AVRs contribute to an England victory

Carol Austin and Angela Kerr travelled to Chester for the half-marathon where they represented England Masters F60 and F65 respectively.  Representation follows a selection process involving achieving a qualification standard and position on a nominated race during the previous 12 months.

The course started at Chester racecourse before a short tour around the beautiful city centre then out into the Cheshire countryside before returning to finish with a steep hill up to the cathedral.   In her first England appearance and in perfect conditions, Carol finished in 1:49.08, 11th F60 out of 42, 994th so within the first quartile of the 4000+ finishers.

Angela, making her third England Masters appearance, finished in 2:03.13, 16th F65 from 24.  Overall England took the victory over Wales Masters.

AVRs excel in Exeter

On a hot and sunny morning conditions were excellent for the big contingent of AVRs at the Great West Half-Marathon held in our closest city.  Laura Kerr was first female AVR home in a huge PB 1.44.34 knocking a massive seven minutes off last year’s time.   Matt Frost was first male AVR in 1:23.41, 31st out of more than 1700 finishers improving on last year’s time.  Katharine Moran was delighted with her PB of 2:01.33.  Haydn Boehm finished in 1:35.27, 18th M45 with Jason Potter in 1:39.21.  Wayne Tooze in 1:46.13 and Kathryn Thompson in 2:32.37 both secured PBs for the Great West.  Mark Spraggs continued his current fine form finishing in 1:46.31; Cory Schultze came in in 1:53.11;  Lindsey and Simon Freathy ran together coming in 1:57.26 with Jules Conway finishing in 2:04.31.   Lucyann Ashdown ran for Hospicecare completing the race in 2:06.31 and raising money for a great cause.

Full results are here:

Binfield 10k

Cliff Marriott headed to old haunts and despite a night of curry and karaoke he completed the Binfield 10k in Berkshire in 54.05. It was surprisingly undulating, very warm and a well-supported race.

Loughborough International for Innes

Innes Fitzgerald made her British U20 track debut on Sunday at the Loughborough International where she took third place in the 3000m with a time of 9:09.45 competing against seniors from England, Scotland and the rest of the world.


parkrun PBs

At Saturday’s Seaton parkrun third place was secured by Ritchie Durrant in 17:01 and first woman finisher was Deborah Whiston in 20:32. Axe Valley Runners managed an impressive four PBs – Luke Reed 17:31, Max Richardson 19:24, Jeremey Norcombe 23:17, and Zoe Trewick 29:14. The third-place age grade of 79.49% was achieved by Ron Seward in 22:45. There were 222 finishers.  Massive congratulations to core team member, David Sadler who reached 200 appearances at Seaton (including volunteering and running).

Tony Smith and Sam Miller travelled to Jersey Farm parkrun in St Alban’s to nab their “J” for the parkrun challenge while Bec and Simon Davey took part in just the third Thames Path parkrun in Woolwich, a lovely riverside run with an interesting ‘curly-wurly’ finish.  Carolyn Nation was in Wales and took part in the challenging Hafan Pwllheli parkrun which takes place on sand and on Saturday involved an incoming tide!  There is never a dull moment at parkrun!  You can see all the events attended by AVR members this week: here


 ColyTEN Recce

 Rob Collier and Karen Eyre organised a recce for a new local race to be known as the ColyTEN, a 10-mile multi-terrain race on Sunday 15 October. Starting and finishing in Colyton it is a challenging trail race with some 1400 feet of elevation but with spectacular views across the Coly valley.  Look out for this new race that takes place on Sunday 16 October, 2023.

Ultimate ultras

Vicki Wraight and Jeremy Slade decided one marathon wasn’t enough and completed the West Country Flat 50 which is actually 52 miles and definitely not all flat! The race started in Taunton with runners heading out of town alongside the canal for the first 15 miles to Bridgwater.  The muddy banks of the River Perratt takes runners up to the Somerset coast to Hinckley Point Power Station where, after 30 miles, the hills kick in.  The final 20 miles follows the coast to East Quantoxhead, before turning inland through undulating terrain and re-joining the coast at Watchet.  A long, hilly stretch then takes runners into the final mile in Minehead.

The two AVRs ran together until around mile 29 when Vicki pushed on as Jeremy struggled with stomach cramps.  Vicki ran on to complete the final 23 miles in an incredible solo effort even managing a sprint finish in a hugely impressive time of 13 hours 11.25.  Jeremy used all his physical and mental strength to get going again and did so to finish not far behind Vicki in 13 hours 45.05. A mammoth and memorable run by both.

