Axe Valley Runners celebrate a successful year

More than 65 members of Axe Valley Runners attended the annual awards celebration at the Old Picture House in Seaton on Saturday evening.

A great night included the presentations of the awards with each winner receiving a lovely, specially commissioned mug from local potter, Gilly Humphreys.  Chairman, Haydn Boehm and captain, Rob Collier presented the prizes.

The first winner was Suzi Blackett, who followed her “most improved runner’ last year, to take the top gong, female runner of the year.  She has had an outstanding year culminating in winning the InStep Devon Championship F35 category for a range of events across the county over different distances and terrains.

Matt Clist won the male equivalent for his first places at the Exe to the Axe, the Beer Blazer and Umborne Ug, along with first AVR at the Grizzly and fourth place at the Ham to Lyme ultra.

This year’s most improved runners proved difficult to call after great progress for many runners in the club. Zoe Harp and Georgie Ryan both demonstrated a sustained and significant improvement and were impossible to separate. On the male side, Tony Smith has improved in every race this year while Jase Potter, has had improvement on both short and long courses and even ran three relay legs at the Race the Tram event.

Club person of the year had one stand out candidate supported by members votes and the committee.  Louise Rawlins has supported so many runners throughout the year including helping at two Couch to 5K programmes and then nurturing runners afterwards in their transition to the club.  She is developing the junior section with a view to it restarting next year and has recently successfully completed her Leadership in Running Fitness qualification.  A regular helper at both Seaton and Stopline Way junior parkrun events where she is loved by the volunteers and runners alike, she is known for her encouragement and motivation.

The Founder’s Trophy recognises determination and effort to achieve a significant goal and this year was awarded to Kathryn Thompson who a year ago was suffering from a serious illness and told she may never run again.  But she didn’t listen, went on to run the London Marathon and an ultra, raise a lot of money for charity all while bringing up three young boys.

Jack Broom was awarded the President’s Shield for a specific outstanding achievement following his incredible marathon debut, running 2:38 in Manchester.

The team award went to the AVR men’s team (Joel Seward, Duncan Staddon, Richard Hardy and Tim Lenton) who at the Templar 10 took first place by a whooping 25 minutes.

The Chair’s award, chosen by Haydn Boehm, went to Eleanor Wood who has stepped down as captain and committee member after more than 15 years and who has contributed hugely to making the club what it is today. She started the Umborne Ug and has served on the Grizzly Committee for many years as well as leading and supporting runners throughout the club.

Other awards were the Winter Series improvement, chosen by Rob Collier, and going to Sue Chambers; the handicap winner, Dave Hutton and runners-up, Richard Matthews and Bob Carter; and the new AVR Race Series winners: Laura Kerr (FSen) Emilie Brock (F40);  Kerry Board (F45);  Karen Eyre (F50);  Adele Girdwood (F55);  Carol Austin (F60);  Eleanor Wood (F65);  Janet Cullum (F70); Joel Seward (MSen) Matt Clist (M40);  Haydn Boehm (M45);  Robert Collier (M50); Darrell Farley (M55); Ian Kinnersley (M60);  Alan Hornibrook (M65) and  Ron Seward (M70).

The evening also saw a draw take place for the club’s TCS London Marathon place with Laura Kerr the lucky winner.  A raffle held for the Devon Air Ambulance raised nearly £250.

AVR would like to thank Committee member, Shaun Vinnicombe for his organisation and the Old Picture House for hosting the evening.

Christmas Cracker 10k

Ragnhild Richards completed the Weston Super Mare Christmas Cracker 10k on Sunday.  It was a wet and soggy day but it didn’t dampen the Christmnas spirit with many running in festive dress. She finished in 54.58, fifth F60.

Seaton parkrun

It was a good day at Seaton parkrun for AVR with almost a clean sweep on the podiums.  First finisher was Joel Seward in 17:03 with Ricthie Durrant, third finisher in 17:29.  On the female side, it was Debbie Whiston in 20:53; Lucy Watkinson in 21:36 and Eleanor Wood in 23:31 as first three finishers with Eleanor Wood’s incredible 88% placing her first on age-grade.  A big shout-out to Kevin Feeney who made his debut as Run Director successfully looking after the 152 finishers.

