robson and Sarah Watkins, travelled up from Sidmouth to take part.

Starting and finishing in Hyde Park, the scenic 13.1 mile route takes you through four of London’s beautiful Royal Parks (Hyde Park, Kensington Gardens, Green Park and St James’s) and past some of the capital’s most iconic landmarks including Buckingham Palace, The Houses of Parliament, The London Eye and The Royal Albert Hall. Trying to relax and carbo load on the Saturday is easier said than done, when you visit London and I was most upset to find out that Becky and Sarah had found Jimmy Choo, whilst I found Hamleys and a Headache!

Race day in full autumnal splendour had a great atmosphere and feel-good factor for everyone involved. All three of us were up bright and early and raring to go as we met up before the race. Becky who was harbouring an injury ran extremely well up to mile 10 where unfortunately the injury took over and after working so hard to be on target for her sub 1.50 time it was shattering to have to ease off because of the pain. I had the benefit of family support approaching halfway and definitely had a blast of energy hearing my little boys shouting “Come on, Mum!”. My only problem was jostling with other runners in some of the narrow sections. Sarah in complete contrast cruised through the race, enjoying the scenery and loving every minute of it. She finished, as she always does, full of smiles.

The three of us really enjoyed the event. It is one of my favourites - flat and on-road. Heading back to the Countryside, we waved London goodbye, but would remember our visit for a long time.

Milan Goc on the same day travelled to Bideford for a 10 miler along the Tarka Trail and came away with 4th place overall. More modestly a group of us went to Cotleigh for the inaugural Cotleigh Canters put on by the Honiton Club. There were 3 races all going on at once over 3, 5 and finally 10 km along the country lanes around the village hall. The races were well supported and we came away with a lot of the honours. Flurry Grierson won the 3k, his brother, Grey, and Lucy Owen came first and second in the 5 whilst Laurence Bolam was second in the 10k followed by a host of also-rans from the Club.

Times: (Parks Half Marathon) Lesley Roberts 1:42; Becky Robson 1:54; Sarah Watkins 1:57; (Bideford 10 mile) Milan Goc 1.00.35; (Cotleigh 10k) Laurence Bolam 35.56; Aaron Smith 45.04; John Perratt 48.24; Colin Flood 48.36; David Palmer 49.44; Deborah Scott 54.54; Sarah Brown 55.21; John Doherty 56.11; Rachel Burrow 60.22; Louise Brown 61.28; (5k) Grey Grierson 19.43; Lucy Owen 20.01; and (3k) Flurry Grierson 13.20

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