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Sidmouth Running Club members tackle ‘another challenge’

 Sidmouth Running Club members tackle ‘another challenge’

What does a Sidmouth Running Club Mighty Green do in these challenging times? Take on a lockdown challenge of course, writes Alexa Baker.

When lockdown #2 was announced, club chairman, Terry Bewes, was ready. Having set up a very popular back to running program as restrictions lifted from the first lockdown, Terry had two lockdown challenges prepared for the Mighty Greens which includes prizes as an added incentive.

Challenge One, aptly named ‘River Deep, Mountain High-but forget the river’, is to see how much elevation you can climb during the lockdown period. You can run as many times as you like, submitting your Strava readings onto the running club’s Facebook (FB) page as proof where Terry can keep a tally of the feet climbed.

This challenge is split into male and female categories and by the end of week one you could see the men were taking the challenge very seriously indeed with Ross Walton and Antony Hall pulling the stops out and taking part in Climb South West Peak Hill VK Challenge too. This helped Ross to top the leader board at the end of week one with 10,200 feet of elevation.

In second place was Hamish Spence with 5,430 feet and Allan Kay in third place with 4,594 feet of climb. Shaun Tipton, Antony Hall, Rocker Sheppard and Derek Blackburn clocked up over 3,000 feet of elevation each, Adrian Horne, hot on the heels of his fundraising 10k’s clocked up 2,492 feet and Mark Dewick had started his assent.

The ladies hill climb leader board saw Gail Goldsmith ahead of the field with 4,592 feet of elevation gained, with Jenny Kay, Alexa Baker, Bex McDonald, Jo Earlam and Kerry Salter clocking up over 1,000 feet and Janice Ranson not far behind. Challenge Two was to complete three runs of three miles or more before the following Sunday to get through to the next set of challenges.

The 26 runners who took up the challenge posted their runs onto the FB page and with the exception of two suffering from injury all went through to face ‘Rock a Bye, By the Bye(s) and Figure of Eight’. Rock a bye included the slopes of Salcombe Hill and Peak Hill, By the Bye(s), was a level 3.5-mile run and Figure of Eight created the Pope’s head on the strava map rather than the number eight! Junior head coach, Kerry Boyle, has also set weekly challenges for the younger mighty greens to complete.

To see everyone’s FB posts and to be able to interact with them have strengthened the sense of community within the running group, despite the current restrictions.

As challenge two runner Beccy Johnson says: “The lockdown challenges have been so important to help me feel motivated and to maintain a positive outlook at a tricky time. The support and encouragement of other Sidmouth Running Club runners really helps me get out running.”

With one week to go anything could happen, but one thing is for certain for runners competing in challenge one, the only way is up!

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