On the road, Tony Smith and Sam Miller completed their parkrun alphabet by running Zuiderpark parkrun in the Netherlands while Bec and Si Davey secured a Z in a snowy Poznan, completing Zalew Wrzesinski parkrun.  Closer to home Carol Austin ran The Old Showfield parkrun in Frome with Cliff Marriott and Pam Goddard completing Winchester parkrun.





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.

Westdown Wander

A baker’s dozen of AVRs tackled the challenging Westdown Wander approx. 10-mile multi-terrain race on Sunday.  Organised by Exmouth Harriers the race had a different finish with the after-effects of Storm Ciaran still causing problems.  With the recent rain it was also vey muddy as the course left Exmouth on the coastal path up and down at Budleigh and then back inland through Littleham.

First AVR home was Kerry Board who was fourth female in an excellent 1:19.16, also second F45.  Eleanor Wood was just behind in 1:22.09, a brilliant ninth woman and first F65.  Ron Seward picked up first M70 for his 1:29.18, 53rd overall while Ann Coston secured first F55 for her 1:34.38 finish.  The full results are here: with 120 completing the race.

The race was the final event in the InStep Devon series; results to follow next week on this.

Seaton parkrun

It was a very cold but a beautifully sunny day on Saturday; so cold that a slight course amendment was needed to avoid some lethal ice at the Hideaway end of the Esplanade.

First finisher was AVR’s Joel Seward in 17:15 with Rich Hardy in third in 17:54.  Debbie Whiston was second female in 20:40.  The extra pebble sections, added to compensate for the shorter Esplanade route, caused no trouble to Max Richardson or Pam Goddard who both secured shiny PBs in 18:32 and 29:48 respectively.  Rob Collier was second on age-grade with 81% for his 18:43.

Congratulations and a big thanks to Louise Rawlins who reached her 100 volunteer milestone and to Haydn Boehm for his first outing as Run Director, including navigating the course change!

Out and about, Jake Smith was preparing for his pacing duties at Valencia next week with a first finisher place at Cardiff parkrun in 14:32; Tim and Amie Sibley took part in Porthcawl parkrun; Dave Hutton and Sue Chambers ran Clevedon Salthouse parkrun while Jo Orsman visited Sharpham Road Playing Fields parkrun and smashed out a 5k PB of 26:32.

ColyDog supports Children in Need

AVR’s Coly Dog run is now a regular event in the club calendar to raise money for Children in Need, gain extra kudos for impressive Strava art and remember Tim and Amie Sibley’s collie, Rosie.  Run in Friday’s pouring rain it was a very wet affair but was still enjoyed by 30+ AVR members with nearly £300 raised for BBC’s Children in Need.

Blustery Brighton

Carol Austin and Diane Newton battled gusts of more than 40 mph at the Brighton 10k on Sunday.  Starting and finishing in Hove with the route following the Esplanade westwards, runners then turned around and headed back past the start towards Brighton pier.  At just over 5k the route turned again and runners were met with a fearsome headwind through to 9k before a welcome final turn for the home straight.

Finishing in 48:42, Carol Austin was 743rd and fourth F60.  She now awaits to see if this is sufficient for an England Masters 10k place to add to the half marathon place secured already.  Diane Newton was 1978th and tenth F70 in 1:18.57.  More than 2000 runners finished the race.

Gale-force Gosport

Just along the coast, Matt Clist and Joel Seward also battled the high wind in the Gosport Half Marathon with Matt finishing in an excellent 19th place and first M40 in 1:17.02.  Joel struggled in the final few miles but still finished in 1:24.37, 83rd from the 1200 who competed the 13.1 miles around the marina and out and back on the esplanade.

Starcross Shuffle

Organised by Winding Paths and anything but a shuffle this is a looped race where runners can complete distances from 10k to an ultra and beyond.  Georgie Ryan completed three laps (32.27km) in 4.04:38 which is her longest run since she started running a year ago – tremendous progress.

Corey Schultz did five laps of the circuit, which takes in the Exe Estuary, Powderham Castle and Turf Locks, racking-up some 34.05 miles in 6:42:27.

