Merson wins another race

PUBLISHED: 09:00 16 December 2009 | UPDATED: 12:27 10 June 2010

ROUND Three of the Ironbridge Runner Puma Winter 3K Series of five events took place at Exeter Arena last week, writes Les Turner.

ROUND Three of the Ironbridge Runner Puma Winter 3K Series of five events took place at Exeter Arena last week, writes Les Turner.

The weather conditions were particularly foul, which could account for the fact that the number of competitors was down from 110 from the previous round a month ago to 89.

Despite the strong wind and the driving rain, which was quite heavy at times, some of the runners managed to produce some excellent times.

This event involved six races and the winner of the A race and overall winner on the night was Exmouth based Tom Merson, running in the colours of Bristol and West AC.

Tom produced a superb time, for the conditions, of 8:42, just two seconds slower than his previous best in the series.

It was a very hard-earned victory because second placed Pete Freedman of Tavistock AC was awarded exactly the same time!

The four Exmouth Harriers who competed were again led home by Andy Johnson, this time recording 11:28.

Lee Russell was next in 12:37, with Jim Wyatt finishing in 14:42. Les Turner completed the quartet in 15:39 and the last runner to finish was Dennis Commissar of South Devon AC in 20:40.

The weather for this year's Reindeer Run 10K at Otterton, which was staged last Sunday, could not have been more different from the heavy rainfall and very severe flooding that caused last year's course to be changed and shortened to around 8K.

This year, the biggest problem for the runners was being blinded by the dazzling sunlight and sunglasses would have been extremely helpful on the day!

Despite the glorious weather, there was still plenty of mud for the runners to enjoy and wading along the river under the road bridge towards the end of the race with the icy water approaching the top of the thighs was enough to freeze anyone's assets, recession or no recession!

The race was won by Chris Jones in 38:5. Mike Musgrove was the first of the five Exmouth Harriers to finish after an excellent performance, coming 5th in 40:11.

Jim Pyne was 8th in 41:34, followed by Alex Hooper who came 22nd in 44:29.

Kevin Lingard was 127th in 57:27, with Les Turner 136th in 58:47.

Two hundred and twenty two runners completed the event and the last runner finished in 1:30:20.

The New Year will see the Harriers commencing a ladies only section on a Wednesday nights, starting from their base at the Exmouth Rugby Club.

It will a chance for all those ladies to back up their New Year's Eve resolution and put their idea into practice to commence to run and keep fit. Lorraine Gilson will be pleased to see all the ladies keen to take up the challenge.

This will not be an elite squad, those faster athletes are welcome at club at any time, but a gentle introduction into running with an aim for improvement.

More details will be forthcoming so watch out for the flyers and contact details to be displayed around the town.

The Exmouth Harriers can always be contacted on their web site "".

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