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Magnificent Manchester for AVRs

Four AVRs travelled north to take part in the increasingly popular Manchester marathon.  The UK’s flattest marathon, the 26.1 mile route starts near the famous Old Trafford, home of Manchester United, with the runners heading into the city centre then out to the superb of Altrincham before weaving their way back to the finish line opposite the stadium.

First AVR home was Matt Frost in an excellent 2:52.55, just outside his PB, in 445th place.  Ian Kinnersley finished in a very impressive 3:38.58 taking more than three minutes off his PB, 30th M60 and 4053rd.  Jason Potter was next to finish in 6494th in 3:48.08, a huge PB.  Vicki Wraight was 12314th in 4:17.06, just outside her PB although delighted nonetheless.  More than 32000 took part in the event, now the UK’s second biggest marathon.

Sid Valley Ring Half

Conditions were good on Saturday for the Sid Valley Ring half marathon organised by Climb South West. It’s a tough but scenic course around the marked walking route with just over 2000 feet of elevation. Surprisingly, Adele Girdwood was the only AVR, coming in at 2:50:54, 56th from the 96 finishers.

Seaton parkrun

There was another big turnout in Seaton with 260 finishers. AVR’s Joel Seward was first finisher in 17:41 with Luke Reed third finisher in 17:56.

Out on the tourist trail, Debbie Whiston was first female finisher at Lloyd parkrun in Croydon in  21:28  while Tony Smith ended up pacing at Barnsley parkrun expertly finishing in 22:50.  Bec and Simon Davey secured the U for the alphabet challenge at Upton House parkrun near Poole.  It was Alexandra parkrun, Moss Side, pre marathon for Vicki Wraight while Matt Frost completed Longrun Meadow on route to Manchester along with Diane Newton. Craig Tiley took part in Penrose parkrun and Kevin Feeney and Sarah Shepley enjoyed the promenade of Burnham and Highbridge.

AVR triumphs at Exe to the Axe

There was a good turnout of AVRs for the latest running of JP’s Exe to the Axe organised by Sidmouth Running Club.

AVR’s Matt Clist retained his title finishing in a brilliant 2:59.53, two minutes clear of the second place and five minutes quicker than last year. Rik Tumber was fourth in 3:17.56 with James Green in tenth, and third M40, in 3:34.34.

Eleanor Wood was first F60 in an excellent 4:26.41, 65th overall.

The race which starts on the beach in Exmouth follows the South West Coast Path to the River Axe at Seaton with 22 miles of very undulating, difficult terrain.  It was a particularly challenging route this year after numerous cliff falls and Storm Kathleen bringing high winds and more damage overnight.  There were 188 finishers in the full race.

A relay option was also available with AVR’s Sam Miller and Tony Smith finishing second in a combined 4:55.31 and Team Feeney (aka The Smoggies) which included Kevin Feeney and Sarah Shepley took third just behind in 4:57.30.

The full results are here.

Powering it at Powderham

A small contingent of AVRs made their way to Powderham Castle on Saturday morning to take part in the Power Run.  The event started and finished inside the castle walls, the remainder of the course consisted of a tour of the castle grounds. One lap for the ‘Classic’ 5 miles and two for the ‘Legend’ 10 miles.  The off road sections of the course were as muddy as one would expect after recent deluges, in addition participants were buffeted by Storm Kathleen. On the plus side it was a beautiful setting with some stunning views, a fitting reward for climbing a long hill soon after the start.

Ron Seward was first home for AVR in the longer race finishing 40th, first M70 in 1:34:16. Next back was Dawn Carrah in 57th place and 2nd F60 in 1:39:39.  Shirley Salter, in her first 10 mile run clocked 2:11:43 and Susan Wall and Liz Slade, who ran together came home in 2:21:55 and 2:21:56 respectively.

Fiona Seward took the one lap option finishing 73rd out of 159 finishers in 55:37.

Half marathon successes

Mark Spraggs took on the rather undulating Southampton half marathon on Sunday finishing in 1:47.46, 438th from more than 2000 finishers.  He describes it as a picturesque course along the river and bridge in the city and was thankful for a sunny day at last!

