GOOD CAUSES BENEFIT FROM GRIZZLY GENEROSITY

GOOD CAUSES BENEFIT FROM GRIZZLY GENEROSITY  

More than £34,000 has been donated to local, national and international good causes following the hugely successful Grizzly event last month.  Almost 1800 runners completed either the Grizzly or the Cub race and another 300 children and young people participated in Grizfest.

This week the Grizzly organisers confirmed this year’s donations at a presentation evening at Axmouth Yacht Club.  The event also saw the official end, after six years, of Tony Smith’s period as Race Director for the Grizzly.

It is always such an uplifting and enjoyable evening and this year it was particularly great to be back and able to make donations to so many local groups after two years away due to the pandemic.  Donations have gone to some 35 groups who marshalled and provided water stations as well as a number of organisations that supported the town and start/finish area. Land owners that allow access to their land and some of the professional support organisations were also able to nominate a charity of choice.   In total more than £34,000 has been distributed meaning the grand total, over the 34 years of the Grizzly, now exceeds £490,000.  Axe Valley Runners, the club that organises the Grizzly, is rightly very proud of this.

The range of local organisations that benefit is vast.  Sports clubs including Seaton Cricket Club, Sidmouth Cricket Club, Flamingo Swimming Pool, Lyme Regis Gig Club, N1 Tri-Club, Branscombe Cricket Club, Colyton Football Club, Branscombe Cricket Club, Honiton Running Club and Seaton youth football all received donations to support keeping people of all ages fit and active.

Schools, nurseries, guides, scouts, village halls, parishes, churches, libraries, conservation and environmental groups were all beneficiaries ensuring local communities can thrive and come together.

Major charities with local interest such as RNLI, Royal British Legion and Devon Air Ambulance also received generous donations.

Outgoing Race Director, Tony Smith who presided over five Grizzly races during his six years was presented with a beautiful hand-crafted bowl made by local potter, Gilly Humphreys, as a memento and to remind him of the pressures of dealing with the ‘Beast from the East’, when the heavy snow caused the event to be reduced, as well as Covid restrictions.

The Race Director post for 2023 will be jointly held by Andy West and Steve Haines with the Grizzly date set for Sunday 5 March 2023.

 PIC: outgoing Race Director with a memento of his five Grizzly events

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Windy Week of Winners

Jason Hyde (photo below) ran the Easter Bunny 10K at RNAS Yeovilton on Easter Monday finishing in 1:03:46.

At the Bristol Track Club 5k on a windy Saturday afternoon, honorary AVR Jake Smith took first place in 14.23, finishing more than ten seconds clear of the next runner.  Terry Emmett was fifth M40 and 82nd overall in a top-class field in 16:31. Tony Smith was eighth M50 in 21:17.

First male and first female finishers at a blustery Seaton parkrun on Saturday were AVRs with Andrew Snook in 17:38 and Kerry Board in 22:04 taking the honours.  Richard Hardy was third finisher in 18:17 and AVR also took three of the top four on age-grade with Eleanor Wood again heading the list with 89% for her 23:01.  Laura Kerr took almost a minute off her PB with an impressive 24:37.  Vicki Wraight celebrated her 100th parkrun running it with her mum.

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Racing in the Sun – Home and Away!

 

In Brighton conditions could not have been any better for the marathon and 10k on Sunday with glorious sunshine and a very light, cool breeze.

 

More than 13000 runners completed the marathon which starts at Preston park, goes into the city, out to Rottingdean before heading back to a spectacular seafront finish.  Angela Kerr was running her seventh Brighton and incredible 45th marathon.  She completed it a 4:28.02, third F65, comfortably within the current London’s Good for Age criteria.

 

Martin Kerr had been planning to run it to celebrate his 70th birthday but the pandemic interfered so today, at aged 72, he completed his fourth Brighton marathon in 6:15.16, ninth M70.

