The Devon Winter 3k Series is being held at the Exeter Arena on the first Mondays in October, November and December. It has a format unlike that of any other local running event. The short distance allows time for four or five races from ‘E’ (sometimes ‘D’) for the slowest through to ‘A’ for the swiftest. This means that at any one event there are four or five athletes having the experience of crossing the line first in a race although that was sadly not to be for the five Exmouth Harriers there on 1st October.
Les Turner was 10th in the ‘E’ race. Les is in the Men Over 65 age category but the race grading is done purely on times and Les was in a 13-strong ‘E’ race with ten different male and female age groups. Les clocked a steady 15:33 in finishing 10th and will be looking to improve on that time through the series, and perhaps land an age group prize.
Carly Audritt, taking part in her first ever track race, was in the ‘D’ race. She finished 9th of 19 in 12:59. However athletes are promoted and relegated between grades so that those who greatly exceeded slow predicted times will transfer to a faster race next time, possibly giving Carly a chance to race for a place or win.
Richard Bishop (MV45) was 6th of 17 in the ‘C’ grade, clocking a time of 11:38. However, as in Carly’s race, the first three or four are likely to move up a level so Richard too could find himself contesting first place.
Contesting it with him could be Andrew Johnson (MV45) and Dave Eveleigh (MV55) who both found the pace of the B run a little too hot to handle, finishing 16th in 12:02 & 18th in 12:13 respectively of the 19 starters. Dave had in fact won the ‘C’ race in 12:08 at the end of last winter and his movement up and now (probably) down the levels shows how the system works. It is not always as straight forward as that of course, but certainly the series puts people at the front of races who would never be there in an open event.
For runners of all speeds and abilities who feel that they need to add a little speed to their stamina, the series comes highly recommended. If you have never raced on a track before, or if the past horrors of school PE lessons still dog your memory, this event is a great way to (re)introduce yourself to the track as it is friendly, encouraging and aimed at runners of all levels. Give it a go! Next round is Monday 5th November, info here: