For Richard Hawes, this was his first competitive outing on the tarmac and only his 4th ever race in total, having participated in the multi-terrain Haldon Heartbeat, Umborne Ug and Otter Rail and River Run races earlier in the season. Following on from what is now known as "vest gate" at the Otter Rail and River run last weekend, Rich was very anxious to be seen wearing the correct club kit this time, even if this did mean borrowing a ladies' cut vest off Nic Musgrove!!
Despite an ad-hoc approach to training, Rich seems to have a natural running ability and high fitness level as he stormed around the hilly course in 38:59 which gave him place 45th overall and 5th in the MV45 category. Most importantly he also enjoyed the experience and has even mooted that he will now try to attend club nights more frequently and commit himself to a more structured training regime, so his times will no doubt only get quicker!
Mike Musgrove did this race last year and managed to place 8th overall and 1st MV40. This year saw a very competitive race and some very fine runners toe the start line, so Mike dropped down the overall standings 2 places to finish 10th overall but, most crucially, he fought hard to post a time of 33:56 and secure himself top spot in the MV40 category once again.
Ellie Sutcliffe, a.k.a. yours truly, had a similar experience to Mike, having placed 2nd here last year to the talented Tavistock athlete, Jo Meek. There was no Jo Meek on the start line of this year's race, however, there was another fine female athlete in the shape of Jaine Swift from Erme Valley. Swift by name, swift by nature, I have raced Jaine twice before and both times she showed me a clean pair of heels, and this third meeting followed the same pattern! She finished 45 seconds ahead of me, although I did improve my own time from last year by 30 seconds to clock 35:59 and claim the 2nd female spot again and 21st overall.
152 finishers, the winner was Pete Monaghan of Torbay AC in a spritely 30:49. Amazingly he is also in the vet 45 category.
There is a great atmosphere at this event as the whole main street is closed to traffic and lots of the villagers come out to cheer on the runners. The race is sponsored by the pub, the Bishop Lacy, and so drinks there after whilst waiting for the prize ceremony all help to make this a cracking race. Give it a go next year, you won't be disappointed!
Mike - looking like he's enjoying himself as well as working hard!