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More than £34,000 has been donated to local, national and international good causes following the hugely successful Grizzly event last month.  Almost 1800 runners completed either the Grizzly or the Cub race and another 300 children and young people participated in Grizfest.

This week the Grizzly organisers confirmed this year’s donations at a presentation evening at Axmouth Yacht Club.  The event also saw the official end, after six years, of Tony Smith’s period as Race Director for the Grizzly.

It is always such an uplifting and enjoyable evening and this year it was particularly great to be back and able to make donations to so many local groups after two years away due to the pandemic.  Donations have gone to some 35 groups who marshalled and provided water stations as well as a number of organisations that supported the town and start/finish area. Land owners that allow access to their land and some of the professional support organisations were also able to nominate a charity of choice.   In total more than £34,000 has been distributed meaning the grand total, over the 34 years of the Grizzly, now exceeds £490,000.  Axe Valley Runners, the club that organises the Grizzly, is rightly very proud of this.

The range of local organisations that benefit is vast.  Sports clubs including Seaton Cricket Club, Sidmouth Cricket Club, Flamingo Swimming Pool, Lyme Regis Gig Club, N1 Tri-Club, Branscombe Cricket Club, Colyton Football Club, Branscombe Cricket Club, Honiton Running Club and Seaton youth football all received donations to support keeping people of all ages fit and active.

Schools, nurseries, guides, scouts, village halls, parishes, churches, libraries, conservation and environmental groups were all beneficiaries ensuring local communities can thrive and come together.

Major charities with local interest such as RNLI, Royal British Legion and Devon Air Ambulance also received generous donations.

Outgoing Race Director, Tony Smith who presided over five Grizzly races during his six years was presented with a beautiful hand-crafted bowl made by local potter, Gilly Humphreys, as a memento and to remind him of the pressures of dealing with the ‘Beast from the East’, when the heavy snow caused the event to be reduced, as well as Covid restrictions.

The Race Director post for 2023 will be jointly held by Andy West and Steve Haines with the Grizzly date set for Sunday 5 March 2023.

 PIC: outgoing Race Director with a memento of his five Grizzly events


Windy Week of Winners

Jason Hyde (photo below) ran the Easter Bunny 10K at RNAS Yeovilton on Easter Monday finishing in 1:03:46.

At the Bristol Track Club 5k on a windy Saturday afternoon, honorary AVR Jake Smith took first place in 14.23, finishing more than ten seconds clear of the next runner.  Terry Emmett was fifth M40 and 82nd overall in a top-class field in 16:31. Tony Smith was eighth M50 in 21:17.

First male and first female finishers at a blustery Seaton parkrun on Saturday were AVRs with Andrew Snook in 17:38 and Kerry Board in 22:04 taking the honours.  Richard Hardy was third finisher in 18:17 and AVR also took three of the top four on age-grade with Eleanor Wood again heading the list with 89% for her 23:01.  Laura Kerr took almost a minute off her PB with an impressive 24:37.  Vicki Wraight celebrated her 100th parkrun running it with her mum.


Racing in the Sun – Home and Away!

In Brighton conditions could not have been any better for the marathon and 10k on Sunday with glorious sunshine and a very light, cool breeze.

More than 13000 runners completed the marathon which starts at Preston park, goes into the city, out to Rottingdean before heading back to a spectacular seafront finish.  Angela Kerr was running her seventh Brighton and incredible 45th marathon.  She completed it a 4:28.02, third F65, comfortably within the current London’s Good for Age criteria.

Martin Kerr had been planning to run it to celebrate his 70th birthday but the pandemic interfered so today, at aged 72, he completed his fourth Brighton marathon in 6:15.16, ninth M70.

Earlier in the 10k Carol Austin competed in her first race for nearly three years due to a series of injuries and then Covid last month. More than 2600 finished the 10k with Carol happy to finish in 52:04 (622nd) and third W60 (from 46).

On Saturday, five AVRs took part in the Exeter Epic Trail 10k at Escot in perfect weather conditions.  It was a tough hilly trail with 700 foot climb with more than 400 finishers. First AVR home was Matt Frost, third overall in 44.49 and first M30.  After leading until the halfway point, Ellie Dominey also took third place in the women’s race and first F30 in 47:46.

Kelly Nickels and Cath Brenton ran together finishing 157th and 158th in 1:03.11.  Heather Simmmons completed the AVR contingent in 1:05:29, 182nd.

Earlier in the week Matt Frost had also competed in the Run Exe 5k along the riverside in Exeter.  It was the first race of the series and he finished 24th with an impressive personal best of 18:16.

Tim Sibley travelled to Turners Puddle for the Dorset Ooser marathon which attracted 159 competitiors. It winds its way through beautiful, rolling Dorset countryside in the Piddle Valley between Bere Regis and Dorchester. The lovely route meanders through fields, tracks, trails, woods and past crystal clear streams and shows off Dorset in spring at its best.

Given its undulating route and more than 2000 feet of elevation Tim finished in an impressive 4:21:49 coming in 31st.

Haydn Boehm completed the Exeter Sprint Duathlon at Escot on Sunday. It began with an early and rather chilly 5k run around the spectacular scenery of the estate followed by a 20k bike on the rural roads surrounding the estate, before a second 5k run leg. Haydn completed it in 1:32.51 coming ninth M40.

At Seaton parkrun on Saturday, Joel Seward was third finisher in 18:52 while Maxine Sweetman smashed her personal best completing it in 28:32.  Eleanor Wood was third woman in 22:29 with a huge age-grade of 91.55%.

Picture: Ellie Dominey third woman at Escot