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 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

Man v Horse

David and Susi Sadler travelled to mid-Wales for the infamous Man v Horse race in Llanwrtyd Wells. It was blisteringly hot for the 21-mile race which challenges runners to outrun the horses across mountainous terrain with an incredibly steep 3800 feet ascent.

For only the fourth time since the race began in 1980 a runner did actually beat the horse with Daniel Connolly finishing in 2:24.38.  First horse home was DNS Ronaldo ridden by Kate Atkinson in 2:34.25.  The race was started by BBC newsreader Sophie Raworth along with Susie Chan, endurance runner and peloton instructor, with the two of them then running the race.

David and Susi are dedicated Man v Horse participants with David having taken part eight times and Susi nine, including once riding a horse!  They described this year’s event as the hardest yet due largely to the heat but loved it more than ever!

Sizzling Southend

On Sunday Ron Seward ran the Southend half-marathon in sizzlingly hot Southend where the mercury hit 26 degrees! A brilliantly marshalled course comprising of two loops along the seafront was interspersed with water sprays and numerous drinks stops.  Ron finished an excellent 291st from more than 1500 finishers in 1:47:06.  Given the conditions he was pleased with the time.

Tutu Tribe celebrate milestones

Another sunny Saturday in Seaton saw 244 finishers at parkrun and milestones for AVR’s Louise Rawlins celebrating completing 25 events and Haydn Boehm reaching 50 volunteer stints.  They were joined by a big group of friends from AVR’s Runshiners to celebrate, all brightly adorned in tutus for the occasion.  At parkrun volunteering and completing the 5k is celebrated with milestone T-shirts, wristbands, buffs and vests available when you reach 25, 50, 100, 250 and, even, 500.

First finisher on Saturday was AVR’s Ritchie Durrant in 17.44 with AVR’s Debbie Whiston first female in 19.55, also second on age-grade with 79%.  Andy West, back from injury, was third on age-grade with 77% for his 22.43.  Ann-Louise Gridley got a PB, 32.44 and Simon Dimmock celebrated an impressive 200th parkrun.

Hot and hilly for Crewkerne 10k

There was a good turnout of AVRs who hopped over the border to Somerset to support the Crewkerne 10k.  Hot conditions and a hilly course made it a challenging run but the beautiful route and great atmosphere made up for it.

The winner, from Chard Road Runners was regular Seaton parkrun first finisher, Wayne Loveridge in a very impressive 34:53, over a minute ahead of the second placed, Shaun Dixon.  First AVR home in fifth and first M40 was Duncan Staddon in an excellent 37:17. Rob Collier took first M50, 14th place, in 41:17.  Eleanor Wood was fifth female and, second F55 in 49:25.  Interestingly all three F55 placings were faster than the F35 and F45 categories! Ian Kinnersley had another good afternoon taking second M60 in 46:33, 35th overall.

More than 180 finished the race, organised by Crewkerne RC and full results can be found here:

No rest on a Bank Holiday!

 Mandy Harris ran the White Star Running’s Ox Half Marathon on Bank Holiday Monday as part of a whole weekend of races organised by the Wiltshire club.   The half marathon was held in the stunning Rushmore Estate with the route going across the rolling Wiltshire Downs and Cranborn Chase as well as the old Ox Drove, an area of outstanding natural beauty.

With nearly 1,700ft of climb and a sneaky evil hill towards the finish, Mandy was pleased to finish in 2:57:13, fourth F50.

Rik Tumber was also competing on the Bank Holiday at the Chagford 2Hills, tough fell race on Dartmoor.

After a lap around the cricket ground runners were straight into a steep technical climb of 225m in less than 1km up Meldon Hill.  A rapid technical descent followed into deep bogs and then another steep technical climb of only about 150m onto  Battadon Common.   Finally another rapid technical descent down to the cricket club to finish.  Rik was an impressive sixth finisher from more than 200 who completed the short but gruelling challenge.

Couch to 5k graduation!

 On Wednesday the latest group of newbies to AVR “graduated” at the end of their Couch to 5k programme.  Nine completed their final week with a 30-minute non-stop run.  Big thanks to Cliff Marriott, Pam Goddard and the other helpers who have supported the group over the last nine weeks. On Wednesday they were rewarded with a shiny star, made by Louise Rawlins, and choc-ices!

Sunny parkrun again

Another sunny Saturday brought the crowds to Seaton again for parkrun with 252 finishers including a large contingent from Southampton celebrating an upcoming wedding.  Second female home was Debbie Whiston in 19.56  who was also third on age-grade with 79%.  First on age grade was Ron Seward in an impressive 81% with a shiny PB too of 22.16.  There were also PBs for Gareth Walker, 23.42; Jo Orsman, 26.57; and Liz Curley, 33:09.

With the holiday season upon us, AVRs also took the opportunity for a parkrun while on their travels with visits to Sharpham Road Playing Fields, Cheddar; Heartlands in Cornwall; Bideford; Conwy and Lymington.  All the details of these and the local parkrun results are here



Resounding success for AVR at Exe Relays

AVRs had a great evening in Exeter on Friday with 11 teams taking part in the Run Exe 4 x 4k relay event.  With a total of 94 teams competing on a glorious sunny evening there was a wonderful atmosphere alongside the river for the event, well organised by City Runs.

AVR’s men’s 40 (Ryan Snell, Matt Hewer, Terry Emmett, Duncan Staddon) and women’s 40 (Karen Eyre, Kerry Board, Sue Hayes, Debbie Whiston) both took first in category and the men’s 60 (Ian Kinnersley, Ron Seward, Andy Charrington, Alan Hornibrook) also came first, retaining their crown from last year.

The F60 (Janet Cullum, Carol Austin, Angela Kerr, Eleanor Wood) came in second in category.  On a night of very fast times, Jack Broom was fastest AVR, ninth overall in 12:21.  Ron Seward, Janet Cullum and Eleanor Wood were all first in age category.

Lost on Langston Fell

Rik Tumber and Tim Lenton travelled to Dartmoor for the Langston 10k Fell Race on Sunday. Starting from Peter Tavy village hall, it was straight into a big climb for nearly 3km with around 900ft elevation up to Cox Tor.

Rik and Tim both managed to take a wrong turn so finished the race having covered more like 12k!   Despite this Tim was sixth in 59:00 and Rik was eighth in 59:22.

 Taunton Trail

 Three AVRs popped up to Taunton where Prosper Events organised a half-marathon and a 10k along the canal and the river Tone.  On a very hot, sunny morning and in her first ever half-marathon, Georgie Ryan finished in 2:52.11 127th.  Georgie is a new member joining AVR after following the Couch to 5k programme which the club offer for those new to running.

In the 10k Cliff Marriott finished in 56:48, 36th from 132 who completed the race with Bob Carter coming in 58thin 1:02.32.  Bob was raising money for Cats Protection Honiton branch where he is the coordinator.

Sunny Seaton parkrun

It was another glorious day for parkrun with 285 enjoying the perfect conditions.  AVR’s Luke Reed was first to finish in 17:31 with Debbie Whiston first female in 19:34, a great time the morning after running the relays. This also placed her second on age grade in an excellent 81%.  There were five AVR PBs:  Simon Freathy 21:03, Jeremy Norcombe 23:01, David Hutton 24:24, Craig Tiley 24:40 and Sue Chambers 28:39.

Prize for the furthest parkrun this week goes to Bec and Simon Davey who visited Lovstien parkrun in Bergen, Norway, where Bec ran the beautiful, hilly course and Simon volunteered.