Last year, as a celebration of Dave George’s 40th birthday, a good number of club members ran the Pembrokeshire coastal marathon. A fabulous occasion, spoilt only by the absence of the birthday boy himself. So a new year with a different but more challenging coastal race, in Exmoor, North Devon. Again, the race was divided up into 10K, half marathon, marathon and ultra, all hugging the beautiful coast line along this part of the country.
Early rise but fine weather for the day with a refreshing cool breeze. However, a harder start to a race I have never experienced. Straight off from Hunters Inn ascending 800ft, a small drop with another climb to 1200ft. This then dropped down to the start to complete the first 10k of the course, then back up into the hills again on the way to the lovely villages of Lynton and Lynmouth. A number of people in our group were actually running this as their first marathon!
At this point I should point out the impressive return to form of recently retired chairman Dave G. He bounded along quite happily, passing me at the 19 mile mark looking like he had only just started the race. Great to see him back after a long lay off through injury, and gradual return to form. We were also joined by a runner from Ludlow called Iain Prentice. Those of you big on the Ultra circuit will have heard of this very good runner, over ridiculously long distances. Finally Jonathan Smith, who ran the half marathon, no mean feat, again, very good effort as he has been away from running for longer than he would have liked.
All in all everyone in the group was happy as we had all come in under 5 hrs.
Would recommend this one for those of you who like hills, long distances and lovely scenery. The pub was nice as well.
Marathon – Dave George : 4.41.17 20th/126; Iain Prentice: 4.52.42 29th/126; David Ameghino: 4.56.56 33th/126
Half Marathon – Jonathan Smith 2.15.17 98th/257