Points make Prizes

There was a big turnout for the August Bank Holiday 10k time trial as it was the last opportunity to improve scores in this event for the new AVR Annual Challenge where runners tackle a series of events throughout the year.

The sun shone as 44 AVRs started the 10k at Colyford Post Office running through the Seaton Wetlands down onto the Esplanade, avoiding the temptation of the Bank Holiday market, to the Hideaway, the halfway mark.  Then it was back along the Esplanade and up the Axmouth Straight alongside the River Axe before turning before the church to retrace the route back to the Hideaway.  First home was Matt Clist in an impressive 34:22; first female was Debbie Whiston in 41:58; Lindsey Freathy knocked 90 seconds off her May time, Mark Day knocked off a huge five minutes to finish in 54:38 while Janet Cullum and Alison Gould improved by three minutes each  in 62:02 and 62:04 respectively.  Full results here.

Lustleigh 10k

Eleanor Wood and Julia Teague enjoyed a 10k as part of the Bank Holiday Lustleigh Village Show.  It was a tough hilly route with Eleanor, returning from injury, finishing in an excellent 54:52 and Julia in 64:17.

Seaton parkrun


There was another big turnout with 268 finishers.  Debbie Whiston was second female in 19:43, third on age-grade in 80%.  Zoe Trewick and Georgie Ryan celebrated PBs in 27:36 and 30:41, respectively.

Summer trips meant more parkrun tourism with Wayne and Sam Tooze running Prospect Park parkrun before letting their hair down at the Reading Festival while Emma Ellynn enjoyed beautiful Trelissick parkrun in Cornwall.  Seven AVRs popped over to Killerton for a hilly off-road parkrun.  All AVR parkrun results are here.

Ron races the train

Ron Seward travelled to Tywyn in West Wales to race the train.  The event started at 2:05 pm as the Fat Controller blew his whistle. The steam train made its way up the gently sloping straight track to Abergynolwyn before making its return.

Meanwhile the runners were tackling fields, hills, tracks, streams and bogs made particularly challenging after Storm Betty. The outward part of the run was definitely easier than the return and the train was often tantalisingly in view. However, for the final part of the run the train’s route was considerably shorter than that of the runners.  Nonetheless, 47 of the 500 starters outperformed the steam engine which completed its route in 1hr 48 minutes. Having taken a couple of tumbles and completely immersing himself in the bog, Ron completed the 23 km course in a (replacement bus service) time of 2:19:56 in 234th and third M70, being pipped to second by just two-hundredths of a second.

Seaton and parkrun tourism

 It was a bright, windy Saturday in Seaton with a very big turn-out for parkrun. Plenty of tourists joined the regulars with more than 300 finishers.  Second female was Debbie Whiston in 20:29, also second on age-grade in 77%.  Rich Hardy was fourth finisher in 19:20. Kathryn Thompson secured nice new PB in 32:10, respectively.

Tourism award for the furthest travelled this week goes to Chris Polley who did a hot and humid East Park parkrun in Singapore in an impressive 21:59. Tony Smith and Sam Miller did Glengariff parkrun in Ireland securing their G meaning they are just one-away from the full parkrun alphabet.  Meanwhile Carol Austin did Jersey Farm parkrun to nab her J leaving her also just one letter left.  Bec Davey also got her G at Great Yarmouth parkrun.

Yeovilton 5k

Four AVRs took part in the fourth of the Yeovilton 5k  summer series on Wednesday evening.  Matt Frost was first AVR in 22ndplace in an impressive 18:09 with David Cull securing a PB for his 18:54. Adrian Strawbridge was 53rdfinishing in 20:17, 12th M40, with James Ashforth, 72nd in 22:40.  There were 114 finishers on the night.  There are two more events in the series: Wed 6th and Wed 13th September with entry details here:

Triple celebration at Seaton parkrun

Aileen Heal celebrated her 150th parkrun, her 100th volunteer stint at Seaton, and four years cancer-free at Saturday’s parkrun.  She was joined by friends from the Tu-Tu tribe and was also tail-walker.  Run Director for the day, Susi Sadler presented Aileen with her 100 volunteer hat before the event got underway.

