Exe-rated runners!

Exe-rated runners!
The successful Harriers team, en masse, at the Erme Valley Relays, July 2013

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Blog takes it annual Christmas vacation....

So, ok, maybe Ellie is taking her Christmas vacation and probs won't be getting to a computer over the next 4 weeks to be able to do any postings. Please continue to forward me any race details though and I'll have an epic blogging session upon my return.
Also Dave Eveleigh will be resuming his press duties as of this week, so please do contact him with any news / reports / photos so we can keep the Journal and Echo articles flowing over the festive period.

Happy Christmas everyone!

Ellie :-)

CAPER-ble of racing, in-CAPER-ble of winning!

Approaching the finish line at the Cockinton Christmas Caper

After what has been a testing couple of months on the health and injury front, I, Ellie Sutcliffe, finally felt up to tackling a race on Saturday 10th December and so I opted for a fun off-roader, the Cockington Caper. Starting from the cricket ground in Cockington Country Park, near Torquay, this is a tough, hilly and very muddy 7 1/4 mile race around fields, footpaths and woodland tracks. There are logs and streams to jump, fallen tree branches to negotiate, styles to vault, some punishingly steep climbs that slow you to a fell-runner type walk, some lethal descents, and a hell of a lot of mud!

I started the race at about 70% of the fitness I was at two months agao when I did the Snowdonia Marathon and so I was faced with two choices: start steady, just canter around at a comfortable pace and enjoy being able to race again, and maybe sneak a cheeky 3rd place, or set off hard in the vain hope of trying to win it and just pray that my mental strength could somehow compensate for my lack of physical fitness.... being the nutter that I am, I opted for the latter!

It almost payed off. I led the women's race until mile 7 (whose stupid idea was it to add that extra 1/4 of a mile anyway?!) and the very last climb on the course, when I felt like I was having a minor asthma attack and simply could not get enough oxygen in to keep my pace up and fend off the talented Torbay AC athlete, Wendy Urban, who was closing in fast. She caught me at the top of the climb with just 0.10 of a mile to run to the finish. I had nothing left to come back at her with and finished 4 seconds behind her in 59.01, taking 14th place overall out of 171 finishers. Not a bad result considering the lack of training I've been able to do since the end of October, and, pleasingly, I beat the SWRR athlete, Lucy Commander, for the very first time ever... I can only think she wasn't at her best as I certainly wasn't at mine.

The race was won by Arran Tocknell, also of Torbay AC, in 50.05; this was over 5 minutes clear of the 2nd placed athlete!

Ho hum, onwards and upwards, and forwards to the First Chance 10k!

Friday, 9 December 2011

Dave down under!

Press man, Dave Eveliegh, has been touring the southern hemisphere for the past 5 weeks. And, after 5 weeks of silence, during which you would have been forgiven for thinking that he might have accidentally fallen through the bottom of the globe, he has at last been in contact to reassure us that he is having a wonderful time and has even managed to fit a couple of races in!

From Dave:

'I raced in Oz for first time recently, as a guest of the Austrailian international marathoner, John Duck. The race was the Traralgon Harriers Handicap 5km which took place in rural Victoria on dusty, undulating tracks, rather like Woodbury Common. (Not quite like Woodbury Common at this time of the year, in the cold and wet! ed.)
My time was about 25 min and I placed 25th out of the 41 entrants.

After this it was onto New Zealand and to the home of the 'Fun Run' in Auckland along with around 20,000 other entrants. I then ran 5km in "windy" Wellington which was living up to its name. There was some route confusion on this course along a busy waterfront. I was grateful to have been categorised as a "runner" and not a "jogger"! Overall I finished in top half and clocked about 22:20: almost the same as my time in the Run Exe 5k in September, so I was pleased considering conditions.'

Enjoy your last week darn sarth and safe journey back to Devon!

Thursday, 8 December 2011

It's a 3rd 3rd for Caroline at Otterton!