Down in Dorset, Tom Parsons also took on a huge distance completing the Jurassic Coast Challenge, a 100k race from Corfe Castle to Bridport.  Using the spectacular but tough South West Coast Path, Tom ran with friends and together they were raising money for two excellent causes: Alzheimer’s Society and Great Ormand Street Hospital. They completed the 100k with a mix of running, walking, shuffling and crawling, in a superb 17 hours, 11 minutes.

Brock victory at Blazer

There was a big turn-out of AVRs at the Beer Blazer with a 5-mile and 10-mile option available and AVRs also helping with back-marking and much of the marshalling and organisation.  The Blazer, which uses much of the infamous Grizzly route, is organised by and raises funds for Beer Primary School PTFA.

In the 10-mile event,  AVR’s Emilie Brock and Joshua Carr from Thames Hare & Hounds took the victories.  Emilie finished in a brilliant 1:30.16, 13th overall and first F40.

Carr finished in 1:11.44 followed by a host of AVRs.  Andrew Snook was second in 1:16.34 and, also, first M40 with Matt Clist in 1:19.04 third and second M40.  Richard Hardy, fourth was third M40 (1:19.20) and Rik Tumber, fifth (1:19.52).  Tim Lenton was first M45 (1:24.27); Ian Kinnersley was first M60 (1:41.21) with Eleanor Wood, fifth female and first F65 (1:42.53); Ron Seward first M70 (1:53.23) and Margaret Pearce first F50 (2:07.32).

Simon Dimmock of AVR took first prize for the 5-mile event finishing in 42.50 with Tavistock’s Sarah Holland first female in 50.11.

Full results are available here

Lumpy Leeds

Mandy Harris travelled up to Leeds to take part in the Jane Tomlinson’s Run for All Half Marathon.  It was a hilly route and a very warm day so Mandy was pleased to finish in 2:20.20. This year was also the inaugural Rob Burrow Marathon so both events finished in Headingly Stadium, home of the Leeds Rhinos, and raised funds for MND.

Out in Ocean City

Kelly Nickels and Chris Polley both ran the Ocean City Plymouth Half-Marathon with Kelly finishing in 2:15.11.  Chris ran with his daughter who completed her first ever Half-marathon.

Runaway Train

Over in Somerset, Emma Richardson, Julia Conway and Sam Tooze took part in an 8.5 mile trail race, the Runaway Train, using some disused railway lines and through some spectacular countryside around Shepton Mallet.  Bec Davey and Helen Boehm enjoyed the shorter 3 mile version.

Although there were no official times, they were rewarded for their efforts with beautiful views, bluebells, a viaduct plus a wooden memento and a whole lot of fun!

Sunny Seaton parkrun

 It was a glorious day for parkrun on Saturday with more than 200 happy parkrunners enjoying the pebbles in Seaton including many visitors.  Matt Frost was third finisher in a PB of 18.20 with Kerry Board third female home in 22.28.

With the great conditions there were also PBs for Jason Potter in 20.51; Paul Johns 21.44 and Craig Tiley, who is on a roll of PBs, in 24.54.

Wayne Tooze celebrated reaching his 50 parkrun milestone sporting his recent London marathon finishers’ Tee.

Outstanding Ottery

It was a weekend of 10ks for AVR with a good turnout at the Ottery 10k on Sunday, part of the In-Step Devon series and organised by Honiton Running Club.  The fast, flat race started and finished at Ottery St Mary Cricket Club using country lanes around the town.  This year five-time Olympian and European champion, Jo Pavey started the runners off and then took part herself before presenting prizes.

First AVR home in 38:23 was Matt Frost in an excellent tenth place.  Kerry Board was first AVR female to finish, eighth female, in 45:48, chased all the way by Laura Kerr who smashed her PB to finish in 45:49.  Other AVRs who took part were:

Simon Dimmock 40:23 23rd; Eleanor Wood 46:31 63rd; Ron Seward 47:08 72nd;  Andy Charrington 49:00 79th;  Suzi Blackett 50:16 90th;  Jeremy Norcombe 50:25 92nd;  Kelly Giles 52:58 110th;  Corey Schultze 53:00 112th; Cliff Marriott 55:50 139th;  Angela Kerr 56:36 148th;  Fiona Seward 62:42 184th; Rachel Hiscock 64:01 191st;  Maxine Sweetman  66:20 195th;  Denise Burges 79:22 222nd; and Gill Day 79:23 223rd

A total of 227 runners completed the race and big thanks go to Roger Saunders and Howard Bidmead at Honiton RC for a great event including booking the best weather of the weekend!