Extra muddy Dirt Half

Angela Kerr returned to her old stomping ground in Leighton Buzzard to complete the Dirt Half, an off-road half marathon that as per its name is known for its muddy terrain but also stunning views, beautiful woods and picturesque canalside paths.  After all this week’s rain it really was a muddy one this year with Angela finishing in 300th place, 2:19.33, second F65.  Some 400 completed the challenge.


Seaton parkrun

Following last week’s seventh birthday celebrations at Seaton parkrun it was a quieter affair this week with just 150 finishers.

AVR took the first three female positions with Debbie Whiston in 20.59, Kerry Board in 22:46 and Lucy Watkinson in 23:13.

On the road, Kevin Feeney and Sarah Shepley celebrated Kevin’s 70th birthday, and new age category, by taking part in Bushy parkrun, their previous home run and, of course, “where it all began”; the first ever parkrun took place there back in 2004.

Tony Smith and Sam Miller took part in Dulwich parkrun, a fast three-lapper illustrated by Tony running his first sub-20 minute 5k since 1999!

Bec Davey completed her name challenge securing the missing V by running Victoria Dock parkrun with Emma Richardson and Sam Tooze.

Drogo delight for AVR

There was a tremendous turn-out for AVR at the Drogo 10, a multi-terrain race around the beautiful countryside of Castle Drogo Estate. The start and finish was at the National Trust Estate with stunning views of the River Teign. Half of all the entry fee went towards maintenance of the Estate.

It was a sunny start to the race but soon the rain was falling adding to the muddy and challenging conditions underfoot after the recent stormy weather.  More than 400 runners completed the race that attracted some high calibre competitors.

First AVR home was Andrew Snook in seventh place in 1:09.35, third M40.  First female for AVR was Kerry Board in an excellent 1:30.08 which was also second F45.  Eleanor Wood was second F65 in 1:31.50 with Rupert Pady also taking an age-group second, M55, in 1:22.56.  Rob Collier was third M50 and an excellent 36th overall in 1:18.03;  Karen Eyre taking the female equivalent, 3rd F50 in 1:34.20; Dawn Carrah was third F60 in 1:44.25 while Andy West took third M65 in 1:35.13.

More photos on our facebook page courtesy of Wayne Tooze.

Full results are available here


Seventh heaven for Seaton parkrun

The sun shone for the seventh birthday celebrations at Seaton parkrun on Saturday.   The conditions could not have been more different to the previous weekend when the carnage from Storm Ciaran caused the cancellation of the event.

It was thanks to the incredible clearing up work by East Devon District Council’s Street Scene team that this weekend’s parkrun could go ahead.  The team cleared all the pebbles and beach debris from the Esplanade.  Volunteers from parkrun also had to replace, restore, locate and clean a lot of equipment following the damage done to the store-room by the enormous waves and wind of the storm.

The pebble sections were rather ‘lumpier’ than usual  and more than 40 volunteers supported the 228 runners and walkers, ensuring their safety and giving the usual Seaton welcome.

As it was a birthday there was, of course, fancy dress and cake.  Winner of the best outfit was Louise Rawlins who came as a coffee cup reflecting the parkrun ethos that “it was always about the coffee”.

For AVR, first female finisher was Debbie Whiston in 21.00 while Janet Cullum was second on age-grade with 78% for her 28.58.  Despite the challenging pebbles this week, there were PBs for Pam Goddard in 30.10 and Rebecca King in 34.47.  Bec Davey celebrated her 100thparkrun in a fabulous 7 of hearts outfit while Lindsey Freathy reached her 100 volunteer stints at Seaton receiving the prized hat.

After the run, a fantastic cake made by Kathryn Thompson was cut by Event Directors, Tony Smith and Carol Austin.  The seven years of parkrun have been excellently supported by AVR with 276 members having completed the 5k; between them amassing an amazing 10815 runs plus the all-important volunteering required every week.

Super Sunny Sunday in Sidmouth

Ten AVRs took the short trip to Sidford to take part in the LM Events Sidmouth 10k, which starts and finishes at the social hall in the village.  The route takes runners along the beautiful Byes to the seafront then loops back after two steep climbs on Hillside and Cliff Road.

