Sidmouth Running Club members out in force for the 2019 Grizzly
- Credit: Archant
Organised by Axe Valley Runners, this year’s version of the Grizzly (2019) was given the title of ‘The Trails of the Unexpected’, writes Hamish Spence.
This is a tough 19(ish)-mile, cross-country all-terrain race with hills, mud and two bogs!
There are streams and sea water to wade through, pebble beaches to run along and the killer Stairway to Heaven to climb. With over 3,000ft of elevation gain to get around the course, it is not for the faint-hearted.
So, on the blowy, but sunny second Sunday of March, there were 43 Mighty Greens amongst the 2,000 plus runners on the 2019 Grizzly start line, all of whom were very excited and dead keen to get going on with hundreds of spectators looking on. The loud chatter came to a sudden stop when the Seaton Town Crier loudly rang his bell to address all in attendance.
He gave encouragement to all participants, raising their spirits with some light hearted banter.
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He also announced that this would be his last Grizzly duty… and so The Trails of the Unexpected began.
In the full Grizzly was Jessica Raynor, who was doing very well until around the 16th mile when bad cramp set in! She tried walking, but this made it worse! However, not wishing to stop, she gritted her teeth and continued at a slower running pace for the last push home.
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Danny Painter took off from the start and never held back. He even managed a new personal best from Branscombe Mouth all the way up the 168ft of Stairway To Heaven in a time of 13:54.
Sue Coleman survived the icy stumble through the bog and retained her composure and an average pace of 11.19 minutes-per-mile over the whole route with a superbly fast 7.31 minutes-per-mile sprint over the finish line.
She ran with Charlotte Forrer, Jim Forrer and non-MG Andy Rosewarm.
Meanwhile, knocking around 13 minutes from his last time at the Grizzly was Ross Walton.
Ross did a 10-mile training session the day before this race as he is preparing for a ‘back to back’ long run weekend in the East Devon Round.
Martin Trueman puts his successful Grizzly run down to his pre-race prep…a banana and Latte at Le Pisani, while soaking up the warm morning sunshine.
I think it’s more likely that what got him through his run was the refuelling of jelly babies and beer sampling for pain-relief – either way, I think he had it sussed.
He also thanks the fantastic Marshall that found his phone and took the time and effort to reunite him with it at the finish line.
This was Sam Ingram’s first Grizzly run and he was using it as a training run in preparation for the forthcoming London Marathon.
He took it easy and really enjoyed the camaraderie amongst both competitors and marshals.
Naomi Garrick, having checked the day’s weather report, made a wise decision on her attire, opting for proper running kit instead of the fancy dress option.
This was by far the toughest run to date for Els Laureys, who said she loved the atmosphere created by runners, marshals and the spectators.
She also enjoyed the scenery, the flapjacks and the well-stocked jelly baby watering stations.
Sarah Watkins ran with Terry Bewes for the first half saying that ‘she was making sure he didn’t do himself in, as she was not quite ready to take over as chairperson’!
However, at the halfway point Sarah took off and left Terry in the capable care of Helen Palmer. As it turned out, it was Terry who did the saving of the day. When the pair were running through the second bog, Helen got her foot stuck in a tree root.
She then got severe cramp in her calf while in the ice cold water and was only stopped from falling head first into the bog by the ‘Mighty Green King’ Terry. In the Cub Run, Ben Chesters, who had decided to limit himself to this race due to oncoming orienteering events, set out to run at a constant effort pace.
He stopped once at the memorial to remember lost family and friends.
His effort pace worked very well for him as he took first place over the line.
Colin L’Anson was impressed by the news being given to him by the marshals, who kept him informed of who was in the lead, even their encouragement to run fast and catch him up was helpful.
Steve and his son Jack Saunders ran most of the way together.
Steve was very pleased to have knocked 10 minutes from his previous time.
This was the second Cub for Kat Hall, and, although she found the Stairway to Heaven tougher this time, she also managed to make better time than the previous attempt by 20 minutes.
Results (finishing places and times) from the Grizzly: Mark Souter, first MG, finishing 107th in 2:57:09; Jessica Raynor,177th, 3:08:24; Danny Painter, 203rd, 3:12:10; David Chipping, 255th, 3:18:29; Nick Dicks, 430th, 3:32:10; Nicola Dowsing, 510th, 3:40:09; Sue Coleman, 513th, 3:40:15; .Jessica Trim, 569th, 3:44:43; Sophie Trim, 570th,3:44:45; John Keast 578th, 3:45:27; Mark Welland, 583rd, 3:45:50; Charlotte Forrer, 590th and Jim Forrer 591st, both 3:46:06; Martin Trueman, 600th, 3:46:46; Simon Stokes, 628th, 3:48:35; Greg Ward, 659th, 3:50:58; Sam Ingram, 672nd, 3:52:09; Claire Ashby, 818th, 4:03:12; Simon Hollyer, 860th, 4:06:41; Naomi Garrick, 861st, 4:06:41; Kaylee Hawkins, 1,009th and Lynda Hawkins, 1,010th, both 4:20:28; Graham Sheppard, 1,235th, in 4:41:41; Els Laureys, 1,267th in 4:45:05, Sarah Watkins 1,332nd, 4:51:15; Terry Bewes, 1,505th, 5:23:06; Helen Palmer, 1,506th,5:23:07, John Sharples, 1,565th, 5:37:53.
Results from the Cub Run: overall winner - Ben Chesters, first SRC, 1:10:20; Colin L’Anson, 54th, 1:30:18; Jack Saunders, 62nd, 1:31:47; Steve Saunders, 182nd, 1:47:57; Renata Mihalik, 183rd, 1:47:59; Jon Russel, 247th, 1:55:06; Jemma Wiltshire, 285th, 1:59:50; Katherine Hall, 287th, 2:00:02; Richard King, 313th, 2:02:35; Paula Farrand, 345th, 2:05:13; Monica Read, 348th, 2:05:44; Cathy Kelly, 381st, 2:09:55; Bert Dykema, 397th, 2:11:29; Bethany Wells, 518th, 2:25:17. There were 590 runners.
The results shown are as they stood on March 12, 2019, www.chiptimingresults.co.uk