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.

19th November

With a pale blue sky lit by a radiant winter sun and Fingle Forest in full winter raiment where else would you rather be than running the Drogo 10(mile)? Quite often it lashes it down for this race on Dartmoor, but this year we were given a real weather treat with most runners enjoying the slightly longer course.

James Green started at the front, but let the 2 leaders hoon off into the distance with canny James gradually closing in the final stages. Unfortunately the ridiculously steep hunters path near the end put paid to James’ ambitions and he finished 3rd out of 485 in 1:05:15. Eleanor Wood  was 1st FV60, 117th overall in 1:27:17. Other AVR times: Matt Clist 9th, 1:09:32;  Duncan Staddon 19th, 1:12:29;  Robert Collier  22nd, 1:12:48;  Terry Emmett 28th, 1:14:24;  Matthew Hewer 35th, 1:15:50;  Rupert Pady 56th, 1:19:54;  Simon Davey 109th, 1:26:24;  Lee Moran 123rd, 1:28:14;  Richard Jackson 126th, 1:29:00;  Andrew Hartnell  130th, 1:29:10;  Steve Haines 157th, 1:32:23;  Margaret Pearce 171st, 1:34:20;  Alan Morbey 213th, 1:37:57;  Chris Hill 244th, 1:41:10;  Gillian Peach 273rd, 1:45:16;  Yvette Hill 274th, 1:45:27;  Mark Spraggs 291st, 1:46:45;  Anders Larsson 306th, 1:48:24;  John Larcombe 311th, 1:48:52 and  Dave Mutter 384th, 1:59:01. It was Linda Butterworth’s 1st 10 mile race and she ran well to be 386th in 1:59:13. Sarah Herfet finished 400th, 2:02:15; Angela Kerr 405th, 2:04:01; Bec Davey 406th, 2:04:13; Susie Pitt 413th, 2:05:44. Unfortunately Amie Sibley, Sandra Mortimer and Tim Sibley missed a direction sign and ended up running much further and to add insult to injury Sandra had a nasty fall. All three eventually finished joint 459th, 2:20:55. Many thanks to SWRR for a brilliant event and to Alan Morbey for organising the transport and driver in chief Cliff Marriott.

Angela and Martin Kerr were visiting their home town in Bedfordshire over the weekend and on Saturday morning took part in the Dirt Half Marathon, a challenging, multi-terrain event. A lovely bright and cool morning for running it was, Angela completed the course in 2:04:29, 432nd out of 770 finishers and Martin was happy to be 634th in 2:25:01. On Sunday morning, back home in Devon, race number 2 of the weekend for Angela, off to Drogo for the 10 miler while Martin decided supporting was the more sensible option!

12th November

The waves shaped the shore for Seaton Parkrun's second anniversary on November 10th, but 160 determined runners from 17 clubs braved King Neptune, three heavy downpours, high winds and a thunderstorm to complete the course.
Wayne Loveridge (Chard RRC) and Rachael Moss were first male and female to finish in 18:00 and 23:13. Among 26 Axe Valley Runners taking part were Tom Perry 4th (19:59), Matt Hewer 5th (20:33), Ben Perry 8th (21:56), Sam Eyre
10th (22:37) and Fefe Kovacs 11th (23:01). The first AVR women home were Kerry Board 4th (24:12), Carol Austin 6th (24:57), Lou Burridge 10th (26:58), Angela Kerr 16th (28:09) and Sarah Herfet 19th (28:30). Special birthday guest David Hill of Team GB brought a dash of Paralympic glamour, finishing 7th (21:41) and setting a new course record for "Seaton ParkRunner Featuring in Most Selfies." Despite the inclement weather, the run included 19 first timers and 14 new PBs. In a post-run birthday party at Pebbles, special prizes were awarded to Marilyn Hughes, Sue Venn, Emma Richardson, Paula Youens and Diana Lloyd for topping the volunteering chart in the last year. A special family prize was also awarded to the Slade Family for exemplifying what Parkrun is all about. Special thanks go to Pebbles for the
birthday cake and to all those who swept, shovelled, mopped up, and generally made it happen.

5th November

Eight AVRs travelled down to Stover School for the Templer 10 race on Sunday, a 10mile flattish run around the school grounds and Stover Country Park. The race was won by Arran Tocknell of Torbay Tri Club in 59.01. First home for AVR was Duncan Staddon, 12th in 1:03:53 and 2nd Vet 40. Rob Collier was 16th, 1:05:30; Terry Emmett 21st, 1:07:02 and 1st Vet 35; Matt Hewer 22nd, 1:07:10 and these four runners were the 2nd men's team to finish behind Torbay Tri Club. Next home was Joel Seward 71st, 1:16:50 followed by Eleanor Wood 80th, 1:18.00 and 1st Vet 60. Diane Newton was pleased to finish in 1:53:31, taking nearly 10 minutes off her off-road PB time 2nd FV65. Graham Newton, struggling with an injury, finished in 1:55:55 but in the end was very pleased to manage to finish the course. There were 268 finishers. Thank you to Teignbridge Trotters for putting on such a well organised event.