After Storm Ciaran the sun shone on Sunday for the 256 runners with AVR’s Joel Seward taking first place in an excellent 37:29. After his cricket induced summer break from racing he is well and truly back!

Next AVR home was Tony Smith in 26th place in 48.43, just pipping Honiton’s Howard Bidmead, and taking third M55.  In 39th place and winning the M70 award was Ron Seward finishing in 50.48.  Fiona Seward completed a good day for the Seward family, finishing 156th in 1.03.50.

Andy Broom, 89th in 57.09; Gail Van Der Leeden, 112nd in 59.48; Sam Miller, 122nd in 1:00.56; Georgie Ryan, 161st in 1:04.41; Derek Blumfield, 82nd in 1:06.36 and Jayne Tumber, 235th in 1:15.28 were the other AVR finishers.


Birthday in Bideford 

Amanda Gowler and Diane Newton took part in the Bideford AAC organised popular 10-mile race on Sunday.  The race takes in magnificent views of the Taw and Torridge estuary heading out on roads and back on the Tarka Trail.  It is a mainly flat route with three small inclines so can be a fast course depending on how the wind is on the day, especially on the Tarka Trail when head winds can make it a tough return.

On Sunday, new member Amanda Gowler celebrated her birthday, finishing 351st in 1:27.15 while Diane Newton was very pleased to finish in 2:12:26, 687th, well under the target she had set for herself.

More than 700 completed the well organised race, which forms one leg of the Bideford triple- 10k, 10 mile and half marathon organised throughout the year-


All for a pasty!

Jeremy Slade took part in his first road marathon for a number of years running the Cornish marathon on Sunday.  After a number of hilly off road marathons and ultra marathons he had just the 26.2 miles to deal with and was rewarded with stunning views, a big PB and a Cornish pasty!

The very scenic but hilly circular route started along the Draynes Valley through ‘Poldark’ country of Bodmin Moor, then continued past King Arthur’s legendary Dozmary Pool, Du Maurier’s Jamaica Inn at Bolventor and back along the beautiful Fowey Valley.  Jeremy completed it in 4:50.07 coming in in 248th spot from nearly 400 finishers.

Devon Trail 10k

Cliff Marriott battled through the rain and wind on Saturday to take part in the Devon Trail 10k which started at Bicton College and ran around Woodbury Common.  The lovely, undulating route was very wet underfoot from Storm Ciaran and included a number of river crossings but the rain held off during the race, which Cliff finished in 1:02.06, 58th from 142 finishers.

Rain stopped play!

There was no parkrun at Seaton due to the damage on the Esplanade including to the parkrun equipment store from Storm Ciaran.  The clean-up has begun and hopefully the event will go ahead this Saturday, 11th Nov,  when Seaton parkrun celebrates its seventh anniversary.  Volunteers and parkrunners will be in fancy dress with prizes for the best outfits and there is every chance of cake!  Check the event page or FB to confirm it is going ahead.

Local Derby at parkrun

Seaton parkrun on Saturday saw the first ever Axe Valley Runners versus Honiton Running Club Challenge with AVR taking the crown in the run while Honiton won the “Bake Off”.

The run results were based on age-grade scores as calculated by parkrun.  With 18 runners results counting from each club on the day, AVR scored a magnificent 1342 points, helped by Eleanor Wood, leading with 89.8% and Matt Clist, second finisher on the day, with 82.3%.

A tremendous 62 AVRs took part as well as some 20 or so who volunteered.   Full results are here:

In the “Great AVR v Honiton Bake-Off” challenge four magnificent cakes were entered from each club with members of The Hideaway café, the neutral judges.  All the cakes were praised for their professional standard with Honiton’s Halloween cake the overall winner.

A special mention to Kathryn Thompson for her cake in AVR colours, the parkrun logo and, of course, the Seaton pebbles.

A big thank you to all the Seaton parkrun core team, to the Hideaway for their time and patience, to Lee Moran for crunching the numbers, to Robert Nisbet for photos and, most of all to Bob Carter for the idea and organisation.  A battle set to continue and become a regular parkrun fixture.

