OVER 140 runners took part in the Wellington Monument Race on Sunday, when it returned after two years away because of the pandemic. 

The race began outside The Catherine Wheel pub in Hemyock and took entrants up the challenging Combe Hill incline towards the monument.

Runners then descended the slope back into Hemyock to finish outside the village's primary school. The event was organised by Taunton Athletic Club.

Chard runner Wayne Loveridge took first place overall. Amy Jones of the South West Road Runners was the first female runner to complete the course. 

South West Road Runners took home the John Cooksley Team Shield as the winning club, followed by Axe Valley Runners and Taunton Athletic Club.

An event spokesperson said: “Taunton Athletic Club’s annual 10km Wellington Monument race returned this weekend, with 146 runners facing the challenging wet and windy elements as well as the infamous steep climb from Hemyock to the Wellington Monument.

“The heavy rain didn’t deter the runners, with the first man, Wayne Loveridge of Chard Road Runners, crossing the line in an impressive 36.12.

“The first lady to complete the course was Amy Jones of South West Road Runners, with a time of 43.12. A big congratulations to the winners. 

“Despite the heavy rainfall an enjoyable morning was had by all, with many compliments for the race and its welcoming atmosphere.

“The club would like to thank every runner for taking part and making the race a success. Race updates can be found on the Facebook page: Wellington Monument Race

“Taunton Athletics Club also like to extend their thanks to their race sponsors: Taunton School, Sheppy’s House of Cider, The Crescent Clinic, Blackdown Financial, Milverton Sawmill, The Mount Veterinary Hospital, Clarke Wilmott, Timpsons and Ibis Bridgwater.” 

You can see the results of the 34th Wellington Monument Race by visiting www.tauntonac.org/monument-race.