Whilst there was action on Dartmoor in the form of the Tavy 7 on Sunday 23rd October, there was also action on Exmoor that same day with the Minehead Running Club's Exmoor Stagger 15 race. Billed as being 15.1 miles long, it was in fact nearer to 16 on Caroline's Garmin. Mind you, this running club also stage a race in the summer called the Seaview 17... this one is 21 miles long! You get the picture?!
Anyway, whether 15 or 16 miles, it is a tough, multiterrain race with plenty of ascents and descents thrown in to disrupt the runner's rhythm. With a route that passes through woodland tracks, fields and moorland and has spectacular seaviews in places, it is a favourite of the hard-core off-raoders fraternity and competition was correspondingly high.
The race was won by James Baker of Chichester AC (yes, the same James Baker that got beaten and has his course record pinched off him by our Ethiopian visitor, Berihu, at this year's Haytor Heller!) in a time of 1h52m06s.
The winner of the women's race was Emma Hitchens of South West Road Runners, in an impressive 8th place overall, in a time of 2h11m16. She was followed by Clare Prosser of Wells City in 2nd and Lin Lascelles of Maiden Newton in 3rd. All three of these ladies are established good runners across country, and so Caroline Pleaseance can feel very proud to have come a creditable 4th place behind them in such a quality field. Caroline clocked 2h28m26s and placed 40th overall out of 234 finishers. Very well done!
Caroline joked, 'Humph. I always come fourth', but then, so did Paula Radcliffe to start with, and look what she went on to achieve.....! :-)