After the last two weekends of storms the Bovey Valley Runners were looking forward to a calmer weekend and took advantage of several events.
On Friday Purple Gecko had the latest in their Twilight Run series at Haldon Forest. Head torches essential for the run through the forest trails. Taking part in the 5k were Tara Knight 42:18, Claire Harrison 42:20, Emma Hensley 42:24 and Kate Mary 42:27, whilst the two-lapper 10k had Maurice Raymont finishing in 59:30.
The 180-mile journey to Sutton Coldfield for the Birmingham Running Festival Half Marathon meant a 5 am start for Caragh Mellitt. The race was held in Sutton Park and the course was an extremely hilly four laps around the parkrun (plus a bit more to get the distance in). The woodland course was made less appealing by the rain and high winds but Caragh pressed home in a satisfying 2:00:12.
On to Sunday and in Exeter there was a 10K race taking in 2 laps of Duckes Meadow Park and Riverside Valley Park. A blustery, but dry, day meant for a pleasant run taking in the river views.
Tim Sleath led the way from the club in a time of 52:29 with Frazer Bolt just breaking the 1-hour in 59:26. These were followed by Jackie Wells 1:01:00, Jacqui Baker 1:02:12, Melanie Hooper 1:05:27, and Sharon Scanlan 1:19:43.
The final event of the weekend was quite an extreme challenge – the Hameldown 7Even. The calmness in the valleys belayed the 60mph winds, horizontal rain and plenty of bogs for the trail run from Widecombe.
From the start in the village there was a steep 2 mile climb up onto the moor and out to Hameldown Beacon. Many runners really struggled to maintain any running rhythm due to the continual buffeting from the wind and rain, combined with plenty of mud and bogs to traverse.
A steep descent down to Grimspound (where the Half Marathon runners split off), and then another short sharp climb up to the halfway point at Hookney Tor. Then a loop around the back of Hameldown Tor before ascending up onto the ridge again – then completing the 2-mile descent back down into Widecombe.
Established trail runner Martin Cortvriend took it all in his stride and came away with first place in MV60 in 1:23:16. Maurice Raymont had a memorable day breaking in his new trail shoes in 1:23:55, whilst Rob White overcame all the efforts of the weather to throw him over and finish in 1:28:13. Unfortunately Pete Waygood was not so lucky and found the slippery conditions too much of a challenge and ended up on the ground on several occasions, including taking a nasty twist on his ankle – but he persevered and completed the run in 1:43:26. By all accounts a run that will not be forgotten!