 

Earlier in the 10k Carol Austin competed in her first race for nearly three years due to a series of injuries and then Covid last month. More than 2600 finished the 10k with Carol happy to finish in 52:04 (622nd) and third W60 (from 46).

 

On Saturday, five AVRs took part in the Exeter Epic Trail 10k at Escot in perfect weather conditions.  It was a tough hilly trail with 700 foot climb with more than 400 finishers. First AVR home was Matt Frost, third overall in 44.49 and first M30.  After leading until the halfway point, Ellie Dominey also took third place in the women’s race and first F30 in 47:46.

 

Kelly Nickels and Cath Brenton ran together finishing 157th and 158th in 1:03.11.  Heather Simmmons completed the AVR contingent in 1:05:29, 182nd.

 

Earlier in the week Matt Frost had also competed in the Run Exe 5k along the riverside in Exeter.  It was the first race of the series and he finished 24th with an impressive personal best of 18:16.

 

Tim Sibley travelled to Turners Puddle for the Dorset Ooser marathon which attracted 159 competitiors. It winds its way through beautiful, rolling Dorset countryside in the Piddle Valley between Bere Regis and Dorchester. The lovely route meanders through fields, tracks, trails, woods and past crystal clear streams and shows off Dorset in spring at its best.

Given its undulating route and more than 2000 feet of elevation Tim finished in an impressive 4:21:49 coming in 31st.

 

Haydn Boehm completed the Exeter Sprint Duathlon at Escot on Sunday. It began with an early and rather chilly 5k run around the spectacular scenery of the estate followed by a 20k bike on the rural roads surrounding the estate, before a second 5k run leg. Haydn completed it in 1:32.51 coming ninth M40.

 

At Seaton parkrun on Saturday, Joel Seward was third finisher in 18:52 while Maxine Sweetman smashed her personal best completing it in 28:32.  Eleanor Wood was third woman in 22:29 with a huge age-grade of 91.55%.

Picture: Ellie Dominey third woman at Escot

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Epic Racing Weekend for AVR

EPIC RACING WEEKEND FOR AVR

 

Axe Valley Runners were out in force racing across the country this weekend.  From Manchester to Reading; from Exeter to London via Taunton runners competed in distances ranging from 10k to the 26.2m on the road and up to 22 miles on the trails.

 

MAGNIFICENT SEVEN SMASH IT IN MANCHESTER

At the Therme Manchester Marathon, qualification was up for grabs for the World Championships, European Championships and Commonwealth Games, but for the seven AVRs a personal best (PB) and a good-for-age spot for London was enough incentive for the trip north.  The race, which starts and finishes near Old Trafford is fast and flat and with no London marathon this month is the biggest Spring marathon in the UK.

 

In a big field with more than 14000 marathon finishers, five AVRs finished in the incredible sub-3 hour bracket which is a tremendous achievement for the club.  First home was Terry Emmett in 2:37.22 followed by Duncan Staddon in 2:38.41, both in PBs.  Next to finish was Rob Collier in 2:49.07, his first sub 2:50 finish and an impressive 12th M50.  Matt Hewer in 2:55.34, was also delighted to secure a PB with Richard Hardy in 2:58.39 completing the sub 3 set.

 

Rupert Pady in 3:10.17 and Karen Eyre in 3:47.59 also ran excellent times for the 26.2m event.  All seven have secured the (current) sought after good-for-age times for London showing massive commitment from them and the huge strength in depth within AVR.

 

 

Half marathon fun in the big smoke

Eight AVRs enjoyed a sunny Sunday morning in the capital running the London Landmarks half-marathon which, as the name suggests, takes runners past some of the city’s most well-known buildings.  Sam Tooze and Emma Richardson ran together and finished in 2:19.18 with Jo Orsman just behind them in 2:23.39.  Carolyn Nation, who was running for Parkinson’s UK in memory of her mother, achieved a brilliant PB of 2:34.13 while Sam Halls, also got a great PB of 2:43.06 whilst raising money for Diabetes UK.

