Running at a Trotter and a Kanter

Sidmouth Running Club memberswere treated to perfect conditions at the local Talaton Trotter race, an undulating mostly off road course, writes John Keast.

Last Saturday runners were treated to perfect conditions at the local Talaton Trotter race, an undulating mostly off road course. This is an increasingly popular race organised by Robin Carter with support from fellow villagers and land owners who generously allow access to private land. Runners were treated to a refreshing shower of rain just after the start, much to the relief of shepherd Graham Hill who had been working hard to hang onto the heels of the experienced Axe Valley Runner Garry Perratt. Garry was first home from a field of 112 runners and a minute ahead of Graham, who did well to finish second, as his only training for the past few months has been chasing sheep and lambs around the farm. First lady home and a local runner who competes for Devon Fire and Rescue was Janet Wilson, who was an impressive 13th overall. John Perratt (17th) had a storming run, normally finding muddy undulating courses don't suit his short little legs, but has discovered a diet of three Weetabix for breakfast prevents his feet from sticking in the mud. Ian Robson (36th), who is fiercely competitive and, with known pedigree in the cycling fraternity, is showing week on week improvement with his running, however he paid the price for starting too fast and for trying to match the pace of Mark Keast (25th) and George Chalstrey (27th). To rub salt into Ian's wounds, George ran a relaxed race, leaving himself plenty of energy for the Killerton Kanter later in the day - he finished that race an impressive 51st. Nigel DeSousa (44th), Bill Valentine (47th) and Colin Flood (50th) also enjoyed a relaxing run, sheltering from the rain and enjoying the sun when it shone. Nicole Madely (53rd) had a great run and was the first Sidmouth Running Club lady home. Just five minutes behind her was Becky Robson (74th) who is reaping the benefit of more speed work now that she is not focusing on marathon running. Emma Craigie was just one place behind her whilst Rachel Burrow picked up the 84th spot. Also improving with age is the forever young Brian Gosling (78th), who also seems to be getting faster and faster. Shaun Tipton (92nd), Diane Collett (100=), Miranda Hansford (100=) and Ruth Chesters (105th) all finished looking very strong and as though they could have gone around again for another seven-mile lap, having very much enjoyed the whole experience. It is a great course, demanding without being too hard or too long, set in some beautiful countryside. Runners were treated to energy replenishment at the finish in the form of cake kindly provided by Millstone Bakery of Ottery St Mary. Bev Tarry, like George Chalstrey, did the 'double', she ran as the back marker in the Talaton race and finished 119th at Killerton. Jenny Reay, who wisely just stuck to the single race had a good result at Killerton finishing 44th. Jane Hemsworth and Andy Shearer opted instead for the 32 mile Dartmoor Discovery. This is a very hilly run where even the elite runners walk up the hills, and the downhills play havoc with your quads, but some say that the fantastic scenery makes it all worthwhile. As usual on the Moor the weather was ever changing. There was scorching sunshine to start followed by rain, hail and thunder, finishing with sunshine again. Not sure how Andy coped as the results are not out yet but Jane decided to run at a conservative pace, the object being to finish the race and in that way she managed to overtake a few seasoned runners at about the 25 mile mark - the trusted hare and tortoise technique. The race is not so much a marathon with a 10k tacked on the end but more like a marathon and a half. She finished in 6hr 12mins. Not bad considering all the chocolate stops en route, dished out by kind friends and family. This coming Wednesday sees the third of the Handicap Runs and so we meet up at Muttersmoor Car Park at 6.45pm followed by the popular 'Guess Your Time' run next Saturday (June 21). That's at the Blue Ball Car Park at 2.30pm and all are welcome for a very gentle fun event. For further details go to

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