Exe-rated runners!

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

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Tough times at Taunton in icy temperatures

We are all familiar with the expression “out of the frying pan and into the fire” but when it came to Exmouth Harrier Mike Keep’s recent running of the Taunton Marathon on Sunday 7th April it was more a case of “out of the frying pan and into”, well, “the fridge” I suppose. Mike, you see, has been working (and training) in tropical West Africa and he no doubt imagined he was going to have a breeze covering 26.2 miles of mildly undulating Somerset in refreshingly balmy conditions in contrast to the sapping heat and altitude he had been contending with 3000 miles south. Yes, it was 'a breeze', but of the artic, chills-you-to-the-bone easterly variety, no doubt leaving him to wonder if he could get a balaclava in club colours instead of a flimsy singlet! Enough of the meteorology though because in fact he had a pretty good race, finishing 2nd man over 65 in 4 hours 20 minutes and that is running a Marathon not just completing it. Overall he was 172nd of 199 finishers. Looks like Mike is set to extend still further the strength in depth of the Exmouth club’s veteran ranks and we are possibly looking at a crack team for the Erme Valley Relays!

Alongside the full marathon event there is also a Half Marathon (the full marathon is run over two laps of the half), which this year was contested by just under 1,000 runners, of which almost 400 were women and just over 600 men. The field also included four Exmouth Harriers. Mick Allen is 75 this year but ran in the men over 65 category. There are now so many veterans of Mick’s vintage that it is inevitable that races will catch up sooner or later and make sure there are sections for V70 and, even, V75 athletes, where runners like him can be competitive. On this occasion Mick was 13th in this category but of course he would have had opponents up to 10 years younger. 
Adrian Kearns was 46th and 6th man over 40 in 86:30, an impressive performance and over 3 minutes faster than on this same course last year: the cooler conditions of this year's event evidentally suited Adrian better. Adrian ran very close to this time (86:54) in finishing 71st overall and 19th man over 40 at the Bideford Half Marathon just last month, showing just how consistent he is.  
Julie Gellender was 214th overall, 7th woman over 40 and comfortably under 100 minutes with 98:37 while Diane Richards, stretching her legs in a last race as she enters the final stages of her London Marathon build up, was 558th, 18th woman over 45, and timed at 1:55:07. This was also a new PB for her, and an improvement of 12 minutes on her time set in the Bath half in March, which has to give her plenty of confidence that her training has gone well and she is in top shape as she prepares to head to London for double the distance.

No comments:

Post a Comment