Sidmouth runner Bill Valentine completes the Dartmouth Regatta road race - 44 years after he first ran it.

Bill Valentine, a second claim Sidmouth Running Club member, completes the 2017 Dartmouth Regatta ro

Bill Valentine, a second claim Sidmouth Running Club member, completes the 2017 Dartmouth Regatta road race. - Credit: Archant

Sidmouth’s Bill Valentine was in road race action at the weekend as he competed in the Dartmouth Regatta five mile meeting.

Bill, now just a couple of years shy of a 70th birthday, ran in the very first such Dartmouth event and, in the 1970’s recalls a ‘best placed finish’ of third in a time that was actually faster than the winning time of the 2017 race!

This time, at the 44th running of the race, Bill was last over the finishing line.

He said: “It was a close thing as I was in a ‘race within a race’ with a young lady and a grand old runner of some 80-years, to try and avoid the last spot, but the pair edged me out and so I crossed the line last.”

Bill is a big advocate of running and assists at two sessions each week with the year seven students at Sidmouth College.

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He says: “They are a smashing bunch of folk at the college and I know there’s a real desire to get a running team together and so, for my part, I go along and help in the hope that I might be able to offer some sort of inspiration to the youngsters and get more to take up the sport which I love with a passion.”

He continued: “Age needs to be no sort of barrier in terms of running and if I can generate interest in the sport amongst the youngsters, then that’s what I will do.”

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So, when is Bill next in action at a run? That’s something he answered with a single one-liner saying: “When I have completed a full recovery from the Dartmouth run.”

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