29th October

Five AVR’s made the journey to north Wales for the 36th Snowdonia Marathon Eryri.  With breath taking scenery from start to finish the circuitous course snakes around a snow-capped Snowden and entails close to 3000 feet of climbing and this year with a wind chill making it just 2 degrees, it certainly is not a course for the faint hearted. Margaret Pearce set a blistering pace and despite suffering cramp was the first AVR home in 4:07:19, 648th overall.  Also suffering from cramp in the chilly conditions, Chris Hill and Alan Morbey struggled through the latter stages of the race together finishing 4:32:55, 1107th and 4:34:26, 1136th respectively. Angela Kerr was next home 4:58:51, 1564th whilst husband Martin (Kerr) finished in 6:09:50, 1483rd.  There were 2205 finishers and 39 DNF. Many thanks to Jayne Lloyd and Marathon Eryri Cyf for organising such a spectacular race through the heart of Snowdonia.

Lee Moran ran the Dartmoor Vale Half finishing 18th overall, 2nd in M40, in 1:35:39. A very good performance.

The Trellech Beacon Dash is a remote 10km multi-terrain race through the stunning Autumnal woodlands of Monmouthshire. Much of the first two miles is uphill with 400ft of ascent to reach the Beacon followed by a fairly flat or downhill route to the finish through muddy forestry track, woodland trails and farmland. There were 185 finishers with Richard Hale 95th in 53:17.

On a distinctly autumnal Sunday morning, six AVRs competed in the 6th Running Forever Running Club Herepath Half Marathon, a demanding and beautiful 13.7 mile course through the parish of Neroche that includes the highest point in the Blackdown Hills AONB. Matt Clyst won the race in fine style, equalling the course record of 1:28:56. Rob Collier came in 4th, 1:36:34 and Matt Hewer 7th, 1:38:01. Eleanor Wood was 54th, 1:57:40; Steve Haines 68th, 2:03:06 and Kevin Feeney 74th, 2:07:50 in a friendly and well-organised event. Race entry fees and sales of tea, coffee and delicious cakes raised over £1000 for Thurlbear Primary School PTA.

22nd October

The Cappadocia Ultra in Turkey is part of the Ultra Trail World Tour and there are 3 different distances 119km, 63km and 38km. The trails go through the most amazing landscapes with fairy chimneys and caves. A lot of climbing, even the short trail, 38k, which Ragnhild Richards ran has over 1000 meters of climbing. The race is superbly organised with free transfers from two local airports, 2 free meals included, discounts on excursions and balloon flights plus great medals and T-shirts. It's also super friendly and welcoming. Ragnhild completed the event in 5 hr 34, came 4th in her age group and 355th out of just under 1000 overall. She said it was lots of fun and is highly recommended.

On a very hot Sunday just 2 AVRs made their way to Exmoor to take part in the Stagger/Stumble races.  The Stagger, a 16 mile mostly off-road run, includes 3,100 feet of ascent, and starts in Minehead, quickly turning into a very steep and stony path to the highest point on Exmoor, Dunkery Beacon. From there it is mostly down hill for the second half presenting the runners with the fresh challenge of steep, and sometimes slippery downhill slopes. Graham Newton was very pleased with his time of 2:40:25 of torture to win the over MV65 prize. Diane Newton chose to run the Stumble course, although much shorter, at 6 miles, still includes over 1000 feet of ascent. Although Diane approached the run with more than a little trepidation after hearing how tough it was she was very surprised to find herself enjoying it, and was very satisfied with her time of 1:15:41.

Four AVR's ran the Great South Run which is a pretty flat 10 mile race starting in Southsea and heading into Portsmouth, through the historic dockyards and other parts of the city before finishing along the Esplanade in Southsea. There were some 20000 runners taking part and Rob Collier was pretty happy to finish in 1:01:59 coming 142nd and 7th MV 45. Gillian Peach and Chris Hill crossed the line together in 1hr 27 and Yvette Hill, although suffering from a cold, finished well in 1 hr 35. 

On Saturday 13th October Seaton parkrun celebrated its 100th event. Storm Callum added an extra challenge and the route had to be amended. However, among the 176 participants and volunteers were many AVRs. First AVR to finish was Matt Hewer in 20:03, 4th overall, and first woman to finish was AVR Eleanor Wood in 22:55. AVR John Mellowdew was awarded a prize for having comleted the most Seaton parkruns (68). 34 AVRs finished. Unsurprisingly given the very blustery conditions none recorded a PB.

