Exmouth Harriers land another victory at 2013 Erme Valley Relays event

PUBLISHED: 09:57 11 July 2013 | UPDATED: 09:57 11 July 2013

The Exmouth Harriers team that bagged a great victory at the Erme Valley Relays: Harriers senior men's team (left to right) Dave Stone, Tony Hatchard, Berihu Tesfay, Adam Miller)

The Exmouth Harriers team that bagged a great victory at the Erme Valley Relays: Harriers senior men's team (left to right) Dave Stone, Tony Hatchard, Berihu Tesfay, Adam Miller)

Archant

Erme Valley Harriers promote some popular running events, but there is not much they can do about the terrain around their Ivybridge base, writes Dave Eveleigh.

Located as it is on the fringes of Dartmoor there is usually a hill or two to negotiate and the circuit used for their annual four-leg road relay race in July is short (just two-and-a-half miles), but with demanding ascents.

Back in April Harriers’ Diane Richards raised over £1500 for the Motor Neuron Disease Association (MNDA) when she ran the London Marathon. At this event a special team from South Devon was selected and ran to raise funds for the same charity. It was quite a team too, finishing second, but generously passing their prizes on. It would be nice to think they topped Diane in fund raising, but they didn’t manage to finish in front of the Exmouth Senior Men’s team which won the event!

Adam Miller is not as comfortable over this sort of distance as he is at the half marathon and beyond, but he seems to thrive on being part of a team and, when he finished the first leg in 13:25, he was second, and just nine seconds down on hosts Erme Valley.

Taking over from Adam, Dave Stone could have thrown his Birth Certificate in the bin before his run, making light of his veteran status as he did, with a 13:14 clocking, one of the ten fastest legs on the night!

By the end of Dave’s leg Exmouth, the MNDA select team and Torbay were neck and neck, the home team having dropped back.

The third leg saw East Cornwall come into contention, but Tony Hatchard had a solid run of 13:36 which put Berihu Tesfay just three seconds behind the Torbay team, and 11 and 12 seconds respectively in front of MNDA and East Cornwall when he set off. MNDA’s Kairn Stone quickly pegged back Berihu and what a battle ensued between the two as they stretched the gap between them and the rest to an eventual 20 seconds. There was no shortage of encouragement for these two talented athletes, with hundreds of runner s fresh from completing their own early stages gathered at the finish in the Ivybridge Rugby Club car park. Berihu though dug deep to anchor a thrilling victory for the Exmouth team.

Almost 80 teams completed the relay with twenty of those being female club teams. Exmouth Harriers Over 45 Women’s team of Cathy Newman (15:10), Claire Baxter (20:00), Dawn Teed (18:46) and Lorraine Gilson (19:12) were 10th of those twenty and won their age group.

There were six other Exmouth teams involved. In 18th place was the Senior men’s B team (Chris Dupain (15:00), Scott Jordan (16:11), Jon Croome (15:36) and Marc Cox (13:58). The Exmouth Over-50 Men’s team of Dave Wright (15:47), Dave Eveleigh (18:35), Terry Oldham (18:26) and Hugh Marsden (14:51) was 37th overall and less than a minute behind the third team in that category. The sixth female team to finish (45th overall) was Exmouth Harriers’ senior women’s quartet of Carly Miller (17:48), Lisa Hatchard(18:17), Emma Dupain 17:28 & Hannah Bown 15:58). Exmouth Harriers Men’s C team, a mixture of senior men and veterans was Nigel Dupain (19:02), Stan Mason (21:46), Ben White (17:05) and, fresh from his exploits with the winning team, Dave Stone (13:38) were 50th. In 64th place were four runners representing the Exmouth Harriers Women Over 35.This team was Joan Mason (21:24) and Lorraine Croome (18:38), with Cathy Newman (16:19) and Lisa Hatchard (18:39) both running for the second time to complete a team). There was no Over-70 race as such, but Exmouth entered a complete team of that age in the Over-60s race with Jim Wyatt (20:49), Mike Keep (21:11) John Goss-Custard (21:03) and Les Turner (21:11) bringing them home in 74th position. They were actually second of four teams in that age group and Roger Rowe, who put the quartet together, may see this as a dry run for a Championship entry in the future.

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