Sidmouth runners enjoyed Bampton race

Bampton is an interesting small town on the edge of Exmoor not far from the Somerset border.

Bampton is an interesting small town on the edge of Exmoor not far from the Somerset border. The recreation field proved to be an ideal setting for an evening 10k race and children's fun run in aid of the Exeter Leukaemia Fund. The town has a surprising range of local amenities as we discovered before the race, shops, pubs, restaurants, etc and has quite a history from its early Saxon origins, a Norman castle, a 12th century church, the wool and pony trade and the quarrying of local stone. The emphasis was on having a good family evening with various stalls, a barbecue, a bouncing slide for children. The 10k proved to be extremely popular with the maximum number of 250 runners being reached well before the start. The course was undulating with some flat sections and no really big hills. The defending champion, Pete Monaghan, won again in a time of 34.59 whilst Lee Russell had a good run and came in at 46.22 followed by Brian Gosling on 52:55. Mick Allen and Bev Tarry opted instead for the Ruby Run, an interesting point-to-point half marathon. It runs in alternate directions each year from Hatherleigh, a market town just north of Okehampton, along an undulating country road to Holsworthy, another market town not far from the Cornish border. You can either get a lift to the start from the finish or to the finish, from the start once you have determined which is which for the current year. It's enough to confuse anyone but it is pleasing to report that they both made the start line somehow and successfully ran to the finish although neither were sure exactly where they were at that moment. Official times are not yet available although Mick was happy to note that, according to his watch, he was only a minute or so slower than two years ago - a sure sign of growing old gracefully. Time Trials - The two fastest scratch times of the day were a family affair with Scott Hill taking the honours in the Short Course and his dad Graham in the Long. Scott's fine run shoots him into top place in the Short Course points standings.Alan Hemsworth has somehow sneaked his way into first place overall but Andy Concannon is hanging in there in second place although now tied with Iain Burns, who logged up another PB. John Makin also knocked off over a minute since last month leaving him just head of dark horse, Christine Nichols.There was a very good turnout of 48 in the long course and, in the short, runners made up in enthusiasm for what they lacked in numbers.

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