Press Report week ending 28th November 2021

AVRs impress in Bicton sunshine


Axe Valley Runners were out in force at the Bicton Blister and Bicton Lite on Sunday which took place in bitterly cold but sunny and calm conditions around the glorious pebbled heaths of Bicton and Woodbury common.  Following Storm Arwen runners had to negotiate a fallen telegraph pole and a couple of  trees across the route but it was largely dry underfoot.  The event, organised brilliantly by Exmouth Harriers, had fallen to the pandemic last year so it was great to be back. This year the male and female winners received a huge box of locally grown vegetables and all finishers received a snood.


First female AVR and ninth woman to finish the 10m Blister was Eleanor Wood, also first F60, in a very impressive 1:26.32.  First AVR home  was Duncan Staddon in fifth place and second M40 in 1:06.14.    There was an AVR battle for the top M50 spot with Patrick Devine-Wright in 1:11.12 just pipping Rob Collier who was 22nd overall in 1:11.39. Graham Newton took the M70 crown finishing 96th in 1:27.01 while Karen Eyre was first F50 and 14th woman in 1:27.56.


In the Bicton Lite, a 5m run starting and finishing on the same route as the Blister, a special mention must go to Paula Cooke and Sarah Whelan running their first ever race and comfortably breaking the hour finishing in 54:07 and 54:39 respectively.  Cliff Marriott was first AVR home in tenth place and second M55 in 42:35. Storming back after a few weeks of recuperation and first M70 was Ron Seward, 15th in 43:35.


Full results:


Blister 10m


Duncan Staddon  5th 1:06.14 (2nd M40)

Terry Emmett  8th 1:07.28

Richard Hardy 10th 1:08.01

Tim Lenton 11th 1:08.11  (2nd M45)

Joel Seward 14th 1:09.03

Ben Stone  15th 1:09.25

Lee Moran 17th 1:10.09

Patrick Devine-Wright  19th 1:11.12  (1st M50)

Rik Tumber 22nd 1:11.38

Rob Collier  21st 1:11.39 (2nd M50)

Matt Hewer 31st 1:14.12

Rupert Pady 34th 1:15.31

Chris Polley 75th 1:24.36

Haydn Boehm 79th 1:24.51

Eleanor Wood 89th 1:26.32 (1st F60)

Graham Newton 96th 1:27.01 (1st M70)

James Ashforth 100th 1:27.34

Jason Potter 101st 1:27.45

Karen Eyre 103rd 1:27.56 (1st F50)

Wayne Tooze 112th 1:28.32

Kerry Board 122nd 1:30.01 (3rd F45)

Andy West 126th 1:30.20

Martin Sawer 164th 1:33.43

Lee Stubbs 166th 1:34.11

James Hawker 190th 1:37.01

Jeremy Slade 208th 1:38.40

Kevin Feeney 250th 1:44.03

Jeremy Norcombe 260th 1:44.35

Heather Simmons 263rd 1:46.08

Suzi Blackett 267th 1:46.33

Katharine Moran 270th 1:47.47

Mark Day 284th 1:49.54

Gill Day 313th  1:54.26

Vicki Wraight 329th 1:57.22

Angela Kerr 330th 1:57.22 (2nd F65)

Geoff Rugg 332nd 1:57.18

Charlotte Horlock 333rd 1:57.50

Dave Mutter 335th 1:58.43

Helen Holmes 337th 1:58.50

Julia Mallon 336th 1:58.51

Amie Sibley 347th 2:00.39

Tim Sibley 348th 2:00.39

Janette Mack 349th 2:00.43

Shaun Vinnicombe 366th 2:00.42

Martin Kerr 377th 2:11.41

Diane Newton 382nd 2:17.27




Bicton Lite – 5m


Cliff Marriott 10th 42:35  (2nd M55)

Ron Seward 15th 43:35  (1st M70)

Louise Rawlins 37th 49:38 (2nd F45)

Paula Cooke 49th 54:07

Sarah Whelan 50th 54.13

Lesley Adams 64th 56:39 (3rd F65)

Carol Austin 65th 56:39

Kathryn Thompson 73rd 58:32 (3rd F35)

Aileen Heal 78th 1:00.56

Shirley Salter 79th 1:00.56

Dave Whelan 80th 1:00.59

Sam Summers 84th 1:04.37

Maxine Sweetman 85th 1:04.37





Seaton parkrun survives Arwen


On Saturday and despite the full fire of Storm Arwen Seaton parkrun was able to go ahead with the support of Honiton Running Club who took on the majority of the volunteer roles on a special takeover day.  Run Director, Howard Bidmead and core team member, Jeremy Slade did an early morning route inspection to give the event the go-ahead while many local parkrun events had to be cancelled.  Numbers were down with just 105 finishers.  First AVR home was Simon Dimmock in 20.15 with performance of the day, Mark Spraggs just a second outside his PB finishing in 23:20 despite the challenging wind.



AVR supports Children in Need


Axe Valley Runners has raised more than £300 for Children in Need in a novel way. AVRs Tim and Amie Sibley led their fellow AVR members in two runs – the Coly Dog and the Coly Pup which, once committed to Strava, drew the outline of a seated dog or puppy. The runs followed roads and paths around Colyton and Colyford. Members showed their appreciation by donating to Children in Need and Tim was able to bank £313.10 in aid of the charity. It is hoped to  become a regular event.




Grizzly conditions for Welsh fell race


Richard Hale started his preparation for Grizzly 2022 with a 7.4 km race in the Blorenge mountains near Abergavenny.   The wintry, windy and snowy conditions made it very tough going on a course that included part of the Brecon Canal followed by the north steep side of the mountain to the 559m trig point.

