Woodland Relay on Woodbury Common another great run

A FEW Weeks ago Bev Tarry was beaten by a horse and then on top of that it was a horse last week that lost us our title at the Woodland Relay on Woodbury Common - that and a subtle change of rules, writes John Perratt.

This, the second relay of the year, was organised by the Met Office, as if they can organise anything, and it had been agreed to run it with teams of three instead of the normal four, thus favouring those Clubs, unlike ourselves, that have a couple of good runners but no depth to their talent.

The real star of our team has always been Graham Hill and on this occasion he was missing from the line up.

The horse that caused all the trouble had shied at a fence throwing his rider, young Scott Hill, just as Dad was leaving for the race. A quick check to see that son and horse were OK was just enough to make him late for the start and so we had to make do without him. Having arrived though he did help out by pacing Becky Robson and Naomi Garrick for which they were grateful and provided the platform for our ladies to take second place a short distance behind the strong Honiton Ladies team.

Meanwhile our men’s team of Jon Hanson, Milan Goc and Tim Mitchell ran well and managed a very good total time just behind the top Axe Valley Runners.

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Our other two entries, one from the Fitzgerald Family and the other, a more mature one, coped well with a tricky course. The undulations were tiresome but it was the shingle and pebbles underfoot that made it really heavy going and a few of us even went off course for a while to add another element to the race.

It was a pity though that the numbers were down as these relays are always contested in a very friendly spirit and at the end of the day no one is too fussed about coming first or last. It is just nice to spend an evening running on the common amongst good company.

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It is of course that time of year when we start to warm up for the Festival Run.

This year it will in fact take place on Sunday 14 August a full week after the end of Folk Week. That is a pity in some ways but necessary in order to avoid a clash with other races.

Entry forms can be downloaded from the Club’s website (www.sidmouthrunningclub.org.uk) but late entries, at an additional cost, will be accepted on the day

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