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Brixham Harrier Andrew Shankster took part in this year's Cleveland Survival event, which is a 26 mile cross country challenge for runners and walkers organised by the Cleveland Mountain Search and Rescue team and is held on the North York Moors every year.  The event centre and route changes each year with competitors only being notified of the start location about 3 weeks prior to the race.  Competitors are set off with staggered start times between 8 and 9am and it is only after crossing the start line that each persons receives a list of grid references and a brief description of each location that must visit in the set order in order to complete the course.  Being able to map read and identify the best route keeping at all times to public rights of way is therefore essential.   Shankster only realised during the week before that he was going to be in the vicinity and could possibly enter on the day; 10 years had past since he last did this event.  He soon got back into the swing of things but realised 10 years had taken its effect with slower legs and the need to wear glasses in order to read his map.  It was a clear day with the sun shining most of the time but the wind on the moor tops made it very chilly; at times he regretted not wearing his windproof jacket.  Several friendly and familiar faces from 10 plus years ago were pasted along the way but in the interest of his racing time, socialising had to wait till the end.  After approximately 26 demanding miles up and down dale and over moor tops, Shankster got home in a comfortable time of 4:49 with a finishing position of 11th out of the 151 walkers and runners who finished the challenge.  The winner, who must be a bionic man, finished in a very impressive 3 hours and 48 minutes!  This fund raising event is well organised with several drink stations along the route and a thoroughly welcomed meal at the finish.


Carol and I completed the Yeovil Half today, we set off at 6:15 am, which was even harder as the clocks had gone forward!  We arrived at Huish Park in plenty of time to collect our numbers and chips.  The day was breaking into a beautiful warm sunny day, there were around 1000 runners.  The race information had advised that there was a hill part way through where you were timed from bottom to top to compete for the king and queen of the hill.  We set off just after 9am and The race took us through Yeovil, the route was all on either road or pavement.  The support was fantastic all round, the infamous hill was half way through, but it wasn't as bad as I expected!   We were both very pleased to have completed the race as we were the first to admit we hadn't done the mileage beforehand.  Definitely be back next year, as well organised with plenty of support. The medal a massive bonus!    Carol Sells (2:25), 809 - Jan Pryor (2:52)


2 keen Brixham Harriers conquered the London Marathon.  For Simon Toms this was his first marathon so a huge adventure for him and for Andrew Shankster, now a grandad, this was a return to the London after a 16 year absence.  What a fantastic weekend and event was had by all, a bit too warm for the runners though, sun tans all round.  Both runners were pleased with their results but bsolutely shattered at the end.  Shankster was running for the ChangeMake Fund for his employer St Loye’s Foundation in Exeter; donations can still be made to their page on the BT MyDonate website or by texting ‘STLF01@ to 70070.  Will both runners return next year; probably yes, oNce the aches and sore legs have become a memory.

Results =   3:38:28 – Andrew Shankster (6484 finishing position )

4:02:38 – Simon Toms (12375 finishing position )



Carol and I ran the Plymouth Half Marathon today.  A brilliant well organised event with just short of 5000 entrants with loads of support along the way.  It was an undulating course with an uphill finish! We took in Saltram House en route.  Just remind me not to do this distance with a cold!!! Although I finished I was disappointed with a time of 3:04; Carol was superb with a time of 2:21. Carols daughter ran too, she is on the attached pic on the left, Carol in the middle and myself on the right.  

Results were:  3260 - Carol Sells (02:19:38),  4164 - Janet Pryor (03:04:45)


Following a weekend of race meetings, race planning and camping at Wimbleball lake it finally arrived = race day! The day began at 4am with a quick breakfast, bike check and time to clamber into my tri wetsuit. Just under 2,000 athletes worked down from transition the the race start. We entered the water and waited for the time keepers gun. Finally, we were off- the swim was brutal but fast. 1.2 miles later we were exiting the lake and heading for the undulating bike course. The bike course was tricky with plenty of long inclines to keep concentration high. After 56 miles of hard graft it was time to switch to the running shoes for a gruelling 13.1 miles around Wimbleball lake in the hot sunshine! The support was superb and I finally finished the distance of 70.3 miles in a very pleasing time of 6:20:25! Should I be asked if I would do it all again; the answer would be definitely!!!


