Exe-rated runners!

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

Monday, 11 February 2013

A very boggy Bovey for the cross-country crew!

On Sunday 10th February, the "usual suspects" were in action in the next round of the Westward League cross-country series, this time held at the Parke Estate in Bovey Tracey. The ladies completed 3 laps of a very muddy woodland course, totalling a distance of 5k, and the men completed 5 laps, totalling 8k. Many consider the Bovey course to be a "true" cross-country course, as it actually involves crossing some real countryside and running through fields and woods, rather than simply going around in circles on a smooth, grassy playing field. That said, however, it makes the choice of footwear at this event more difficult as the ankle deep mud is interspersed with sections of gravel track: not overly spike friendly!

The women kicked off first and lining up for the Harriers were Westward League stalwarts, Carly Audritt and ladies' team captain, Dawn Teed. Carly had made a mad dash over there after standing river-side all morning in Exeter watching the Exeter Half-Marathon. Now it was her turn though to get stuck in and, inspired by her partner Adam's awesome run in the half marathon, she stormed around the course and placed well up the field: 23rd out of the 56 ladies, in a time of 23:45 for a tough, muddy, hilly 5k course. Carly is currently in 13th place overall in the female competition after the 5 of the 6 rounds.

Dawn put in another solid performance too and posted a time of 26:05 for 36th place. At the moment, Dawn is lying in 1st place overall in the FV45 category, having completed all of the 5 rounds so far. However, the ladies behind her have completed 4 rounds or less and so if, say, Caroline Hewitt of Tiverton Harriers, who is currently sat in 2nd place, runs the final round at Plymouth next month - which Dawn will have to miss, being away - then she will likely take the category honours. Nevertheless, our ladies' team captain has done us proud and led by example, giving her all in every round so far.

In the men's race, there were only 4 runners and riders, with men's team captain, Adam Miller, cheering on from the side lines and resting his legs after his mornings' efforts. Anchoring the team home was Marc Cox, who is really getting to grips with these XC events (following some invaluable team advice at the Exeter round that for the spikes to work you actually have to screw the studs in first!!!). Marc recorded a time of 40:16 for the tough 8k course and this gave him a commendable 35th place out of the 94 runners.

There was then a bit of a gap before the rest of the "lads" were packing tight towards the rear of the field, with Dave Eveliegh getting the better of a category rival to take the 6th MV55 spot and 89th overall in 56:36. Jim Wyatt and Kurt Margison then brought proceedings to a close posting times of 58:37 and 59:39 respectively.

Very well done to all the Harriers that ran in what were certainly NOT the easiest of conditions: cold, wet, muddy, very grey and grizzly.... but then, that's what cross-country's all about: character building / soul-destroying (delete as applicable...)

The ladies team... all 2 of them!

And the men's team: double the size!

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