Sidmouth Running Club quartet complete challenging Haytor Heller
- Credit: Archant
The Haytor Heller was run on the third Saturday of July, writes Hamish Spence.
In this scorching weather the four Sidmouth runners taking on the event were pleased to be met by some clouds on Dartmoor and a gentle breeze for the 5.30pm start.
Debbie Marriot, Don Cawthera, Jo Earlam and Helen Palmer all met up at the car park by Haytor rocks where the race starts from and peered up at the steep start. Debbie and Don had not run this race before, but were assured by Helen and Jo that it was a beautiful scenic route if not exactly easy.
The race starts approximately halfway up Haytor and although participants start at a steady pace, walking quickly becomes the best strategy.
On reaching Haytor rocks the runners then follow an old railway route to descend eventually into a rocky valley.
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Don and Debbie set off at a good pace, Helen followed but was quickly overtaken by Jo, who maintains a marathon fitness all year round.
Over a stone bridge another steep climb lay ahead and eventually runners came to Hound Tor where there was some welcome water. A trail along a ridge became more jungle conditions as the ferns were clearly benefitting from the sun and machettes may have helped. A very welcome river crossing was reached with the words ‘mind the ravine’. This turned out to be huge bolders and a scramble was needed to climb up. And up everyone went again to revisit Haytor.
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The route down though followed a path by the road and a long downhill stretch was welcomed by all runners.
It was superbly organised by Teinbridge Trotters and the encouraging marshalls were much appreciated. Jo Earlam, who was pleased to get inside the nine minute mile pace with it being a rather short/fast pace for her and she later learned that she had come second in her age category and has a trophy and bottle of wine on its way. Debbie instead enjoyed the cake on offer and declared this race was her new favourite!
Sidmouth times (the race was won in 41 minutes), Jo Earlam, 1:12:53; Don Cawthera, 1:16:33; Debbie Marriot, 1:16:40 and Helen Palmer, 1:20:03.