Exe-rated runners!

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

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Harriers' Emma Dupain organises a spot-on Sport Relief Mile


Waiting for the runners to return at the start / finish / drinks station at Orcambe Point

On Sunday 25th March 2012 a host of members of the Exmouth Harriers AAC assisted Emma Dupain who organised this year’s Sport Relief event for the local area. This charity event was staged over distances of one, three or six miles all completed along Exmouth’s glorious promenade.
The maximum number of two hundred and fifty people who signed on the Sport Relief website, along with twenty two on the day entrants, turned up to walk, jog, run or - in the case of one individual - to pogo, their sponsored distance in the warm early spring sunshine.
Despite the clocks going forward one hour to British Summer Time everyone turned up bright eyed and raring to go for the 10.30 am start from Orcombe Point. As the entrants made their way towards the new lifeboat station they were met by the lament of bagpipe tunes provided by the Harrier’s own John Goss-Custard. The mile competitors turned at a point just beyond the building, whereas the three milers turned close to the Grove public house. Those opting for the six mile distance were required to complete 2 complete circuits of this latter 3 mile course twice, therefore experiencing the sounds of John’s pipes four times in total!
The sponsored entrants ranged through the whole age spectrum from those babes in buggies, accompanied by parents, children barely able to walk to senior citizens and many sported a variety of clothing.
After completing their selected distance all participants were greeted by Emma and her team who handed out the finisher’s medals and a welcoming bottle of water.
Apart from the monies raised through sponsorship a large amount of cash was deposited, by the generous visitors to the beach, into buckets carried along the six mile distance by members of the Exmouth Harriers. After expending many calories pacing the promenade the entrants replenished their losses from the delicious display of cakes made by members of the Dupain family, overseen by Beth Merry who was in charge of the donations.
A beautiful spring morning saw much money being raised for the Sport Relief charity and hopefully no matter what the sum raised it can be bettered next year by increasing the maximum number of website entrants. Even though we are currently experiencing financially austere times it is good to see the people of Exmouth out giving their time and money in the aid of good causes.

Well done and a big thanks to Emma and the Dupain clan for devoting so much time and energy into ensuring that the event was a success and of course a big well done to all the participants who gave up a leisurely Sunday morning on the beach to raise money for good causes.

Stan and Roger get into the Sport Relief spirit!

Nic and daughter Hattie Musgrove make their way along the sea front in the hot weather.

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Course bests a plenty at the Park Run!

With weather like we had this weekend, Killerton Park seemed like the idyllic destination for some of our Park Running Harriers.
Stalwart Park Run devotee, Adam Miller, has now taken part in around 40 Park Runs and continually places in the top 3 finishers. Again on this occasion he crossed the line of the 5k multi-terrain course in 3rd position overall in a time of 17.51. This is also Adam's best clocking on the course, showing that he is in great shape for the London marathon in 3 week's time.

A personal course best was also achieved by veteran athlete Roger Rowe. Perhaps the good weather and firm ground helped with the faster times, but Roger shaved 8 seconds off his previous best for the course to run 21.20 and in so doing he also improved upon his own MV65 record for the Killerton course.

As the summer approaches what better way to sharpen up the legs than by enjoying a 5k timed run in the glorious Devonshire countryside, with the added bonus that it's totally free! To have a go yourself go to the Park Run website, create a profile, print off your barcode and get running! http://www.parkrun.org.uk/

Dave Stone wraps it up and runs away with victory at the Wrap Up and Run 10k

It turned out to be a bit of a misnomer, the Exeter Wrap Up and Run 10k, held on Sunday 25th March, as that day was in fact to be the hottest of the year so far and in balmy temperatures that topped out at around 20 degrees, the runners were thinking of shedding layers rather than adding them! This did not stop a trio of Harriers from toeing what was a somewhat unusual start line for a race - in the middle of Exeter's Princess Hay shopping centre!

The race was part of a national series of 10k races organised by Age Concern UK to raise money for the charity. Participants were entreated to an aerobics style warm up in full view of the weekend shoppers before tearing off down the High Street on a fast course that ended at the Piazza on Exeter Quay.

