Time trials produce great result for Bennett family

Gearing up for Festival 10k

The monthly Time Trials last Wednesday went off well, although several school functions had an adverse effect on the numbers running.

This is to take nothing away from the Bennetts who, nevertheless, took advantage of the situation.

Debbie, making her first appearance in the series, was given a dodgy handicap and led all the way, blissfully unaware of the racing hordes behind her. She came in more than 90 seconds ahead of Paul Mitchell, the second finisher.

Young Guy, on the other hand, knocked a minute off his previous times and, although this only took him into sixth place on the day, that result catapulted him to the top of the Points Table in the series with one race to go.

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Ruth Chesters had her best result of the series finishing in third place, but her running is so consistent that it puts her at a disadvantage when we come to look at the points position.

Phil Smith and Lynda Hawkins, by way of contrast, finished well behind her but, by dint of gradual improvements throughout the series, are now second and third respectively in the table, just behind Guy.

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Of the 27 starters on the long course, 17 managed to beat their handicap which is an encouraging sign of the general improvement and enthusiasm of the runners. Graham Hill and Milan Goc were the quickest on the night and ran extremely well, bearing in mind that they both had to plough their way through the rest of the field.

On the shorter course, there was a tight struggle between brothers Scott and Jack Gibson. The handicap gave Scott a 30 second start but big brother Jack pulled most of it back and there was only two seconds between them when Scott crossed the line just yards in front.

After that flurry of activity, the weekend was quiet as everyone prepared for the Festival Run on Sunday, August 8. Late entries will be accepted on the day, but otherwise entries close next Tuesday.

Don’t forget also that, as in previous years, there will be a Fun Run from the start of the main race up to the fence at the top of the grass. Entry is on the day only at a cost of �1 a head.

All children finishing will get some sweets and there are Trophies for the first Boy and Girl.

Lesley Roberts will be taking the entries for this close to the start so let’s see how quickly the youngsters can get up THAT hill

? Next Wednesday, being Festival week, the club needs to get away from all the noise and jollity, so will be going into the countryside, starting from the Mutter’s Moor car park, 7pm.

? Readers of Runners World will also be aware that there is a baton relay going on at the moment.

It started off in Blackpool on May 9 and is going all around the coast of Britain with volunteers taking over when it comes to their area.

The baton can be carried singly or with a group of runners. Anyone can join in and they are looking for people to take it along our stretch of the coast. At the moment it is somewhere around Skegness and it is expected here any time between 15 - 21 August.

Running is only done during the day not at night and it would be nice to get a group together. At the moment the Seaton to Sidmouth leg has no one doing it and it would be dreadful if the chain were broken on our own doorstep!

There is a website to look at if you are interested (www.coastersgb.co.uk) and there is a co-ordinator for the stretch from Portsmouth to Plymouth.

? If you want to be part of this massive venture then have a look at the website and contact the co-ordinator by email ports-plymcoasters@virginmedia.com The Haytor Heller is a longstanding moorland race around Haytor. It is unusual in that the start is half way up a very steep hill, but that serves only to imbue runners with a false sense of security.

It does also mean that the start is somewhat sluggish, as there is no way that anyone can sprint up the steep rise from the starting line. There is plenty more climbing, however, as the course makes its way through some fairly rugged countryside, a nice, wooded section below Hound Tor followed by a stream crossing and, finally, a fast downhill stretch to the finish.

Many runners come back year after year, but it was a first for John Podmore and he was well supported by Chris Long, Jo Earlam and Bev Tarry, who had all done it before and knew what was coming. Chris was the first home in an hour and 10 minutes, but the others were not far behind, all finishing within a minute and a half after him. The weather wasn’t as warm as we have experienced lately, but it was still very muggy and the refreshments and barbecue at the finish were a very welcome sight for the runners.

Off in the other direction was Milan Goc, who took part in the Wellington 10 mile race and, continuing with his current fine spell of form, recorded a time of 1.03.10 which was enough to give him third prize in a very competitive field.

The race is run simultaneously with a 10k race and Milan, along with the other leaders in the race, finished before a good number of those doing the shorter distance. At that sort of distance on the road, Milan is very hard to beat.

? The Sidmouth Festival Run is now nearly upon us - just two weeks away - so get your entries in quickly.

It is an ideal way for club’s to boost their members’ pre-season fitness. Why not enter a team?

Download the entry form from www.sidmouthrunningclub.org

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