Magnificent marathon weekend for AVR

England vests in Chester

Rob Collier (M50) and Angela Kerr (F65) represented England Masters in Sunday’s MBNA Chester marathon following qualifications at Manchester and Milton Keynes marathons respectively, earlier this year.  Unfortunately both have suffered from injuries over the last few weeks but were determined to pull on the prestigious England vest.  Sadly Rob was a DNF – always a tough one but often the best option- with his injury and a cold in the lead-up taking their toll.

Angela, too, had had a challenging build-up with injury and life events, but as usual her strength and determination saw her through to finish in 6:02.21.

Photo:  Angela Kerr and Rob Collier don their England Masters vests

Capital gains for AVR

In the TCS London marathon AVR had a big presence with a mix of ‘good-for-age’, charity place runners and a few who had been lucky in the ballot.  There were more than 40,000 finishers with conditions perfect for marathon running after the forecast rain held off..

Terry Emmett in 2:41.36, Richard Hardy in 2:47.07 and Matt Frost in 2:57.24 were the first three AVRs home in brilliant sub-3 hour finishes.  Richard and Matt also smashed their personal bests while Terry’s was a London PB.

Pic:  Matt Frost in London after completing the marathon in 2:57.24

Paul Johns in 3:32.26 was next to finish in his third London marathon with Alan Hornibrook next AVR in an excellent 3:44.38, 52nd in the M65 category.  Jason Potter slipped into sub-4 with his 3:57.59 finish.

Laura Kerr, running her first London marathon for Round Table’s Children’s Wish, finished in a massive PB of 4:12.43 with Fiona Pyle breaking the 5-hour barrier in 4:59.14.  Together they also raised a huge amount for this excellent cause as well as fitting in the training alongside their young families and careers.

Both Roger Bramley and Mark Day were also raising money for charities –  Seaton Hospice at Home and Land Aid respectively.  Roger finished in 4:38.59 with Mark in 5:08.40.

Steve Lewis decided to take on the virtual challenge running the 26.2 miles around Seaton, Axmouth and Colyford with support at various points from Carol Austin, Caroline French and Alan Morbey.  Starting in heavy rain but finishing in glorious sunshine Steve kept up a very consistent pace to finish in 5:11.55.

Photo: Steve Lewis – halfway on the virtual marathon: “Tower Bridge”!

Congratulations to all.  The race was in October again this year following Covid postponements but reverts back to April next year with entries already open and only a few months to wait.

Full results:

Excelling by the Exe

Winding Paths introduced a hat-trick of new events starting in Budleigh Salterton with a multi-terrain half-marathon, marathon and a 50k ultra – all tough courses using the beautiful South-West Coast Path along with riverside paths alongside the Exe and the Otter.

In the half-marathon Matt Orsman came an outstanding second in 1:39.43 while Eleanor Wood was an equally brilliant third woman finishing in 2:00.57.  Raghnild Richards came in 52nd overall in 2:38.26 with 76 runners completing the challenging 13.1m course which had nearly 1500 feet of elevation as runners ran from Budleigh to Exmouth and back after a gentle flat first 5m looping up the River Otter. Not a course for a negative split!

Solo in Cardiff

Susan Wall took part in the Cardiff half-marathon finishing in 2:34:05.  Unfortunately daughter, Vicki Wraight was unable to join her as planned after picking up an injury in the Berlin marathon last Sunday.


parkwalk launches at Seaton parkrun

Joel Seward was first finisher at Seaton parkrun in 17:41 with Mike and Roberta Wadsworth both celebrating PBs in 22:04 and 29:29, respectively.

To celebrate the 18th birthday of the very first parkrun in Bushy park, the parkrun movement launched parkwalk this weekend and Seaton welcomed its first group of walkers.  Anyone unable to run, perhaps through injury, may like to join in knowing there will be support of the parkrun community to ensure a great start to a Saturday.

