Sidmouth’s master runners take on challenge

The British Masters Athletics Federation held their 10k Championships in Exmouth last Sunday- the title ‘Masters’ seems a bit daunting but is simply an Americanism referring to anyone over the age of 35, writes Lesley Roberts.

Organised by the South West Veterans’ Athletics Club, it attracted a field of over 250 from far and wide over a fast course on the hottest day of the year.

Starting near the pavilion on the Esplanade, Colin Flood got the race under way to the sound of his vuvuzela and runners were off chasing after Ian Robson on the lead bike. He said afterwards that he had turned round to see where the first runner was, only to find him practically running parallel with his back wheel, proving that it was going to be a fast race.

The quality of the field brought out the best in the Sidmouth runners.

The Ladies 35-44 team of Naomi Garrick, Lesley Roberts and Katy Cartwright took home bronze medals and an age group record of 42.58 for Naomi. The over-45s took first place against illustrious opponents. Lucy Owen led the way with a club age group record time of 41.53 and she was supported by Jane Beech and Pam White. Lucy also took home an individual bronze medal for third place in her age category and Pam, who is normally a marathon only runner, grabbed an individual Silver in the Ladies’ 55 category in a record time of 45.09

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The race was won by Andy Morgan-Lee, 40, of the Thames Hare and Hounds Club in 32.34. The first Sidmouth runner home was Justin Ashby in 37.32 giving him sixth place in his category and John Keast, back on the road after his recent disastrous escapade on his bicycle, finished just ahead of Lesley Roberts who got a satisfying PB of 45.44.

Colin Flood finished in 48.46. Behind him in order came Katy Cartwright, Sandra Kirley and a very wobbly Lynda Hawkins. Helen Palmer was just ahead of Bill Valentine, Brian Gosling, Debbie Marriott (the one with the stripey shorts) and Don Cawthera who came in more or less together.

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? Terry Bewes and Gareth Horrocks tried the Teign Valley Toddle, an off road 10.25 miler. Gareth finished in a respectable 88.14 minutes and Terry just sneaked in under his target time of 100 minutes by 55 seconds.

Finally Laurence Bolam made his debut appearance on the track at the Exeter Arena on Monday for the first of the 3k Winter series. His time of 9.32 was just two seconds off Mateusz Szala’s club record so we eagerly look forward to the next race in November.

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