Running club members ‘knocking out the distance runs’

Anthony Hall during the J'Ps Exe to Axe Run meeting.

Anthony Hall during the J'Ps Exe to Axe Run meeting. - Credit: Archant

Sidmouth Running Club (SRC) members have been knocking out the distance runs over the last couple of weeks with more on the cards this weekend, writes Monica Reed.

Sidmouth Running Club member David Chipping after the Taunton Marathon

Sidmouth Running Club member David Chipping after the Taunton Marathon - Credit: Archant

With the big club event of the year, JP’s Exe to Axe, attracting over 200 runners, this ‘brute of a race’ is one of the toughest and most picturesque running challenges of the year.

Starting in Exmouth, runners followed the South West coastpath eastward for 22 miles, taking in Budleigh, Sidmouth, Branscombe and Beer before finally arriving at the River Axe in Seaton.

As well as being able to take in spectacular scenery, runners tackled 4,000ft of ascent with numerous climbs as the trail switched backed down to sea level and then up again along clifftop tracks, through fields and woodland.

The overall winner, Brennan Townshend from Climb SouthWest, left race organisers speechless by predicting he would complete the challenge in two hours and 45 minutes, and he did just that, bettering his forecasted time by five seconds.

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It is very rare for runners to predict times so accurately, especially with terrain so challenging. From SRC were Jessica Raynor (3:4:21) Mark Soutar (3:53:09) Polly Walton (4:37:23) Kaylee and Lynda Hawkins (4:45:30) Jess Trim (4:50:24) and in relay Anthony Hall and Justin Ashby (3:01:48) and Sidmouth Strollers (4:59:02).

Race organiser Paul Mitchell paid tribute to all the volunteers who helped make the event a success. He said: “Well done – today we had runners from as far afield as Scotland and the Isles of Scilly. You did us proud.”

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Meanwhile, Charlotte and Jim Forrer took part in the Paris Marathon and ran together for most of the race, enjoying sights, crowds, food stops and water fountains (oh yes and the running!).

At mile 22, Jim decided to push on and came in at 3:58 with Charlotte hot on his heels at 4:04.

“‘I enjoyed myself so much,” said Charlotte, who continued: “I kept high-fiving the spectators. It was a brilliant trip, highly recommended.”

Closer to home, David Chipping ticked off his first marathon, the ‘local and cheap’ Taunton marathon. This run, which is a two-lap mainly rural course, gave David a very pleasing 3:49 time.

Wet conditions meant that the aptly named ‘Honiton Hippo’, which took place last Sunday, was more than usually muddy. Six runners from Sidmouth enjoyed this popular seven-mile race organised by Honiton RC, including Mark Soutar (1:00) Debbie Marriott and Don Cawthera (1:26), Jemma Wiltshire and Ruth Ray (1:36) and Rob Edwards who didn’t record a time. Mark Souter said after the race: “‘Hippo mud is extra deep!’.

With the London Marathon finally upon us, several members, including Kerry Boyle, Clare Ashby, Antony Hall and Nigel Maeer, are at the end of many months of training and in peak condition for the big race. Just to make it extra challenging forecasters are predicting the hottest London Marathon on record. Good luck to all runners!

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