 

Jason Hyde completed his third half-marathon in three weeks with a time of 2:19.54 while Denise Burges finished in 2:31.23

 

A big shout-out to the final member of the team, Bec Davey who helped at a water station in Holbone after having to withdraw due to injury.

 

 

Two each for Taunton and Reading

The Taunton marathon and half also took place in Sunday’s perfect racing conditions with Jack Broom and Ron Seward amongst the 500 field in the half-marathon.  An excellent fifth place for Jack Broom in a PB of 1:14.52 was particularly impressive given the hilly course.  Ron Seward was second M70 in a very good 1:54.43.

 

Cliff Marriott and Haydn Boehm travelled to Reading for the 40th anniversary of this well-known half-marathon.  Following a recent bout of Covid-19 Haydn was happy with his 1:39.13 time while Cliff finished in 1:47.10.

 

 

First chance 10k

The much delayed First Chance 10k – usually held in January –saw six AVRs test themselves on the flat course around Exeter Riverside.   The event is the first of this year’s In Step Devon series and prior to today’s event last year’s winners were announced.  In 2021 Eleanor Wood won the F60 category, Rob Collier the M50 and AVR were second male team and fourth female team.

 

In today’s event, 129 runners completed the course in perfect racing conditions with James Ashforth first AVR home in 39th place in 44:21.  Suzi Blackett was 74th in 52.19 with Angela Kerr hot on her heels in 52.56 which won her the trophy for first F65.  Maxine Sweetman was delighted to bag the second F65 in 58.45 with Gill Day finishing in 58.41 and Rachel Hiscock coming in in 1:01.29.

 

 

First and third at Exe to the Axe   

Arguably harder than the Grizzly, certainly longer, the Exe to the Axe must be one of the most scenic races in the country.  Starting at the mouth of the River Exe in Exmouth it follows the South West Coast Path all the way to the Axmouth Yacht Club on Seaton seafront.  With all the other races this weekend a smaller than usual contingent of AVRs took part but those that did enjoyed fantastic views given the very clear skies as they tackled the challenging 22-mile course.

 

Matt Clist won the race, which had 142 finishers, in a brilliant time of 2:52.39, some eight minutes clear of second place.  In third place and second male was Tim Lenton in 3:05.35.

 

Eleanor Wood was a brilliant sixth female, first F60 in 3:53.30.  James Green came in 20th in 3:43.33 with Stephen Grigg 28th in 3:49.34.  Ian Kinnersley was second M60 in 3:57.29.

 

Margaret Pearce and Caroline French ran together to finish in 4:23.13 in 74th and 75th with Alan Morbey coming next AVR in 4:52.05.    Steve Maclure finished in 5:22.22.  Vicki Wraight, Helen Holmes, Katharine Moran and Julia Mallon all ran together to finish in 5:41.

 

A half distance option was also on offer running from Sidmouth to Seaton.  Esme Markham completed this leg in 2.33.28, a creditable eleventh of the 25 finishers.

 

 

 

Powderham Castle Tenner

 

On Saturday, in perfect racing conditions, Kerry Board and Andy West represented AVR at the Powderham Castle 10 miler.   The two lap route took the 300 runners around the castle’s undulating ground finishing in the castle courtyard.

 

Kerry set a 10m off-road PB finishing in 1:23.20, sixth female and first F45.  Andy was just behind clinching 49th overall place 1:27.46.

 

 

Bolt Round the Holt

 

In this brilliantly named 10k event near Farnham, Simon Dimmock took third place – second male – in 40.39.

 

 

New female course record at Seaton parkrun

Innes Fitzgerald followed up her brilliant win at the Schools International cross country last weekend by smashing her own female course record at Seaton parkrun by running a big PB of 17:11. Vivienne and Derek Blumfield, recent graduates of the club’s Couch to 5k, both secured a PB of 33.05.

PICS: Exe to Axe starters;  Exe to the Axe first three men; The Manchester marathon sub-3 team

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