Axe Valley Runners shine at the Ham to Lyme Ultra

By Francesca Evans

5th Jul 2023 | Running

Several members of Axe Valley Runners took on the gruelling Ham Hill to Lyme Regis ultra 50k race on Saturday, winning second, third and fourth place.

With an elevation of 3,316 feet and more than 30 miles of multi-terrain running up hills, down dale, across fields and along the riverside, this race is a challenge for anyone but it is becoming increasingly popular among Axe Valley Runners (AVRs) with some 24 taking part last Saturday. 

It starts up in Somerset in Ham Hill Country Park and winds its way through the stunning scenery of the Liberty Trail, Wayford Woods and Lamberts Castle to finish on the seafront in beautiful Lyme Regis.

AVRs scooped second, third and fourth places with some tremendous times. 

Rich Hardy came in second place in an incredible four hours 15 minutes with Rob Collier third in four hours 25 minutes, pushing last year's winner, club mate Matt Clist, into fourth. 

Kerry Board, competing in her first ultra, finished in an excellent five hours 40 minutes as fifth female finisher. 

Special mention to Louise Rawlins, who only began running during lockdown in 2020, joined AVR a year later and on Saturday completed an ultra and even managed her usual trademark cartwheel on the Cobb!

It was a hot day and mostly self-navigated so all finishers were well deserving of the ammonite medals. 

Full results available here.

Charmouth Challenge

Despite the previous day's rain, it was dry underfoot but very muggy for the Charmouth Challenge on Saturday.

This eight-mile multi-terrain hilly race included an ascent of Golden Cap, the highest point on the South Coast of England at 191 metres.

There was a good turnout of AVRs amongst the 150 finishers with Andrew Snook coming in fifth place, second M40 in 56:06. 

Ron Seward steamed in yet again achieving first in M70+ finishing in 1:22:30.

Ann Coston, a new member of AVR, was second in the F50+ category at 1:27:41.

Other AVRs to complete the Challenge were Patrick Rosello, Darrell Farley, Diana Burn and Adele Girdwood.

Wednesday down at the Abbey

On a lovely sunny but cool Wednesday evening, 31 AVRs took part in this beautiful 10k off road race which starts and finishes at Forde Abbey and includes a couple of river crossings.

Kerry Board was second female in an impressive 54:18 and first F40. 

Adrian Strawbridge was fifth overall in 51:41 and took first M40 while Eleanor Wood was first F55 in 58:12, 42nd overall. 

Unfortunately, a few front runners including Max Richardson took a slight wrong turning meaning completing almost seven miles and missing a top ten finish.

Down by the riverside

Matt Frost took part in the Exeter Community Trust 10k river run on Friday starting and finishing at Exeter Quay. He finished in eighth in 38:28.

Seaton parkrun

Ryan Snell was third finisher in 18:06 while Debbie Whiston was 1st female in 19:44 and also second overall on age grade in 80.49%.

Personal bests were gained by Gareth Walker 22:54, Zoe Trewick 27:45 and Ann-Louise Gridley 31:24. 

More than 200 took part with many AVRs amongst the volunteers. The team are always on the look-out for more volunteers especially during the busy holiday period when many tourists come to run and some of the regular helpers are away, so if you would like to start Saturday morning with lots fun for a worthwhile cause, email [email protected] for more information.

On their travels again, Carolyn Nation picked up a U and another country by completing Uppsala parkrun in Sweden, while Carol Austin returned for a fourth visit to Haga parkrun in Stockholm. 

Aileen and Peter Heal went to Bushy parkrun, where they were amongst the more than 1300 finishers including many octogenarians as the home of parkrun celebrated its huge age diversity.


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