15th October

22 degrees Celsius and blazing sun wasn't what Liam Denny hoped for when running the Munich Marathon which he completed in his second-best time of 3:49:34, which given the heat he was very pleased with. (1400 out of 4500 participants). The finish line was inside the 1972 Olympic stadium where there was a fantastic atmosphere and free non-alcoholic beer- but as it's Liam's birthday on Tuesday he went off to celebrate with the real stuff in Munich's Bavarian Bierkellers!

Cliff Marriott ran the 12K Studland Stampede today and was told to watch out for Sika deer and nudists.  12K all off road, lots of undulating and running along the beach. Cliff completed in 1.07.47 and didn't see a single deer or naked person.

It was raining cats and dogs for this years Great West Run half marathon in Exeter, but that did not stop 31 AVR's turning out with fantastic support being give throughout. Many were running their first Half and it was a fantastic achievement by all. Special mention for Laura Kerr running the race whilst 5 months pregnant! Duncan Staddon was the first AVR home, 33rd in 01:23:03, closely followed by Robert Collier, 01:24:25; Terry Emmett, 01:26:02 and Ollie Rodger, 01:27:42. Other AVR times were: Joel Seward, 1:35:17; Simon Davey, 01:39:45; Karen Eyre, 01:40:27; Susan Wall, 01:42:34; Carol Austin, 01:45:29; Wayne Tooze, 01:52:57; Helena Hilder, 01:53:35; Mark Spraggs, 01:56:07; Nick Adams, 01:57:03; Angela Kerr, 01:58:56; Sarah Shepley, 02:01:45; Connor Jones, 02:05:29; Georgia Dommett, 02:06:17; Jessica Tubbs, 02:08:04; Elaine Hourihan, 02:10:08; Helen Holmes, 02:10:08; Vicki Wraight, 02:10:21; Jacqui Stokes, 02:16:32; Diane Newton, 1st FV65, 02:23:45; Martin Kerr, 02:24:17; Bec Davey, 02:28:03; Laura Kerr and Fiona Pyle, 02:28:03; Caroline French, 02:28:05; Sarah Herfet, 02:28:05; Samantha Tooze, 02:28:03; Rachel Tattersall and Vicky Austin, 02:27:46; Melissa Kirkby, 02:37:25; Esme Markham, 02:37:29; Gill Day, 02:37:29; Denise Burges, 02:37:47; Sarah Philpot, 02:47:44;  Sam Summers, 02:47:31; Carolyn Nation, 02:47:31; Victoria Hirons, 02:49:31 and Daisy Forster, 03:18:36.

Ferenc Kovacs ran the Royal Parks half marathon in London. In the extremely wet conditions finished 4286th from an over 20 000 crowd, on this stunning route with 1:52:54. This was Ferenc's first attempt to run two half marathons in two weeks as the previous Sunday Ferenc ran the Bournemouth half marathon in very stunning, sunny conditions, and finished 1518th in 1:55:14.

Thankfully, the morning rain stopped just before the start of the Fan Fawr Race in the Brecon Beacons on Saturday but a cold gale force wind meant gloves and hat for Richard Hale running in the 30th anniversary of the tough Fell Race. It's a simple 2 mile route straight uphill and through an upland bog before a final lung busting, legs burning, hands on knees climb up 'the wall' leading along the ridge to the stone cairn at 734m. The return meant disengaging the brain for a thrilling and breath-taking descent to the finish. Richard's time was 29:06.

There were 23 AVRs who turned up at the hilly Minster Challenge in Axminster. The winner of the race was Matt Clist in 49:05 two places ahead of Terry Emmett 51:13 closely followed by Rob Collier in 4th 51:53, with James Glennie 5th in 52:41, Duncan Staddon 7th 53:24, Karl Hodson 8th 54:42 and Matt Hewer 9th in 56:03, making an amazing 7 AVR's in the top ten. More success followed as Rupert Pady was 11th in 59:18 and Joel Seward 12th 59:44. Then came the ladies with Karen Eyre first in 61:29 in 16th place and Eleanor Wood 62:11 2nd lady in 18th place. Other results were: James Ashforth 22nd 63:18, Adele Foxwell 25th 63:35, Richard Jackson 26th 64:06, Andrew Hartnell 27th 64:21, Richard Matthews 29th 64:26, Kerry Board 31st 67:27, Ander Larsson 32nd 68:30, Ragnhild Richards 36th 72:32, Nick Adams 37th 73:20, Andy Sayers 46th 83:02, Esme Markham 50th 92:32 with Louise Burridge 51st 92:32. There were 52 runners in total. Thank you to Axe Valley School for putting on such a great event.

