Exe-rated runners!

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

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Fast Friday flew by

Again, thanks to Dave Eveleigh for the following report on a new event, organised by the Iron Bridge Runner brigade on those all-too familiar paths and tracks around Flower Pots Fields in Exeter. A special mention to the first Harrier home, donning the blue and gold for the first time, our latest recruit, Pete Fletcher: welcome to the clan Pete! After this debut, we expect great things from you.... no pressure!! ;-)

In Exeter, on Good Friday 18th April, four Exmouth Harriers were taking part in the Ironbridge Runner Events ‘Fast Friday' 10K. Making his debut for the club and at the distance was Peter Fletcher. The field was 105 strong (around 49 being women) and rather spread out at the front, over 5 minutes (more than 3/4 mile) covering the first ten home. Peter would have been pleased to finish in that first ten, he was 6th in 38:07, but in a bigger field with more athletes around him to work off he could expect a big improvement on that inaugural Personal Best. Next in from the Exmouth club was Dave Eveleigh in 57th place, in a somewhat disappointing time of 50:51. Roger Rowe was 68th in 53:04. There was a time when Roger would have expected to be in front of Dave, even with the younger runner at his best. Hard to say whether various sporting activities over the years have contributed to the problems which restrict his running these days but it would be hard to imagine Roger having too many regrets as he enjoyed the event a whole! Also at this new 10K was Mike Musgrove in the demanding role of Guide Runner to a visually impaired athlete.

London calling....

And thanks to Dave Eveleigh for producing the following report on what was yet another extremely successful London for the Harriers clan. Well done to everyone on your superb times, performances, PBs, world records (that man Stoney's been at it again....!) and on all the hard earned money you raised for your respective charities.

With extensive television coverage you could hardly be unaware of the London Marathon taking place last Sunday (13 April). Among over 22,000 running were several participants from Exmouth.

Best placed of these overall was Dave Stone who was 569th (putting him in the top 3%) and 107th Man Age 40 – 44 in a time of 2:49:51. Dave was attempting to claim a World Marathon record for a runner dressed as a television character and to this end was dressed as Virgil Tracy of Thunderbirds fame. Given his time though it can be assumed that Dave was not adopting the persona so enthusiastically that he moved like the puppet Virgil was. This is the fourth time Dave has done the London race in costume. This year Dave has used his participation to raise funds for the St John Ambulance, deciding on this cause after they came to his aid when he fell at a recent race. I wonder if Dave can recall which Thunderbird Virgil flew though?

Mike Musgrove was raising funds for Whizz-Kidz. The recurrence of a calf injury did not stop him finishing and he was still comfortably inside 3 hours but he would have been hoping for a much better time than the 2:54:16 he recorded. He was 813th overall (top 4%) and 91st Man Aged 45-49.

Over 70 Veteran Mike Keep is another who has had to overcome injury recently so he would have been happy to complete the course in 4:14:17 in 15,029th place, leaving a third of the finishers behind him. Impressively there were 20 runners in his age category ahead of him.

Jane MacDonald was 8712th overall and 232nd Woman Age 45-49 in 3:48:49, a minute faster than in Amsterdam last year and believed to be a new Personal Best. Jane’s performance was particularly even paced and she used her participation to raise funds for Diabetes UK.

Amanda McCann finished 11,414th in 3:58:41, so just inside 4 hours but just outside the top half of the field. Amanda was 480th in her Women Aged 40-44 category and she was raising funds for Cancer Research UK.

Lorraine Kirby was not far behind Amanda with a time of 4:01:37 for 12,127th place. She was 356th in the female 45-49 age group

Virgil flew Thunderbird 2, the green one!

PBs and podium placings for the Harriers at Taunton

Howdie all. Apologies for the lack of activity on the Harriers blog for the past few weeks. Yours truly, the only person with access to the blog, has been away on her travels and without internet access. However, Carly Miller very kindly responded to my call to be a guest blogger for the day and has compiled this following report about the Taunton half and full marathons, which took place on April 6th. Thanks a million to Carly for this detailed account of what sounds like a superb day at the office for all the Harriers representatives on the start line.

On the 6th April, 6 Exmouth Harriers travelled to Taunton to take part in the marathon and half marathon races. The predicted rain held off, leaving the runners with almost ideal cool, dry conditions in which to take on the route. The half marathon is raced over one lap, through the streets of Taunton and out into the Somerset countryside. The race organisers describe the course as undulating, with runners having to contend with a rather large hill at 11 miles. For those competing in the marathon, the hill must be faced twice, as runners complete 2 laps of the half marathon course.

Tom Merson was a last minute entrant to the half marathon, having managed to get a race number from an injured Anthony Hatchard. Following recent controversy over Tom’s choice of racing gear, he decided not to wear his favoured Exmouth vest, and instead opted for one which clearly showed him to be a Bristol and West runner (although not official B&W kit –setting us all a bad example, once again, tut tut!) Despite having raced hard the previous day in the 12 stage road relays, Tom had a fantastic run, winning the race in a time of 1:08:55.

Just behind him (well, 7 minutes), came Adam Miller, finishing second in a time of 1:16:05. Adam had been battling with Torbay’s Arran Tocknell around most of the course, but after climbing the hill together at 11 miles, Adam managed to pull away from him on the long downhill stretch, and open up a 50 second gap. Adam was over the moon with his second place, and, having won his first ever cash prize, tells me he is planning to go professional.

Making her debut at the half marathon distance was Alice Kelly, who set herself a relatively conservative target of 2 hours, which she absolutely smashed, coming home as 7th senior lady in 1:37:19. Alice clearly enjoyed the race, as anyone could see by her beaming face as she completed the last mile. Alice seemed to be running very comfortably, and I wouldn’t be surprised if she managed to improve on that time quite considerably in the future.

Mick Allen also ran the half marathon race, and this year was able to compete in a vet 70 category – a category in which he managed to finish 3rd, in a time of 2:01:44.

Two brave souls, the husband and wife team of Ben and Emma White, chose to take on the marathon. Ben had been struggling with allergy problems leading up to race day, and was therefore not feeling at his best, but chose to give the race a go anyway. It must have taken a lot of grit and determination to turn away from the finish line at half way, and set off on that lonely second lap, but Ben kept going, managing to complete the course in a time of 4:11:50.

His wife, Emma, had a fantastic run, but finished feeling very disappointed after missing a ‘Good for Age’ London qualifying time by less than 90 seconds. After running most of the first after alongside Alice Kelly, and going through halfway in just over 1:40, Emma found the second half tougher, and struggled to stay on pace to achieve her target of a sub 3:45 marathon. Despite this, she finished in a new PB time of 3:46:21, and was the 9th lady home. Hopefully, on reflection, Emma realises what an achievement that time was on a testing course.