A sleepy Otterton was soon awakened to a mingling of Santa boots and Reindeers , fairies not to mention the Snow Lady and Christmas Parcel what a fantastic day for running, writes Mrs Baldrick.

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After a very lively race warm up lead by Janet Ackford from Sidmouth Running Club helped by Jim Pyne

The start was awash of Christmas joy and tinsel, the 10k race was started first a few minutes before the 3km fun run by race director Jim Pyne ringing the school hand bell.

Sam Pyne from Sidmouth College was the first 3km fun runner home to Otterton’s Green in a fast time of 12.45.

In second place was Edmund Grierson in 13.38 followed closely by Lewis Anthony from Rydon Primary School Kingsteignton. It was great to see children from all the different schools competing and looking so festive in their Christmas attire. The Schools Shield was won once again by Lympstone Primary School; well done to all the great 3k Fun runners.

The 10km runners were out for a bit more of a challenge, winding their way up over Otterton Park where they were greeted by panoramic views of the Otter Valley; a steep descent and muddy gateways lead the runners to South Farm before turning right and running along South Road (which this time last year was under 5 feet of flood water !) where Otter Valley hasher, Mini Bar (John Croome) provided the water station looking very fetching in his festive reindeer glasses! A very muddy track led the runners back towards the River Otter and Otterton ,where a dip under the road bridge that this year was sadly very dry!

Taking a sharp turn away from the festive hub of the village, runners headed along the disused railway track (permission kindly given by Clinton Farms Manager George Perrot) back around the edge of Clinton Devon Estates fields up over the wooden river bridge before following the footpath back above the River Otter and descending down between the Clinton cottages onto the Green where Dave greeted them by playing Christmas tunes on his saxophone (Dave and his like minded musical friends are playing Christmas Carols (with a difference in the Kings Arms Otterton Sunday, December 22 (8pm) – an event not to be missed !)

All 10km runners were handed Reindeer run mugs at the finish kindly sponsored by Ladram Bay Holiday Park, that when taken to Otterton Village Hall were filled with mulled wine and accompanied by a mince pie kindly donated by Haymans Butchers of Sidmouth.

The first 10k runner home to the Green was Jason Drew from Sidmouth Running Club in a time of 35.36, David Tomlin from Teignbridge Trotters followed in second place with a time of 36.55, 37.24 saw third place for Exmouth Harriers Adam Miller, Exmouth Harriers Hannah Brown was first lady back in a time of 43.20, Exmouth Harriers also took home the Ladies Team up, The men’s Team cup was swooped by the Haldon trail runners.

Otterton School would like to say A BIG THANK YOU to all our sponsors who we couldn’t put this run on without your help and support. Ladram Bay Holiday , Hayman’s Butchers Sidmouth, Otterton Mill, Kings Arms, Acanthus Press, Georgie Porgies Puddings Ltd, Clinton Devon Estates, P Bowler & Sons , Otter Brewery, Four Elms Fruit Farm, Pebble Bed Wines, Cotley Farm and the Local Farmers

Thank you also goes to all the runners who without you we at Otterton School would not be able to have such a great fund raising event. All that was left to do at the end of the day was to shut the gates and pick up the odd bell and bit of tinsel. Christmas has started, see you next year on Saturday December 6 when we’ll do it all again!

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