AVRs before the Ottery 10k

Brilliant Bideford

 Conditions were near perfect for the Bideford 10k with a large field of about 800 runners lining up alongside the River Torridge for the fast, flat course that takes in views of the Taw and Torridge estuary between Bideford and Instow returning on the Tarka Trail. Olympian Phil Norman took the win in a fast time of 30:35!

Rich Hardy was 14th overall in a rapid 34:28 scooping the second M40 prize.

The race is always a popular one for the older age categories with a discounted entry and prizes for all ages up to 80!  The event attracted an incredible 28 runners over the age of 70 proving that running is not just a sport for the young.  AVR’s Diane Newton was over the moon to finish in 1:14:24, after a difficult period of running, improving both her time and place from last year.

All finishers received a fetching pink T-shirt.  The race was very well organised by Bideford AAC.

Rich Hardy with his second M40 prize

Seaton parkrun

It was a wet and chilly parkrun on Saturday in Seaton, definitely not Spring weather.  First finisher was AVR’s Joel Seward in 17.20 with Terry Emmett coming in second in a PB of 17.48.  First female was Deborah Whiston in 20.0 and first on age-grade in 79.4%.

Despite the downpours there were PBs for Dave Hutton in 24.31 and Craig Tiley in 25.39.  Janet Cullum celebrated her 100 milestone while Keith Agland reached 200 as one of many pacers from AVR.

Coronation BH 10k Time Trial

 On a damp and mizzly morning 36 AVRs kickstarted their bank holiday with a self-timed 10k time trial beginning in Colyford and finishing on the Esplanade.  It is the first of the bank holiday time trials for 2023 with coffee at Hideaway replacing the planned picnic and swim! Matt Hewer was first to finish with Deborah Whiston first female.

AVRs before the Coronation 10k Time Trial

Results here.

An extraordinary day out!

Four AVRs tackled the East Devon Round on Saturday with Julia Mallon completing the 104k Full Round, a remarkable achievement given just 33 completed the course which included an elevation of an incredible 9665 ft.  Starting at 5.30 am, with a piper to see the runners off from Offwell, the route took runners through forests of bluebells, across to Axminster and then onto Lyme where a tough section of the course followed the coast path over the Undercliffs into Seaton.  Julia was supported for some 22 miles by Emma Richardson, Helen Holmes and Suzi Blackett.

After running through the Wetlands to Colyton the course went along the East Devon Way up to Sidford, Gittisham and beyond before returning to Offwell via a final loop north of Honiton.  Finishing at 2.30 am the following morning in a phenomenal 21:05.33, Julia describes the event as “a brilliant day out!”.

Stephen Grigg, Dan Clist and James Hawker all completed the Half Round, following the same route as the first half of the Full and still a challenging 50k (35 miles) around 6000 feet of elevation finishing in Blackbury Camp.  Stephen was a brilliant fourth finisher in an amazing 6:46.20.  Dan and James ran together finishing in 8:59.37 -ultra runners and ultra brilliant.


Big thanks also to go to those providing the all-important feed stations and checkpoints on the route.  In Axmouth,  AVR managed the checkpoint with Sam Halls, Rob Collier and Rik Tumber working hard all day supplying essentials to the runners passing through.


North Dorset Village Marathon

At the North Dorset Village Marathon Ryan Snell was fifth in a very impressive 2:49.18 taking the first M40 prize.  The 26.2m underlating run attracted 167 finishers, and began at Sturminster High School going along country lanes through a series of villages across North Dorset.

Round the Tor

Ian Kinnersley travelled to Glastonbury for the Round the Tor 10k. The course was run on country lanes around the Tor with a great atmosphere boosted by good crowds of spectators throughout the course.

He finished 38th out of 288 runners and 2nd in the MV60 category in 42:22.

1-2-3 at Seaton parkrun

AVR took the first three places at the Seaton parkrun on Saturday with Jack Broom (16.41), Joel Seward (16.46), and Ritchie Durrant (in a PB of 16.50) battling it out all the way.  First female finisher was Deborah Whiston in 19.56.