In the event itself Ritchie Durrant led for most of the course but was pipped on the pebbles by tourist, Kieran O’Hara who finished in17:32 with Ritchie just behind in 17:35.  Debbie Whiston was second female in 20:30 and Ron Seward was second on age-grade with 78% for his 22:59.

Saturday nights are made for …running!

Eleven AVRs were ‘out-out’ on Saturday evening competing at the Shave Cross mini marathon, a 5-mile fun run as part of an activity filled charity evening at Kitty’s Farm.

Rob Collier was sixth and Kerry Board was first vet female.

A Family Affair

It was a family affair at the Wessex 10k as four AVRs, the Seward family plus Bob Carter, ventured to Somerton on a windy Saturday evening. The course took place on the Somerset Levels, initially involving dodging large puddles, although these soon became impossibly watery obstacles. This was followed by a 1k climb just before the finish, pay back for the descent earlier in the run.

Ron Seward stormed home in 47.48, first in 70+ category, and faster than all the M60s, 27th overall.  Bob Carter in a season’s best of 58.48 was 84th; Fiona Seward in 1.01.09, third F60 and Shirley Salter in 123rd in 1.11.52, gamely finishing despite picking an injury.  A total of 138 runners finished the event organised by Race Nation .


A run around Exeter

Cory Schultz completed the Green Lantern self-navigated run around the Exeter ring, a just over half-marathon on the Green Circle clockwise around the city, through wooded valleys, meadows, bicycle lanes and the banks of the Exe.

He completed the 14.2 mile race, organised by Wild Running, in 2:12.59 coming in 21st place with 87 finishing the race, run on Saturday evening after the worst of the wind and rain.


Haselbury 10K

Four AVRs travelled to North Perrott in Somerset on Wednesday evening for the annual running of the Haselbury10k trail race organised by Crewkerne Running Club. Starting and finishing at North Perrott Cricket Club, the race uses varied and scenic off-road footpaths and tracks. The recent heavy rain made it heavy going compared to previous years, but thankfully despite rain earlier in the day the weather stayed dry for the race which attracted 134 finishers.

All finishers were rewarded with a bottle of apple juice pressed at a local farm.
Ian Kinnersley finished 30th 50.33; Kerry Board was next AVR in 39th  51.40, first F45.  Andy West was 45th in 53.16 with Richard Matthews in 72nd in 58.37.


Mumbles Centurian

Haydn Boehm completed a three-day triathlon on the lovely Gower Peninsula.  Friday’s 2k swim represented his longest ever, the 50 mile bike ride was during the height of Storm Antoni so very challenging while Sunday’s 20k run was along the beautiful coastline from Oxwich back to the Mumbles in much sunnier conditions.  Haydn finished 49th, a creditable 8th M40.

Seaton parkrun beats Storm Antoni

An early course inspection by weatherman and RD, Tim Sibley and ED, Carol Austin gave the parkrun the go-ahead despite the best efforts of Storm Antoni but it was still rough conditions for the runners, walkers and volunteers.  First female finisher was Debbie Whiston in 21:28; Janet Cullum was first on age-grade in 75% for her 30:00 finish and Andy West, followed his good performance in midweek, by taking third age-grade in 74%, 22:29.  It was no surprise that there were no AVR PBs given the tough headwind.

Congratulations to Emma Richardson who celebrated her 100th parkrun running with lots of AVRs, and new member, Baz Chandra who reached his 50 milestone.

Tony Smith and Sam Miller nabbed a Q for the alphabet challenge at a very wet Queen Elizabeth parkrun in Hampshire while Angela and Martin Kerr visiting old haunts took part in Linford Wood in Milton Keynes.

Outstanding at the Outlaw

Simon Davey and Chris Polley  completed The Nottingham Outlaw Ironman on Sunday crossing the line together in a finishing total time of 13:39.26, in 386th and 387th positions from more than 600 finishers.

