Weekly media reports

Note that the "year" starts in November so these can be used as a reminder when nominating recipients for awards presented at the Christmas dinner.

16th July

Running in the colours of SWVAC, David Cooke represented the SW in the Inter-Regional T&F meet at Solihull on Sunday July 8 and Wales Masters joined the seven English regions. David was 3rd in the M60 race 400m race taking 63:20. This ranks him 7th in the UK this year (3rd outdoors) a great effort.

There was a great AVR turnout for the Otter (or HOtter!) River and Rail Run on Saturday morning.  A mostly flat 10k run along the River Otter and back following the old railroad track, starting at Tipton St John Playing Fields. There were 192 runners of all ages and gender and all did well to run in the sweltering heat.  First AVR home was Graham Newton who won the male over 65 prize in 46:35, 33^rd overall closely followed by Karen Eyre 36^th, 46:59. Next AVR home was Alan Morbey, 57^th, 52:25, chased in by Margaret Pearce, back from injury 58^th, 52:38, closely followed by Chris Hill 59^th, 52:57.  Caroline French was next back 73^rd, 55:08 with Gillian Peach 92^nd, 57:52.  Angela Kerr had a great run coming in 96^th, 58:39 and then running together Julia Mallon and Sandra Mortimer came in 150^th, 1:07:32 and 151^st, 1:07:53 respectively, closely followed by Aileen Heal 156^th, 1:08:39. Next home and taking the 1st female over 65 prize was Diane Newton 157^th, 1:08:56.  Mother and son, Cameron and Yvette Hill running together finished joint 172^nd, 1:12:16. Martin Kerr was 179^th, 1:14:15 followed by Carolyn Nation and Denise Burgess in identical times of 1:1:5:41, joint 183^rd.

For his first marathon Richard Jackson ran the Lulworth Cove Trial marathon (plus an extra 3 miles) and despite the heat and serious elevation he finished 24^th out of 50 in 7:11:05. Ferenc Kovács completed the associated half marathon 11^th out of 290 in 2:31:44, a great effort for his first half in AVR colours.

Jacqui Stokes ran the hot and hilly Frome Half Marathon in 2:30:00. Anthony Chadwick ran the Colmers Challenge finishing 6th in 45:52.

Pure Endurance Organised for the Second Time the Honiton Sprint Triathlon comprising a 400m Pool Swim / 20K Bike / 5k Multi terrain Run. Jonathan Day had a 9:46 Swim, 37:19 Bike, 19.58 Run.  1:09:49 overall 38th out of 205 finishers. Other AVR’s were Simon Davis, Flow Swan, Tim Sibley, Chris Polley and Paul Hampton.

The latest Seaton parkrun was won by Wayne Loveridge of Chard RRC in 16:49 with Greg West of Leamington C & AC 2^nd, 17:26 and AVR’s Rob Collier 3^rd, 18:57. 1^st lady home was Isabelle Beech, 29^th overall in 23:03. The parkruns are free to enter and are held all around the world at 9am on a Saturday.

9th July

On a hot and sunny day on the south coast, 14 AVR adults and 2 Juniors tackled the Charmouth Challenge 8 mile Fell Race and Fun Run. There were 344 runners in the main race which was won by Chris MacMillan of Weston AC in 53:32. First AVR home was Tim Lenton in 3rd place 56:01 closely followed in 8th by Rob Collier 1:02:05. Sam Anning, back on the local running scene had a great run 1:03:53 1st MV 60, John Blackledge in his local home run 54th in 1:11:51, 67th Jon Day 1:13:51, Eleanor Wood, 5th Lady and 1st FV 60 73^rd, 1:15:00; Ethan Day 115^th, 1:21:00; Roger Bramley 138^th, 1:25:07; Alan Morbey 152^nd, 1:26:05; Ragnhild Kordt Richards 162^nd, 1:27:10, Nick Adams 216^th, 1:35:07, Paul Hampton 228^th, 1:36:19; John Larcombe 231^st, 1:36:32; Melissa Kirkby in her first ever 8 mile run, talk about baptism by fire, did really well 327th in 2:05:53. The Fun Run was won by George Chapman and Sam Eyre was 5th overall winning the male12 prize in 12:28 and 17th was Naomi Glennie 1st female 12 in 15:37. All runners were treated to a hosing down by the local fire brigade and all received a goodie bag. Many thanks to Charmouth Primary School for another great event.