In the 5k race, Sam Eyre was 3rd in 20:51, Harry Hodson 5th, 23:39, and Naomi Glennie 21st in 29:22. There were 29 runners.

Kerry Board and Karen Eyre ran the Barnstaple full marathon with Karen finishing 19th female, 89th overall in 3.55.14, Kerry followed her in as 20th female 96th overall, 3.57.27 knocking a massive 25 mins off her PB marathon time. Angela and Martin Kerr ran the half marathon. Angela finished 203rd in 1:59:13 and Martin 341st, 2:26:10. Conditions weren't too bad but was a bit breezy and had a 20min shower when they hit the 20 mile marker. Kerry had to stop at one point with another group of runners to allow an ambulance down a track before she was allowed to continue.

8th October

The first Salcombe Swim Run took place last weekend as part of the South West Outdoors Festival near Salcombe. The event involved various night trail runs, bike orienteering competitions, talks by loads of inspiring speakers, slacklining, axe throwing, bands, etc. Lou Tucker went along and took part in the short swim run course consisting of a 600m sea swim from South Sands beach to North Sands followed by a 10k off road run with some of the most breath-taking views on the SW Coast path (apart from here obviously.) It was a small field taking part in this first race and Lou thoroughly enjoyed the event, coming 2nd female overall and in first her age group in 1:21. Hopefully the first of many swim run events!

Chester - The World's Best Marathon - according to Chester Town Crier took place last Sunday. A fast fairly flat course with few hills tempted many runners from all over the UK to try for a PB. The course starts off by running through the historic city and past the old city walls before heading out into the country and over the border into Wales before returning and finishing at Chester Race Track. AVR Graham Newton joined the 2000 other runners to take part and was very
pleased to finish as 3rd MV65 in a great time of 3:25:35

1st October

Last Sunday five AVRs took part in the Bovey Beauty, a 10 mile fell race that is run over the most rugged and remote areas of East Dartmoor with a climb of 1800 feet. It begins in Pullabrook Woods in the Bovey Valley, climbing to Lustleigh Cleave and on to Hunters Tor before running through the rare Western Oak Woods on the southern side of the valley over Houndtor ridge and onto Trendlebere Down before returning to the start for a nice downhill finish. With 80 runners completing the challenging course, the AVRs really excelled with Tim Lenton taking second place (and first male 40) in 1:17.27.  Second woman (and first female 50) was Robin Carter in 1:43.41. In fourth overall was James Jackson (second male 40) in 1:22 and Patrick Devine-Wright was fifth (third male 40) in 1:24.  Graham Newton was first male 60 in an excellent 1:42.56 going home with a bottle of cider for his efforts.

After such a splendid, hot and prolonged summer, it was slightly disappointing to have such severe weather for the Weymouth half Ironman 70.3 on Sunday last. Months of training and nerves must be worth it, thought Eleanor Wood. The swim was cut short due to choppy and dangerous sea conditions and more than 40 athletes out of about 2,500 were pulled out, so this was the end of their day. The cycle was windy, wet and cold and Eleanor’s fingers were freezing making changing gear very challenging. She also struggled with taking fluids or food as she could not use her hands.  There were several crashes and punctures along the 56 mile route but thankfully not involving Eleanor. By the time she started the 13.1m run it was blissfully warm as the sun broke through but Eleanor still struggled with frozen feet. After just over six and a half hours of tremendous effort Eleanor was delighted, ecstatic and happy, not to mention hungry at the end. She was delighted to finish as 3rd female vet 60-64 and went home with a big ironman trophy and already planning her next adventure.

Just three AVRs made the short trip to Exmouth for the new Bradley’s10k.  Conditions were perfect for running with just a light wind on the seafront for the two-lap course that went along the Esplanade with a long ascent followed by a short, sharp downhill on the return along the Maer. More than 400 runners took part with Carol Austin first AVR home in 78th (13th female) in 45:44; her best time for four years. Elaine Hourihan finished in 54:44 with Helen Holmes in 55:06.

At last Saturday’s Seaton parkrun Sam Eyre was the first AVR home in 20:38, a cracking time over 5K for the youngster. AVR members Richard Matthews, Sue Hayes, Sarah Shepley, Diane Newton and Paul Lloyd all achieved personal bests. Diane was also the highest age graded AVR.

Last Saturday, Anthony Chadwick, Garry Perratt and Matt Hewer decided to do something a bit different and invented the "Cubman Duathlon". They began with the Grizzly Cub Run, then did a 46-mile ride taking in some big hills (including The Bitch, Peak Hill and Chineway Hill) and coffee stop before finishing with half the Cub Run (turning at Beer). They went at a leisurely pace, including coffee stop, taking 6:38.

