Taunton Marathon and half
John Buckler 1h 31, Tony Gordon and Jim White 1h 40 and Anne Wills 1h 50 completed the half marathon . While Fred and Sue warmed up for the London the following week by completing the full. I had great expectations from this event aiming for 3h 15 to 3h 20. I set off with Fred at a good pace but by 4 miles had stomach cramps. I Stopped for 3 minutes at 6 miles for the loos. I Got going but by 11 miles had to stop again. When I returned to Taunton in 1h 42 I should have packed it in, but like a fool kept going. I felt O.K until about 17 miles when the cramps came back with a vengeance. The loos were visited 2nd time around. After walking for 3 miles I was caught by Sue but I couldn't keep up and finished in 4h 3 minutes.
We decided to organise a spring handicap on the 2nd Wednesday of the month. I sorted out a rough route which was verified as 4.8 miles by Mal. The course started from Kevin Rosenbergs house and did a 1.6 mile lap of the Haselbury, then an out and back section almost to Hardington. Fred Fox was still waiting to start as Jan Lawrence passed Kevs house after doing the first loop. Tim Cook managed to get lost. Tony Strugnell was run away winner followed home by Sue Saunders and Mal Higgins. Generally Finishing times were about 1 minute slower than the winter handicap times.
Tony Strugnell and myself completed this event on a hot day but the crowd support was exceptional. I was beaten by Charley Chaplin and was glad that Eric Newton pulled away from me as his Clarinet playing was driving me nuts!!
South Downs 80
Fred and Sue completed this ultra event. This was the world Trial running associations championship in which I believe Sue was 2nd Veteran.
I returned to this event after about 6 years, Fred, Sue and Roy all took part. Its still a friendly event held over difficult terrain and usually run in very hot conditions.
Merriott Fun Run
If it wasn't for Crewkerne and Yeovil Town clubs this event would have had only a half a dozen runners. It's a shame they never publicised the event.
This event has been going for over 40 years and is still very popular, particularly the Bar and Barbecue afterwards.
A new event which started at Corfe Castle and went across country to the Coast and up Hounds Tout. This event was very well organised by Poole Runners. Fred, Sue and Myself all had a good run.
Otter High Peak Challenge
Fred and Sue coned me into doing this event, its only 40 miles they said. I had been on holiday in the area the previous year and had stayed at Buxton for a long weekend at the end of August to reconnoitre the route. I lived it up in a Hotel, Whilst Fred and Sue decided to camp . While I was tucking into a 3 course meal in the Hotel, Fred and Sue were trying to set up their tent in the rain and discovering that the cooking utensils had been left at home. Because day light was fading this event started at 8:00 for walkers and 9:00 for runners. With typical running Club organisation I had sorted out the Hotel to be only 300 yards from the start. Breakfast was at 8:30 , so I registered at 8:15, nipped back for my cereals, fried full English Breakfast and toast, had a quick clear out and jogged to the start. I met up with the others at the start and we were soon climbing out of Buxton towards Whaley Bridge. Sue has a knack of being able to pace herself over these long events just right. For the first 6 miles we were very near the back of the field ,but as the miles ticked by we continuously passed people. The mid section over Mam Tor was really exposed to the Strong winds but had beautiful views. By the time we descended into Castleton the sun had come out.
By this time I was becoming an embarrassment to Fred and Sue, they would pick up a drink and maybe a biscuit at the feeding stations and kept going. Whilst I would run ahead to stop, sit down eat 2 pieces of cake or flapjack and maybe a small Mars bar while my cup of tea cooled down. This then meant that I spent the next 5 minutes frantically catching them up. It was even know for me to fumble in by ruck sack between stops to produce more food.
By 33 miles we were all slowing and feeling the affects of the long road section, so Sue started her 'walk to the next Telegraph Pole, then run 2' regime. It was after doing this for a couple of miles that we encountered some other problems. It was approaching 4:00 PM when from a distance off we spotted a farmer shepherding a large herd of Cows across a field towards the road which we were on . By the time we got to the field the Cows were already coming out into the road and the farmer was shouting. Fred led the way towards the Cows as we thought we could sneak passed them. It was then that we were faced by the biggest bull I had ever seen. It took one look at Fred, Moo'd, Fred soon got the message and hurdled the nearest dry stone wall, quickly followed by myself and Sue. The farmer was obviously shouting a warning to us, not at the Cows.
We had just got over this problem when after 3/4 mile further on up the road, I could see a long line of Friesian Cows approaching our road from the right. So not wanting to get caught again we all upped the pace. When we got to the corner where the Cows had almost reached we came across another competitor flaked out against a sign post. He looked half asleep and had his back to the herd. Sue said to him 'There's a herd of Cows behind you' No Reaction! then all of a sudden one of the Cows coughed and he looked to see 40 Cows descending on him. He soon legged it out of the way!
We all finished the event in 8h 30 minutes. The entry also included a hot cooked meal at the end which went down well. At the presentation Sue picked up a huge silver cup for winning the Trail running Association race series. This was after completing the Mendip Trail 40 (in April), The South Downs 80 (in June) and this event. Fred and Sue went back to the Camp site while I went back to the Hotel to have a good soak in the bath.
Anne Wills had recommend this event from past years. So Fred, Sue and myself joined her. I wasn't expecting the event to be as hilly as it was, but the Hot soup and T-shirt at the end made it well worthwhile.
Minehead Half Marathon
Only Roy Smart and myself completed this event this year.
Seven Sisters Marathon
Fred and Sue completed this event in very wet conditions.
Steve Hole, Mal Higgins, Mike Lawrence and myself returned for the 7th, 8th, 3rd and 5th times respectively. This year we persuaded Tim Cook to run. This was his first Marathon (what a one to pick) but he completed it feeling very tired in 4h 05 minutes. Shock of the day was to see Fred and Sue Grinning at us at the start after completing the Seven Sisters the previous day. Fred still had enough energy to steam passed me at 22 miles.
I was crocked again but had already sorted out to stay for the weekend at the start, Rilla Mill near Liskeard. This was the first running of the new route across Bodmin Moor to Jamaica Inn and back. Fred and Sue completed the event but came back with nightmares of the climb up to Minions (the highest village in Cornwall). Sue was 1st female veteran over 40.
15 people took part including Derek Boles and Martin Denman who have now completed every handicap to date. Ten years after winning the first handicap Derek wins again (although he has got 2 minutes slower). Tony Strugnell improved yet again to come second and Anne Wills 3rd. Everyone finished within 4 minutes of each other.
Pre- Christmas Run
There has become a tradition to go for a Muddy cross country run the Sunday before Christmas followed by Wine, Mince pies and Sausage rolls. Nick Whitney who had been a member of the club in 1987 joined us again after being accepted for London 95. After a couple of miles his shoes started to fall apart. So Steve Hole bound his shoes up with Binder Twine.