The top six age-grade times were all AVR with Eleanor Wood 92% for 22.31; Ron Seward 80% for 22.34; Deborah Whiston, 79.6%; Carol Austin 78.3% for 24.46; Joel Seward 77.8% and Jack Broom 77%.

Jayne Tumber nabbed another PB in 33.16.  There was a great turnout of 244 parkrunners this week.

London Calling

 AVRs were out en masse at the TCS London Marathon this year.  With good-for-age, charity, club and ballot places an incredible 15 took to the streets of the capital on Sunday while two others ran the challenging 26.2 miles closer to home as a virtual event.

Up in London the first AVR home was Terry Emmett who paced his race perfectly to finish a superb 500th in an excellent 2:38.34, 87th M40.

Duncan Staddon in 2:48.08 and Matt Hewer in 2:58.37 also impressed with their sub-3 hour finishes.

Despite a recent spate of injuries, Rob Collier finished in a brilliant 3:06.22.

Rupert Pady was next AVR home in 3:17.50.

Kerry Board, running her first London marathon in the city rather than virtually, finished in an excellent eight minute marathon PB of 3:37.17, while Karen Eyre completed it in 3:39.01, a London best.

Alan Hornibrook completed his 13th London marathon in 3:54.01, an impressive 81st M65.

Rob Gibson, raising money for Seaton Primary School following his success in the club ballot, finished in 4:08.05.

Club chair, Haydn Boehm and Wayne Tooze ran together raising funds for the charity, Brain Research, finishing in 4:05.04 and 4:05.05.

Angela Kerr, running an incredible 14th London marathon and her 48th in total, finished in 4:37.52 and 57th F65 to comfortably retain her good-for-age place.

Ferenc Kovacs came in in 4:50.41 for his first non-virtual marathon; Tracey Anning-Beckett finished in 5:07.16 while Kathryn Thompson, who has also had to overcome serious injury and illness, finished in 5:48.18.

More than 45,000 runners completed the marathon which was won in a new course record of 2:01.25 by Kelvin Kiptum of Kenya.  The women’s race was full of drama with Sifan Hassan of the Netherlands taking the win in 2:18.33 on her marathon debut despite looking to be suffering from a hip injury during the race.

Both Mark Day and Louise Rawlins enjoyed lots of support from fellow AVRs pacing, cheering and a finish line welcome at the end of Seaton Esplanade worthy of The Mall itself.  Mark finished in a PB of 4:56.52 while Louise, completed her first ever marathon, having only started running two years ago in a creditable 5:11.24.

In the Mini London Marathon on Saturday Innes FitzGerald successfully defended her title with another dominating performance finishing a full 15 seconds ahead of the second placed runner on the 2.6k course.

Boston Bonanza

Tim Sibley travelled to the USA to take part in one of the Marathon Majors, the famous Boston Marathon which takes place annually on Patriots Day.  He completed it in 3:33.09 which was a great time on a tough course made all the more challenging with the wind and rain.  Even the GOAT, Kipchoge struggled.

AVRs dominate Seaton parkrun

 AVR had a great day at Seaton parkrun this week with Rich Hardy coming in as first finisher just a week after completing the Newport Marathon.  His 16:58 also placed him second on age-grade.  Luke Reed nabbed second spot in 17:53.

First female was Deborah Whiston in 20.05.  Top on age-grade was Eleanor Wood with an amazing 91% for her 22:53 finish.

There were also PBs for Jason Potter in 20:53; Steve Lewis, again a week after running Manchester Marathon, in 24:53; Elaine Chesterman in 33:07 and Liz Curley in 34:18.

On the road, Sam Miller and Tony Smith nabbed their V for the alphabet challenge at Victoria Docks parkrun which was alive with pre-marathon fever.  Dave Hutton and Sue Chambers were at Isabel Trail (grabbing their I) while Tim, Amie and James Sibley took part in Fletcher’s Cove parkrun in Washington while in the USA for the Boston Marathon.

Magnificent marathons: five PBs, 4 sub-3s

As we head into prime marathon season the first five AVRs started the ball rolling with Richard Hardy and Joel Seward taking on the 26.1 miles in Newport while Matt Frost, Jack Broom and Steve Lewis headed to Manchester to tackle the biggest UK marathon outside London.  There were four personal bests, one brilliant debut and such is the standard at AVR that the four youngsters all ran sub-3 hour marathons.