Chris was the stronger swimmer completing the 2.4 mile swim in a lake at the National Watersports Centre in an impressive 1:26.04 with Simon safely avoiding the cut-off with a 1:51.22 swim.  On to the 112 mile bike ride – a fast and flat ride around the beautiful Nottinghamshire countryside, with one hill to test the legs at around 50 miles.  Simon took 6:33.43 so was closing in on Chris who finished it in 6:42.30.  Just the small matter of a marathon distance 26.2 mile run which was a multi-lap run around the main regatta lake, along the River Trent and back via the new white water loop.  Simon completed the run in an amazing time of 4:53:53 to complete his first Ironman, catching Chris who finished in 5:15.22 to secure a PB for the Ironman distance.  Congratulations to both on an extraordinary achievement.



Bumper Seaton parkrun

There was a big turnout at Seaton parkrun on Saturday with a lot of visitors as well as a good number of AVRs amongst the 303 finishers.   Although drier than the week before, there was a tough headwind for the runners but still four impressive shiny new PBs for Aaron Rawlins in 19:39; Dave Hutton with 24:07; Jo Orsman in 26:56 and Georgie Ryan in 30:49.   Luke Reed was second finisher in 18:10 while Debbie Whiston was second female in 19:46, also second on age-grade with 80.35%.

With the holiday season in full swing, several AVRs took in a parkrun on their travels: Cliff Marriott and Pam Goddard did Plym Valley parkrun; Haydn Boehm nabbed a rare ‘U’ at Upton House parkrun near Poole; Bec Davey ran Rushcliffe, Paul Johns took part in Llyn Llech Owain parkrun while John Whittaker completed Fulham Palace parkrun.

Potter by the Otter

The popular Otter Rail and River 10k on Saturday attracted a big turn-out of AVRs.  The race follows the Otter river from Tipton St John down to Harpford then through the woods and back along the old railway line.  More than 200 completed the 10k with Eleanor Wood taking first F65 finishing in 50.54.  Special mention to Sarah Shepley who completed her first 10k since a serious knee injury.  All finishers received a bottle of Otter ale and the race was well organised by Sidmouth Running Club.  Full results here


Diane Newton entered Relish Running’s Westonbirt half marathon last weekend. Westonbirt is the national arboretum and is home to 2,500 species of trees, including many rare ones from around the world. More than 400 took part in the undulating two-lap course which wound around the various areas dedicated to different species.  In her first half-marathon of the year Diane took the F70+ category prize finishing in 2:57:28.


Seaton parkrun

The first finishers this week were both AVRs with Ryan Snell in 17:51 and Emilie Brock in 20:48. Second finisher was Richard Hardy in 18:05 with Luke Reed third in 18:08 after a great tussle between the three of them before Ryan pulled away.

There was also a good haul of PBs for AVR this week from Gareth Walker 22:48, Jeremy Norcombe 22:57, Laura Kerr 23:40, Craig Tiley 24:08 and Dave Hutton 24:20. Laura was particularly pleased as she both smashed her Seaton parkrun PB but also secured an overall parkrun PB beating her Eastbourne time.

First on age grade percentage was AVR Ron Seward in 22:27 for 80.55% while Elaine Chesterman celebrated her 50th parkrun milestone.  The parkrunners, volunteers and spectators were entertained on Saturday by a fabulous performance from the local Sunshine Samba.

Further afield Bec Davey secured her D at Dinton Pastures parkrun, Adele Girdwood ran Penrose parkrun, Amie and Tim Sibley, also in Cornwall, completed Trelissick while David and Susi Sadler took on Penrhyn parkrun in Wales.


AVRs shine at the Ham to Lyme Ultra

With an elevation of 3316 feet and more than 30 miles of multi-terrain running up hills, down dale, across fields and along the riverside this race is a challenge for anyone but it is becoming increasingly popular amongst AVRs with some 24 taking part last Saturday.  It starts up in Somerset in Ham Hill Country Park and winds its way through the stunning scenery of the Liberty Trail, Wayford Woods and Lamberts Castle to finish on the seafront in beautiful Lyme Regis.

