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JO ditches 10k to focus on 5,000m in Glasgow - 23/7/14 

JO Pavey has decided to focus all her energies of running the 5000m at the Commonwealth games and give the 10,000m a miss.


Originally Pavey had been selected by England to run both distances but has withdrawn from the longer distance. Kate Avery will take her place.


William the First reigns supreme - 23/7/14

CONGRATULATIONS to Ivybridge Community College student William Battershill, who added the British Schools’ title to his English crown last weekend.


In the space of seven days the 16-year-old Erme Valley Harrier from Holberton won the inter boys’ 1500 steeplechase in both major events and for good measure improved his personal best in Cardiff to 4mins 18.15secs to strengthen his grip on top spot in the UK Rankings for under 17 men.


Coming on top of an excellent winter in which he also won an England Schools’ vest  Battershill has emerged as one of the top west athletes of the year.


Antell suffers in the heat - 23/7/14




SHAUN Antell struggled in the heat and humidity at the latest British Milers Club Grand Prix at the historic Iffley Road track, in Oxford.


The 27-year-old Bideford AC runner from Barnstaple was really suffering n the conditions but showed great character as he kept going despite being lapped and finishing 17th and last in the B race in a time of 15min 37.48secs, over half a minute off his best.


Don't forget the South West Chapionships - 23/7/14

ENTRIES are still open for the South West Track and Field championships but the deadline for entries is a week today (Wednesday 30th July 2014).


The championships will take place at Exeter Arena on Sunday 17th August 2014.


The aim this year is to increase Participation and Standards at the championships, so extra events in the under 15 age groups have been added, and in the senior age groups by having entries to non South West or non County selected athletes while still retaining entry standards. 


All pre-race information is online at


Online booking can be made at can be made at





Why Merson gave Snowdon race a miss - 21/7/14

WHEN Tom Merson saw the forecast of severe weather for north Wales on Saturdayhe decided not to make the big round trip from his home in Exmouth for the inaugural Snowdon Super Cup.

I proved a wise decision as thunder and lightning flashed across the mountain forcing the organisers to delay the race for an hour.

It was eventually held but was shortened for safety reasons and only 30 men and women of the elite invite only field turned up and they only raced to the three-quarter point which meant missing out the hardest section

Picture perfect: Emma's Magnnificent performance - 21/7/14

INTERESTING to note that Emma Stepto has just changed her Facebook profile photo.

It is now a glorious action shot of Emma holding off her Cornwall AC team-mate Dave Buzza at the end of the Magnificent 7 miles road race in Saltash yesterday.

Emma finished 10th overall and top woman in 42:03 with Buzza one place and two seconds behind. But the former GB international was top veteran over 50 so that may have cheered him up. Just a little.

Rimmer romps to victory in Saltash - 21/7/14

CHRIS Rimmer of Plymouth Harrier raced to one of his best wins of the year in the Magnificent 7 miles road race yesterday.

Rimmer clocked 38mins 49secs to finish 37 seconds ahead of fellow Devonian Gwylym Gibson of Exeter Harriers with Mike Robinson of Tamar Trotters third.


Merson is facing a real uphill challenge - 19/7/14 

ANYONE who knows Tom Merson realises he loves a challenge. And boy has he accepted one today.

The Exmouth-based runner travelled overnight to prepare for the inaugural Snowdon Super Cup which is the first time an uphill only race has been held on the iconic mountain in north Wales.

Merson will join a 50-strong elite invited-only field for the event that starts in Llanberris and then climbs 1085 metres to the summit of Snowdon.

“It is uphill only and I believe is around 10-12k long,” said Merson.

“I have been working hard on hills in Haldon Forest with my coach Gordon Seward and if I do well then there is a chance of being selected for the World Championships.

“I have no idea what to expect except that is sure to be very hard!”

Like me you are wondering how do you get back to your kit when a race finishes at the top of a mountain. Take the train?

“I expect I will jog back and use it as a warm down – if my legs are still working!” added Merson.

Fancy a beautiful run around Bath? - 19/7/14 

ENTRIES are being taken for the 2nd Bath Running Festival on Sunday July 27th when options at 5k, 10k, half marathon and the marathon  - all off road – are on offer.