In other parkrun news, Carol Austin completed the alphabet challenge by claiming her V at Valentines parkrun in Ilford.

Susi Sadler was in Holland for work so visited Kralingse Bos parkrun in Rotterdam while Rob Collier and Sam Summres ran the unique Severn Bridge parkrun that straddles both England and Wales.  Paul Johns and Jon Day popped up to Street parkrun in Somerset while Cliff Marriott and Pam Goddard were in Kent so took part in Walmer and Deal Seafront parkrun.

Abingdon adventure

Ian Kinnersley ran the Abingdon marathon in Oxfordshire on Sunday. The weather was ideal for running with no wind, sunshine and mid-teens temperatures. The course was a flat two-lap event around the town and surrounding villages mainly on road hence it is targeted by many to produce personal bests and “Good for Age” times. Ian ran his fastest marathon in an impressive 3:32:10, beating his previous best from Portsmouth in 2013 by a huge 21-minutes finishing 342nd from nearly 2000 runners and ninth MV60.

ColyTEN – a roaring success

The winners were definitely the organisers at the inaugural ColyTEN on Sunday, a 10-mile trail race put on by Axe Valley Runners in conjunction with Colyton Football Club and Colyton Youth Football.  It was a crisp sunny Autumn day, making perfect running conditions for the near 300 runners taking part.  The race had sold out a few days before which was testament to the hard work of the team from AVR preparing and promoting the event.

The race started and finished at Colyton Football Club taking in the beautiful River Coly valley and some steep inclines in and around MorganHayes woods.  Special mentions must go to Rob Collier, Karen Eyre and Sam Halls for all their organisation, route planning and corordination as well as all the volunteers that made the event possible.  AVR hope it will become an annual event.

In first place on the day was Samuel Kelly from Exmouth Harriers in 1:01.22.  Second was AVR’s Matt Clist in 1:05.48, also first M40.  First female was Kirsteen Welsh in 1:10.45 with Debbie Whiston second in 1:17.25, also first F40 followed by Emilie Brock, 1:20.16, second F40.

Prizes of hampers were donated by Ganesha Wholefoods of Axminster who also made a donation to Devon Air Ambulance.

Other category winners for AVR were: Sue Hayes, first F45 in 1:27.33; Eleanor Wood, first F65 in 1:31.55; Andy West, first M65 in 1:33.20 and Dawn Carrah, first F60 in 1:43.38.

Full results are here:

Sun shone in Southsea

Five AVRs headed over to Hampshire to take part in this year’s AJ Bell Great South Run, a ten-mile fast and flat course around the Portsmouth and Southsea peninsula taking in the historic docks including HMS Victory, Southsea Castle and glorious sea views.  Conditions were race perfect after a chilly start to the day.

First AVR home was Matt Frost in 215th in 1:00.49 with Simon Dimmock in 1:11.00, 977th.

Next was Carol Austin in 1:17.47 (2088th), fourth F60 with Laura Kerr just behind in 2465th in 1:19.21 and Angela Kerr in 5592nd in 1:30.29, 13th F65.

More than 20,000 took part in the race, which also saw Jake Smith’s return to racing after injury.  He came in eighth place in 48:30, delighted with his time after more than a year out of action.

Bath Half

It was perfect weather also in Bath for the half-marathon which attracted a very fast field among the 9000 runners.  First AVR home in an impressive 73rd place was Jack Broom in 1:14:59 followed not far behind by Duncan Staddon in 1:16:27 which was an excellent seventh MV45.

Ron Seward finished in 1891st  in 1:47:51, a brilliant sixth MV70.  He described the finish this year as having “excluded the north face of the Eiger, but instead had a more gentle but very tortuous climb for over one km. Just what’s needed at the end of a half marathon!”.  Julia Conway completed the AVR contingent finishing in 2:05.35.

Outstanding Ultras

On Saturday Louise Rawlins and Kathryn Thompson completed the 50k Race to the Sea which takes runners from Moors Valley Country Park to Bournemouth seafront following the Castleman Trailway through forest trails then the glorious coastal path into Bournemouth. With more than 400 taking part on the flat and scenic route, Louise finished in  294th in 6:24.55 while Kathryn was 402nd in 7:39.07.

