THREE members of the Axe Valley Runners group flew north for their first marathon in the glorious setting of Loch Ness.
Canny Hart and Gillian Peach stuck together throughout and crossed the line at 4 hours 39 minutes while Robert Kerr plugged on to the finish in 5 hours 44 minutes. Thrilled at their achievements, all vowed it to be their last marathon – unless successful in the 2017 London ballot!
Sunday saw the fifth Minster Challenge race which is a challenging 12km of hills, country lanes, footpaths, fields, streams and wooded areas. The winner, and first home for AVR, was Jake Smith who set a new course record of 45:29. Next home for AVR in 2nd place was Matt Clist 48:38 followed by Ollie Caute 4th 49:47, Terry Emmett 5th 49:52, Rupert Pady 13th 57:49, Ian Apps 14th 58:44, Eleanor Wood 20th and 3rd female 1:03:26, William Watson 22nd 1:05:04, Alan Morbey 26th 1:05:40, James Ashforth 27th 1:05:41, Nick Adams 36th 1:09:33, Alan McLoughlin 40th 1:11:23, Andrew Sayers 41st 1:11:40, Anders Larsson 46th with a course PB 1:13:15 and Lizzie Ricketts 54th 1:18:15. A total of 82 runners took part. Dan Rowe was the winner of the associated 5K race in 22:28, where there were some fine young AVR performances with Sam Eyre 2nd, 22:54; Holly Eyre 5th, 24:17; Poppy Tooze 9th, 26:21; David Cooke 10th, 26:34; Elsa Wood 13th, 28:01 and Caitlin Tooze 14th, 28:09.
The Challenge was the last race in the East Devon Community Race Series which ended with a top four finish for AVR with Eleanor Wood winning followed by Matt Clist in 2nd, Terry Emmett 3rd and Clare Hansford 4th.
Patrick Devine-Wright took advantage of a work trip to Switzerland to run the Trail des Patrouillers mountain race on Saturday, completing the 55km route with 4,000m of climb in just over 10 hours The race began at 5am in the village of Crans-Montana skirting a northern loop around the glacier des plain morte (plain of death!) reaching almost 3000m in altitude before returning back to the start, and was for two or three person teams.
Devine-Wright said: “Thanks to the organisers for putting me in touch with Xavier from Reunion Island in the Indian Ocean, my running companion for the day. “We were 12th team across the line, of the 32 teams to complete the course. It was an epic adventure with monster climbs and descents amidst enormous mountains, and comes highly recommended if anyone finds the hills of Devon just a bit small!”