Over in Wales, Richard Hardy finished a tremendous 15th in a massive PB of 2:40.52 at the ABP Newport Wales Marathon while Joel Seward also improved his PB finishing 23rd in 2:44.30.  More than 1700 completed the race which was won by GB-ultra-athlete, Dan Nash in a course record of 2:19.46.

More than 18000 took part in the Adidas Manchester Marathon that started and finished near Old Trafford with the fast flat route heading out to Altrincham via Sale.  Jack Broom was making his marathon debut with a very impressive 87th place in 2:38.08.  Meanwhile Matt Frost also nabbed a PB in 2:56.23, 770th place.  Steve Lewis completed the marathon in 4:32.37, a PB, coming in a very creditable 11th M70 and 12871st.

The event also offers a team-relay option with teams of two or four.  Kevin Feeney joined with some family members running his first leg in an excellent 53:08 to set the team up for a brilliant 66th place from 238 teams with 3:57.40 overall.

Monday is the famous Boston marathon where our very own Tim Sibley will give Kipchoge a run for his money.  You can follow the race on Eurosport 2 from 2.30pm (UK time).

Noa batters Yeovilton

Three intrepid AVRs braved Storm Noa on Wednesday last week and tackled Yeovil Road Running Club’s (YRRC) Spring and Summer Yeovilton 5K race series.  With strong gusts of wind and driving rain, David Cull was first AVR back in 15th in 19.25. Adrian Strawbridge followed in 20th in 20.06 with James Ashforth in 38th in 22.15. This is a great event well organised by YRRC and with five more events in the series it is well worth considering to check out your speed over 5k.

Boggy Butleigh

Ian Kinnersley and Eleanor Wood headed into Somerset for the Butleigh 10k, which was actually closer to 6.5 miles of muddy off road running on tracks, bridleways and through woods all underneath the Glastonbury Tor.  They both loved it with Ian storming home in 51.39, an excellent 20th, and Eleanor fourth female finisher in 53.36.  About 120 completed the race in excellent Spring conditions.

A vertical Kilometre!

Rik Tumber took part in the KVK – Kernow’s Vertical Kilometre which is a 15-mile trail race across the hills and coastline of Cornwall around St Agnes with an incredible 1000m of climb.  Rik finished an excellent tenth in 2:16.33 from 121 finishers.

Lightening Bolt but no Usain!

Cliff Marriott popped up to Wiltshire for the Lightening Bolt 10k in a village just outside Chippenham.  It was a flat road race which Cliff finished in 54.10, 56th out of around 100 finishers.


Remembering John Mellodew at parkrun

 The family and friends of John Mellodew attended Seaton parkrun on Saturday to remember John, who passed away in January.  John, AVR member for many years, had been a regular participant at parkrun until the Covid break and often took part with three generations of his family.  On Saturday his daughter Anita celebrated her 50th milestone finishing second female in 22:25. Her daughter, Elsie also completed Saturday’s run.  Many AVRs who used to run with John also came to remember him.

The sun shone again making conditions perfect. First female finisher was new AVR member, Deborah Whiston in 20:28.  Ron Seward celebrated a PB in 22:26 which also placed him second on age grade with 80.61%.

Prize for the furthest travelled for parkrun tourism this week goes to Tim and Amie Sibley who nabbed the elusive ‘J” for the parkrun alphabet challenge by running Jamaica Ponds parkrun in Boston, USA.

Fantastically Fast Friday

 Six AVRs kick-started their Easter taking part in the Fast Friday 10k organised by City Runs with the route using the riverside paths in Exeter.  The flat two-lap course and the excellent conditions ensured some very fast times with the winners, Jim Cole of Tavistock and Katie Knowles of Newquay finishing in 32.08 and 36.46, respectively.

First AVR home was Terry Emmett in eighth and second M40 finishing in a superb 34.35.  Matt Hewer was 37th in 39.05 with Tim Sibley coming home in a PB of 42.04, despite recovering from a virus.

Carol Austin was third F60, 163rd overall, in 50.20; Angela Kerr, 207th and second F65, in 56.08; and Sam Summers, 254th in 1:14.07.

Special mention to the female Grizzly winner, Molly Smith who was a brilliant third placed woman in 37.08.  She held the fort for the Smith family as her brother (Jake) and parents, along with a few other AVRs, succumbed to injury or illness and did not start.