Ibiza dreaming

Our chairman Haydn Boehm turned his hand to duathlon at the Thruxton Mass Attack event this weekend.  With two runs and a cycle he finished in 50th overall and 5th out of nine in his age group.  The winners from each group can qualify for the World Championships taking place in Ibiza – sadly Haydn will have to wait for another year or maybe just get the Molkky champs to move to the party island.

Berlin delight for Wraight and Kipchoge!

Despite a string of injuries hampering her preparation, Vicki Wraight was pleased to finish the BMW Berlin marathon on Sunday, one of the Marathon majors.  She completed the 26.2 miles in 4:41:26 to finish 7073rdout of more than 23000 finishers.  As Vicki says “It’s not every day you can say you competed in the race where a new world record was set!”  Kenyan, Eliud Kipchoge took an amazing 30 seconds of his own world record to finish in an incredible 2:01:09.

Trails and trains in Wales

Carolyn Nation (Kaz) thoroughly enjoyed her run in the Trailffest half marathon in Porthmadog in Wales finishing 147th in 3:27.08 on a stunning but extremely tough course.  All runners start up the mountain at 710 feet, arriving by a scenic steam train which certainly attracted Kaz, who has been waiting three years to take part after several Covid postponements.  It may finish by the sea but runners face many very steep, challenging climbs along the way, described by Kaz, as “Grizzly-esque”.


Jurassic jaunt

Closer to home, Sarah Herfet also took to the hills in the Jurassic 10k, her first proper race for months.

It was a gruelling course spanning the undulating yet magnificent Jurassic coastline with the beautiful sunlight bouncing off a glistening sea.  Sarah was delighted with her 1:17:37 time and ninth female to finish, especially given this included an extra half-mile loop after a wrong turn!


A hat-trick of PBs on the roads of the south-west

On Sunday Tim Sibley travelled to Barnstaple to take part in the Barnstaple Half Marathon organised by North Devon Road Runners.  The fast, flat course takes runners out and back along the Tarka Trail with a loop around Fremmington.

Tim was pleased to finish in a PB in 1:34:12, 33rd from 225. He was seventh V50.

Laura Kerr and Fiona Pyle warmed up for next week’s London marathon at the Bradley’s 10k in Exmouth on Sunday morning. Laura was an excellent twelfth female coming in in a huge PB of 49:13. Fiona also secured a PB finishing in 1:00.46.

Weekend parkrun events

On another glorious Saturday for parkrun, Joel Seward was first finisher in Seaton in a PB of 16:36 with Richard Hardy coming in third, in 16:46, his first sub-17 finish.

A special mention  for the inaugural junior parkrun in Axminster.  The Stopline Way junior parkrun began on Sunday with 18 parkrunners, aged 4 to 14 taking part.  Sarah Shepley, the new Event Director, has worked tirelessly to raise the funds to enable this to start, including a generous donation from The Grizzly.  Many AVRs were amongst the volunteers this week and if any members would like to help in future weeks please email:

AVRs make a splash at the Honiton Hippo

Eleven AVRs took on the  Honiton Hippo; a tough, hilly off-road challenge of more than 7 miles with many river crossings to navigate.

Eleanor Wood was an impressive third female finishing 26th in 1:04.54.

Despite a 50k stomp across Dartmoor last weekend, James Hawker came in 43rd in 1.10.28.  Louise Harrison finished very strongly in 51st in an excellent 1.14.00. A very muddy Suzi Blackett  was 65th in 1.18.49 having taken a plunge in one of the rivers.

Kelly Giles was 76th in 1.21.18 with Simon and Lindsey Freathy together  in 88th in 1.26.17. Helen Holmes struggled with her nutrition and had a tough final mile finishing 94th in 1.28.06 followed by Rachel Hiscock in 109th in 1.38.58, Denise Burgess in 111th in 1.39.23 and Shirley Salter with a big smile on her face in 113th in 1.40.28.  A total of 138 runners took part in the race organised brilliantly by Howard Bidmead and Honiton RC.  All the results:

Glorious One-two at Glastonbury for AVR

Richard Hardy took the win in a huge PB of 34:13 at the Glastonbury Levels 10k, ran on a fast, flat out-and-back course on traffic-free roads. In a brilliant AVR 1-2, Joel Seward took second place in 34:37, also a PB.

