Exe-rated runners!

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

Friday, 2 August 2013

Haytor Heller: the Harriers' happy hunting ground!

Remember last year, when we totally dominated the prizes at the Haytor Heller? With category wins, top 3 placings and team wins, we thought we had reached a peak about as high as one you have to climb in the race, and there was no room for improvement, right? Wrong! This year the Harriers went even better, totally cleaning up on the prize front, to the point that onlookers at the prize giving ceremony must have wondered if there were any other clubs in the race! It seems that Haytor is a happy hunting ground for the Harriers! The following report again comes courtesy of Carly Miller (many thanks Carly!): 

In the hot, sunny conditions of Saturday 20th July, thirteen Exmouth Harriers travelled to Dartmoor to race the Haytor Heller. This is an approximately 6 mile route, run over challenging moorland terrain between Haytor and Hound Tor. After starting halfway up the steep path to Haytor, runners continue up to the rock, before dropping down over the other side and making their way down into the valley, over the stream, and then up the steep climb to Hound Tor, where there is a very welcome water station! The runners then head back down a long, grassy galloping stretch before climbing steeply once again to Haytor and then enjoying a fast downhill finish.

This event was very successful for us last year, and was to prove so again this time. The race was won by the talented local youngster Jamie Parkinson, who, at just 20 years old, shot off fearlessly at the start at a blistering pace. He won convincingly in a time of 39:58, with our own Berihu Tesfay coming second in 41:08. Not forgetting that Berihu is himself a former winner and previous course record holder of this event, further underlining the outstanding performance of the young winner.

Berihu at the start of the race, leading the pack up to Haytor Rocks.

Next in for the Harriers was Anthony Hatchard, who was running in his second challenging race in two days, having run the Chudleigh Carnival race on Friday. Clearly this had no detrimental effect as Anthony put in an impressive performance to come 6th in a time of 43:25. He also bagged a prize for being 2nd V35, showing that he is just as much at home off-road as he is on!

Tony: second race in two days - hard core of the moor!

Behind him competition was fierce to be a counter in what was surely to be a winning Harriers men’s team. Adam Miller, having let Mike Musgrove get away from him somewhat earlier on in the race, managed to overhaul him on the last climb up to Haytor, to finish next Harrier, and 10th overall, in a time of 45:46, almost a minute faster than his time from last year. Mike Musgrove managed to hold off Marc Cox to finish 11th overall in 46:04 and 1st V40. These four impressive performances ensured that the Exmouth Harrier’s men won the men’s team prize with a margin of 10 minutes over the second placed team. In fact, 5 of the first 12 men to finish were Harriers, showing just what strength we have in the club at the moment!

Adam, in a chasing group, just behind the leaders, near the start of the race.

Just missing out on team glory was Marc Cox, who had Mike and Adam in his sights all the way round. He fought hard to catch Mike but narrowly missed out, finishing strongly, nevertheless, in a time of 46:17, which gave him 12th position. Next in was Hugh Marsden, who put in another fine performance to finish in 48:11, just 4 seconds slower that last year: talk about consistency! This put him 23rd overall and earned him the prize for 2nd V50. Next Harrier home was Scott-2-Trigs-Jordan, who was taking time out from the wedding he had been attending, in order to come and compete at Haytor. Scott had been very disciplined, turning down all offers of a drink during the celebrations for the sake of his run (we know that can't have been easy for him.... Er... ok, so Ellie might have added that bit, not Carly!!). This was worth it though and much appreciated as he put in a fantastic performance, running the course in 53:11 (1 min 40 seconds quicker than last year), to finish in 51st position.
The ever-improving Marc Cox!

Next in for the Harriers was myself, Carly Miller, in a time of 58:27. I was very pleased with this time, which was over a minute quicker than last year. This put me in 83rd position overall and 7th in the ladies’ race. (It also made Carly the first counter in the Harriers female team and a time of sub 1 hour for a female on this course is truly fantastic running - added by Ellie, as Carly is too modest to write this about herself!)

Carly - her strong downhill technique has resulted in consecutive good runs at Haytor, last year and this.

Terry Oldham followed shortly behind, relishing in the off-road terrain, finishing in a time of 1:01:35 and 107th position. Next Harrier in was Nicholas Brown in 1:04:46, closely followed by ladies team captain Dawn Teed, who had a brilliant run to finish in 1:04:50 - nearly 2 minutes quicker than she did in 2012. Dawn was 125th overall and 3rd in a very competitive FV50 category. Hot on her heels, just 14 seconds and 2 positions later, was 4th FV50 Lorraine Gilson. Lucy Hodgson came flying down the home straight shortly afterwards to complete the run in a time of 1:05:56. This put Lucy in 134th overall and, more importantly, earned her the prize for 2nd V35. This was not to be her only prize, however, as the Exmouth Harriers ladies proved once again that they are a force to be reckoned with, by clinching the team prize for the second year running! For Lucy this was her second team prize in as many weeks - hopefully she will take confidence from this and realise what an asset she is to the female team and sign up for more events!!).

The Dark Destroyer of the Moor: Terry Oldham!

Lorraine found time for a natter on route and looks to be enjoying herself far too much!! ;-)

So, once again, it was a very successful outing for the Exmouth Harriers, who came away with a clean sweep of team prizes, 5 individual prizes, and some rather aptly designed blue and gold race t-shirts as a momento. Can we match this next year? Let's give it a go, shall we?!

Lorraine just managed to out-sprint a female rival for those valuable team competition points!

The lads, chillin' at the finish!

That's quite an impressive prize haul!

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