Exmouth Harries review of 2009 - A vintage year!

PUBLISHED: 09:00 24 December 2009 | UPDATED: 12:30 10 June 2010

IT HAS been quite a year at Exmouth Harriers and here we bring you a review of the year written by Les Turner.

IT HAS been quite a year at Exmouth Harriers and here we bring you a review of the year written by Les Turner.

One of Exmouth Harriers all-time greats, Cathy Newman, won the South West Veterans A C Grand Prix award for ladies for 2008, based on the average age graded performance for her four best performances over the year.

"Her average of 90.24% is something the rest of us can only dream of", said World Masters Athletics Championships medallist John Perratt.

Last January, Exmouth Harriers bright young hope, Jamie Pearson, then 17 years old, ran superbly to win the gold medal in the Senior Boys' event at the Devon Schools' Cross Country Championships held in Plymouth.

Also in January, John Perratt was at the megaphopne to start the South West Veterans AC Cross country Championships at Sidmouth and presented the awards to the successful athletes after the event. In between, he decided to win the V70 category!

In coming 2nd V65 after an excellent performance, his friend and archrival, fellow Harrier Ray Elston, enjoyed the rare privilege of beating John - it's not very often that John gets beaten by anyone over the age of 65, not even by someone as outstanding as Ray!

Hugh Marsden won the Falkland Islands Half Marathon for a very impressive fifth consecutive year in February.

A month later he came second in the Island's full marathon, but in a new personal best time.

March saw Exmouth based athlete Tom Merson, a good friend of Exmouth Harriers who often trains with us but runs in the colours of South West Road Runners and, more recently, Bristol and West A C, win the fifth and final round of the Ironbridge Runner 3K Series at Exeter Arena, and with it the overall series of five races.

The Harriers overall series winners were V60 Roger Rowe, V65 Ray Elston and, of course, V70 John Perratt. Jim Wyatt was 2nd V65.

This month also saw the conclusion of another winter series, the Brooks Westward Cross Country League, with the final event at Redruth.

After coming second at the last two rounds at Bideford and Bovey Tracey, U17 Jamie Pearson finally beat both the overall series winner, Tom Gill of Tavistock A C, and the series runner-up, J Waldie of Cornwall A C, for a thoroughly well-deserved third place over the series. Ray Elston did not take part at Redruth, but had already completed the required five out of six races for 3rd V60 over the series.

Tom Merson came second at the 25th Great West Run Half Marathon at Exeter in May, a mere two seconds behind defending champion Kairn Stone of Newham and Essex Beagles.

Jamie Pearson, still only 17, produced another brilliant performance to come 1st U20 and 6th overall. Andy Kennedy was 3rd V50.

May also included a momentous event for Exmouth Harriers at this year's BMAF Road Relays, with Ray Elston, Mick Allen and John Perratt winning the first national relay title ever to grace the club.

They won the V70 event, despite Ray being tripped at the start and completing the 1st leg covered in blood!

John also won the individual gold for the fastest V70 leg of the day!


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