The Ham & Lyme 50k Ultra is a 50km (31 miles) trail race that follows the Liberty Trail from Ham Hill near Stoke Sub Hamdon in Somerset to Lyme Regis which took place on Saturday. It was this race that Amie Sibley decided to be her first Ultra Marathon. Joined by husband Tim and 200 others runners they left Ham Hill at 9:30am with the knowledge that it was going to be a very hot day. Taking it easy at the start and drinking plenty as the continued they soon started overtaking many runners who were struggling with the very tough and hot conditions. The race was very well organised with extra water stations added. After 7hrs 58minutes Amie and Tim reached the finish and were rewarded with a lovely medal.

Cliff Marriott ran the Relish Running Two Tunnels 10K in Bath and was in 11:30 wave so it was very hot, but a lot of the course is shaded and as and out and back you run  through both tunnels twice.  The short one is approx. 400 metres and the second over 1 mile.  Lovely and cool in the tunnels and you really feel like you're flying along. Cliff would recommend it for anyone that fancies something a bit different.

The main point of interest at the Forde Abbey 10K was flies, flies, flies, like little black spots everywhere! Everyone was covered in them when they arrived at the finish. They didn’t detract many runners from putting in fine performances with Robert Collier 4th, 1^st M40, 43:58; Matthew Hewer 11th, 46:17; Tim Sibley 30th, 49:43; Joel Seward 36th, 50:47; Graham Newton 41st, 51:39; Eleanor Wood 43rd, 1^st F55, 52:07; Richard Jackson 49th, 53:42; Kerry Board 51st, 54:02; Roger Bramley 75th, 57:38; Alan Morbey 86th, 59:16; Kevin Feeney 96th, 1:00:55; Carol Austin 107th, 1:02:27; Henry Smith 108th, 1:02:49; Anders Larsson 111th, 1:03:34; Nick Adams 120th, 1:04:11; Paul Tolchard 125th, 1:04:38; Samantha Miller 143rd, 1:07:03; David Cooke 168th, 1:09:46; Angela Kerr 192nd, 1:13:59; Laura Kerr 193rd, 1:13:59; Bec Davey 194th, 1:13:59; Mark Spraggs 195th, 1:13:59; Sandra Mortimer 205th, 1:15:41; Julia Mallon 213th, 1:17:10; Janet Cullum 222nd, 1:19:25; Lesley Adams 223rd, 1:19:30; Diane Newton 230th, 1:21:57; Robert Kerr 231st, 1:23:19; Janet Woodward 262nd, 1:35:51; Aileen Heal 264th, 1:35:51; Victoria Hirons 265th, 1:35:51; Gillian Day 266th, 1:35:51; Vicky Austin 267th, 1:35:51; Carolyn Nation 268th, 1:35:51; Rachael Tattershall 269th, 1:35:51; Sam Summers 270th, 1:35:51.

For the juniors George Chapman came 2nd in the junior/primary school 1,500m race at Forde Abbey and first for 10-12 age group in the Poppy run.

At midnight almost 12 yrs ago Richard Hale and a group of AVR’s were to be found high up on Fan y Big in the Brecon Beacons running the inaugural 20 mile Sleepwalker Night race. Richard was there again on Saturday but this time it was at midday in summer sunshine for the classic fell race ‘Fan y Big Horseshoe ‘.  Classed as BM (i.e. not too pointy, but quite tough), the 10.3 mile distance with 2,200 ft of ascent in temperatures exceeding 25 degrees proved too challenging for a few who were unable to finish. Richard, however, with careful pacing managed to hang on despite the brutal conditions for a joint 114 place in 2:21:28. There were 124 finishers.

2nd July

Fancying a change of scenery en route to her daughter’s graduation in Durham, Clare Hansford diverted to Haltwhistle in Northumbria to run the Hadrian’s Wall half marathon. Well worth the long drive, this spectacular race took in a section of the Wall and the Pennine Way, plus undulating moorland, trails and forestry tracks. In a field of just under 300 runners Clare was pleased to finish 34th in 1:48:18, 5th lady and 1st V50.

Roger Bramley took part in the North Devon AONB Half Marathon. Described as one of the most challenging and visually stunning events in the UK, this certified Fell run is in aid of North Devon Hospice. The blisteringly hot conditions certainly added to the challenge and Roger was very pleased to finish in 02:16, 156th out of 403 finishers.

