Exmouth Harriers take on the bus – and win!

22:48 02 July 2014

If you were listing what might be called ‘old school’ runners Sidmouth Running Club’s Bill Valentine would probably be most people’s choice for Headmaster, writes Dave Eveleigh.

Last Wednesday (25 June) Exmouth Harriers lined up for his imaginative ‘Beat the Bus’ race.

While the Stagecoach 157 service winds its way from Otterton to Sidmouth and back sixty or seventy runners make the same journey cross country. Of course, there has long been a ‘Race the Train’ event in North Wales, but racing a bus somehow seems more suited to East Devon, not least because around there the nearest a runner will usually get to a railway is by training on footpaths following one of the long disused branch line routes!

The race is held in aid of Sidmouth’s Living with Cancer charity. The route was slightly different this year but was still about 9km, the first half a steady climb, then a speedier descent back to Otterton.

There was a good showing from Exmouth Harriers, eight in total all of whom did what it says on the entry form. The race was won by Jason Drew. Jason often trains with Exmouth, but is in fact a Sidmouth Running Club member.

In second place, and first Man Age 40-49, was that most eclectic of racers, Mike Musgrove in 39:39 behind Jason’s 39:01.

Mike recently set a new 5k personal best at the Killerton Parkrun and continues to be an enthusiastic advocate of track work. Chris Dupain finished ninth in 44:45. Then, within two minutes club-mates Richard Bishop and Hannah Bown completed the run in 12th (45:24) and 13th (46:11) places respectively.

Emma White was 24th in 49:49 and third female with Jane MacDonald 30th in 52:29 and second Woman Age 40-49. Susan Hill finished 39th in 53:54 and was second Woman Age 50-59. Dave Eveleigh was 42nd in 55:52 and third Man Age 60-69.

Both Hill and Eveleigh cut it a little fine, the bus appearing in the results in 47th place in 56:30. In all 66 runner and the one bus finished with 46 of the runners getting back to Otterton ahead of the Number 157.

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