“All the races are designed to be fun, friendly and hilly and we put on glorious buffets of fresh fruit and tasty treats at the feed stations around the course and at the finish line,” said race director Tom Room.

For details see the race website at:

West teenagers on England duty - 19/7/14


THE Somerset pair of Archie Walton (1500 steeplechase) and Laurie Dawkins (javelin) plus Ivybridge student Will Battershill  (1500 steeplechase) will be representing England at the British Schools’ Championships in Cardiff today (SATURDAY).


Somerset kids are best in the west - 17/7/14 

SOMERSET emerged the top county from the south west at the English Schools’ Championships.

Somerset’s finest won a total of seven medals to edge out Cornwall by just one with Avon on four. The county won two golds with Cliff Schwabauer in the junior boys’ shot putt and Holly Brown in the senior girls’ 1500m steeplechase.

In fact the steeplechase proved to be rich picking for the west runners with Devon’s William Battershill winning the inter boys’ 1500m event from Somerset’s Archie Walton. Also Somerset’s Emily Smith was runner-up in the senior girls’ 1500m steeplechase.



AVON (4) - SILVERS (2): Kurt Cameron JB pole vault; Loren Bleaken SG 400m. BRONZE (2): Rownita Marston IG shot putt; Avon SG 4x100m relay squad.

CORNWALL (6) - GOLDS (1): Molly Long SG 800. SILVERS (2): Patrick Swan IB discus; Rebecca Gray IG pole vault. BRONZES (3): Connor Swan SB javelin; Maria Brett SG hammer; Ollie Clark SB long jump.

DEVON (3) - GOLD (1): Will Battershill IB 1500 steeplechase. BRONZES (2): Carie Robertson SG 400m hurdles; Jade Simson IG 80m hurdles.

GLOUCESTERSHIRE (1) - GOLD (1): Mollie Courtney SG 100m hurdles.

SOMERSET (7) - GOLDS (2): Cliff Schwabauer JB shot putt; Holly Brown SG 1500m steeplechase. SILVERS (4): Charlie Granville SB javelin; Archie Walton IB 1500 steeplechase; Emily Smith SG 1500m steeplechase; Laurie Dawkins IG javelin. BRONZE (1): Sophie Hamilton JG 1500m.

WILTSHIRE (3)  GOLDS (2): Sophie Merritt IG discus; Grace Chambers JG high jump. BRONZE (1): Emily Hutchinson SG shot putt.


Marathon ace Lucy opens new Taunton HQ - 17/7/14

FURTHER good news from Somerset came in the recent opening of Taunton Athletic Club’s new clubhouse.

International marathon runner Lucy McAllister, who recently returned to the county after living in London, did the honours to mark the end of a three-year project at the Castle School track.

Club chairman Mike Rogers said: “The club has enjoyed great success on the track and with cross country and it is now great to be able to continue to allow the club to grow.

“For a club of our size we have had some remarkable achievements; only recently ten club members were selected for the English Schools' Championships. What is really pleasing to see is that this comes from nine different schools, which meets with our philosophy that we are here to develop people of all ages, background and ability.”

The new clubhouse, which has so far cost around £140,000, was part funded with a £50,000 grant from Sport England plus further support from the club's main sponsor RH Fibreboard and Containers Ltd.

A further £40,000 is needed to provide various furnishings including showers and more toilets.

No barrier to success for west runners - 17/7/14


SO what is it about steeplechasers in the west country?

Four of them won medals at the English Schools’ Championships with golds for Somerset’s Holly Brown in the senior girls’ 1500m steeplechase and Devon’s William Battershill winning the inter boys’ 1500m event.

There were also two silvers from the Somerset pair of Archie Walton and Emily Smith.

Wall? What wall? Ultra runner Sarah wins Hadrian's challenge - 17/7/14

ERME Valley Harriers ultra runner Sarah Hirons has just raced to a superb victory in the Hadrian’s Wall race which comprised completing 69 miles, both on and off road, over two days.

The 34-year-old from Ivybridge finished in 12hours seven minutes in a field of  1,000 runners. "It's the best result I've ever had,” said Hirons.

Book up now for South West endurance conference - 17/7/14

PLACES are still available for the South West Endurance team's coach development weekend on Saturday 13th September and Sunday 14th September at the Devon Hotel, Exeter.