24th September

At the World Masters Track and Field Championships held in Malaga AVR’s David Cooke contested the M60 400m.  With 60 athletes in the heats it was always going to be a challenge and after a tough heat he was unable to progress to the semi-finals finishing 31st overall. However, he was selected to run for the British team in the 4 x 400m relay helping the team finish fifth behind Australia, Germany, USA and Spain.

Despite Saturday’s drizzle there was a clutch of PBs for AVRs at Seaton parkrun this week: Kevin Feeney 22:59, Janet Cullum 26:55, Diane Newton 30:15, Jenny Ford 30:18, and Irene Croad 31:52. AVRs also dominated the age graded results: Carol Austin first with 79.33%, Janet Cullum second with 77.65% and Angela Kerr third with 25.44%.

On Sunday, Rob Collier took the spoils at the Stockland Scamper 10k with his first ever win in any race. It was a close tussle with Ollie Rodger all the way round with Rob just managing to pull away with 200m to go to finish in 43:13 with Oliie second in 43:24.  AVR also secured third with Terry Emmett in 44:02.  Lee Moran was next AVR in seventh place in a time of 49:01.  Other AVRs who completed the muddy Scamper were Joel Seward, 50:15; Rupert Pady , 50:18; Richard Jackson, 51:35;  Andrew Hartnell, 54:47; Anders Larsson, 56:50: Cliff Marriott, 1:00:17; and Henry Smith, 1:02.53. 

17th September

A year on from gaining a qualifying slot for the 70.3 Ironman World Championships Clare Hansford found herself on the start line in Port Elizabeth, South Africa to soak up the atmosphere of a world class event. Six thousand athletes representing 91 countries arrived to do battle in what was described by the organisers as 'the fiercest race in the friendliest city'.

On a course notorious for windy conditions, the ladies race had the slightly more 'favourable' westerlies with the 1,900m swim starting from the beach into surf and choppy seas. Clare produced a strong swim finishing in the top quarter of her age group in 36:24. The out and back bike route hugged the coast with dramatic scenery making up for the unrelenting head wind for the 'out' 25 miles. Despite this Clare relished the opportunity and challenge of racing alongside such experienced athletes and finished the 56 mile route on a high in just over 3 hours.

In energy sapping heat the run phase saw many competitors suffer and Clare was no exception. She hit the wall early and struggled to maintain concentration or a competitive pace for much of the 13.1 mile course. Cheered on by friends and family and somewhat re-fuelled she picked up to complete one of the most exhilarating, exhausting and memorable races of her life in 5:52:56, 53rd in her age group out of 154 starters, and undeniably on top of the world.

When it is dry the Killerton Park Run is the best PB course in East Devon. Tom Perry had a brilliant run finishing 3rd in 18.13 while Jon Day who decided to cycle there and back was 15th, in a PB of 20:01. Karen Ayres was 32nd in 21.38 also a New PB. Sam Summers and her daughter Eleanor finished joint 359th in 1:00:11. Well done to Eleanor as it was her first time at Killerton.

Exmouth Harriers Dave Stone won the latest Seaton parkrun in 18:31 with AVR's Rob Colliers 2nd, 18:46 and Adam Hennessey of Honiton RC 3rd, 18:58. Ellen Keast was the ladies winner, 21:55 with Jo Davey of Honiton RC 2nd, 22:20 and Rachael Moss 3rd lady, 22:58.

10th September

The Dartmoor VOLCANO race was the first race of the pureTRAIL race series being a 10.25 mile trail race, with almost 500 metres of ascent. It’s not a ‘walk in the park’, it’s a tough ten miles over Dartmoor. Visiting the high points of Pupers Hill, Snowdon, and South Dartmoor’s highest point – Ryders Hill. Richard Jackson made light of those conditions to finish 37th in

Three AVR’s made the long journey to Tyneside for the 2018 Great North Run. With over 57,000 runners, this is the largest half marathon in the world and the biggest running event in the UK. Conditions can best be described as hot - somewhat unusual for the North East! Fortunately, there were ample supplies of water and even run through showers to help the runners. James Ashforth finished 3,564th, 1:47:36 whilst Alan Morbey and Margaret Pearce were three minutes behind finishing 4,652nd, 1:50:55 and 4,655th 1:50:55.