Despite a fall, Richard finished 59th in 1:00:7, second MV70.




AVRs excel at Seaton parkrun’s 5th Birthday

On Saturday first to finish and more than a minute ahead of anyone else was Innes Fitzgerald in a staggering 17.39 just outside the female course record that she set herself last month.  She was also top on age grade with her 87.82%.  First AVR home was Joel Seward in 19:17.  Carol Austin the co-event director for Seaton celebrated the fifth anniversary by finishing fifth female and second on age grade with 78.28%.  Paul Lloyd completed his 100th parkrun and Sam Miller her 50th so we look forward to seeing some new milestone Tees soon.  These popular T-shirts are now also available for volunteering – 25, 50, 100 and 250 times. There were five AVRs who ran personal bests yesterday:  Claire Warner 26.42 who was also third on age grade in 77.09%; Ben Mullane in 27.47; Mandy Harris in 27.57; Pam Goddard in 31.40 and Kathryn Thompson in 35.31.

Club Grizzly

On Sunday AVR tested out next years Grizzly course by organising six different club member only runs around the proposed route varying from the full Grizzly and Cub Run courses to sections varying from 10 to 14 miles. Despite the rain everyone had a great time and look forward to the main event on Sunday 6th March 22, subtitled “Paws for Thought” which is now full so no more entries are being accepted. The club had negotiated with landowners to be able to run over their private land for that day only, so anyone practicing for the Cub or Grizzly must stick to footpaths. Thanks to Steve Haines and Andy West for organising the fantastic mornings run.

Chard’s Wayne Loveridge was first finisher at the latest Seaton parkrun in 17:10 with Owen Pitcher of Dorchester AC 2nd in 17:16 and AVR’s Joel Seward 3rd, 17:51. New PBs were achieved by AVRs Simon Freathy and Maxine Sweetman.



Very Busy Weekends for AVR

Graham and Diane Newton both qualified for the England v Celtic 2020 Masters Half Marathon team.  Unfortunately, like so many things last year due to covid, it was postponed.  But finally last weekend the event took place at the Richmond Runfest.  For Diane it was the first time she had donned her prized England kit, although Graham has previously represented England in both the Half Marathon and Marathon distance. The race started at Kew, wending its way around the famous gardens before heading out along the Thames footpath and ending in Richmond Deer Park. Going out with the elite at the head over 2,000 runners on what turned out to be a very hot and sunny day, Graham finished as 3rd MV70 in1:41:05 and Diane finished 5th FV70 in 2:35:26.
Graham also ran the Sundowner 5k event the night before the half marathon, and finished in 21st place overall and first MV70 in an amazing 21.55.

Tim Lenton and Patrick Devine-Wright took part in the annual Black Mountains fell race on Saturday. The race is quite a challenge, involving seventeen miles of tough mountain running with over 5,000ft of ascent. In hot conditions, Tim had a great run, coming in 3rd and first MV40. Patrick finished 13th and first MV50.

David Cooke ran 63.28s for 400m at the Yeovil Games on Sep 18th which is a new SW Vets AC record and it puts him 18th on the UK all time list for M65 400m.

Mendip AC hosted the Glastonbury Levels 10k road race, a pancake flat out and back course starting at Strode College in Street. This is a fast course and with ideal conditions there were PB’s a plenty. Joel Seward continues his amazing year finishing 11th in 34:51 a new PB. Next up the fast improving Richard Hardy, 12th in 35:50 and a new PB. Close behind was Rob Collier, 14th in 37:01 a new PB and 1st M50, he was followed closely by Matt Hewer in a season’s best coming 20th in 38:28. Louise Rawlings was doing her first road race 10k and despite pre race nerves was 174th in a very decent 58:20.

To qualify for the London Classics medal, participants must run the London Marathon, cycle RideLondon 100 and then swim the Swim Serpentine 2-mile event. To complete these challenges, Margaret Pearce and Alan Morbey travelled to London along with Caroline French for the Swim Serpentine 2 miler in the open water of the Serpentine in Hyde Park. In good conditions on a lovely sunny day, all three completed the course, Alan Morbey in 1:23:30, Caroline French 1:23:36 and Margaret Pearce 1:40:35, Margaret and Alan picking up their London Classics medals on completion. Other AVR swimmers were Fran Hodson taking 1:02:26 and Karl Hodson in 1:16:53.

Richard Jackson ran the Lundy Island Half Marathon finishing 56th out of 194 in 2:23:58. The fastest time and course record was set by Graham Bale of Plymstock RR in 1:43:37. Lundy Island race is hosted by Pure Trail Running and the course offers pristine wildlife entrusted tracks tended by the Landmark Trust. The route takes in all of the island’s landmarks including the North Lighthouse and undulating eastern & western clifftops. All entrants take the same 2 hour ferry crossing from Ilfracombe and endure the choppy but scenic ride to Lundy and all return on the same Ferry later in the day allowing plenty of time to enjoy the islands pub and scenic views once the race is completed.

Well done to Gemma Collier of Gloucester AC for winning the latest Seaton parkrun in 19:07, just pipping James Denne also of Gloucester AC by 1 second. Chris Swainson of Ramsbottom RC was 3rd in 19:22. The parkrun is not all about fast times, it is a run designed for everyone of any pace to get up and have a go at the 5K route each Saturday at 9:00am. See for more info. Many people each week are first timers and they get a briefing at the start to help them on their way and ease nerves. You will be struck by the friendly atmosphere created not just by the runners, but also by the volunteer marshals and helpers who give their time freely each week. Go on – give it a go – you won’t regret it.