Local athletics

PUBLISHED: 15:08 10 April 2008 | UPDATED: 08:58 10 June 2010

Three Exmouth Harriers were among the field of 1089 runners who completed the Taunton Half- Marathon Andy Johnson, the first Harrier to finish, needed to average 6.50 pace to avoid the ignominy of his first 90-minute-plus half-marathon since 1990.

Three Exmouth Harriers were among the field of 1089 runners who completed the Taunton Half- MarathonAndy Johnson, the first Harrier to finish, needed to average 6.50 pace to avoid the ignominy of his first 90-minute-plus half-marathon since 1990. That would leave him with 30 seconds to spare for the final 5k. Johnson had to work hard into the breeze and up the long incline but got through five miles in 34.11. By half-way he felt tired and stopped looking at the pace on his watch so that he could concentrate on running as fast a pace as he could maintain. After going through 10 miles in 68.19 - bang on target - he struggled up the climb to the 11th mile (7.20 split), so his spare 30 seconds had gone.Fortunately, the next mile was downhill and he picked up more time on the final mile to finish 85th in 1.29.53.Julie Gellender had an outstanding race to come first lady V35 and 79th overall in 1.29.27. Although she arrived at the finish line after Johnson, she had been much further back in the starting pack and her adjusted time for the race was slightly quicker. Trevor Cope was 577th in 1.55.03.The winner was Philip Parry of Bristol & West AC in 1.11.30. Exmouth Harrier Sue Wilkin plugged away through foul conditions to finish 68th in the Jurassic Coast Challenge.The challenge - all 78.6 miles of it - is the equivalent of running a marathon along the South West Coastal Path on three sucessive days.Day one is Lyme Regis to Chickerell near Weymouth; day two moves on to Lulworth Cove with day three taking runners to the finish at Studland on the Isle of Purbeck. Wilkin's time was 23 hours and 20 minutes.Fellow Harrier Paul Champion took part in a cut down version of the event and was placed 10th in his section.Wilkin and Champion used the event as preparation for a tilt at the Mont Blanc Ultra Trail in August. Two other Exmouth Harriers, Jon and Lorraine Croome, are also training for the Mont Blanc outing.

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