Momentous Milestones at Seaton parkrun

Event Director, Carol Austin, celebrated her 250-milestone run at Saturday’s parkrun in Seaton. Carol began her parkrun journey in Birmingham where she ran the second ever Cannon Hill parkrun before joining the core team of volunteers there. After moving to Seaton she joined with Tony Smith to become Event Directors as Seaton joined the parkrun phenomenon.

Regular volunteers Tim Sibley and Martin Kerr hit their 100 milestone volunteer stints. A whopping 341 runners including many visitors enjoyed the lovely weather on Easter Saturday.

First finisher was Joel Seward in 16:55 who had a fabulous battle with the eventual second placed visitor with our own Ritchie Durrant finishing in third place in 17:09. Andrew Snook was fourth finisher in 17:47.

First AVR woman home was Deborah Whiston in 20:03 and the top age grade score of 93.1% was secured by Eleanor Wood in 22:27.

AVRs also travelled far and wide for their parkrun fix this Easter weekend with visits including Brighton, Monmouth, Macclesfield, Penrose and Long Eaton.

Podium clean sweep for men at Exe to Axe

It was a 1-2-3 for AVR men at the Exe to the Axe on Sunday. Matt Clist took the win finishing in an amazing 3:05.26; Tim Lenton, second finisher just a minute behind in 3:06.27 with James Green third, springing along the seafront, to finish in 3:15.09.  Although a lovely sunny day the recent heavy rain made it a very muddy and tough course throughout the 22 miles of the South West Coast Path from the Exe in Exmouth to the Axe in Seaton.

Emilie Brock was first AVR woman home in an excellent fifth female place and first F40 in 3:52.07.  Eleanor Wood came home in 4:04.28 and first F60.

Vicki Wraight and Stephen Grigg decided 22 miles wasn’t quite enough so ran the full marathon option with an additional loop around Otterton to make up the extra four miles. Stephen Grigg was a brilliant fifth in the marathon, 2nd M40, in 4:38.22 with Vicki, 26th finisher in 5:56.58. Just 39 completed the marathon distance event.

Other AVRs amongst the 119 who completed the gruelling 22-mile event were Richard Jackson, 24th in 4:03.24; Jason Potter, 50th in 4:26.04; James Hawker, 71st in 4:50.59; Henry Smith, 72nd in 4:52.21; Jeremy Slade, 78th in 4:56.56 and Dan Clist, 79th in 4:57.02.

Kevin Feeney and Ron Seward ran it as a relay coming in sixth from 13 teams with Kevin completing Exmouth to Sidmouth where Ron took over to run the second leg through to Seaton with a combined finish time of 4:33.20.

Powering on at Powderham Castle

Four AVRs travelled to Powderham Castle on Saturday for the second edition of the 10-mile Power Run set within the beautiful private estate. The multi terrain course provides a mix of fields, trails, woodland paths and short tarmac sections. The runners experience a tough climb in the first mile but are rewarded with a great view at the top. The two-lap race starts and finishes in the castle’s courtyard and takes in the estate’s gems, such as the Deer Park, Belvedere Tower, American Gardens and The Old Plantation. The recent wet weather made the course very muddy and this was reflected in the slower times although, thankfully, the heavy rain forecast for the race itself did not materialise.

First AVR home, fourth woman finisher and first F45 was Kerry Board in an excellent 1:25.36.   Andy West finished in 47th place 1:33.58, second M65. Next AVR was Suzi Blackett who finished in 67th place in 1:38.40 with Sarah Herfet dipping under the two hours to finish in 1:59.55 taking third F55.

The race was well organised by City Runs and was in support of the Force Cancer Charity.

Revelling in Reading

Marathon training is clearly benefiting Haydn Boehm who smashed out a personal best for the half-marathon in Reading on Sunday.  His 1:32.00  represented a huge six minute PB.  Next stop London!


Capital Gains

Already in the capital, Susan Wall completed the London Landmarks Half Marathon in 2:26.36 smashing more than seven minutes from her previous best over this distance.

Paris in the Springtime

David Cull travelled over to France to join the thousands running the Schneider Electric Marathon de Paris. His time of 3:40.46 placed him 14646 out of more than 50,000 finishers. David is recovering from a long spell of injury and paced a friend in Paris so was very pleased to come away with a solid run.

