Sidmouth runners battle hills and tracks

Exeter Quay hosted the 12th annual Michelmores 5k charity run. Whilst primarily a run completed by local businesses and teams of entrants, the lure of the finish at the pub, the jazz band and the refreshments meant that Sidmouth Running Club also had three entrants as individuals, writes Sarah Brown.

On a narrow course with close to 650 runners, gaining a quick time must be difficult, but all three had very respectable times. Lucy Owen was first SRC runner home, which in a very quick time of 18:47 was enough to win the award for the third lady. John Perratt was next with a strong performance finishing in 22:05, and Bill Valentine was the third representative finishing within half an hour in 28:44.

On Sunday, following a week of rain and storms, only one Sidmouth runner braved the elements and guaranteed mud to compete in ‘Over the Hill and Farway 10k’. Aaron Smith decided he would give it a go, and was possibly regretting the decision 2km into the race, when runners are faced with Warren Hill - ‘a mountain that makes Peak Hill look like a mole hill’. Despite this, Aaron finished in second place, in a time of about 45 minutes, which hopefully made the hills and the pain worthwhile!

Whilst competitors in Farway were climbing ‘mountains’ and battling mud, one of Sidmouth’s’ veterans competed in a very different kind of race in Exeter, writes Chris Woodcock.

One hour track races are rarely run. To most seasoned distance runners the idea of running round 400 metre laps for 60 minutes is a challenge just a tad too far. Not so in Mick Allen’s case. The annual South West Veterans’ Championships held at Exeter Arena provided him with just the sort of race he relishes. His meticulous preparation saw him not only finish, covering a distance of 11,476m (over 28 laps) in far from ideal conditions, but win his M70 age category. He was actually the first man to finish overall – and mention should be made of Angie Sadler who won the event outright but is actually young enough to be Mick’s daughter!

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Aspiring local veteran athletes might consider this event and start preparing for next year – but be warned – Mick intends to defend his title and will be a very hard man to beat. However ‘If you can fill the unforgiving hour with three thousand six hundred seconds' worth of distance run’ (apologies to Kipling fans) then you might just stand a chance.

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