3rd September

Five AVRs joined over 900 competitors in the well-run and welcoming Bridgwater Half Marathon & 10k events organised in support of Cancer Research UK.  A cool, cloudy start that was perfect for running soon turned into sunshine and 25 degrees C. In the Half Marathon Joel Seward was first AVR back, 50th overall (out of 326 runners) in a fantastic time and new PB of 1:35:45. Kevin Feeney was 110th and 6th Male Vintage Runner (what, like an old banger?!) with a PB of 1:48:36.  Jacqui Stokes finished in 2:21:36 and Sandra Mortimer finished her first ever Half Marathon in 2:21:37.  In the 10k event Sarah Shepley took 5 minutes off her former PB with a time of 53:53. She was 63rd out of 212 runners and was 5th Female Super Veteran.

The aptly named Vicious Westwood Weasel lived up to expectations for the 106 finishers as they reflected on the steep hills and difficult descents along the 8 mile course in the Wentford Forest near Chepstow. The forest trail twists along stony tracks with a deep water crossing before the final unwelcome climb uphill to the finish. Richard Hale completed in a good time of 1:26:10 in 49th place, 3rd MV65. Teas and cakes later in the Village Hall made for a perfect September morning.

Following on from achieving the best parkrun time anyway in the world last Saturday at Exmouth parkrun in an incredible 14:21 , Jake Smith was third in a top class field at the Cardiff 10k where he smashed his PB and broke the 30 minute barrier finishing in 29:30. An amazing two weeks for the Cardiff Met student and AVR.

To celebrate Carolyn Nation's birthday, she got a Few AVR Lady's to Run the Killerton Parkrun with her, and Celebrate afterwards in the Cafe with Coffee & Cake. Jon Day was an honorary lady for the day and finished 14th, with a new Park Run PB of 20:08, Janet Woodward was 292nd in 36:52, Denise Burges 294th, 36:58, Shirly Salter 297th, 37:16 while birthday girl Carolyn Nation was 298th in 37.52. Gill Day was 299th, 37:23, Sam Summers 307th, in 38.04 and Vicky Austin 308th in 38.04. All loved the off-road course as it's mainly all downhill, it's a PB course when nice and dry & cow free! 

27th August

In her first half marathon, Helen Stafford completed the Erewash half marathon in Nottinghamshire in 2hours 16 mins finishing 137th out of 209.

Running in the colours of Yeovil Olympiads AC (his track and field club) David Cooke came 2nd in the Masters National Championships held at the Alexander Stadium in Birmingham. This M60 400m was held on Saturday and his time was 62.65s, narrowly beaten by the reigning European Indoor champion (61.90s). The time now ranks him 7th in the UK, a great effort.

Rob Collier ran the Battle of Sedgemoor 10k that was a circular road route out of Langport through the villages of Drayton and Muchelney on a mainly flat course with a couple of gentle inclines. In a race won by Dan Cahill in 34:22 Rob finished 17th in 38:19 and was first M40 a new PB by nearly a minute!

Karen Eyre ran the Great Escape half marathon across Dartmoor. The race started at Princetown and finished at south Brent village hall. Karen finished 2nd lady and 18th overall in 1:54:52.

In Sunday's torrential rain Carol Austin ran the Severn Bridge 10k starting on the Welsh side near Chepstow running across the bridge into England before looping back again into Wales. She finished 52nd out of 800+ finishers in 47:24 (9th woman, 2nd W50).

20th August

Two AVRs took part in the Frome Sprint Triathlon and both achieved PB's of over 3 mins. The triathlon comprised of a 400m Swim / 23K Bike / 5K Run. Jon Day was the first home for Team AVR Multi-Sports with a 9.02 Swim / 47.31 Bike / 23.00 Run totalling 1:22:57, 51st out of 246. Anthony Chadwick was very close behind with an 8.35 Swim / 48.02 Bike / 23.15 Run, altogether 1:23:06, in 52nd place. This was the Second time the pair had done this, as it is a very friendly well-organized Event by Frome Triathlon Club.

Starting and finishing on picturesque Broadsands beach the 172 entrants for the inaugural multi-terrain Torbay Five Bays Challenge 10k race ran a course along shingle beaches, up and down 423 steps and across a long section of rocky and tree root strewn coastal path to Brixham and back, via four further bays. First AVR home was Tim Lenton, in 2ns overall and 1st MV45 in 45:15. He was soon followed by fellow AVR Graham Newton, in 55:36. in 32nd position and first MV65. Both men were presented with a bottle of wine, which has now all gone!

