Cold, damp… dispiriting? Arriving at Flowerpot Fields alongside the River Exe in the late afternoon, it was raining. And after a day of showers, we all thought that this would be a wet one. Running around the course warming up, the wind seemed troublesome too. However, we were there… in good spirits… and ready to (at the very least) bring the Exe 5k Series to an end with a memorable race.
We were four… Jamie Palmer, Andrew Johnson, Dave Eveleigh, and Roger Rowe… each of us hoping to get close to our best on a difficult day.
Miraculously, the rain passed and the sky lightened just before the off, but the wind continued to blow down the course into our faces each time we returned from the long riverside path down to the Red Cow Crossing.
Jamie blasted off into the distance, vainly chasing Tom Merson and Shaun Antell (who finished 2nd and 1st), but was pleased to finish in a good 11th place in the field – 1st Vet/40 – in 17:44.
Andrew and Roger have been training partners for 25+ years, and have always been closely matched. Once again Andrew showed Roger a clean pair of heels to make it 3 out of 3 in their personal battle over the 5k Series. Andrew finishing in 20:10 and Roger 20:50. Dave Eveleigh – this summer fitter than for some years – completing in 22:19.
In the gathering gloom we parted and went our separate ways, glad we had braved the day. Here's to the next time...
Report by Roger Rowe.
Addendum. Jon Garrity also competed in the event but does not yet have an Exmouth vest, which would explain why Roger missed him! Jon only started running competitively earlier this year and since then he has been seeing some dramatic improvements with each outing.
In round 2 of the 5k he clocked 19.17 and in round 3 he improved this to 18.26. To knock almost a minute off a 5k time in the space of a month shows the speed at which Jon's running is developping and reveals there is a lot more to come!
There were no prizes for the individual rounds but there was a competition for the series over all. Each competitor needed 2 out of the 3 possible races to count; your two fastest times or your only two times if you missed a round.
The end of the series standings for the Harriers revealed that the event was won by second claim Exmouth Harrier, Tom Merson... hands up if this surprises you?!!
Jon Garrity finished 2nd in the V/40 category; Andrew Johnson took 3rd place in the V/40 category; Roger Rowe came in as top V/65 and, although I, Ellie Sutcliffe, was forced to miss the last race due to being back at work, I just managed to clinch the 3rd female spot.
Not forgetting to say well done to all the other Harriers who could only manage to fit 1 round in this summer: Mike and Nic Musgrove, Dan Morley, Jim Wyatt and honorary Harrier for the summer, Berihu Tesfay.