Keep shivers his way through the Taunton Marathon.

PUBLISHED: 07:40 11 April 2013 | UPDATED: 07:40 11 April 2013

Running generic picture

Running generic picture


We are all familiar with the expression 'out of the frying pan and into the fire' but when it came to Exmouth Harrier Mike Keep's recent running of the Taunton Marathon it was a case of 'out of the frying pan and into', well, 'the fridge' I suppose, writes Dave Eveleigh.

Keep, you see, has been working (and training) in tropical West Africa and he no doubt imagined covering 26-miles of Somerset in refreshingly balmy conditions in contrast to the sapping heat 3,000 miles south.

Instead he would have experienced weather which would have had him wondering if he could get a balaclava in club colours! Enough of the meteorology though because in fact he had a pretty good race, finishing second man over 65 in four hours 20 minutes and that is running a Marathon, not just completing it! Overall he was 172nd of 199 finishers. Looks like Keep is set to extend still further the strength in depth of the Exmouth club’s veteran ranks.

Alongside the 26-mile event there is a Half Marathon, this year contested by just under 1,000 runners of which almost 400 were women, and just over 600 men. The field also included four Exmouth Harriers.

Mick Allen is 75 this year, but ran in the men over 65 category. There are now so many veterans of the Allen vintage that it is inevitable that races will catch up and make sure there are sections where runners like him can be competitive. On this occasion he was 13th in this category, but of course he would have had opponents up to 10 years younger. Adrian Kearns was 46th and sixth man over 40 in 86:30, an impressive performance. He ran very close to this time (86:54) in finishing 71st overall and 19th man over 40 at the Bideford Half Marathon last month which is acknowledged here after his performance there was omitted from the race report in error. Julie Gellender was 214th overall, seventh woman over 40 and comfortably under 100 minutes with 98:37 while Diane Richards continuing her build-up to the London Marathon was 558th, 18th woman over 45, and timed at 1:55:07.

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