Ian Kinnersley was second M60, 22nd  in an excellent 43.19.  The fourth AVR, Louise Rawlins was very pleased with her 57:12 as it was a minute quicker than last year.  The race, organised by Mendip AC, attracted 98 runners.


Lush Leonardslee

Rob Collier and Sam Summers took part in a pilot event for the Brighton Marathon trail series 10k held at Leonardslee Gardens, near Horsham in West Sussex. It was a hilly route of shale paths through woodland in the stunning setting of a grade 1 listed garden. Rob came in ninth and first M50 in 43:21 with Sam completing it in 1:25.19.


 Seaton parkrun

 At Seaton parkrun on Saturday conditions were perfect for a fast run and local youngster Innes Fitzgerald took full advantage smashing both her own female course record and the age-grade record for Seaton with her 16:17 second-place finish, just two seconds behind Wayne Loveridge who finished in a lifetime best of 16:15 as he managed to just hold on for first finisher.  AVR’s Rik Tumber was seventh finisher in a PB of 19:02.

Frost smashes PB at Great North

Matt Frost competed at Sunday’s Great North Run, a half-marathon starting in Newcastle and finishing along the seafront in South Shields.  Matt finished in an excellent 1:23.20, 450th, a huge personal best which bodes well for the upcoming London marathon.  The ever-popular Great North Run again attracted more than 50,000 runners.

Golden Cap-tens

Andrew Snook was a brilliant second in the Cap-ten, Bridport Runners’ ten mile race over beautiful Golden Cap, Thorncombe Beacon and Stonebarrow.  He finished the hilly trail run in 1:24.22, just three seconds behind the winner, Adam Kidson from Exeter Harriers. Eleanor Wood was the only other AVR in the race which included a 675m climb and she was a superb fourth woman (first F60) in an incredible 1:50.27.

Alpine success

Richard Jackson completed the Ultra Marathon Wildstrubel 50, part of the UTMB world series in Crans-Montana through the northern Alps of Switzerland.

The race runs from Adelboden at the heart of the Bern canton through to Crans-Montana in the Valais canton.  It runs in the famous Via Alpina through the well-tended alpine pastures of the Bernese Oberland to Lenk, followed by a magnificent but demanding 1400m+ climb to the Rawil Pass (2,427m).

The last downhill sections are along the Lake Tzeuzier to reach the vertiginous and splendid Bisse du Ro.  Richard completed the race in 8hr 33 min finishing 65th in the 45-49 age category.

Seward storms to success in the Run Exe Series

Last Tuesday Matt Frost and Ron Seward took part in the final race of the Run Exe 5km series.  The six-event series of 5k races has taken place during the last six months with the fastest four counting for each runner.  This week Matt was taking it steady prior to the Great North Run whilst Ron was struggling following injury.  Matt clocked 18:30 on the night finishing 14th but for the series he was an excellent fourth.  Ron finished the final event in 24:21 and brilliantly secured first place for the M70 category.


Another parkrun PB for Joel

Joel Seward improved his parkrun personal best to 16:42 at Saturday’s Seaton parkrun where he was first finisher.  The event held a minute’s silence to remember Her Majesty The Queen prior to the run.  Congratulations to Alan Morbey who reached the 50-milestone.

From village greens to the Matterhorn via the streets of London

During the last week, AVRs have shone high in the mountains, on the streets of London and Somerset and on the trails around Devon villages – all showing the huge variety and talent within the club.

Runshiners shine in Woodbury

Budleigh Salterton Lions Club organised a lovely scenic and undulating10k at Woodbury Common on Sunday when the wet and windy conditions surprised us runners after such a long hot and sunny period.  Thursday’s RunShiners group had targeted the event, which was actually just over 10k, and were joined by a few other AVR stalwarts.