Sidmouth RC hardy five tackle the testing ‘Battle of Woodbury Common’ meeting

The five Sidmouth Running Club Mighty Greens and Stig before setting off on to tackle 'The Battle of

The five Sidmouth Running Club Mighty Greens and Stig before setting off on to tackle 'The Battle of Woodbury'. Picture SIDMOUTH RUNNING CLUB - Credit: Archant

Hosted by Wild Night Events, and based at Bicton College, The Battle of Woodbury Common took place on the evening of the second day of March, writes Hamish Spence.

There were four races, a 1k for 3-7 -year-olds, a 2k for 8-11-year-olds, a 10k and a half marathon.

The sun was sinking below the horizon, on a cold, windy, damp evening, and, with ‘Storm Freya’ threatening to blow up at any moment, five hardy Mighty Greens got themselves prepared for what was to come!

Just as the participants were gathering to do battle, the darkness descended upon the Common!

At 7pm, the Half Marathon and 10k races were started from the helm of Uphams Plantation and Crook Plantation.

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The runners exited Bicton College along the back entrance and then skirted around the Castle Plantation.

The half marathon adds on a section through Colaton Raleigh Common towards Hawkerland, making this battle similar to the Bicton Blister.

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The route was hilly at the beginning, with very thick mud and some deep puddles in many places.

There was also a lot of ducking and diving to miss low hanging and storm damaged branches.

At the halfway point there was a very well-stocked water station with fruit and jelly babies, which helped the last leg of the race pass wonderfully.

Laura Broughton invited her friend Becky McDonald for an evening out… only telling her at the last minute that it was actually a 10k night run!

Laura, Becky and Terry Bewes all ran together.

Emma Vine was using the race as a warm-up for the London Marathon.

Martin Truman took Stig his dog with him and ran the half marathon canicross. Stig was rewarded with two warm pasties for his part.

Phil Welsford blinked at the wrong moment, missed a directional marker and ran extra distance totalling 15.6 miles!

A birchwood medal was given to all that completed, along with pasties and lots of cake at the finish line.

All in all, it was certainly a tough experience, but all that took part were left with a great sense of achievement at the end.

In terms of how they did – in the Half Marathon Martin Truman arrived back in a time of 2:16:14, with Emma Vine not far behind in 2:19:34 – that getting her second in age group.

Amazingly, Phil Welsford, who missed a directional marker, ran 15.6 miles and yet he still arrived back in the splendid time of 2:19:34.

In the 10k, Laura Broughton and Becky came back in 1:19:30 and Terry Bewes finished second in his age group with his time being 1:19:39.

? The 2019 running of the JP’s Exe to Axe A grade B Fell Race is now less than a month away.

This gruelling event takes the runners along part of the scenic Jurassic Coastal pathway. Being an area of outstanding national beauty (AONB) with unique views of the East Devon coast line, it goes without saying that there are an abundance of steep ascents and descents.

This event is organised by Sidmouth Running Club under UK Athletic Rules and the auspices of the Fell Runners Association.

Starting at the Foxes Hole car park at Exmouth and following the acorn signs all the way to the Esplanade in Seaton, with time limits to get to Budleigh Salterton, Sidmouth, Branscombe onto the finish line in Seaton, all in just six hours, it is a tough challenge. So, do you think you have what it takes?

Check in to and enter this fantastic race.

? The final Wednesday evening of February saw the latest Sidmouth Running Club beginners’ group take on the three-mile challenge.

Karen and Mollie Williams, Ann Cole, Mandy and Alex Turner, Charlie Sinclair, Natalie Bentall, Viv Barrett, Nikki Gosney were wished well by other members of SRC before setting off. They were led by Terry Bewes into and through the darkness of The Byes, then into and around parts of Sidmouth town centre.

All got round and so another group of beginners have completed the ‘Three Mile Challenge’.

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