The weather mostly held off for Sunday’s Umborne Ug multi-terrain 10K and it was a very successful one for AVR who collected the first 5 places with James Green 1st, 41:42; Chet Gillespie 2nd, 42:01; Tim Lenton 3rd, 1^st M40, 42:16; Matt Clist 4th, 42:38 and Robert Collier 5th, 1^st M45, 44:58. Hanna Bown of Exmouth Harriers was the 1^st Lady, 13^th overall in 50:48. Other AVR times were: Karl Hodson 7th, 1^st M50, 47:14; Jon Day 11th, 49:45; Joel Seward 16th, 51:46; Graham Newton 18th, 1^st M65, 52:25; Clare Hansford 19th, 1^st F50, 52:57; Kerry Board 22nd, 1^st F40, 54:10; Richard Jackson 24th, 55:34; Antony Smith 27th, 56:07; Andrew Hartnell 28th, 56:41; Geoff Woodward 30th, 57:20; Ferenc Kovacs 31st, 57:29; Alan Morbey 33rd, 3^rd M60, 58:35; Kevin Feeney 35th, 59:00; Roger Bramley 36th, 59:19; Anders Larsson 38th, 1:00:06; Nick Adams 46th, 1:02:56; Henry Smith 48th, 1:04:44; Angela Kerr 51st, 2^nd F60, 1:05:06; Sarah Shepley 53rd, 2^nd F50, 1:05:35; Richard Dodge 56th, 1:05:43; Helen Holmes 61st, 1:12:14; Sarah Glynn 62nd, 1:12:14; Anna McLoughlin 63rd, 3^rd F45, 1:12:50; Jacqui Stokes 65th, 1:13:30; Sandra Mortimer 69th, 1:15:41; Julia Mallon 70th, 1:15:42; Diane Newton 78th, 2^nd F65, 1:16:40; Janet Woodward 81st, 1:24:02 and Pam Goddard 82nd, 1:24:02.

It was double delight for the Green family and James’s son Harvey won the Umborne Fun Run in 10:48 with AVR’s Sam Eyre 2^nd, 11:18 and Aidan Bown of Exmouth Harriers 3^rd, 11:31. The race raised much needed funds for Umborne Village Hall and as well as 34 AVR’s running another dozen were in supportive roles so congratulations to Rick and Eleanor Wood and everyone else involved in staging the event.

Whilst working in London Chris Hill travelled to Wimbledon common (yes there were some Wombles) on Wednesday to take part in the Runthroughs chase the sun series of 10k races. Despite the heat he ran a P.B. of 51:11 finishing 81/250, 3rd in his age group.

On Saturday, while working in Birmingham at the British Athletics Championships, Carol Austin took part in Perry Hall parkrun, a beautiful park opposite the Alexander Stadium. She finished second woman in 23:12 in her 151st parkrun. With the holiday season in full swing it is worth remembering that there are parkruns all over the world. Carol has now completed 27 different parkruns in eight different countries.

25th June

The annual Woodland Relays at Salcombe Hill this year were hosted by Sidmouth Running Club. The excellent off-road routes consisted of a short course of 0.72 miles and a long course of 2.1 miles. 63 teams contested the relays. Nine AVR teams contested the long course. Our junior team of Tom Perry, Ben Perry and Sam Eyre won the junior prize (under 16) and were 5th team overall, beating most of the adult teams. Tom Perry was the quickest AVR runner of any age on the night and 8th fastest athlete overall. First Senior team for AVR, in 8th place overall, was Chris Perry, Rob Collier and Cliff Marriott (Cliff is an M50 running for the 17-49 team). First Veteran team over 50 for AVR was Graham Newton (M65), Kevin Feeney (M60) and Nick Adams (M60) who did well to come third in this category. First ladies team for AVR was Eleanor Wood, Kerry Board and Karen Eyre who finished 13th team overall and 3rd ladies team. The full results, with a full list of AVR athletes, will be on the AVR website.

Jacqui Stokes’ mission is to beat the 2 hour barrier for a half marathon and this weekend she ran the Torbay half marathon in 2hrs 20 min. The conditions were far too hot for a fast time and Jacqui blasted off to quickly. Next time maybe…

Three intrepid AVRs ventured over the border to Dorset to tackle the Lulworth Castle 10k on a scorching hot Sunday. Scenic, hot, and hilly trails through the privately-owned Lulworth Castle Estate were in mint condition for a race with a friendly vibe - and a warm welcome for AVRs! After the race Kevin Feeney (54:39), Sarah Shepley (59:45) and Aileen Heal (1:10) joined 300 other thirsty runners for tea, bacon buns and cakes in Combe Keynes Parish church, which is being restored with funds raised by this lovely event.

Honiton RC’s Adam Hennessey won the latest Seaton parkrun in 18:32 with AVR’s Matt Hewer 2^nd, 18:50 and James Stenning of London FrontRunners 3^rd, 19:09. Fiona Blackmore of Bitton RR was 1^st lady, 4^th overall, 20:10, Phoebe Clarke was 2^nd lady, 20:52 and AVR’s Eleanor Wood 3^rd lady 22:12.

