Exmouth Harriers – Review of 2021 Running: Part Two

Des White, Alison White and Amy Tew

Des White, Alison White and Amy Tew - Credit: Exmouth Harriers

Continuing the review of a fantastic 2021 for Exmouth Harriers, despite all the Covid challenges... 

August was a very busy month for the Harriers as they raced 11 times with Tom Merson winning his 2nd British Masters Championship title in the Lytchett Minster 10 miles in 53.15.  
Tom was joined by Alison and Des White who won British Masters Gold Medals in the W65 and M65 age categories, while 38 Harriers travelled to Ivybridge to compete in the Erme Valley Relays with 10 Harriers teams competing Tom Merson set the overall fastest time 12.22 on the 2.4 undulating course helping Harriers win the Men’s team title (Rob Ellis, Simon Minting, Sam Kelly & Tom Merson).  

The Ladies won the W35 (Emma White, Cathy Newman, Paula Hawkins & Hannah Bown) and the W55 (Jenny Reay, Joan Mason, Sarah Baldwin & Alison White) team prizes plus the Harriers M60 team (Des White, Steve Morgan, Jimmy Joy & Hugh Marsden) were 1st in their age category.  

Nick Ramm & Jim Comer ran in their first Ultra-marathon from Belstone to Ivybridge. In the Run Exe Relays at Exwick, Harriers won four team prizes – 3rd Mens team (Rob Ellis, Oliver White, Berihu Hadera & Sam Kelly), 1st W40 team (Cathy Newman, Nicola Kelly, Kelly Thomas & Paula Hawkins), 1st W60 team (Jenny Reay, Kay Douglas, Alison White & Susan Hill) and 1st M60 team (Des White, Jimmy Joy, Steve Morgan & Hugh Marsden).  

Louise Hempstead, Kate Baker, Susan Hill & Emma White tackled the National Three Peaks Challenge (Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike & Snowdon) 23 miles and over 10,000 feet of ascent raising money for RV-One. 

September was the Harriers busiest month as they contested 21 races with five Harriers selected to run for England Masters in two separate races – Langdon Williams and Ray Elston competed in the Kew 10km, Mike Musgrove, Brian Sansom & Les Turner competed in the Richmond ½ Marathon.  

The final race in the Dartmoor Fell Racing Series saw Dawn Teed & Hugh Marsden win the overall W55 & M60 age categories. Dave Tomlin won the LM Events Exmouth 10km and Tom Merson won the Ocean City Half-Marathon in Plymouth. 

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October saw seven Harriers (Oli White, Dave Tomlin, Mike Musgrove, Alice Kelly, Jon Mill, Kelly Thomas & Nathan Sheehy) tackle 26.2 miles of the re-scheduled Virgin London Marathon.  

Hannah Bown competed for England Masters in the York Marathon, while 79 year-old John Goss-Custard ran with his daughter Grace in the Royal Parks Half-Marathon, raising over £2,000 for The British Heart Foundation. Tom Merson finished 5th in the Manchester ½ Marathon in a season’s best time of 68.14, he was the first M35 and has now been selected to race for England Masters in the 2022 Chester Half-Marathon. 

During November, Sam Kelly won his second major Devon fell/trail race of 2021 when he finished 1st in the Drogo 10 Miles after winning the 22 Mile JP’s Exe to Axe event in a new record time of 2.40.02 in October.  

The Harriers hosted the Bicton Blister on Woodbury Common with over 400 runners. Harrier Rob Ellis won the race in 61.20. Adrian Vanstone running in a Harriers vest for the first time in nearly 20 years set a Harriers M60 record time of 3.39.07 in the Exeter Marathon. 

December saw the conclusion to the 2021 Devon Instep Race series with Oliver White taking the overall Men’s title. It also saw Hugh Marsden win the Cape Pembroke Lighthouse 5km parkrun in Port Stanley, Falkland Islands in 21.54. 

Throughout 2021 Chris Murrin completed another eight marathons in his quest to reach 100 by mid-2022. He has currently finished 93 and has already planned the 94th in Plymouth on Sunday, 9th January with his 100th planned for the Dartmoor Discovery Marathon in June.

Well done to new Harriers Jim Comer, Jon Mill, David Snook, Holly Clements, Eleanor Eastman, Chris Sharp, Piers Benton, Claire Sorensen, Lucy Davies, Anthony Lees, Nathan Budd & Regan Meadowcroft.  

Running past Westminster Abbey

Running past Westminster Abbey - Credit: Exmouth Harriers

Dave Tomlin & Brian Sansom at the start of the Exmouth 10km

Dave Tomlin & Brian Sansom at the start of the Exmouth 10km - Credit: Exmouth Harriers

Tom Merson

Tom Merson - Credit: Exmouth Harriers

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