Flying the Harrier's vest with pride, Dave Stone zoomed around the corner into the finishing funnel in pole position. His winning time of 34.52 put him 10 seconds ahead of second placed finisher, Mike Feighn of Exeter Harriers. Dave continues to show the senior athletes the underside of his heels and stubbornly refuses to get slower year on year. This has got to be a good confidence boost for him going into the final stages of his London Marathon preparation.

Also having a superb run was Mike Musgrove, who took 5th place overall and 2nd MV40, behind Dave. Mike was a little confused at the finish as his Garmin clearly showed that his average pace was superior to that of his 10k PB and yet he stopped the clock at 36.16, 12 seconds down on his best time for the distance. Then it became apparent that the course was in fact about 150m too long. Very frustrating as an accurately measured course would have certainly brought Mike that covetted sub-36 clocking that he's been chasing for a while.

The third Harrier competing, having a great run, was press-man Dave Eveleigh. Churning out a time of 45.54, this shaved around 2 minutes off his season's best for 2011, set on the pancake flat Exeter 10k course in August. The winter 3k leg sharpeners he pounded out at the track over the winter have clearly brought dividends. Dave was 89th overall and 3rd MV55.

There were 560 finishers, so our Harriers placed very highly up the field indeed. Top woman on the day was the ever-consistent SWRR veteran, Karen Cook, in 40.17.
Dave crosses the finish line in top spot on the Exeter Quay. Woo!

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Harriers go off-roading this weekend

The 17th / 18th March was very quiet on the road racing calendar, but a couple of off-road events have still managed to keep the Harriers out of mischief!

On the Saturday, over at Killerton House, just past Broadclyst near Exeter, Adam Miller continued to knock out yet another solid 5km performance. Adam has been placed well inside the top ten of finishers - and often in the top 3 - at the Weekly Saturday morning 'Park Run' event, which are attended by anything of up to over a hundred runners. On "5th February, for example, Adam was 2nd in 18:18.

In recent weeks he has been joined by fellow Exmouth Harriers Jon Garrity (an over 40 male veteran who was 3rd overall on 10th March in 19:39), Les Turner (MV60, 60th in 28:22 on 10th march), Roger Rowe (MV65, 8th overall in 21:19 on 3rd March) and Dave Eveleigh (MV55, 27th overall in 22:44)- all running respectable times on a course that can be a little challenging when wet, although it is overall downhill. Adam and Roger have recently taken a week off racing to act as volunteer race officials. Thanks to people like them the event costs nothing to enter and details can be found online at: http://www.parkrun.org.uk/killerton/

On Sunday 18th March Jamie Palmer was on his own in upholding the true Harrier tradition when he raced in the final Westward Cross Country League event at Plymouth. Out of almost 100 finishers Jamie was 16th and in his over 40 age group took 3rd place. This was the last event in the series and as Jamie has competed in enough events to count towards the series total, he'll be hoping to be placed highly overall in his category.

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Ultra-Mark tackles tough Welsh 50 miler

Exmouth Harrier's Ultra-runner extraordinaire and off-raodster, Mark Thompson, gave up his Grizzly number to Nicola Crook on Sunday when the opportunity arose to compete in an extremely tough endurance event: the Wye One Way 50. Part of the Welsh One Day Ultra-Marathon series 2011/12, this was the 4th event in the series, in which competitiors can tackle just isolated events or aim to complete the whole series and accumulate points at each event that go towards the final result and prizes.

This is the first event in the series that Mark has tackled but that didn't stop him from getting stuck in and fighting it out with the local runners and the top contenders for the series title. He took 10h15m50s to complete the 50 mile self-nav course and this saw him place a highly commendable 11th place out of the hardy 48 souls who also dug in and completed the course.

To give this some perspective, Harriers were also competing on the same day in the 20 mile Grizzly event, the 9 mile Cub event, the 13 mile Bath half and the 6 mile Great Western 10k... and Mark ran farther than the mileage in all 4 of these events added together!!! Very well done!!

