The Otterton Reindeer Run is a 10k multi-terrain race promoted by Exmouth Harriers running club neighbours Sidmouth RC, writes Dave Eveleigh.

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As the title suggests it takes place around Christmas time, this year on Saturday, December 7.

Despite something of a late night on Friday, when the club’s presentation evening was held (late by the ascetic standards of serious runners that is), ten Exmouth Harriers were on the start line at 10am.

There were nearly 180 finishers, and that number was split evenly between men and women. Your correspondent would suggest that 10 years ago you would have been hard pressed to find an open race like this where the proportion of women was even as high as a quarter.

It was within that female half of the field that Exmouth Harriers performances stood out the most. Hannah Bown was first woman and first veteran woman and she was also 15th overall in a time of 43:20.

The next Exmouth female to finish was the steadily progressing Carly Miller who was ninth in that category and 36th overall in 47:24.

Lisa Hatchard finished 14th woman and 49thoverall in 49:18). Hatchard completed the first Exmouth women’s team of three to finish. The team competitions were based on cumulative times and Hatchard, Miller and Bown ended up four minutes clear of the three best women from home club Sidmouth, to finish as the first women’s team!

Not only did Exmouth Harriers take first place in the team contest they also came up with three more women to take third place in the team event.

Lorraine Croome was 16th woman (her time 50:26, her overall position 58th ), Dawn Teed 23rd woman (52:19 and 78th) and Nicola Kelly 27th woman (53:33 and 84th).

The final female finisher for the Harriers was Claire Baxter who was 44th woman and 117th overall in 60:53.

Claire though, is still on the comeback trail after injury so further progress is to be expected from her too. The three Exmouth men running came up with a couple of podium places too. Adam Miller was third overall in an impressive 37:24, Mike Musgrove also impressing with a time inside 40 minutes (39:58) and a position in the top 10 (seventh).

The men’s team, including those two, was third, thanks to a very rare, but very welcome racing appearance by Phil Bater who was the third team member and was 60th in 50:38, not bad for an Over-60!

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