Viva Valencia

Matt Frost, Ryan Snell and David Cull travelled to Spain for the fast, flat Valencia marathon.  The sun shone and the conditions were perfect for the race which was being targeted as an Olympic qualifier because of its reputation for fast times.

Both David Cull and Matt Frost ran huge personal bests. Matt achieved a negative split and some seriously good pacing to come in 2736th in a tremendous 2:49.49, a six-minute improvement on his PB.

David Cull, paced by Ryan Snell, took a massive 21 minutes of his PB, finishing agonisingly close to sub-3 but still a brilliant 3:00.59, 5650th and 1075th M40 with Ryan given an identical time.  More than 26000 completed the race which was won by Ethiopian Sisay Lemma in a course record of 2:01.46 with the women’s crown going to Ethiopian Worknesh Degefa in 2:15.50.

Jake Smith pacing for sub-2:08 for the first 21k helped some international athletes secure the Olympic qualifying time.  Briton’s Mahamed Mahamed finishing in 2:08.42 and Phil Sesemann 2:08.49 were marginally outside the Q-time.  He then paced another 5k with GB’s Lily Partridge (2:25.12) and Clara Evans (2:25.50) who both achieved huge PBs inside the women’s Olympic qualifying time of 2:26.50.  A great day at the office for Jake supporting others.

Glorious Goodwood

Joel Seward put his disappointing half marathon in Gosport two weeks ago well and truly to bed with a huge run at the Goodwood half-marathon.  Finishing in a magnificent PB of 1:15.23 he came in fourth place from the 3000 runners who completed the 13.1m race around the famous Goodwood motor racing circuit.

Magnificent seven at the Full Monty

Seven AVRs crossed into Somerset for the Full MontyCute on Sunday.  Run in very challenging muddy conditions the 10 mile race started and finished at Ham Hill and featured some ten hills around the grounds of the beautiful Montacute Castle and Hamdon Hill woods.

First AVR home was Sue Hayes in 1:40.41 scooping the first F45 prize.  Also first in age group, Eleanor Wood finished in 1:42.46, first F55.  Andy West was second M60 finishing in 1:43.45.  AVR were placed third mixed team with Sue Hayes, Eleanor Wood, Andy West along with Haydn Boehm, who finished in 1:42.55.  Other AVRs completing the race, which was won by Chard Road Runners and Seaton parkrun favourite, Wayne Loveridge in 1:12.48, were Simon Davey in 1:45.34; Jeremy Larcombe in 2:04.56 and John Larcombe in 2:24.20.

Devon Cross Country

AVR’s James Green, Rich Hardy and Rob Collier represented the club at the Devon Cross Country held in Exeter. A very sticky and muddy 8k course was hard going with four 2k laps.

James Green finished in 31:00 with Rich Hardy in 31:40 and Rob Collier in 34:35. Full results to follow.

Scores on the doors for InStep Devon and England Masters

Following the final race in the InStep Devon series the 2023 results have now been published with overall female winner confirmed as AVR’s Kerry Board with a magnificent 492 points.  The series, which covers a range of races of varying distances and surfaces throughout Devon, consists of 13 races of which five count towards each runner’s final score.

Kerry also retained her F45 crown and joining her as age group winners from AVR are Suzi Blackett, F35; Ron Seward M70 and Eleanor Wood, who was joint F65 winner.  AVR also took third place in both the Men’s and Women’s team competitions.  Prizes are usually awarded at the first event of the InStep Devon calendar next year, likely to be the First Chance 10k in January.

After her Brighton 10k result last month, Carol Austin received confirmation this week of her England Athletics F60 masters selection for the Great Birmingham Run in May 2024.


Seaton parkrun

It was a freezing morning in Seaton but, after an early morning course check, the event was good to go and the 220 finishers included a contingent of students and teachers from Woodroffe School , coordinated by AVR’s Emilie Brock, which was a joy to see.

AVR swept the board with the first three female finishers: Debbie Whiston in 20.42; Lucy Watkinson in 21:48 and Kerry Board in 22:30.  Pam Goddard smashed out a time of 28:35, a PB for the second week running clearly enjoying the extra pebbles caused by a slight course change due to ice patches.  Congratulations to Shirley Salter for her 50th milestone.

Most of all a huge thanks to all the volunteers this week cheering and supporting in those freezing temperatures.

On their travels, Alan Morbey completed Porthcawl parkrun while Aileen and Peter Heal took part in the new Five Arches parkrun in Somerset.