13th August

In 2013 eleven AVR’s competed the National 3 Peaks Challenge an event that involves reaching the highest peaks of Scotland, England and Wales within 24 hrs. Almost 5 yrs later to the day Richard Hale, Graham Newton and Paul Tolchard ascended Slieve Donard in the Mourne Mountains of Northern Ireland, to complete the challenge of the fourth highest regional UK peak. A steep climb starting at sea level follows the Glen River up through a conifer forest to the open moorland. A difficult undulating stony track leads to the granite summit at 883 metres. The runners marvelled at the spectacular mountain views in bright afternoon sunshine in all directions. Excitement and adrenalin levels were high for the long descent and the anticipated Guinness waiting to be drawn at McCann's Pub on the Newcastle seafront.
As you do when in Australis Duncan Staddon ran the Sydney City to Surf 14km run which is a massive event in Sydney and has been running for 47 years. Duncan ran very well to finish 279th out of 67,242 runners in 52:56.

Carolyn Nation ran the London Pride 10k at Victoria Park and managed to complete the 3 laps of the course in 1 hour and 3 minutes, a new 10k PB for her. She was 748th out of 851 runners.

Six AVR’s took part in the Forest Flyer, a 5ish mile trail race through Haldon Forest which attracted 170 hardy runners mostly from other Devon running clubs. After a wet start to Friday it brightened to a lovely evening giving perfect running conditions and clear skies for the great views across Devon. AVR’s Jake Smith came in first place in 25:15 surprising everyone at the finish line and almost 2½ mins ahead of the 2nd placed runner. He was rewarded with a bottle of wine and a voucher for a pub meal. Tony Smith and Carol Austin ran together with Tony coming in 81^st, 41:36 and Carol, 82nd in 41:38 1st W55. Angela Kerr was 118^th, 46:27, Martin Kerr 153^rd, 53:46 and Denise Burgess 163rd in 59:30.

Six AVRs turned up to run the gruelling, hilly, wet, windy and muddy Jurassic half marathon at West Bay near Bridport - the sort of conditions and terrain which AVR love! Graham Newton, freshly returned from Ireland, started steadily but ended up ploughing through the runners finishing superbly strongly winning the only vet prize - vet 50+, 23rd in 2:03:42. Eleanor Wood was next home 26^th, 2:05:35 enjoying the windy tough conditions and winning 1st F vet.50+. Andrew Hartnell had a great run in 2:12:25. Richard Jackson was next, 41^st, 2:13:14 and happy with his run. Someone who was not so pleased was Roger Bramley who suffered a calf pull and had to limp home but still got a chipped time. Henry Smith, in the midst of his marathon training, completed the team with a strong finish 62nd in 2:39:00.

Lee Moran won the August Senior handicap in a new PB of 22:46 with Andrew Hartnell 2^nd, 25:48 and Rob Collier 3^rd, 21:32. Andrew Hartnell leads the standings with 124 points with Kerry Board and Rob Collier joint 2^nd on 116.

Rob Collier took part in the Thames Meander Half Marathon whilst on a visit to his daughter who also took part. It was an out and back road/trail race on a flattish course from Kingston to Kew. Rob finished 14th out of a field of 387 in 1:27:33 and Hannah 257th in 2:07:57. It was the first half marathon for both of them.

6th August

Haselbury Plucknett hosted their 30th event at the beautiful cricket ground in the village. First home for AVR in 5th place was Matt Clyst 39:58. Matt Hewer was 25th 44:43, Tim Sibley 53rd 48:30. Eleanor Wood 56th 49:08 first FV 55. Geoff Woodward was 105th 56:11 and Roger Bramley complaining he had a broken toe still managed a decent run in 57:37 giving him 120th place. Amie Sibley going from strength to strength did a superb run, even though she was terrified about getting lost, finishing 180th in 1:09:54. Thank you to Crewkerne RC for putting on such a wonderful event and also giving every runner a complimentary bottle of local apple juice, which was much needed in such tropical weather. There were 209 finishers.

Four AVRs contested the Shaves Cross ‘Mini Marathon’ which is set in Marshwood Vale, the route runs from the village of Shaves Cross up to the base of Pilsden Pen. Billed as 5 miles, we think that it is nearer to 4.5 miles and is run mostly on country lanes. 61 runners started the race on a really hot evening and Eleanor Wood took the prize for first lady (12th 36:16). Other AVR results were: - Kevin Feeney 25^th, 40:14; Sarah Shepley 38^th, 44:05 and David Cooke 39^th, 44:06. Kevin, Sarah and David improved on their 2017 times. This is a really good event and we would encourage all AVRs to join us there in 2019 (it is always the first Saturday in August).

Denise Burgess and Sam Summers ran Greenbow RC’s straight 8 race from Starcross to the quay. The race took in some stunning scenery all along the river from with temperatures reaching 29 degrees.  Denise crossed the line in 1:49:10 and Sam in 1:49:15.