Monday, 12 March 2012

Ellie shows the men how it's done!

Where are all the men? Why aren't they coming with me?! Do they know something that I don't?!

Also on the same day as the Grizzly and the Bath half, the Great Western 10k took place in Ellie Sutcliffe's (a.k.a. yours truly) home town of Sherborne, Dorset. Although not on a par with the gruelling test that the Grizzly represents, this race still offered its fair share of different terrain to negotiate, including boggy fields, very muddy farm tracks, woods, an orchard and some country lanes. The route was undulating to hilly and with the ground being very wet and boggy, it was quite energy sapping.

The horn sounded and we all set off and I suddenly found myself shooting off the front of the pack with no-one, not even a single male runner, up alongside me. I then started to panic, wondering if they knew something about the course that I didn't! Around the first corner and the eventual winner, Shaun Parkin from South West Road Runners, had pulled up alongside me then started to pull away. It took about 1 mile before 2 more men overtook me. Shaun was away and gone, but I kept these other two in my sights until the finish.

In the closing half mile the guy behind me was closing in but I managed to hold him off and finished 1st female and 4th overall, which is my highest ever placing in a mixed-sex race, in 43.25. I can only think that all the decent male runners were at the Grizzly or in Bath, they sure as heck weren't in Dorset!!!

Adam celebrates his birthday and Ben celebrates a PB at the Bath half!

Carly Audritt, Adam Miller, Emma Dupain and Ben White at the end of the Bath Half.

Whilst the Grizzly was in full swing on the Jurassic Coast, Adam Miller, Emma Dupain and Ben White were in Avon and toeing the start line of the Bath Half Marathon.

For Adam this has historically been a lucky course, this being his 4th year of running it and with each of the previous 3 years he set a new PB on the course. This year the event coincided with his birthday and so what better present than if he could manage to produce yet another PB. Following recent problems with his achillies, however, a PB would be a very very tall order. Never one to not try though, Adam set out hard and covered the first 10k in a swift 36.40. He fought hard in the second half of the race to sustain the pace but couldn't quite set a new PB, but wasn't far off it. He stopped the clock at 1.19.00 (chip time 1.18.55) and claimed 103rd place (out of over 10'000 runners - impressive huh?!). His girlfriend Carly also had a good race, completing in 1.49, giving her a confidence boost in her first London Marathon build up.

Emma Dupain loves the half-marathon distance and usually competes in about 5 events over this distance over the course of the year. On this occasion she clocked a time of 1.44.22 for 2026th place overall, putting her inside the top 20% of finishers.

Emma's partner Ben was also running but in a number acquired at the last minute, so the results do not appear in his name. I have it on good authority though that he set a new PB over the 13.1 mile distance - very well done to him!

The race was won by talented Kenyan athlete Edwin Kiptoo, in a new course record of 1.02.01.
Winning female was also Kenyan, Jane Muia, in 1.11.19.

What a great Grizzly!!

Harriers looking fresh and care-free before the start of Grizzly 2012... enjoy it, that won't last!!

One of the most popular events on the South West running calendar is the Axe Valley Runner's organised 'Grizzly'. More than just a race, this event has developed an almost cult status for itself, inspiring people to write poetry and produce artwork based on their experiences of participating in it. This year its popularity surpassed all expectations as the 2000 entry limit was reached in about 3 hours!!

So what is this Grizzly lark? Well, it's an offroad run of about 20 miles in length and its route changes slightly ever year. Each year there is also a slight twist to the theme, with last year's being 'Valley of the Bogs' - needless to say, lots of the sticky-icky brown things featured on the course - and this year's 'Stairway to Heaven' - a reference to the jacob's ladders that the runners must climb on the cliff paths around Seaton and Branscombe. So this event is offroad but we are talking the most hard-core offraod imaginable and, as such, it always attracts the crème-de-la-crème off the trail running contingent.