Pacing successes at Seaton parkrun

It was pacing week at Seaton parkrun with Lee Moran celebrating reaching his 50th milestone with a perfectly paced 23:58 helping a couple of runners to their sub-24 time.  Max Richardson was thankful for an early football cancellation this week to secure a big PB finishing in 19:39.


AVR hits the airwaves

On Sunday afternoon Carol Austin was interviewed on Lyme Bay Radio’s Sports Spectrum show to discuss AVR and getting into running.  The show is repeated ‘as live’ on Monday at 6pm.  Listen here

Weymouth wanderings

It was an early start for the six AVRs who popped over the border to Dorset to take part in the Weymouth Half Marathon on Sunday with an 8am race start. The 13.1 mile course took the runners through the heart of Weymouth with stunning views of the Jurassic coastline on the mostly flat course.

Eleanor Wood, Ron Seward and Diana Burn came away with age category victory trophies for their excellent runs.  Eleanor was first F65, 177th overall, in 1:41.00 while Ron won first M70 for his 1:45.07, 254th finisher.  Diana was second F65 finishing in 2:13.08.

First AVR home and in a brilliant personal best was Tim Sibley in 1:32.28, 87th overall and fourth M50, setting him up nicely for his forthcoming Boston marathon.

Adele Girdwood finished in 1:52.55 with Cath Brenton coming home in 2:20.09 in her first ever half-marathon.

The eighth edition of the race took place in glorious spring sunshine although windy on the seafront with more than 1200 runners completing the course.

Sunny Seaton parkrun

It was back to the normal course for parkrun in Seaton on Saturday and the lovely sunny morning drew 207 parkrunners.  Second female finisher was Ellie Dominey in 21:02 while third male was James Green in 18:07, who was also third on age grade with 76%.

In the excellent conditions, Ben Tucker celebrated his 50th parkrun with a PB of 20.38.  Katharine Moran also nabbed a PB for her 26.49.

Further afield Rupert Pudy visited Exmouth finishing in a speedy 20:50 (73%) with Karen Eyre also enjoying the fast flat course finishing in 22:04 (76%).  Meanwhile David and Susi Sadler enjoyed the muddy, hilly and very scenic Haldon Forest parkrun.

All the AVR parkrun results can be found here 

Canter by the canal

Liz Slade got a late cancellation to enter this half-marathon which weaves its way along the picturesque Grand Western Canal towpath from Tiverton Basin to Sampford Peverell where runners turn and retrace their steps.  Liz finished in 83rd place in 2:32.18 with 115 runners completing the 13.1m race.

Granite grind

Angela Kerr joined more than 100 others on the Granite Way cycle path in Exeter City Community Trust’s annual 20-mile race which is perfectly timed for Spring marathons.  There are lovely views of Dartmoor to enjoy as you grind out the miles.  Angela ran it as a training run for London marathon finishing in 101st, 3:37.31.  A ten-mile option was also on offer.

Dragon slayed

Eleanor Wood enjoyed the Slay the Dragon trail 10k in Hinton St George, Somerset even with its multiple hills.  She certainly slayed the dragon nabbing second female in a brilliant 49.46.

Storm leads to new route at Seaton parkrun

Huge thanks go to AVR’s Tony Smith, Sam Miller, Carolyn Nation, Lesley Adams, Jeremy Slade and Carol Austin who helped clear part of the Esplanade of an overnight deluge of pebbles to ensure parkrun could go ahead. West Walk remained closed so an amended route was used on Saturday morning.  The route had three tight turns but fewer pebbles than usual and on a windy day it wasn’t a morning for a PB.

First finisher was Matt Hewer in 19:16. AVR also scooped first age-grade with Ron Seward’s 75.98% for his 23.48.

Saturday was parkrun’s annual celebration for International Women’s Day encouraging more women and girls to stay fit and healthy which, of course, parkrun is brilliant for – be it running, walking or, indeed, volunteering.

A few AVRs took the chance for some tourism including Dave Hutton and Sue Chambers nabbing their “Q” for the alphabet challenge at Queen Elizabeth parkrun; Tony Smith and Sam Miller enjoying the famous curly-wurly at Somerdale Pavilion parkrun; Ellie Dominey, who was first female finisher, Rupert Pady and Karen Eyre on the fast course of Exmouth parkrun; and Matt Frost, breaking his journey north, to run Wollaton Hall parkrun in Nottinghamshire.