Merson lands a Bicton blister.

PUBLISHED: 09:01 03 December 2009 | UPDATED: 12:25 10 June 2010

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LAST SUNDAY (November 29) the Exmouth Harriers staged the Bicton Blister, together with the events baby brother, the Bicton Lite, writes Bob Woodall.

LAST SUNDAY (November 29) the Exmouth Harriers staged the Bicton Blister, together with the events baby brother, the Bicton Lite, writes Bob Woodall.

The Blister challenged runners to contest a nine point seven-five mile course, over the testing terrain of Bicton Common, Woodbury Common and Dalditch.

The event started between the buildings of the Bicton College,in light rain, and exited the grounds towards Blackberry Farm along the tarmac roadway heading towards Crook Plantation, where the route went off-road with a vengeance.

The rain abated quite quickly but, within the first mile of the start, the runners experienced deep puddles forcing all to take an early cold foot bath.

Throughout the next seven or so miles, off-road runners experienced severe descents and ascents along river pebble-based tracks, soft sand and clinging mud, which attempted to suck the shoes from the feet.

Waterlogged tracks under more than 300 millimetres, 12 inches, of muddy water loomed ahead with no alternative to avoid another cold footbath.

One stretch of the course ascending to the area known to the Marines as the 'sheep dip' is actually the bed of a flowing stream.

The only consolation being that the running water washed the oozing mud from the shoes. More deep puddles through which to charge and more clinging mud to run through before the course emerged back on the tarmac at Crooks plantation.

Just the last mile or so of undulating road before the finish at Bicton College after careering through the last two puddles.

The race was won by Exmouth based runner Tom Merson, sporting the colours of the South West Road Runners in the impressive time of 61:31.

The first Harrier home, and third overall, just a second behind the 2nd runner home, was Dave Stone in a time of 63:33.

Next across the finishing line in Harriers colours was Jamie Pearson, finishing 5th in 65:40.

The remaining runners for Exmouth Harriers finished valiantly as follows:- Jon Croome, 28th in 71:30, Mike Musgrove, 31st in 71:34.

The four aforementioned Harriers' runners combined to take first place in the team event.

Other Harriers to finish were; Adam Miller, 36th in 72:26, Joel Morter 43rd in 74:19, Alex Hooper, 52nd in 75:10, Bob Woodall 116th in 75:10, this also good enough for 3rd in the V60 category.

Lorraine Croome came in 160th in 87:29, Lorraine Gilson, 230th in 95:50, Jim Wyatt, 237th in 97:03.

Completing the Harriers contingent in the race was Stan Mason who came in 281st in a time of 103:59.

The final competitor to cross the finishing line was Angela Murray, an unattached runner, in 356th position in a time of 136mins 9secs.

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