Further afield Ragnhild Richards took part in the Cappadocia Ultra trail 63km for the second time.  It is an amazing race with 2000m+ ascent and very technical terrain. She was delighted to knock off 28 minutes on her time from two years ago to finish in 11 hrs 17, third in the 60+ age group.

Seaton parkrun

With so many AVRs racing on Sunday many took to supporting parkrun through volunteering this Saturday.  Second female finisher was Karen Eyre in 22:34 who took some time off from her mammoth ColyTEN organising duties.  Second male finisher was Luke Reed in 17:41 with Simon Dimmock third finisher in 20:51.

On the tourist trail, Cliff Marriott and Pam Goddard completed Clapham Common parkrun while Tony Smith and Sam Miller completed their Scandi tour with Lovisten parkrun in Bergen, a spectacular course high above the beautiful city.

Ten stars for AVR at the Templer 10

AVR scooped ten prizes at the Templer 10, the last event in AVR’s new annual challenge meaning a good turnout as runners tried to secure points from the multi-terrain race organised by Teignbridge Trotters.

The race started and finished at Stover School, Newton Abbott with competitors running through the picturesque Stover Country Park and the fields of Teigngrace enjoying the unseasonably warm weather.

First home to take the crown was AVR’s Joel Seward in 1.00.11 with Duncan Staddon taking second place in 1:01.43, also first M45.  With Rich Hardy in fourth in 1:03.37, first M40 and Tim Lenton in sixth, 1:04.53, first M50 it was not surprising that the AVR men also took first prize in the Male team category.  Other male prize winners for AVR were Rupert Pady, 20th in 1:12.06, second M50 and Ron Seward, 79th and first M70 in 1:26.52.

On the female side, Eleanor Wood was 11th female in 1:20.22 and first F65; Kerry Board, struggling with a bad cold, 13th female in 1:21.10; Karen Eyre, 16th female and second F50 in 1:23.39 and Adele Girdwood, 44th female and third F55 in 1:38.03.  These four taking the second prize for female team.

Other AVR finishers were Lee Moran, 1:10.51; Ian Kinnersley, 1:19.21; Haydn Boehm, 1:19.52; Darrell Farley, 1:32.00; and Katharine Moran, 1:44.31.  Almost 200 completed the race which is also part of the In-Step Devon.

 England take the win in Chester

Angela Kerr completed the Chester marathon running as part of the England Masters team in her fourth appearance in the England vest finishing seventh F65 in 4:42.05.  More than 3000 completed the marathon with the England Masters beating Wales Masters as part of the event.


Balmy Bournemouth

Jacqui Stokes ran the Bournemouth half marathon, part of the Run Bournemouth Running Festival. In very hot conditions she was thrilled to run a PB of 2:00:41 finishing 1037th

At the same festival Cliff Marriott took part in both the 5k on Saturday evening and the 10k on Sunday morning taking in both Boscombe and Bournemouth piers.  Cliff also squeezed in Bournemouth parkrun and somehow managed a visit to the pub in between!  In the 10k he was 424th, in 56.15 while in the 5k he was 162nd in 27.18.

A Right Royal PB

David Cull ran the Royal Parks Half Marathon which takes in four of the eight Royal parks in the capital; Hyde Park, Green Park, St James’s Park and Kensington Gardens.

It was a beautiful sunny day for the near 16000 runners but fortunately not too warm early on with great support on the streets and in the parks.  David was very pleased to finish in 1:24:11, 139th place taking a huge three and half minute off his PB.

Pacers day at Seaton parkrun

It was quiet day for AVR at Seaton parkrun although the sun shone and 250+ parkrunners including many visitors enjoyed the event.  AVR did provide most of the pacers helping a good few to PBs so big thanks to Keith Agland, Haydn Boehm, Lindsey Freathy, Simon Freathy, Tim Sibley and Vicki Wraight.  Well done to Dave Hutton who secured a PB in 23.46.

Tony Smith and Sam Miller continued their Scandi tour with a visit to Tokoinranta parkrun in Helsinki.

