Arriving at Crewkerne Running Club’s Parrett Trail Relays with Exmouth Harriers’ club guest member Berihu Tesfay from Ethiopia is a bit like having Tom Jones to stay and going down to your local pub’s karaoke with him, writes Dave Eveleigh.

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However, it has to be said that the rest of the Harriers team that ultimately won the race that crosses Somerset, were then the equivalent of Tom’s band, not the stars of the show, but essential for getting the job done properly!

They were: Jamie Palmer, Marc Cox, Adam Miller, Dave Stone and Jamie Pearson, The last time the Harriers failed to come away with a trophy from the event was 2005 and this was the third year in a row that the men’s team have won.

Strictly speaking it is a series of races which cover the distance from Steart near Burnham Winyards Gap just inside Dorset.

There are six legs of distances from five to 9 miles, legs two to six beginning just before the previous leg’s runners begin to arrive, this making timing and transporting runners much more manageable.

The legs vary from Somerset Levels flat on leg three to the lachrymose hills of leg six.

The Exmouth Men’s winning team were first in four of the six legs and finished more than 15 minutes clear of runners-up, South West Road Runners, who might want to re-think their name if they continue to take on courses as muddy as this was in places!

Thirty three teams completed the competition and the Harriers took a further three sextuplets.

In 9th place was a mixed-gender team which was third of nine teams in its category. Making up that team were Cathy Newman, Moira Glen, Terry Oldham, Dave Backway, Dave Wright and Scott Jordan. An all-female team was 21st and third in the category.

That team was split evenly between youth and experience, and was Emma Dupain, Joan Mason, Dawn Teed, Carly Audritt, Lorraine Gilson and Ellie Sutcliffe. Finally there was a seasoned Men’s ‘B’ Team of Andrew Johnson, Stan Mason, Dave Eveleigh, Mike Allen, Paul Champion and Pete McKeown, which finished 22nd. Jamie Pearson, who was in the winning team, summed up the Club’s day out, writing on Face Book: ‘Always the best race of the year! Well done everyone, real team effort including the most important part.... the driving!”

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