Exmouth Harriers’ recent National ‘virtual racing’ successes

Tom Merson in the Torbay Half Marathon in 2018

Tom Merson in the Torbay Half Marathon in 2018 - Credit: Exmouth Harriers

Exmouth Harriers had 31 runners out of the 1,230 finishers in the 2021 British Masters Virtual 1 Mile Challenge that finished on Sunday, March 7 - this is almost a third of the membership of the local club. 
Masters runners (Men & Women aged 35 and over) from all clubs in GB were invited to run over a measured mile and submit their times to the organisers at BMAF (British Masters Athletic Federation) in the period from February 24 to March 7. 
Exmouth Harriers achieved a number of top 10 finishing positions, which is amazing in a National competition for such a small club. 
Tom Merson was the overall winner of the event, plus he was the first M35 in a time of 4:21 in what was his first “race” as a Master, having moved into the M35 category just four weeks ago. 
Another individual winner was Exmouth’s “vintage” athlete Ray Elston, who was 1st M80 in an incredible time of 8:02. 
Also, Mick Allen was 3rd M80, Des White was 4th M65, Rob Ellis was 5th M35, Cathy Newman was 7th W55 and Mike Musgrove was 7th M50. 
There was a team competition with the runners forming teams of three based on their times within their age-groups. 
Exmouth Harriers “A” team of Tom Merson, Rob Ellis & Simon Minting won the overall team event and were 1st in the 35-44 age-group. The M75+ “A” team of Ray Elston, Mick Allen & John Goss-Custard were 2nd team in their age-group. 
The M75+ “B” team of Tom Handley, Mike Keep & Les Turner were 3rd in their age-group and the W55-64 team of Cathy Newman, Nicola Kelly & Susan Hill were 4th in their age category. 
It goes to show that when it comes to Masters running Exmouth Harriers are extremely competitive at the highest level in all age-groups. 
The full list of Exmouth Harriers runners in the BMAF 1 Mile Challenge is listed below: 
1st        4:21 Tom Merson     1st M35 
5th       4:33 Rob Ellis            4th M35 
12th      4:40 Simon Minting 10th M35 
20th     4:44 Oliver White      14th M35 
102nd   5:06 Adam Miller       31st M40 
102nd   5:06 Mike Musgrove   7th M50 
398th   5:48 Des White          4th M65 
406th   5:49 David Snook     85th M35 
464th  5:55 Hannah Bown   19th W40 
473rd   5:56 Tom Packer        96th M40 
501st   5:58 Craig Butler        70th M50 
597th   6:09 Cathy Newman   7th W55 
602nd  6:10 Chris Sharp         98th M35 
657th   6:17 Steve Morgan      26th M60 
767th   6:37 Kelly Thomas       47th W45 
784th   6:39 Louise Hempstead 49th W45 
800th   6:42 Nicola Kelly           17th W55 
808th   6:43 Holly Clements      39th W35 
818th   6:45 Paula Hawkins      43rd W40 
933rd   7:08 Lisa Hatchard        71st W45 
948th   7:11 Amy Tew                 49th W35 
999th  7:23 Kate Baker             59th W40 
1030th  7:32 Susan Hill               21st W60 
1044th 7:39 Amanda McCann  86th W45 
1110th  8:02 Ray Elston                 1st M80 
1188th. 9:08 Mick Allen                 3rd M80 
1190th. 9:10 John Goss-Custard  12th M75 
1198th 9:27 Mike Keep                   14th M75 
1198th 9:27 Tom Handley              13th M75 
1219th 11:10 Les Turner                  15th M75 
1226th 11:40 Jim Wyatt                 17th M75 
The “final” placings and times for Exmouth Harriers 10 teams were: 
14th  Exm-A (Hannah, Holly & Paula) 19:23 
31st Exm-B (Amy, Kate & Amanda) 22:13 
19th Exm-A (Kelly, Louise & Lisa) 20:24 
4th Exm-A (Cathy, Nicola & Susan) 20:23 
1st Exm-A (Tom M, Rob & Simon) 13:34 
21st Exm-B (Oliver, Adam & David) 15:39 
49th Exm-C (Tom P, Chris & Steve M) 18:23 
22nd Exm-A (Mike M, Des & Craig) 16:52 
2nd Exm-A (Ray, Mick, John) 26:20 
3rd Exm-B (Mike K, Tom H & Les) 30:04 

Ray Elston running cross country

Ray Elston running cross country - Credit: Exmouth Harriers

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