On the last day of the decade Winding Paths had a 10K+ trail race around the Dartington Estate – this was a really well organised, signed and marshalled event which took in a great mixture of riverside paths, woodlands, hills and fields – oh, and a fair share of mud as well.
The downhill start on grass was lulling all the nervous runners into a false sense of security before the feast of mud to come. Whilst most runners elected to try and skirt around the edge of the muddy sections there was the usual batch of established trail runners who ploughed straight on down the middle. And a field of cows made for an interesting site for the four-legged beasts as they watched a couple of hundred athletes skirt around them.
There was a large contingent of runners from BVR, led home by Maurice Raymont in 55:44, closely followed by Tim Sleath 56:23, Alice Chew 57:52 and Rob Pollard 59:21. Next was Debbie Chew 1:05:11, Alison Hydon 1:16:02, Melanie Hooper 1:17:53, Tracy Small 1:18:20, Phillippa Goodwin 1:18:42, Jackie Filton 1:27:02 and Jenny Hardy 1:27:25.
It was also great to see a large turnout of BVR runners on the following day, New Year’s Day, for the opportunity to complete two Parkrun’s in a single day. Both Exmouth, with 640 participants, and Killerton, 229, held their races at 08:30 – this gave enough time to complete the 5k run and then head out to Haldon Forest for their run starting at 10:30. This had a mammoth field of over 840 runners which completely gridlocked the car parks and adjoining roads. All events were well supported by the volunteer supporters – albeit in fairly cold and misty surroundings.
And finally, Martin Cortvriend completed the Exeter 5 mile race in a fabulous time of 34:43 – this was 3 laps along the River Exe by the Exwick Playing fields – a fast start to the year!