Sidmouth runner finds ‘what a difference a day makes, 24 little hours’

Katie Kent during the Coastal Marathon

Katie Kent during the Coastal Marathon - Credit: Archant

As the song goes ‘what a difference a day makes, 24 little hours’, writes Terry Bewes.

Joe Kent at the finish of the Coastal Marathon

Joe Kent at the finish of the Coastal Marathon - Credit: Archant

Saturday morning dawned sunny and bright and Katie and Joe Kent, along with Danny Painter all Sidmouth Running Club members prepared for another marathon.

Following all of the razzmatazz of the London marathon the week before this one is on a more modest scale.

The Salcombe Coastal Marathon is more of an event than a race as it is a minimum of 26.2 miles, but may be longer due to diversions resulting from landslides and with over 4,500 feet of ascent considerably tougher than London.

The event starts at Torcross and finishes at Bantham passing through Salcombe, with a ferry across the river and along some of South Devon’s most beautiful coastline.


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You have the choice of either a full or half marathon and while some took it seriously others set out to enjoy the day, scenery and the various refreshment outlets along the way. In the marathon Danny took the serious option finishing fifth in 4:17:00.

He was not feeling so good and the mile uphill walk from the finish to the car park finished him off. Joe also took the more serious option but with various stops on the way to re-fuel finished the 26 plus miles in 5:45:00.

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Katie chose the half marathon running 14 miles with her friend Anna Russell and their two dogs Crunchie and Obi finishing fifth overall in 3:15:00.

It was an amazing day blessed by glorious weather, fantastic views, great company and temperatures between 12 and 15 degrees.

And then Sunday dawned, cold, wet, windy and miserable for Helen Palmer to lead an 18-mile training run through the Otter valley. This run was for the ladies taking part in the upcoming Women Can Marathon at the end of May.

Six runners turned up to run from Newton Poppleford following the river down to Budleigh Salterton then back up to Tipton St John and finally back to the start. In the wet and slippery conditions and with tiredness playing its part in not picking up her feet Helen had a nasty fall leaving her bruised and grazed.

Hopefully this will act as a warning to the ladies taking on this marathon who are not used to off-road running.

It may be early in the year but entries are already coming in for the Wooden Spoon award the latest being from Rob Edwards. Rob who was running with the Friday group on Woodbury Common stopped for a comfort break. Emerging from behind a tree the rest of the group had disappeared. Not knowing where he was he eventually came across a couple of mountain bikers and asked for directions; unfortunately the little rascals sent him to the wrong car park, however after listening to his tale of woe a good Samaritan gave him a lift back to where he started 15 minutes ahead of the rest. By this time he was freezing as all his clothes were locked in one of the cars.

However, he was in luck as Polly Walton and Els Laureys had run up to the Common from Sidmouth as part of their training for the Women Can Marathon and Polly taking pity on him agreed to run back to Sidmouth with him to warm him up. All’s well that ends well?

Well not quite, as over the bank holiday Polly was down in Cornwall keeping up her training with a run along the coastal path when she stumbled and hurt her ankle which has put her on crutches and out of the marathon. Running can be cruel.

As for Rob he has set himself a challenge of trying to run a 5k at the same pace he ran a marathon 24 years ago (3:13:30).

He has joined the Exeter 5k series to achieve this and on his latest outing was pleased he was not last and finished in 23:20 but still needs to find another eight seconds a mile. Success is on the horizon.

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