The continuing heat wave did not put off the 515 runners who took part in the Totnes 10k race on Sunday. This mostly flat course starts and finishes at Totnes Leisure Centre and runs along the lanes and fields by the River Dart, on the edge of Dartmoor. Two AVRs braved the sweltering heat with Graham Newton finishing 67^th, 2nd MV 65, in 46:16. Diane Newton was 342nd in 1:12:34, narrowly missing out on the 2nd FV65 trophy by just 9 seconds. However, she was still very pleased to best her last years’ time by four and a half minutes.

With the holiday season in full swing Seaton parkrun saw 232 finishers this week. First home was Jack Pickett of Wolverhampton & Bilston AC in 16:32 with Geoff Davey of Teignbridge Trotters 2^nd, 19:00 and Pudsey Pacers RC’s Nick Dunn 3^rd, 19:21. Racheal Moss was the first lady home in 22:11 followed by Zoe Jones of Wymondham AC, 22:16 and AVR’s Carol Austin 23:18. There has been much publicity about the parkruns that are aimed at all abilities, so much so that some Doctors are recommending the 5K event as a super way to get fit, lose weight and maybe aid recovery of some diseases.

30th July

Three AVRs travelled to Buckland St Mary in Somerset for the inaugural Buckland Bolt, a multi-terrain 10K race across predominately private land in the beautiful Blackdown Hills. A fast start taking in a circuit of the local cricket ground soon settled down to a more sensible pace.  The race was won by Dan Cahill of Minster Miles in 39:12. The first AVR back was Emma Parris 15th overall, 4th lady 56:27, closely followed Alan Morbey 16th 57:37, 1st MV 60 with Stephen Morbey 31st 1:12:01.  Many thanks to Chris Wadey and all at Buckland St Mary C of E Primary School PTFA for organising such a well marshalled event and we look forward to returning in 2019.

Chet Gillespie won the latest Seaton parkrun in 17:58 with Niall Thorne of Avon Valley Runners 2^nd, 18:49 and Sean Edwards from Bournemouth AC 3^rd, 18:53. 1^st lady home was Serena O’Connor of Poole Runners 10^th overall in 20:04.

23rd July

The Race the Tram annual event was very well supported by Junior and Senior AVR's alike. We were all very excited to explore the fantastic new terminal ready to take on the challenge. The tram, running smoothly on slick new rails, came in first in 13 minutes and 52 seconds. Our Black baton team was a close 3 minutes and 11 seconds behind with team members Jon Day, Rob Collier, James Glennis, Matt Hewer and Ian Horlocks. The silver team was 3m 40s after the tram with Gillian Peach, Chris Hill, James Guler and Lou Tucker. 3rd was the Gold team of Alan Morbey, Andy Sayer, Kerry Board and Andrew Hartnell 5m16s after the tram. 4th was the Green team 5m 30s of Yvette Hill, Henry Smith and Tim Sibley. 5th the red team 5m 33s of Phil Bayliss, Karen Eyre and Nick Adams. All teams except The Black team who ran all the way, took the baton over from 18 juniors who were running across the fields from Colyton to Colyford. Many friends and family enjoyed a complimentary ride on the trams and continued to the beach afterwards for the Junior presentations and a well-earned BBQ cooked by Paul, Rick and Dave. Thank you to the tram station for giving up their free time for this enjoyable event. AVR will be presenting a cheque for Air Ambulance on behalf of the tram assistants/drivers.

After a sumptuous BBQ the AVR Junior awards were presented as follows: Male Runner: Sam Eyre, Female Runner: Holly Eyre / Elsa Wood, Most Improved Male Runner: Josh D'Albertanson, Most Improved Female Runner: Naomi Glennie, Traffic Awareness Award: Harriet Coley and Most Committed Award: Peter Johns.

The Haytor Heller is a popular, well established circular 6 mile moorland race on Dartmoor and now in its 33rd year.  A rain shower before the start and overcast skies meant perfect running conditions for the first half of the race. The hot afternoon sun soon returned however, to challenge most of the runners as they started the first main ascent of the race up to Hound Tor before returning across the moor to once again climb back up to the Haytor rocks. First AVR home was Tim Lenton 5th in 43:30 and first MV40. Richard Hale was 119th out of 227 in 1:06:19 and was 6th MV60.

It was an AVR clean sweep at a red hot Dalwood Fayre 10K. Matt Clist was the winner in 40:57 with James Green 2nd, 42:17 and Robert Collier 3rd, 1st M45, 44:13. Karen Eyre was the 1st lady 9th overall in 50:43. Karl Hodson was 6th, 1st M50 46:19; Chris Keeffe 18th, 56:40; Andrew Hartnell 22nd, 59:05; Cliff Marriott 27th, 59:39; Nick Adams 30th, 1:01:38 and Anders Larsson 31st, 1:02:47.

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.