It is also an event that is popular amongst the Exmouth Harriers and no fewer than 13 of them took part across the main Grizzly 20 mile event and the shorter 9 mile Grizzly Cub race. Here's how they all got on:

GRIZZLY (1523 finishers):
Dave Stone: 20th overall; 6th MV40 in 2.45.45
Jon Croome: 88th overall; 21st MV45 in 3.03.31
Richard Bishop: 190th overall; 46th MV45 in 3.18.59
Scott-2 Trigs-Jordan: 193rd overall; 68th senior male in 3.19.13
Lorraine Croome: 379th overall; 51st female; 14th FV45 in 3.35.32
Terry-the Dark Destroyer-Oldham: 510th overall; 23rd MV55 in 3.35.44
Katie Comer: 557th overall; 81st female; 43nd senior female in 3.49.21
Jean Cooper: 665th overall; 101st female; 21st FV40 in 3.57.28

CUB (473 finishers):
Caroline Pleasence: 12th overall; 2nd female in 1.10.08
Dawn Teed: 234th overall; 126th female; 30th FV45 in 1.48.04
Lorraine Gilson: 235th overall; 127th female; 17th FV50 in 1.48.08
Nicola Crook: 236th overall; 128th female; 45th senior female in 1.48.10
Jenny Wood: 237th overall; 129th female; 46th senior female in 1.48.12

Well done to Caroline: an excellent result on a tough course.
And as for these last four... well, they ran together, as you might have guessed, and made several "pit-stops" en-route to take photos, hob-knob with musicians and to generally not take the affair too seriously!!

Where's wally? ... Actually, there are 2 of them to spot!

They're away! Just 20 miles of hills to go!

Aerial action shot of Caroline Pleasence storming to the finish to claim 2nd female spot in the Cub race

Here come the girls!

Life's a beach for our Katie!

Jean Cooper proudly shows off muddy war-wounds at Branscombe!

Musical interlude... no, really, they did stop off mid-race to listen to and take photos of this band!

Jon Croome pushes on through Weston village

Dave Stone still looking strong 17 miles in at Branscombe

Rich Bishop prepares to tackle yet another hill!

"Medic, medic"!!

Job done: cheers!

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Harriers end winter 3k series on a high!

There was a small turnout of Exmouth Harriers at the final Winter 3km Series
event at Exeter Arena on 5th March but each athlete had reason to be
Fastest was Andrew Johnson who was 11th in the 'B' race in 11:52
and he was Series runner-up in the Men Over 45 category. This is all the more impressive when you consider that he had just run a 1.36 half at Bideford the day before!
Dave Eveleigh (58) continued his steady improvement since returning from a long lay-off 3 years ago, clocking 12:08 in winning the 'C' race.

Finishing 11th behind Dave in that race was John Perratt who celebrated his 75th birthday over the week-end! John equalled his fastest time in this winter's series in
recording 13:14 but the really exciting news is that this is almost 3
minutes inside the British Over 75 Men's best for a track 3km. However the
3km Series originated on the roads of Devon and, while it takes place on a
track, it is organised under road race rules so John's time is not eligible
for new record. John though need not wait very long for an opportunity to
rubber stamp his status as fastest ever British man over 75 at 3,000 metres
with organisers of Exeter's Ken Trickey Memorial Meeting on 15th April
encouraging him to race over the distance there.

Very well done to all three competitors for the respective achievements.

Personal bests are blasted at Bideford!

Start of the Bideford Half with Dave Stone and Mike Musgrove leading 12 Harriers out.

What a cracking day of racing for the Harriers! On Sunday 4th March, 12 of them travelled north of the county to Bideford for the Bideford AAC organised Bideford half marathon. Always a popular event due to the fantastic organisation and to the course boasting a flat and fast route, this year was no different and drew over 1000 runners.

For many of the Exmouth Harriers contingent, this race represented a good opportunity to assess their form and fitness in their build ups to spring marathons. If that was the case, then those marathon times are looking good as some excellent performances were had all round.

First Harrier home, as he so often is when he chooses to race, was Dave Stone. He placed a highly commendable 11th place in a very strong field of runners. His time of 1.17.20 gave him 3rd place in the MV40 category, so really a great run and one which must fill him with confidence in his preparations for breaking more Guiness World records at London!

