Bicton Blister attracts record numbers and Jim Cole lands first place.

PUBLISHED: 09:33 01 December 2011

The final Sunday of November saw the Exmouth Harriers stage their biggest event of the year, the Bicton Blister and Bicton Lite races, writes Ellie Sutcliffe.

The sun came out this year and greeted a record number of entrants across the two races, with 422 finishers in the main 10 mile event, and 84 completers in the 4.5 mile “Lite” race.

An astounding number of entries were taken on the day, with a long queue of late entrants at race HQ signing up right until five minutes before the race was due to start!

Both races start and finish in the beautiful grounds of Bicton College, near Sidmouth, and take runners on a mile of tarmac country lanes out the back of the College before leading them off onto Woodbury Common.

Here the course twists and turns over muddy, stony, uneven tracks and provides competitors with some stunning views to distract them from the pain of the never-ending ascents and descents! After completing a short loop, the Lite runners then head for home, whilst the competitors in the 10 mile event go on to complete a second, longer loop on the commons, crossing a few streams and jumping a few fallen logs and tree roots in the process.

Competition was fierce this year with last year’s winner, Stuart Hall, back to defend his title. Kerry Rees, who took victory just one week before at the equally tough 10 mile Drogo race was also on the start line, as was the in-form Tavistock AC runner, Jim Cole.

These three men dominated the event, with Cole taking the victory in a “blistering” time of 1:01:15, from Rees (1:01:28) and Hall (1:02:58).

The women’s race was not quite so tight at the top, with the first three ladies coming in at 2 minute intervals, but some impressive times were clocked here nevertheless. Unaffiliated runner, Rachael Currie, stormed home to victory in 1:14:46, in 39th place overall. Wendy Urban of Torbay AC repeated her position from last year, 2nd lady in 1:16:29, and Exmouth Harrier’s own Caroline Pleasence claimed a hard earned 3rd spot in a time of 1:18:41.

Other Harrier finishers in the 10 mile event were: Richard Bishop, 36th in 1:14:18; Scott Jordan, 120th in 1:25:13; Lorraine Croome, 159th in 1:28:21; Ray Elston, 258th and 2nd man over 70 in 1:36:15 and Roger Riggs, 274th in 1:37:56. Special mentions must go to Ray, who continues to defy nature and age as he upped the distance from the ‘Lite’ race last year to run the full 10 miles this year, and to Roger, who is a relative newcomer to the running club scene and this event is by no means the easiest introduction to competitive running!

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