The theme for this event is the ‘Creation of a Robust Athlete’ and as such may be of interest to coaches working across all event groups as well as endurance. 

Topics covered will include physical preparation and physiology of the endurance runner and among the speakers will be Rob Thickpenny (England Athletics - National Coach Mentor for Physical Preparation), Tim Edbrooke (Chartered Physiotherapist with experience working with UK Athletics & British Triathlon), Jamie Blackwell (Physiology Technician, Department of Sport & Health Sciences at Exeter University), Dr Simon Anderson (GP with an interest in Musculoskeletal Medicine. Coach and Masters Athlete) and Tavistock runner Jo Meek (Athlete - marathon & ultra-marathon specialist) .

For further details see the website at:


Jo named in GB team for Europeans - 15/7/14


EXETER Harriers’ Jo Pavey has been named in the Great Britain team for the European Championships in Zurich next month.

Pavey will be entered for both the 5000m and the 10,000m  and her intention is to double up as long as she comes through the Commonwealth Games unscathed.

5000m: Julia Bleasdale – Hillingdon; Emelia Gorecka (Mick Woods) – Aldershot Farnham & District; Jo Pavey (Gavin Pavey) – Exeter.

 10000m: Jo Pavey; Beth Potter (Woods) – Shaftesbury Barnett; Julia Bleasdale .

Reeves cruises to victory - 15/7/14

JAMES Reeves was the winner of the 8th Otter Rail and River 10k at Tipton St John, east Devon.

The South West Road Runners’ athlete clocked 36mins 57secs to edge out veteran Daryl Milford of Teignbridge Trotters (37:6) with Alex Watkins of Haldon Trail Runners third (37:57).

Alexandra Cutts completed a SWRR double finishing 15th overall of the 141 runners in 44:06 with Sidmouth Running Club’s Jessica Raynor runner-up (44:33) and Exmouth’s Hannah Bown third (45:27).

Sidmouth won the ladies team prize – Jessica Raynor, Ellie Stone and Lucy Owen, taking the honours for the club. The men’s team prize went to Teignbridge Trotters and their runners Daryl Milford, Roger Hayes and Mark Hutchins.

Veteran prizes went to Daryl Milford, vet male 40; Tim Legg, of Honiton RC, vet male 50, in 42:54; Pete Kirby, Teignbridge Trotters, vet male 60, in 50:48; Ted Bloomfield, vet male 70, 53:32; Alexandra Cutts, vet female 35; Julie Payne, of Honiton RC, vet female 45, 47:44; Eleanor Wood, of Axe Valley Runners, vet female 55, in 45:51; and Sue Cunningham, of Sidmouth RC, vet female 65, in 1:12:17.

Jo delighed at Otter Rail & River success - 15/7/14

RACE Director Jo Earlam has pronounced the 8th Otter Rail and River 10k at Tipton St John a big success.

“Most of the 50 plus marshals and helpers are local people, making the race a real community event and raising vital funds for the charity run playing field,” said Jo.

“It also enjoys good business support from sponsors Michelmore Solicitors, Ironbridge Runner and Otter Brewery, with pints of Otter beer as mementoes well received and downed by the 10km finishers.”

The biggest turnout from a single club was Sidmouth Running Club, who fielded a record 30 members.

High-flier Bellward wins Gloucester 10k - 15/7/14

FORMER South West Road Runners athlete James Bellward, who is now representing the RAF, clocked 34:21 to win the Gloucester 10k road race.

Lance Mason of Teignbridge Trotters was 14th and third veteran over 50 in a time of 3:02.56 in the Wales Marathon from Tenby, West Wales.


Devon athletes in the medals at English Schools - 14/7/14

DEVON athletes won three medals at the English Schools’ Championships in Birmingham.

In addition to Will Battershill’s gold in the steeplechase there were bronze medals for Carie Robertson and Jade Simson.

Robertson, who is a member of Erme Valley Harriers, was third in the senior girls’ 400m hurdles with the 18-year-old running a personal best of 61.76secs.

City of Plymouth athlete Simson was third in the inter girls’ 80m hurdles.