Kevin Feeney completed Flatts Lane parkrun on Teeside which, despite its name, is definitely not flat!  Jon Day visited Weymouth parkrun.

Due to the ColyTEN next weekend a reminder that there is no Stopline Way Junior parkrun on Sunday 15th October.

World Class in Riga

Tony Smith and Sam Miller travelled to Riga in Latvia for the first ever World Athletics Road Running Championships.  Due to injury, their son Jake Smith wasn’t competing so it was their turn to take centre stage participating in the mass half marathon race.  An impressive 13000 runners took part in the mass race from more than 100 countries, starting just behind the elite race.

The course featured most of Riga’s central landmarks; with the start and finish using the Gate to Old Riga adjacent to the main river Daugava. Criss-crossing the river on a predominantly flat course, the runners returned to Old Riga over Vanšu bridge offering a spectacular panorama of the city.

Tony finished an excellent 390th, 11th M55 in his best time for many years in 1:33.44 whilst Sam was also pleased with her 2:14.48 finish in 563rd, 15th F55.

Mud, mud glorious mud

The Honiton Hippo was once again full of mud, sweat and tears but with lots of fun and opportunities to wash up in the River Otter.  Thirteen AVRs joined the 150+runners in the 7 mile multi-terrain run.

Eleanor Wood was first AVR home in 1:09.07, in 28th, fifth female and first F55.  Andy West was next AVR in 1:11.51, third M60.  Sid Heaslip followed in 57th, 1:18.26 with Dawn Carrah in 1:20.40.  Full results are here.

Cardiff half

Vicki Wraight, Susan Wall and Laura Kerr popped over the border to take part in the Cardiff half-marathon in Wales, one of the country’s fastest half marathons; well-organised and with a great atmosphere at start and finish.  Despite an ongoing ankle injury Laura finished in an excellent 1:51.43, 697th female.  Susan and Vicki ran together finishing in 2:40.24; Susan was 135th F60.  More than 20,000 runners completed the 13.1 mile race.

Green success for Innes

Congratulations to Innes Fitzgerald who has won the BBC Young Athlete of the Year at the Green Sports Awards 2023.  Details here

50 not out!

SLW celebrates their birthday and other parkrun news

Stopline Way Junior parkrun celebrated its 50th run and first birthday in style at Axminster Town FC last Sunday.

Runners, their families, and volunteers enjoyed a fabulous postrun Stopline Way Junior parkrun celebration cake made by Kristina West (Knapp Cottage Cakes) and delicious vegan treats made by volunteer Wendy le Masurier.

Since the start a year ago the event has welcomed 197 junior parkrunners who have completed 857 Stopline Way Junior parkruns between them. The core team comprises about 20 volunteers, many of whom are AVR members, with 82 people having volunteered in total.

Here’s to the next 50!

At Seaton parkrun on Saturday Kerry Board was first female finisher in 22.23.  Both Matt Clist, second finisher and Ritchie Durrant, in third, nabbed PBs in 16.37 and 16.41, respectively with Matt also first on age-grade in 84%.

There were PBs too for Paul Johns in 21.21, Baz Chandra in 27.07 and Georgie Ryan in 30.14.

Congratulations to Viv Blumfield who celebrated her 50th volunteer milestone.

In Cardiff it was wonderful to see Jake Smith on the comeback trail with a 14.44 first finisher placing!  Also in Wales, Carolyn Nation secured her D at Dolgellau parkrun.  Meanwhile, taking advantage of the good conditions in Exmouth, Carol Austin secured her best ever age-grade of 83% for her 23.09 while Stuart Olliver finished in 29.19.

And finally… over on the darkside!

It was a fantastic performance for Emilie Brock at the Thruxton Duathlon on Sunday where she secured a GB Age Group Team Qualifier position with second place in the F40 and tenth overall in the Run-Bike-Run event.

Luke Reed is on tenter hooks to see if his fourth place is enough to qualify but a week after representing GB in this year’s European triathlon it is very impressive.

Not content with running Berlin marathon last week, Haydn Boehm also took part finishing 18th in his age category.  Like running the strength is in depth at tri and duathlon age groups events gets stronger every year.