Axe Valley Runners have no time to put their feet up over Bank Holiday weekend

By Francesca Evans

9th May 2023 | Running

It was a weekend of 10ks for Axe Valley Runners with a good turnout at the Ottery 10k on Sunday, part of the In-Step Devon series and organised by Honiton Running Club.  

The fast, flat race started and finished at Ottery St Mary Cricket Club using country lanes around the town.  

This year, five-time Olympian and European champion Jo Pavey started the runners off and then took part herself before presenting prizes.

First Axe Valley Runner (AVR) home in 38:23 was Matt Frost in an excellent tenth place.  Kerry Board was first AVR female to finish, eighth female overall, in 45:48, chased all the way by Laura Kerr who smashed her personal best to finish in 45:49.  

Other AVRs who took part were: Simon Dimmock 40:23 23rd; Eleanor Wood 46:31 63rd; Ron Seward 47:08 72nd;  Andy Charrington 49:00 79th;  Suzi Blackett 50:16 90th;  Jeremy Norcombe 50:25 92nd; Kelly Giles 52:58 110th;  Corey Schultze 53:00 112th; Cliff Marriott 55:50 139th;  Angela Kerr 56:36 148th;  Fiona Seward 62:42 184th; Rachel Hiscock 64:01 191st; Maxine Sweetman  66:20 195th;  Denise Burges 79:22 222nd; and Gill Day 79:23 223rd.

A total of 227 runners completed the race and big thanks go to Roger Saunders and Howard Bidmead at Honiton RC for a great event, including booking the best weather of the weekend!

Brilliant Bideford 

Conditions were near perfect for the Bideford 10k with a large field of about 800 runners lining up alongside the River Torridge for the fast, flat course that takes in views of the Taw and Torridge estuary, between Bideford and Instow, returning on the Tarka Trail.

Olympian Phil Norman took the win in a fast time of 30:35.

AVR Rich Hardy was 14th overall in a rapid 34:28 scooping the second M40 prize.

The race is always a popular one for the older age categories with a discounted entry and prizes for all ages up to 80. The event attracted an incredible 28 runners over the age of 70 proving that running is not just a sport for the young.  

AVR's Diane Newton was over the moon to finish in 1:14:24, after a difficult period of running, improving both her time and place from last year. 

All finishers received a fetching pink T-shirt.  The race was very well organised by Bideford AAC.

Seaton parkrun

It was a wet and chilly parkrun on Saturday in Seaton, definitely not spring weather.  First finisher was AVR's Joel Seward in 17.20 with Terry Emmett coming in second in a personal best of 17.48.  First female was Deborah Whiston in 20.0 and first on age-grade in 79.4%.  

Despite the downpours, there were also personal bests for Dave Hutton in 24.31 and Craig Tiley in 25.39.  Janet Cullum celebrated her 100 milestone while Keith Agland reached 200 as one of many pacers from AVR.  

 Coronation Time Trial

On a damp and mizzly morning, 36 Axe Valley Runners kickstarted their Bank Holiday with a self-timed 10k time trial, beginning in Colyford and finishing on the Esplanade in Seaton.  

It is the first of the bank holiday time trials for 2023 with coffee at Hideaway replacing the planned picnic and swim.

Matt Hewer was first to finish with Deborah Whiston first female.  


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