Exe-rated runners!

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

Monday, 25 March 2013

Half-marathon fever hits the Harriers this weekend!

Harriers were competing in two very different half-marathon events across 2 counties this weekend. On a very cold and miserable Sunday morning, two Harriers headed to Tavistock to tackle the Tavy 13 and one went to neighboring Somerset to compete in the Yoevil Half.

In Tavy, Hannah Bown was having a leg stretch in order to assess her form as she is in the final stages of preparation for the London Marathon. Over a challenging and fairly hilly rural course, she could take satisfaction in knowing that the training has gone well as she posted a fine time for taxing course of 92:26. This gave her 28th place overall and a superb 3rd place in the female race. This being the Devon County A.A. half-marathon championships designated race, she also scooped herself a bonus bronze medal! Talented local Tavistock athelete, Jo Meek, had the added advantage of knowing the course and cruised to victory in a time of 84:05, taking 5th place overall, but Hannah was less than 2 minutes behind the 2nd placed female, Rebecca Mingo, and a clear 8 minutes ahead of 4th, so a good day out all in all and a confidence boost before London!

The other Tavy challenger was Ben White, who clocked a time of 1:51:36, showing just how tough this course is as Ben regularly churns out half-marathon times of 1:40 or better. This gave him 106th place overall, bang on halfway out of a select field of just 209 finishers. Dave Tomlin of Teignbridge Trotters retained his Tavy title, bettering his time from 2012 by 22 seconds with a 77:00 clocking.

Meanwhile, across the border in Somerset, Dan Morley went back to his roots to take part in the 3rd annual running of the Yoevil Half Marathon. Organised by Total Buzz Events, the race continues to grow year on year and this year saw a total of 1000 entrants and 813 eventual finishers. This was Dan's first time tackling the event and he reports that it was "a weird undulating course" (having run it myself in 2011, I would second that!). A king of the hill contest up Henford Hill at mile 6 adds to the fun but also to the difficulty rating and the 3 miles long drag back up to the finish (at Yoevil Town F.C.) is also a killer. Dan therefore did very well to finish in a time of 1:37:01 and in 134th place overall, well up the field. He reports that his next challenge is to find a faster course in the Autumn to try and target a sub 1:30 time and we're sure that with a good summer's build up, he'll easily achieve that.

Dan, on one of the less attractive sections of the Yeovil Half. 
The route is a veritable 'magical mystery tour' of Yeovil as it starts and finishes in an industrial estate, then takes runners through the town centre, through a country park, through suburban housing, past the Augusta Westlands helicopter plant, and out into the country-side for a couple of miles, showcasing the very best (... and worst?!) of what the town has to offer!

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