AVR scooped second, third and fourth places with some tremendous times.  Rich Hardy came in second place in an incredible 4 hours 15 minutes with Rob Collier, third in 4 hours 25 minutes, pushing last year’s winner, Matt Clist into fourth.  Kerry Board, competing in her first ultra, finished in an excellent 5 hours 40 minutes as fifth female finisher.  Special mention to Louise Rawlins, who only began running during lockdown in 2020, joined AVR a year later and on Saturday completed an ultra and even managed her usual trademark cartwheel on the Cobb!

It was a hot day and mostly self-navigated so all finishers were well deserving of the beautiful ammonite medal.  Full results here Huge congratulations to everyone who completed it and to Albion Running for organising the race so well.


Charmouth Challenge

Despite the previous day’s rain, it was dry underfoot but very muggy for the Charmouth Challenge on Saturday. This 8-mile multi-terrain hilly race included an ascent of Golden Cap, the highest point on the South Coast of England at 191 metres.

There was a good turnout of AVRs amongst the 150 finishers with Andrew Snook coming in fifth place, second M40 in 56:06.  Ron Seward steamed in yet again achieving first in M70+ finishing in 1:22:30. Ann Coston, a new member of AVR, was second in the F50+ category at 1:27:41. Other AVRs to complete the Challenge were Patrick Rosello, Darrell Farley, Diana Burn and Adele Girdwood.

Full results can be found here 


Wednesday down at the Abbey

On a lovely sunny but cool Wednesday evening, 31 AVRs took part in this beautiful 10k off road race which starts and finishes at Forde Abbey and includes a couple of river crossings. Kerry Board was second female in an impressive 54:18 and first F40.  Adrian Strawbridge was fifth overall in 51:41 and took first M40 while Eleanor Wood was first F55 in 58:12, 42nd overall.  Unfortunately, a few front runners including Max Richardson took a slight wrong turning meaning completing almost 7 miles and missing a top ten finish.

Full results can be found here 

Down by the Riverside

Matt Frost took part in the Exeter Community Trust 10k river run on Friday starting and finishing at Exeter Quay. He finished in eighth in 38:28.

Seaton parkrun

Ryan Snell was third finisher in 18:06 while Debbie Whiston was 1st female in 19:44 and also second overall on age grade in 80.49%. PBs were gained by Gareth Walker 22:54, Zoe Trewick 27:45 and Ann-Louise Gridley 31:24.  More than 200 took part with many AVRs amongst the volunteers.  The team are always on the look-out for more volunteers especially during the busy holiday period when many tourists come to run and some of the regular helpers are away so if you would like to start Saturday morning with lots fun for a worthwhile cause please email seaton@parkrun.com for more information.

On their travels again, Carolyn Nation picked up a U and another country by completing Uppsala parkrun in Sweden while Carol Austin returned for a fourth visit to Haga parkrun in Stockholm.  Aileen and Peter Heal went to Bushy parkrun, where they were amongst the more than 1300 finishers including many octogenarians as the home of parkrun celebrated its huge age diversity.

AVR dominate at the Ug

AVR’s Emilie Brock and Jack Broom were victorious on Saturday evening at the Umborne Ug, a tough multi-terrain 10k run organised by AVR and raising funds to support the village hall in Umborne.

Some 800 feet of elevation provide spectacular views but was also hot work for the runners on a glorious summer’s evening.  Emilie finished in 49:06 and took first F40 as well as first female.  Amazingly, the following morning she cycled 100 miles at the Nello bike race with husband, Warren, in aid of the Forces Cancer Charity.

First home at the Ug was Jack Broom in 38:45, just pipping Chard Road Runners’ Wayne Loveridge who took second place.  Third female was AVR’s Kerry Board in 54:30.

Other prize winners for AVR on Saturday were Matt Clist, first M40 and fourth overall in 41:32 and Rob Collier, first M50 in 44:27.

There was a huge turnout from the club amongst the 115 finishers with many more supporting organisers’ Rick and Eleanor Wood with timing, back-marking, marshalling and setting up.   The race was followed by a BBQ.  Full results are here

Summer Solstice on the Fells

The latest in the South West Fell Runners Dartmoor series took place last Wednesday, summer solstice, on Merrivale.

