Sidmouth Running Club relay team bag bronze at Erme Valley relay meeting

Simdouth runners Justin Ashby, Jason Drew and Mateuzs Szala at the Erme Valley Relay meeting

Simdouth runners Justin Ashby, Jason Drew and Mateuzs Szala at the Erme Valley Relay meeting - Credit: Archant

Sidmouth RC sent the A Team down to Ivybridge on Friday night to take part in the Erme Valley Relays, writes Terry Bewes.

Established in 2003, this event has become a ‘must do’ race for the region’s premier running clubs. This year a record 127 teams entered from across Devon and East Cornwall.

Based at Ivybridge Rugby Club, the 2.5-mile route takes you along Devon lanes and including two grim climbs – ‘short and nasty’ is how we would describe the course.

Young whippet Jason Drew kicked things off for Sidmouth and it was no surprise to see him arrive back at base in the top three positions. Next off was old man of the team, Justin Ashby. Justin prefers the longer distances, but he managed to keep the team in fourth place with a strong run. Mat Szala flew out of the blocks and his superb run moved the team back into third place.

In the car on the way down we agreed Jason would also take the anchor leg (well, actually, Mat and Justin begged him to do so) and to his great credit he ran only marginally slower than his first leg to keep us in third place ahead of Plymouth Harriers, no less.

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This was Sidmouth’s best ever position in the event. The team’s combined time of 53:58 seconds was phenomenal for what is effectively a hilly 10-mile road race, and just over a minute behind first-placed place Exmouth Harriers.

Full marks to Jason, who put in the third fastest leg of the night – out of 508 runners!

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Jason is quickly becoming one of the region’s top runners. Top marks also to Mat Szala who did the event as a warm-up for his half-ironman two days later!

Many thanks must be recorded to Erme Valley Harriers for hosting another great event.

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