DEVON – Inter boys 100m hts: Toby Johns 11.63; 400 hts: Ben Sutton 50.83; 1500 steeplechase: 1 Will Battershill 4:18.38; 7 Frankie Aldred 4:38.51 9 Matthew Penney 4:42.60; TJ: 6 Jeff Angila 13.51; Jav: 5 Jonno Engelking 58.83; 10 Dominic Allen 50.70; 11 Jack Moncur 49.51.

Junior boys – 1500: 9 Finn Mclear 4:20.01; 80H hts: Tommy D’Cruz 12.11; Jav: 8 Julian Martin 42.78; Hammer: 10 Fin Dart 38.72.

Senor girls – 400m hts: Jessica Strang 59.53; Miranda Hardacre 59.24; 400H: 3 Carrie Robertson 61.76; SP: 7 Meghan Whittaker 10.06; DT: 7 Rebecca Spear 34.71.

Inter girls – 300m hts: Christina Brend 43.00; 800m hts: Poopy Tank 2:21.21; 1500m: 9 Victoria Weir 4:39.39; 3000: 6 Emily Ackford 10:05.19; 80H: 3 Jade Simson 11.47; 300H hts: Lillian Goddard 49.36; H: 9 Lucy Walliker 1.65; Jav: 9 Lily Mills 35.37; 12 Millie Green 30.63.

Junior girls – 200 s/f: Elyse Leech 24.46; hts Erin Spiller 26.14; 80m hts: Annabel Heath 2:19.86; 1500m hts: Sian Temple 4:46.59; 75H: 5 Isabel Wakefield 11.58; HJ: 15= Olivia Dobson 1.49; SP: 9 Charlie Davey-James 10.74; Javelin heats: Maia Dart 26.94.

Cornish star Molly strikes gold again - 14/7/14

A second successive gold for Molly Long and five further medals added up to one of the best performances by a Cornwall team at the 84th English Schools’ Track & Feld Championships.

The gold for Long was backed up by silvers for Patrick Swan and Rebecca Gray plus bronze medals for Connor Swan, Maria Brett and Ollie Clark.

For Long it was her second successive national schools’ title. Last year she won the inter title and again showed her class despite moving up to the senior age group.

Champion Battershill is the Devon hero - 13/7/14 

CONGRATULATIONS to Devon teenager Will Battershill after he was crowned English Schools’ champion yesterday.


The 16-year-old Erme Valley Harrier who is a student a Ivybridge School, ran magnificently to win the inter boys’ 1500m steeplechase in a time of 4mins 18.38secs.


That was an impressive personal bests for Battershill, shaving 2.59secs off the time he set when lifting the South West Schools’ title last month.


With Battershill also earning an England victory it was the perfect day for the young man from Holberton.



Armada Athletics get their timing spot-on - 11/7/14


THE Armada Athletics Network has taken the bold and innovative step of buying their own chip-timing system.

The AAN, which was formed over 10 years ago and now comprises 11 clubs across Plymouth, West Devon and South East Cornwall, organises numerous races and is an influential provider of athletics services in the region.

Spokesman Paul Ross said the decision to acquire their own timing systems rather than hiring them every time as universally welcomed.

“We had some money in the bank and after talking to our members the consensus was why didn’t we invest in our own chip-timing equipment,” said Ross.

“We have invested a few grand to do get it and we will be trialling it shortly in one of four 5k events. Then once it is working d we have trained people up to use the equipment we will be looking to sell it on to other clubs in the area.

“There ae numerous road races around here and I am sure many would like to use chip-timing but it is too expensive. We will be cheaper and certainly won’t be ripping off anyone.

“And any profit we make will be ploughed back into the Armada Network.”

As a non-profit organisation that means those funds will be invested back into the sport and that has to be good for the future of athletics in Devon and Cornwall.

Rosemary pays tribute to coach Brace - 11/7/14 


DEVON runner Rosemary Terribile has been showing impressive form over a variety of surfaces recently.

In successive races the Woolacombe-based runner has recorded a personal best of 5minutes for 1500m in the British Milers’ Club meeting in Braunton  - putting her fourth in the UK rankings for the veteran over 45 age group -  set a new course record of 1hr 38mins 53secs to retain her North Devon AONB Half Marathon and then raced to victory in the Black Rock Run 5 beach race