Tim Lenton, Rik Tumber, David and Susi Sadler started the hilly 9.5km fell run taking in a huge 1000 feet of ascent on a very warm evening which made for a challenging but beautiful run including passing some Dartmoor ponies and foals!

Tim came an impressive seventh place, second M50, in 39:41 with Rik in 17th in 44:40.  Susi was happy to finish in 1:12.29 with David sadly having to drop out due to injury.

More information on these fell races is here and it would be great to see a few more AVRs taking on the challenge:

Land and sand

Matt Frost ran the Land and Sand 5k in Exmouth on Friday evening which involved a lot of running on the sandy beach!  He was an excellent fifth out of 98 finishers in 22:10.

Clean sweep at Seaton parkrun for AVR

On another sunny Saturday, AVRs were first male finisher – Ryan Snell in a PB of 17:26; first female finisher, Debbie Whiston in 19:49 and first on age-grade Eleanor Wood 88.75% for her 23:33.  It was also a great day for AVR PBs with Max Richardson (19:12), Gareth Walker (23:09), Zoe Harp (26:50), Zoe Trewick (29:01) and Jayne Tumber (32:45).  Emma Ellynn celebrated her 50th milestone.

Further afield, Carol Austin and Carolyn Nation bagged their Z for the parkrun alphabet challenge at Zielony Jar in Krakow, Poland while Tony Smith and Sam Miller added another country to their collection taking part in the beautifully scenic Amager Strandpark parkrun in Copenhagen.

All AVR parkrun results are here.

Defib Dash raises awareness

This week’s Axe Valley Runners club night had a bit of a twist – to raise awareness of the location of all local defibrillators (AEDs).  Following a recent first aid course that many members took part in to learn the importance of and how to use AEDs, the next stage was to find out where they are all located.

On Tuesday, each group had a map with a different route to locate as many as they could. Dependent on the pace of each group this ranged from four to eight.  More than 70 members joined the fun but important evening, followed by a BBQ at Seaton Cricket Club where funds were also raised for MacMillan Cancer Support with a cake sale that raised more than £200.  Big thanks go to Heather Simmons for all her organisation and the top team of BBQ chefs on the night including Sarah and Ronnie Whelan and Claire Warner.

Here are a few pictures from the evening to enjoy:

Muggy Martock

A handful of AVRs headed up into Somerset for the Martock 10k, on a scenic and flat course promising fast times.  But the sunshine, heat and closeness of the air was very challenging.

First AVR home in fifth place, and second M40, was Duncan Staddon in 36:13.   Ron Seward was first M70, 94th in an impressive 47:06.  Second M70 was another AVR, Eric Emerson in 54:27, 181st overall.  Ann Coston finished in 52:12, second F50 and 149th  with Angela Kerr in 55:28, 197th, second F60.

Other AVRs were Katharine Moran, 58:05, 232nd, Fiona Seward, 62:56, 273rd and Shirley Salter, 68:48, 320th.   A total of 384 finished the race to be rewarded with a lovely wooden medal.

 Giant Half

Mandy Harris ran White Star Running’s Giants Head half marathon in Dorset on Sunday in 3:11.18. With just over 1500 ft of climb it was another tough half in very hot conditions that took in the Cerne Abbas Giant.

PBs galore at sunny Seaton parkrun

Ryan Snell was second finisher in a PB of 17:41 with Debbie Whiston second female finisher in 19:39, also second on age-grade in 80.8%.  Emilie Brock was third female in a PB of 19:57. On a sunny morning in perfect conditions there were also PBs for David Cull, 20:13; Jeremy Norcombe, 22:58; Zoe Trewick, 29:05; and Ann-Louise Gridley, 31:39.

Up in Teddington Kevin Feeney celebrated his 100th run at Bushy Park parkrun, the location of the first ever parkrun nearly 20 years ago.  Keen to secure the “where it all started” parkrun challenge, Carol Austin, Martin Kerr and Angela Kerr made the pilgrimage there to run their first Bushy while Sarah Shepley completed her 39th at Bushy.

Aileen and Peter Heal completed Somerville Pavilion parkrun, known for its famous “curly-wurly” finish.  All AVR parkrun results can be found here