Sidmouth runners rise to the challenge of the 2016 Grizzly

Helen Palmer and the JP ribbon

Helen Palmer and the JP ribbon - Credit: Archant

The Grizzly, what can you say about this 20-mile multi terrain race, writes Terry Bewes.

Sidmouth runners at the Grizzly

Sidmouth runners at the Grizzly - Credit: Archant

Renowned as one of the toughest going, that take in shingle beaches three times, river runs twice, hills many, muddy woodland trails, no make that very wet and muddy, flint paths, fields, and not forgetting the two bogs and the famous Stairway to Heaven.

A race that sold out 2000 places in a matters of hours back in September and is greatly oversubscribed, attracts runners from all over Europe.

Well, what you can say about is done with one single word - fantastic!

Fantastic organisation by Axe Valley Runners, start by the Town Cryer, route, views, marshals, supporters all around the course, entertainers, water and food stations, competitors and the fantastic 21 Sidmouth Running Club members resplendent in their Mighty Green Club shirts who took on the challenge.


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Of the 1408 that started the main race 1402 finished, with the Club having 5 runners in the top 500. Danny Painter 142nd in 3:02:19, Joe Kent 259 in 3:18:08, Mark Welland 274 in 3:20:17, Naomi Garrick 325 in 3:25:16, Kerry Boyle 472 in 3:25:16. Sue Baily was next in 3:49:47

Mother and Daughter duo Lynda and Kaylee Hawkins challenged each other around the course finishing in a very respectable time of 4:08:21 closely followed by father and daughter David and Abbi Lee in 4:19:54.

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Abbi had entered her father into this and he was not going to be shown up by her so he had been putting in many hours of hard training which had paid of not only in the time but by dragging her home over the last few miles.

The Rusty Runners, Helen Palmer, Cathy Keast, Moncia Read, Terry Bewes and new recruit Katie Kent set out to beat last years’ time of five hours and 12 seconds and smash it in a time of 4:37:55.

The final runner was David Wright in 4:46:28 and when you take consider that his longest run before was 13 miles that was an excellent achievement.

Rocker Sheppard took the ambulance to the finish when an injury got the better of him at Seaton Hole.

We had four runners in the Cub Run Suzi Rockey 1:48:55, Sarah Burston 2:08:43, Mark Burston 2:08:43, Rebecca Colwill 2:13:03.

A feature of this race is the tree of remembrance and Helen Palmer tied the memorial ribbon she had made out of club Colours on behalf of the whole club in memory of John Parrett.

A fitting tribute and his fabulous commentary was missed by all.

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