On Saturday 26th April 7 off Brixham Harriers competed in the 10k race organised by South Devon College at their main site.  The course is quite undulating with a good section along a thick muddy lane and a few water logged sections.  A few of the Harriers had tackled this event before and knew what to expect.  New boy to the club Colin, who unfortunately missed out on the pre race photo call, had a fantastic race with a sub 44 minute finish.  Simon knocked a good 5 minutes off his time for last year.  For Viv, Beth, Angela and Adrian, this was their first outing for this event and completed it in respectable times.  Unfortunately no results can be found on the internet at this moment in time



I completed the Geopark 5k Sea Swim yesterday at Goodrington. The course was a two lap course with over 50 athletes competing in either the 3k or 5k event. The weather was superb which led to really good swimming conditions. A lot of people turned out to support the event which added to the occasion. I finished in fourth place in the 5k race in a time of 1:23:29.  Kind regards, Col


On Thursday 18th December, 2 Brixham Harriers took part in the Dart Dark Dash.  This is a night time race; which was in the dark, in the rain and in loads of mud.  Some people might say we were mad, but then would this apply to the other 119 competitors?  This was nearly a 4 fold increase on the number of runners compared to the same event last year.  This demanding and challenging race is the first of a series of 4, leading up to a 1/2 marathon based around Totnes in March.  These races are not for the faint hearted or anyone who does not like being out in the dark.

The Dart Dark Dash is based in the area surrounding Dartington College and was mainly on tracks and forest paths, with a good section through several fields alongside the River Dart.  The going under foot was very slippy in places to say the least and good studded cross country shoes

were the order of the day.  Reflective poles, dollops of flour and a few marshals guided the runners around the 6.2 mile course, the winner achieved an incredible time of just under 43 minutes.  Many thanks to the 2 main organisers for putting on these events; Brixham Harriers will be there for the next 3.The photo shows Simon on the right and Andrew on the left after the race, unfortunately the mud covered legs and feet are out of shot.  Results:  31 - Simon Ridley (0:59:36), 35 - Andrew Shankster (1:00:10).



A company of Snow White, eight dwarves and the Wicked Queen from Brixham Harriers took part in the Delicious Dart Trail this weekend. The run takes on fifteen beautiful miles from Dartington to Dartmouth via Dittisham, Greenway and Kingswear and includes 2 ferry crossing over the river Dart.  There were fourteen gourmet food and drink stops along the route, with all the food donated by local suppliers in support of the race charity CHICKS. Most of the run follows footpaths and tracks with fortunately only a few muddy stretches.

All the Harriers had a great day and went home tired but well fed and watered.


(Editors note:  The image of Snow White and The Wicked Queen will be firmly etched on our minds for some time to come, plus of course the fabulous team spirit.)


The Exe to Axe race is one of the more challenging off road runs in the south-west. If you're lucky the wind won't be blowing, or maybe coming from the west to blow you along. If you're not so lucky you'll hit an easterly.
This year, five Harriers and some other running friends met at Seaton on a bright if a little breezy April morning to catch the coach to the start of the race at Exmouth. It took around an hour to drive the route, so that should have told us how long we might be out running!
Not to be taken lightly, this race has in excess of 4,000 feet of climbing over the full distance of over 21 miles. The race starts at the Exmouth sea front and follows the breathtaking East Devon Coastal Path to the finish on the Esplanade at Seaton.


There are some short flat sections, along the seafront, but you will want to have put in some hill training before attempting this one as the last couple of hills feel almost vertical by the time you hit them.
It is however a challenge well worth going for as the views are spectacular.
It is also well timed as a preparatory run for the London marathon, and after this your marathon day will feel like a walk in the park.



If your are looking to make the transition from a 5k Parkrun to a 10k event, then a 5 mile race is a great in between distance. Both physically and psychologically it helps, as you can keep to just a slightly slower pace than your 5k, but in your mind know it is less than two miles further.

Simon and Nikki did just that last Sunday, running in the Fulford 5 mile race in Exmouth. A two lap mostly flat course with two small inclines it has accurate mile markers to help with your pacing. Despite a chill wind, most of the route was fairly well protected.

Simon came 66th in a time of 34:39 and Nikki came 187th in 45:42. There were a total of 239 finishers.


Of course being in Exmouth you can also have a lovely cool down walk along the sandy beach and enjoy a coffee in one of the many cafes.