Next in was Mr. Consistency, Mike Musgrove. Having just bashed out a 1.20 half the week before in Barcelona, he repeated the performances again, but this time in slightly tougher conditions. Mike reports that there was a very strong headwind on the last 3 miles of the course, which made the going hard, especially once the fast 13 miles from the previous weeks started to kick in at around the 8 mile mark. Nevertheless, a time of 1.20.48, giving him 25th place overall and 9th MV40, shows that a comfortable sub-3h run in London is looking very promising.

Another Harriers representative in the MV40 category was Adrian Kearns. Adrian does not do all that much competing, but when he does put in an appearance, he always makes a good job of it and makes the performance count. On this occasion he clocked 1.27.30 for 81st spot and 19th MV40 - a strong category as always on the day.

The performance of the day, however, has to go to Dave Backway. Dave is in fact not training for a marathon and so doesn't have the mileage under his belt that some of his fellow club mates do, neither did he have the security of knowing that he could comfortably run the distance - his long runs typically being about 10 miles in length. Instead he has been working on his speed and power over the past few months and if his performance in Bideford is anythign to go by, it's paying off! Dave smashed his PB by 17 minutes to run 1.28.11 and take a place in the top 100 finishers, 94th. This is made all the more astounding when we mention, just in passing, that he'd been on about 3 consequetive stag weekends in the run up to this race... just imagine what time he would clock with a more salubrious lifestyle!!

David Wright also set a new PB when he ran 1.30.26, just outside the magical 1.30 mark but there is no doubt more to come there. He claimed 124th spot and 8th MV50. Early indications are that all is looking good in the Wright camp for the Dartmoor Discovery in June...

Another performance deserving a special mention is that of Scott Jordan. Proving to his fellow club members that he was a worthy recipient of the 'Male athlete of the year' award, Scott followed friend Dave Backway's lead and also smashed his PB. Scott's initial motivations for joining a running club were to improve on his half marathon performance after he tackled the Great West Run as an isolated race a few years ago. At last year's race he did just that when he clocked 1.42 for the distance, and this year at Bideford he obliterated that time by stopping the clock at 1.31.29 to claim 133rd place. The high mileage training he's been doing for London has obviously worked wonders on his performances at all distances.

Andrew Johnson is yet another Harrier training for a spring marathon; the Paris, in his case. He laid down a solid run at Bideford, bringing him across the line in 210th place in a time of 1.36.25. This time will easily give him a marathon clocking of around 3h40-3h45 in April.

John Lambert does not compete on a regular basis, but when he does he always gives it his all. He clocked 1.42.30 for 316th place, putting him easily inside the top third of finishers.

Nicolas Brown continues his come back to racing following on from a fine performance off road at the Dalwood 3 Hills the previous weekend. On the road surface this time he recorded a time of 1.44.01 for 342nd spot on the day.

Mike Allen, a.k.a. our super super vet Harrier's star as he runs in the MV70 category (only in running is it acceptable to discuss openly and boast about a person's advancing years as something to be proud of!). This proved to be a VERY strong category at this highly competivie race as Mick's solid time of 2.00.11 (though 1.59.31 on chip time) only earned him 5th spot amongst the MV70s. He was 706th overall though and so beat hundreds of runners who were much much younger than him!

Roger Riggs upped the distance on this event, having not been with the Harriers all that long he has made huge improvements since joining, so well done to him for having a go at his first half marathon. He recorded 2.02.20 for 756th place.

Lastly, the time that no athlete wants to see next to their name: no time. Jon Garrity was forced to withdraw on the course with a calf pull and so recorded a dreaded DNF. A real shame as Jon has been running really well of late and would have been easily capable of a sub-1.25 time had he been fully fit. We wish him a speedy recovery.

Disappointing not to see a single female Harrier on the start line - come on ladies!! We can't let the men monopolise us like this!!

The race was run by in-form North Devon athlete, Shaun Antell, also winner of the Plymouth Hoe 10 mile in February. He posted 1.09.39.
Winning woman was Vicky Pincombe in a time of 1.21.14.
There were 1072 finishers.