On Sunday 8th October there were just 3 members flying the Harriers' flag at the Churston Flyer 5 mile race in South Devon. Organised by the South Devon Athletic club this is a fairly historic race that typically attracts a really high calibre of runner. In the last few years in particular it has seen some fine performances as this fast five mile race now incorporates the Ross Shield. This is a Devon County AA team prize for the first male and first female teams across the line. Unfortunately there were not enough Harriers on the day to contest the shield but the 3 individuals who ran nevertheless were mixing it up with the top team competitors and putting a few spanners in the works for those seeking high placings for their teams.
First Harrier home in an an outstanding 5th place in this high quality field was Adam Miller, posting a time of 28:14. This averages out at 5:39m/m for the 5 mile race and is equivalent to 78% on age graded percentage. Adam couldn't quite prevent a Torbay AC white wash, with 3 of their male athletes occupying the top 3 spots and naturally taking home the Ross Shield, but he was up there in the mix with the other fast boys from the area and showing that his current vein of form is continuing on into the Autumn.
Next in and having a superb run was Cathy Newman. Cathy now runs in the FV50 category, however, she is still speedy enough to also place outright in races and on this occasion she took 23rd place overall and the 2nd female spot, behind FV40 athlete, Jaine Swift of Erme Valley, in a time of 31:12. This converts to an extremely impressive age graded score of 88% and represents an average speed of 6:14m/m. If we rewind back to August and to Cathy's first race back in the UK, the Run Exe Summer 5k, she is now running faster than she did then over a much longer distance, showing that the training is really coming together and pointing to a very promising winter season. Cathy is clearly reaping the benefits of having a talented Ethiopian athlete living and training with her!
The third Harrier home was Carly Audritt. Having posted a solid time at the winter 3k track series on the Monday, then having run around the Killerton Parkrun on the Saturday, Carly's legs were clearly feeling sharp and ready to take on this fast five miler. She raced around the course in a time of 37:56 to give her 89th place overall and 8th woman. This was at an average speed of 7:35m/m. Again, as with Cathy, it is not so long ago that Carly was running slower than this over the 5k distance, showing the massive improvements that she has made throughout the summer and showing how her speed has picked up enormously, no doubt as a result of running the Parkrun regularly and by devoting herself to a more structured training regime.
Well done to all 3 Harriers!
148 finishers. Torbay AC won the male and female team events. How's about we try to do something about that next year folks and send a couple of crack teams down there to try and bring the Ross Shield home to Exmouth?!