Exe-rated runners!

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

Saturday, 3 May 2014

The Dupain clan tackle the Plymouth half

On Sunday 27th ApriI, five Exmouth Harriers were in Plymouth for the annual running of the city's Half Marathon. Now organised by Go2 Events (who also organise the Bath Half and, now, the Great West Run), this is by no means the fastest, flattest course ever, but it does showcase all the main sights and features of Plymouth, including the Hoe, the river, Saltram Park and the Barbican.

Having recovered from his record-breaking London Marathon performance 2 weeks previously, Dave Stone was back in his racing vest on this occasion and delivering a fine performance in it too. His solid time of 81:02 on this testing course was good enough for 24th spot overall and a creditable 3rd spot and bronze medal in the ever-competitive MV40 section.

A little short of his PB but, again, not forgetting that this is not really a PB course, was Chris Dupain with his time of 90:34. More significantly, Chris position, inside the top 100 (89th), is perhaps a better indicator of the strength of his performance on this occasion. Chris has been on a half-marathon mission this year and has been running really well. A superb time of 18:10 at a recent 5k event shows that he has the speed and, if he can work on his endurance, then a half-marathon PB could well be forthcoming later in the season - perhaps at the Torbay Half?

Chris' sister, Hannah Bown, had to take 2nd in the family race-within-a-race. Sibling rivalry can only help to boost individual performances and, on this occasion, it helped Hannah to run a fine time of 92:47 for 191st spot overall and a well deserved top 10 spot in the female section overall (9th) and 2nd spot and silver in the FV35 category.

Questioning why she lets her siblings drag her into all these events - having initially planned to just go and support Chris and Hannah as she had a hockey match the previous day - Emma White nevertheless gave a good account of herself. Again, showing a remarkable ability to juggle two very different, but equally demanding, sports simultaneously, Emma finished in  time of 1:41. (Actual position unknown as she doesn't appear in the results, having taken the number last minute).

Despite both being septuagenarians, Mike Keep and Mick Allen were counted in the MF60 section in this race, as there wasn't a category for persons older than this: disappointing, considering the size of the field and the cost to enter it, really something that race organisers should be considering now that more and more people are taking such good care of themselves that they are still able to run competitively in this age bracket and want to have a good, fair race with people of their own age. Therefore, unsurprisingly there were no podium performances for the lads on this occasion. Mike was 1702nd and dipped in under 2 hours with 1:56:59 and Mick placed 2858th in 2:13:27.

The race was won by Exmouth based, second claim Harrier, Tom Merson, in 68:44, while there was an impressive performance by the first woman, Lucy McAlister, like Tom running for Bristol and West. Lucy was 10th overall and recorded 78:02       

The Dupain siblings at the Plymouth Half: Hannah, Chris and Emma. 
Photo call over, time to head back to base for a Sunday roast and to mull over the race!

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