On Saturday 3 intrepid AVRs tackled the Yeovil Montacute parkrun on what must have been one of the hottest days of the year. Graham and Diane Newton and Janet Cullum lined up with the other 345 runners to take part in this challenging cross-country, undulating 5k run.  Despite the heat Graham ran amazingly well to finish 32nd overall and first over male over 65, to achieve a PB of 22:31. His sister, Janet was also first in her age group and 30th lady back in 29:34 while Diane, struggled with the final hill but was still very pleased to finish in 34.20, as 3rd female over 65, and 72nd lady back.

18th June

Last weekend saw two AVR’s contend with a 24 hour race. Matt Clist and James Ashforth headed to Plymouth to test their limits and see how far they could run in 24 hours. The course was a 5 mile loop of trail paths and runners had 24 hours to complete as many laps as possible. Matt started off fairly quickly and his legs had had enough by 20 miles but he managed to keep pushing until his inevitable retirement at 60 miles (100k), in 10 hours and 11 minutes of running. James on the other hand, had managed to also complete 60 miles but in 23 hours. Too many blisters on his toes meant he couldn’t go for one more loop.

On Friday AVR entered the Run Exe Relays held on the banks of the River Exe in Exeter. The race is a 4 by 4km relay and always generates entries from a lot of clubs. We had a mixed team and finished second behind South West Road Runners. The times and order the legs where run are as follows, Matt Hewer 14:00, Flo Swann 15:28, Rob Collier 14:32 and Luke Reed 13:57.

Rob Collier also ran the Martock 10k, a relatively flat course on roads and lanes around Martock. In a race one by Zak Harrell of Wells City Harriers in 35:31, I was 9th and 3rd M40 in a PB time of 39:15 out of a field of 470.

Denise Burges here completed my second ever 10k around Exeter Quay for age UK with a nice flat course, for a change. The Retro element of the race attracted some wonderful fluorescent outfits with many runners in headbands and leg warmers!. She completed in 1:15 which was a slight PB while Carol Austin finished in 48:36 and first W50 although disappointed she was beaten by Wonder Woman!

Louis Darrock won the latest Seaton parkrun in 18:37 with AVR’s Tom Perry 2^nd, 18:52 and Tom Dunn 3^rd, 19:01. Cecily Day was the first female, 17^th overall in 22:15. A reminder though that the parkrun is there for everyone to have a go at, no matter how fast or slow. It is held every Saturday throughout the world at 9am see www.parkrun.org.uk/seaton for more info. The morning after attending a Rolling Stones concert, it was probably not the best idea to get up early and attempt the Cardiff parkrun, but that is what AVRs Graham and Diane Newton foolishly chose to do. Maybe it was the after effects of the heavy night before but they had serious difficulty finding the start of the race, and only joined the other 565 runners after a desperate search of Bute Park, arriving with just moments to spare. Despite this Graham still managed a very respectable run finishing in 101st in 23:21, and Diane, in 32:10, and first in her age group.

11th June

On Saturday Roger Bramley took on the Tsunami 16 mile coastal trail race, from Hartland Quay to Bude. Taking in some of the most rugged, wild and remote sections of the SW coastal path, with massive ascents and descents, this was not for the faint hearted. In hot and humid conditions, Roger was delighted to finish 39th out of 97 finishers in 4:05.

Three AVR’s made the trip to Coleton Fishacre to run the Coleton Footacre. With a 6.30pm start on a warm balmy evening the start was straight uphill perhaps, giving an indication of what was to come. The course was 6.1 miles with a total ascent of over 1,200ft around the South West Coast Path, starting and finishing at the magnificent national trust house and gardens. Chris Hill was first back up the steep finish 29th in 1:05:16 followed by Gillian Peach and Yvette Hill finishing together as they had started and still smiling, joint 49th in 1:14:42. It was a great local event organised by South Devon A.C. in beautiful surroundings if insanely hilly.

Peter Johns was the only qualified runner in AVR June Junior handicap taking 12:17. He now leads the Junior Ranking with 102 points with Sam Eyre 2^nd, 84 and Naomi Glennie 3^rd, 69. Lee Moran won the Senior handicap in 23:22 with Nick Adams 2^nd, 27:37 and Lou Tucker 3^rd, 25:12. Anthony Chadwick and Kerry Board lead the Senior Rankings with 89 points, closely followed by Kevin Feeney on 86.

