Waltzed home at Bicton

The Bicton Blister is a well established race that attracts a lot of support from Sidmouth, writes John Perratt.

It’s a bit of an institution and some runners who only enter a race once or twice a year, really like this one. At just under 11 miles over rugged terrain it is a good challenge for all of the 500 plus entries, even in the relatively mild weather on the day. Some will be starting marathon training, some will be looking for a PB, having carefully researched their time for last year, others want to get a head start on their New Year resolutions and the rest just like running around Woodbury Common.

The quick boys went off at a fast pace and Sidmouth Running Club were delighted to have five runners in the top 25. Laurence Bolam was fifth in a time of 1.06.12 closely followed by Graham Hill 12th, Justin Ashby 16th, Milan Goc, fresh after last week’s Cornish Marathon, in 22nd place and newcomer Nic Smith from Branscombe, showing that his win at Yarcombe was no fluke, 25th. What a team that is!

The club’s top girls also performed well with new mum, Jessica Watkins, and ‘old’ mum, Jane Beech, coming in ninth and 10th lady respectively and beating all the other Sidmouth men. In fact, including the Bicton Lite 4.5 miler there were 40 members taking part. It is impossible to mention every one but one or two performances stood out. Ian Walker is now back in his stride and Paul Bowler has discovered that hashing has benefits other than running around in the dark. Both finished in just over 90 minutes.

Cathy Keast, Suzanne Rampersad and Becky Robson, all with their sights on London, clocked in around 1.40 which gives them a good bench mark from which to work and only a minute or so back from them were Claire Ashby and Cathy Miller. Claire (wife of Justin) and Cathy never run at the club on a Wednesday but must be putting in some quality mileage somewhere. Others that we haven’t seen for a long time included Kate Stamp, Libby Jarrett, David Welsh and Julia King Keast who looked fresher than those that finished before them - excluding David that is. He sat down at the end and refused to get up again for some time.

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The Lite is for those who want to avoid the muddy bits and young Charlie Smith, the youngest runner in the race, son of Nic,came eighth in a great time for his age of 36.22. Sarah Brown, with hair down and looking, from the back, like Cheryl Cole, crossed the line some distance ahead of Brian Gosling and Bill Valentine who, in contrast, was having a bad hair day.

Taking a more relaxed view of the proceedings Corinna Stephens, Louise Brown and Lesley Hook waltzed in without a care in the world. That’s the way to do it.

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