Harriers at race HQ (a church!) for start of the Otterton Reindeer Run

On the morning after the Harrier's Dinner and Dance, the Otterton Reindeer Run provided the perfect means of detoxing and working off all the booze and yummy food consumed the night before! Seven Harriers in total lined up on the start line by the village church and prepared to tackle the 10k multi-terrain course that promised mud and hills aplenty... however, it was probably the promise of a cup of mulled wine at the end that spurred them on to run faster!

John Croome was the first Harrier home, having an excellent run to finish in 40.01 for 6th place overall. Bravo!

Caroline Pleasence continued her excellent Autumn racing season with yet another 3rd place in the female race, finishing in 19th overall in 44.26. She was pushed all the way to the line by the 4th placed runner who finished just 2 seconds behind her! This is Caroline's 3rd 3rd, following on from fine runs at The Stickler and The Bicton Blister.

Next in was Rory Devine, 32nd in 45.53, followed by Lorraine Croome who had a strong run for 43rd place in 48.18. Then came Lee Russell, easily making it into the top 100: 79th in 54.29.

Rounding off the proceedings were Stan Mason, making it in under the hour in 58.08 for 100th spot, and immediately behind him in 101st, Diana Richards clocked 58.22.

There were 177 finishers in total and the race was won by Laurence Bolam of hosting club Sidmouth in 37.04. Lucy Commander of SWRR was first female home, 13th overall, in 42.26.

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Harriers get their groove on at the Christmas party!

The annual Christmas dinner and awards do is always an eagerly anticipated event on the Exmouth Harriers’ social calendar. This year it was held in the Exmouth Rugby Club where a delicious buffet dinner, a quiz, some karaoke and a chance to strut their stuff on the dance floor kept the 70 some party-goers entertained all evening. Further entertainment came in the form of David Bowie-Stone on the mike and then he showed off again by getting his groove on on the dance floor (ok, so, the fastest runner in the club, a good singer and with some legendary dance moves: sign up for the 'this is beyond sickening and how can one bloke hogg all the talent' club here: ____________________ (Although, to be fair, Roger Riggs did give Dave a good run for his money in a dance-off!!)

Joking aside, the eagerly awaited announcement of the awards was, however, the highlight of the night, with chairman Bob Keast presenting the three awards.

The ‘male athlete of the year’ award went to Scott Jordan: a very popular choice amongst voters as he has thrown himself into a strict training regime over the past year that has brought its rewards in terms of a collection of massive new PBs and some fine individual performances at local races. He is also a stalwart team player and can be relied upon to sign his name up to any relay or team event supported by the club. Scott’s hard efforts were also rewarded by him being successful in the Exmouth Harriers’ club ballot for a place in the London Marathon 2012. Very well done to him, and well deserved.

The ‘female athlete of year’ award went to Ellie Sutcliffe. Ellie only joined the Harriers in February of this year, having taken up running in 2010, so she was thrilled to have been selected for this award. Since joining the Harriers she has set numerous PBs, from 5k up to marathon distance, and has even won a few races in the region and further afield. Despite working away in Dorset during term time she has tried to support the club at relay events whenever she is at home in Exmouth.

Ellie and Scott, female and male athletes of the year, with their awards

The final award of the evening was the President’s award. Unlike the other two awards, which are voted for by club members, this award is chosen solely by the Harrier’s president based on who he feels has made the biggest contribution to the club. This year it was felt that Bob Woodhall was the most worthy recipient due to the huge amounts of time and effort he has dedicated in masterminding and developing the beginner’s running course. The course lasted 12 weeks but thanks to Bob’s enthusiasm, support and encouragement, he then persuaded many of the graduate runners to join the club on a permanent basis and he has continued to mentor them ever since. He sacrifices his own weekly training run every Tuesday to do this and so the consensus was that Bob was a highly deserving candidate for this award.

Left: Deep in concentration during the quiz... a room full of athletes, so nobody was at all competitive. (Yeah right!)
Right: The victorious quiz team - 'The Magnificent Seven' (athletes can't count!)