BOTH Wellington and Taunton All Blacks had a hectic weekend, with runners taking part in many events across the region.

Friday evening saw the graduation of 31 runners in Wellington Running Club’s first Couch to 5K programme.

The graduates will boost the number of runners in Wellington’s Run 4 Free, Run 4 Fun club.

The Bideford Half Marathon is an annual trip to the seaside for the Taunton club for the much-loved run along the Tarka Trail.

Peter Shaw 1:48:53; Tim Newman 1:58:39; Ian Archer 2:03:46; Jane Burchall 2:04:49; Nicola Huntley 2:08:25; Mark Raisey 2:10:07; Vicky Raisey 2:10:08.

Five Taunton members headed over to Hinton St George to ‘Slay the Dragon’ 10k, a mixed terrain course which is taxing at the best of times but the wind and rain made it that little bit tougher this year.

Louise Mackley 1:09:15; Tina Walker 1:45:19; Sara Bailey 1:45:19; Chloe Boobyer 1:45:26; Marie Bowerman 1:45:30.

Jane Cooke, one of Taunton Running Club’s group leaders, tried her hand at the half marathon distance for the first time in Newport, and finished in an excellent time of 2:03.

Considering the wet and windy conditions she hopes to break the two-hour barrier next time out.

In Taunton on Sunday, many club members ran the Taunton 10K and Half Marathon courses for the first time in preparation for the spring road racing programme.

Taunton Running Club meets three times a week on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays at the Crescent Car Park near County Hall.


TREPIDATION could be felt among the Just Run entries to the Bideford half marathon.

Storm Freya had decided to drop in on the West Country causing flooding and damage along the way.

Six group runners made their way down the M5 and assembled with the other 1,400 hardy competitors on the start line heading for magnificent countryside alongside the River Torridge between Bideford and Great Torrington, including the Tarka Trail.

First to cross the finish line in a time of 1:44:01 was Michael Watkins followed by Ashley Stewart in 1:50:32 - both are in training for London and Manchester marathons, respectively.

Chris Wyatt was the third runner from the group back in a time of 2:05:25, closely followed by another marathon runner in training, James Pither, in 2:06:00.

First lady back was Elizabeth Sorensen in an impressive time of 2:12:56 followed by Donna Adams who recorded a massive PB of 2:16:56.

Just Run meet at Enfield car park every Tuesday at 6.30pm, with sessions also held on Thursday and Sunday.


Somerset County Gazette:

SAY CHEESE: Running Forever's Sarah Henderson, Scott Weech, Chris Gunn, Simon Rowland, Tanya Lewis and Sam Wharton at the Bideford Half.

RUNNING Forever athletes travelled far and wide in their search for medals this weekend, but none further than Helen Phillips and Marina Tomsett, who were in Japan for the Tokyo Marathon.

Having already completed the London, New York, Chicago, Boston and Berlin races, Phillips crossed the line in 4.57 to collect her Six Star medal as well as her Tokyo one – an amazing achievement. Tomsett was just a minute behind her club-mate.

Gerry Hogg was in sunny Benidorm and had a great race, earning second place in his age group with his 1.21 half marathon finish.

Always up for a challenge, a brave club contingent set off to Slay The Dragon, the appropriately-named 10k trail event in Hinton St George.

First in with the kill was Ron Foord who finished it off in 52.25.

Next to get their swords out were Sally Tuer (64 mins) and Steph Andrew (66 mins), with Joanne Toogood and Craig Moore just on their tail with 70-minute and 71-minute finishes, respectively.

Catriona Gullick was next home in 75 minutes, with Rachel Reid and Sarah Reed crossing the line in 84 and 89 minutes, respectively.

Peter Stretton was in Combe St Nicholas for a 10k which was a bit on the breezy side, so he is due great credit for a 60.50 finish.

It was off to Bideford for a dozen members on Sunday, for the ever-popular Bideford Half Marathon.

The crew were in good form, with Jo Carritt and Sam Wharton taking third and fourth age group spots with their respective 1.29 and 1.32 times.

Next home were James Lewes and Tanya Lewis (both 1.34), followed by Scott Weech (1.37), Sarah Henderson and Chris Gunn (both 1.41).

The next RFRC athlete home was Chris Reah (1.44), ahead of Simon Roland (1.52), Helen Needs (1.57), Paul Clowes (2.16) and Liz Williams (2.35).

Ray Tutton and Lucy Spring took a trip to Dorset for the Wimborne Dental 20-mile race.

Both got their teeth into the race and finished in 2.49 and 3.39, respectively, despite some very grim weather.

Peter Hall was in Cornwall to celebrate St Pirans Day and National Pasty Week by completing the Cousin Jack Classic 17-mile race, taking in a goodly number of hills and some stunning scenery before collecting his celebratory pasty in five hours.