Honiton RC’s Adam Hennessey won the latest Seaton parkrun in 18:26 with AVR’s Matt Hewer 2^nd, 19:22 and Nick Thomas of Telford AC 3^rd, 20:21. Megan Stovell was the 1^st female in 22:15 with AVR’s Kerry Board 2^nd F, 22:36. Keith Agland ran the Exeter Riverside parkrun finishing 75^th and 1^st male over 60 in 23:38. Graham and Diane Newton lined up with nearly 400 other runners in front of the beautiful Montacute House in Somerset to run the parkrun there.  The course is a little challenging as it is all off road and quite undulating, ending in a fairly steep hill. However, Graham managed to finish 34^th in a very good time of 22:59, and 1st in his age group. He also managed to achieve the highest age graded percentage of the day in 75.85%. Diane also had a good run finishing in a very respectable 33:59 and 2nd in her age group.

4th June

Quintuple Ultratriathlon 19km (12 mi) Swim, 900km (560 mi) Bike, 211 km (131 mi) run. Starting on the Wednesday 23rd May and finishing on Friday 1st June AVR’s Paul Johns took on a challenge to complete 10 ironman distances in 10 days. Unfortunately, due to ankle issues early on in the challenge it was decided to dropdown to 5 ironman distances broke up into 2 full and 6 Halfs to manage the challenge. An early morning sea swim along the coastline of Seaton Bay at 6 am started the triathlon. This led into five bike laps that took in the delights of the East Devon countryside before pushing through to complete the run. The sea swim was fairly calm apart from two choppy days and the thunderous threatened weather didn't materialise throughout the bike and run which could have made the challenge even more demanding. Paul gives a special thank you to his support crew who on occasions lost where he was, but without them this challenge would have been a nonstarter and for those who came out on various parts of the route to encourage and experience some of the challenge. Paul now questions what is next for him?

When AVR Richard Hale retired back to his native Wales he still kept his links with our local club.  During his time in Devon he organised many events for the club including a group ascent of the 3 Peaks at which all 14 participants completed the event in the allotted 24 hours, and his popular Nightrunner series of races over Grizzly country from Beer to Branscombe. Continuing this theme he organised the Bolamaen Trail race in which AVRs Graham Newton and Paul Tolchard competed. This  inaugural run started at Bolamaen Farm, near Brecon and took in the open fell of Cefn Bola. The run should have been 7 miles long but due to adverse weather conditions and thick hill mist was reduced to 3.25 miles. Both men ran really well with Graham coming in 2nd in 29.00 and Paul in 5th place in 35:25. Flushed with this success, Richard will be organising the race again next year and will be hoping for better weather to encourage a few more runners next time, as the field of 8 elite runners would have welcomed more competition.

Torrential rain greeted our intrepid lady AVRs as they arrived at the start line for the second Women Can (Women Only) Marathon last Sunday.  This did not bode well for the gruelling 26-mile, multi-terrain course that lay ahead of them which rambled across the spectacular clifftops, countryside and riversides of East Devon.  However, by mile two, the rain had stopped and a cheeky sun peeked out from behind the clouds.  Despite the course’s punishing nature, Eleanor Wood powered through, arriving home in an astonishing 4:15:02 – 5th in her age category, 9th overall.  Next to finish was Anna Mcloughlin who conquered the course in an impressive 6:06:23.   Our final fearless group – Sarah Herfet, Bec Davey, Angela Kerr, Sam Tooze and Sam Miller- linked hands for a strong united finish in an inspiring 6:24:22.  A gesture which encapsulated the spirit of the day – women coming together to celebrate 100 years of their vote and that ‘they can’.  Well they did!

Roger Bramley was the sole AVR entrant in the Burrator 10k, a scenic route set in the stunning surroundings of Burrator reservoir and run in warm conditions. He was pleased to finish in 49:42, 85^th out of 517 finishers.

Last Sunday saw the second running of the Casterbridge Half Marathon in Dorchester. This picturesque race on closed roads followed an undulating route through the Dorset countryside on what turned out to be a very warm day. In a field of 1,016 Clare Hansford was pleased to finish 85th overall, 6th lady and 1st V50 in 1:46:47. Stephen Grigg also had a good run to finish 166th in 1:55:09.

Two AVRs completed the Jurassic Coast 100km race that began at 9pm on Friday evening from Chesil Beach in Dorset and finished along the coast path at Exmouth the following morning. Patrick Devine-Wright finished in 1st place in a time of 12 hours and 34min with Tim Lenton in 5th in a time of 13 hours 55min. Patrick has written up an account of the race at

Reports before June are here.