Meanwhile up in the capital, Kelly Nickels completed the very popular London Landmarks half marathon in 2:05.20 coming in 6717th from more than 11000 finishers.  The route covers much of the London marathon route taking in, as the name implies, many of the capital’s significant landmarks including the London Eye, Big Ben and St Paul’s Cathedral.

Mashing it up!

In its first running since 2019, the Minster Milers Mash 10k attracted 227 runners raising money for local charity, Ferne Animal Sanctuary.  Simon Dimmock finished 12th in 44:24 in the undulating race which started and finished in Ilminster and took in some scenic Somerset villages.  The route was especially challenging after months of heavy rain.  Cliff Marriott and Pam Goddard also took part and would recommend it as a well-organised local event.  Results to follow.

Seaton parkrun

Back after a week off due to the effects of Storm Nelson the nearly 300 finishes on Saturday had the windy Storm Kathleen to contend with.  First finisher was AVR’s Luke Reed in 18.30, a full minute ahead of the second finisher and also first on age-grade.  With many local races over the weekend, many AVRs stuck to pacing duties or volunteering this Saturday.

AVR men eggs-el at Yeovil 10K!

On Easter Monday, six AVRs hopped over to Yeovil for the Easter Bunny 10k which starts and finishes at RNAS Yeovilton.  Fast and flat with eggselent racing conditions there were some quick times amongst the 200+ finishers.  The winners were Bath’s Michael Towler in 32:48 and Wells City’s Daisy Davies in 36:01.

AVR men, Joel Seward, Matt Hewer and Luke Reed, impressively came away with the first male team prize.   Matt Hewer also scooped first M40 for his 14th overall finish in 36:32, a shiny new PB too, just pipping Luke Reed by one hundredth of a second, 15th in 36:33 who took second M40.  Joel Seward, 12th overall in 36:05 was the first AVR to finish.

Simon McClellan took fourth M50 in 43:34, 45th overall with Aaron Rawlins 60th in 45:58 and Louise Rawlins 119th in a PB of 54:27.  All finishers received a lovey Easter bunny shaped medal.

Fast Friday 10k

In Exeter on Good Friday it was very much the morning after the night before with a swift course rejig to account for the effects of Storm Nelson. It was therefore a four-lap race with plenty of corners as well as the wind for runners to contend with.

First AVR home in 13th place and third M40 was Terry Emmett in 35:14 just one-hundredth of a second ahead of Ritchie Durrant in 14th in 35:15.  Rich Hardy was 35th in 37:03, eighth M40;  Matt Frost, 47th in 37:59; and Angela Kerr, 217th, third F65 in 55:38.  There were 284 finishers in the race organised superbly well in challenging circumstances by City Runs.

Nelson prevents time trial and Seaton parkrun

Sadly the damage done to the seafront in Seaton from Storm Nelson on Thursday evening affected both AVR’s Good Friday time trial and Saturday’s parkrun with the debris from the storm and dancing beach huts causing the routes to be unsafe.

However a large group of AVRs ran a re-routed social 10k followed by coffee at The Hideaway on Friday.  Thanks to Eleanor Wood, Haydn Boehm, Cliff Marriott and Lesley Adams who stood in to lead groups.

On Saturday many AVRs joined with parkrun volunteers to support a general clean-up of the Esplanade during the parkrun usual time slot.  It is hoped that the event will be back to normal this Saturday.

Out on the tourist trail, Paul Johns and Jon Day tackled the beautiful but tough Woolacombe Dunes parkrun; Adrianne and Anthony Mullins enjoyed Lands End parkrun; Adele Girdwood ran Worsley Woods parkrun; Simon Dimmock took part in Portsmouth Lakeside and Kevin Feeney and Sarah Shepley ran Parke parkrun near Bovey Tracey.  Meanwhile Carolyn Nation nabbed her O for the parkrun alphabet challenge at Oaklands in Birmingham.