Reindeer Run heralds start of Christmas season

Think of something that reminds you of the build up to Christmas and most folks would probably think of Advent calendars, Slade songs blaring out from shops, late night shopping, etc.

Everybody has something that triggers the festive spirit and the feeling that Christmas is near.

Jim Pyne - known in running circles as Big Jim - says that The Otterton Reindeer Run 10k and 3k fun run on Saturday, December 4, does it for him.

“What could be better than a gathering of festive bods dressed up in seasonal costumes and Santa hats with running shoes at the ready.”

For the serious runners there’s that challenge of the multi-terrain course with stunning views across the Otter Valley as runners climb to the top of Otterton Park before descending down to the river where festive Christmas songs greet them at the water station halfway mark.

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Then it’s time to head back along footpaths beside the River Otter towards the village where the crowds of runners and supporters all await to cheer them into the green where live music serenades them home.

He adds: “This, for me, is where Christmas all begins. Muddy, wet and feeling good, I head towards the village hall, the lobby is full of muddy wet trainers, there’s a mele� of reindeer antlers and mulled wine, mince pies and bacon baguettes, what more could I ask for to kick start Christmas!!”

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The run, started by Graham and Jill Hill to raise money for Otterton school when their children were pupils, has been taken on this year by Jim and his wife Jeanette (aka Mrs Baldrick).

The event is hugely popular and now, for many, it is the start of the festive season of good cheer.

Otterton C of England Primary School would like to thank all of the sponsors without them this amazing event wouldn't be able to take place: Bicton Botanical Gardens; Hayman's Butchers, Sidmouth; The King’s Arms, Otterton; Otterton Mill; Iron Bridge Runner, Exeter; Acanthus Press, Wellington; Paul ‘The Legend’ Bowler & Son Agricultural Engineers; Sidmouth Garden Centre; Kings Garden Centre, Exmouth; Budleigh Salterton wines Land Rover Experience South West; Peninsular onesource;

Helen & Lester Bowker Cotley Farm Shop;

Clinton Devon Estates - Claire James, George Perrott (Farm Manager of the Year 2008!); Local farmers - Mervin Hayman, Gordon Sage, David Tancock, Bill Carter, Martin Williams, Peter Wastenage, Robby Pyne and Tom Pyne;

Sidmouth Running Club - John Perratt, Bill Valentine and volunteers; Chris Woodcock for web support at; the small army of race marshalls ; Otterton Church; Otterton Village Hall committee.

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