The Otter Rail and River Run 2017 – a personal reflection by race organiser Jo Earlam
This is my 11th report on the Otter Rail and River Run – a good moment to look back and take stock of how far this friendly village event has come.
The 10km and fun run was created, with the help of the Women’s Running Network, in 2007 to mark the 40th anniversary of Tipton St John playing field association. This year we celebrated the 50th anniversary with also the first ever Women Can Marathon – something that couldn’t have happened without the success of the Otter run and with Pauline Beare and Peg Wiseman from the network both at the helm, two women who are testament that Women Can!
Although no records were broken this year, that this run is still going 10 years on is a milestone our community can be proud of – for the third year in a row we exceeded 200 runners entered.
It’s thanks to the hundreds of you who’ve taken part over the years, many returning, that we’ve raised more than £15,000 for the village playing field, and your collective encouragement and support is what inspires me and the rest of our small team to keep this event going.
This year was sad and difficult for me, the first without my mum to hand out the finisher mementoes and the first my husband John was unable to take charge of putting out the caution runner boards, after a recent diagnosis of signs of dementia.
Having lost my dad two years ago to vascular dementia, it seems a triple blow and leaves a big hole. They helped me establish this event and gave me constant encouragement and support.
But running has helped me deal with many hurdles in life, and continues now, which is why I’m passionate about encouraging more people to get out and run in our beautiful Devon countryside and benefit from the endorphin rush it gives. It’s a delight to be able to share paths I love running on with others.
Support from the village community is fundamental to the success and popularity of this “friendly” run, many marshals and those on water stations have volunteered every year, often in the same spot.
Business sponsorship is also crucial and huge thanks go to Richard Hedger of Michelmore’s Solicitors, a regular entrant running this year as number 185, and Otter Brewery, both backers from 2007, and to Sidmouth estate agents Harrison-Lavers and Potbury’s, for a third year of support.
This year the event was combined with a full village fair, which meant the course was slightly further than in previous years – the first loop being a longer stretch around the field to avoid all the fair stalls. So, if your times were down that could be a cause!
In first place was Peter Monaghan, of Torbay AC, in 39:43; second Matthew Menary, of Haldon Trail Runners, in 39:46; third Kevin Hawker, of Honiton Running Club, in 40:00. First home for the ladies was Serane Stone, of Tiverton Harriers, in 40:50; second Nicky Savill, of South West Road Runners, in 44:11; and third Alice Kelly in 45:47.
South West Road Runners swept the board in the team prizes, taking home both the men’s and ladies’ trophies.
Age first prizes went to: senior men, Matthew Menary; M40, Kevin Hawker; M50, Peter Monaghan; M55, Barry Frost, SWRR, 44:53; M60, Howard Bidmead, Honiton Running Club, 48:52; M65, Steven Lewis, Axe Valley Runners, 54:37; M70, David Millen, Sidmouth Running Club, 58:11; senior women, Nicky Savill; F35 Elisa Ulanowsky, 54:01; F40, Serane Stone; F45, Naomi Garrick, Sidmouth Running Club, 53:15; F50, Nicola Kelly, 54:16; F55, Pippa Westall, 50:35; F60, Angela Kerr, Axe Valley Runners, 56:08; F65, Mary Humphries, Tiverton Harriers, 1:01:09, F70, Sue Cunningham, Sidmouth Running Club, 1:18:34.
The Jackie Box Fun Run this year was four laps of the field, a distance of around a mile, and won overall by Sidmouth Running Club’s Katie Marriott – so fast she even caught the funnel team out! The first three boys were Albert Smith, Henry Birchall and Sam Eyre. First four girls Katie Marriott, Holly Eyre, Matilda, Isla Walker. Age prizes also went to William Birchall, Conrad McCandlish, Maddie Rogers, Ellie Birchall, Henry Birchall, Ellie Bishop, Toby Bishop, and Alfie Gillard.
Thanks to BBC presenter Jeremy Vine for presenting the prizes and giving our village photographer Paul Taylor some great photo opportunities.
Apologies for delay in publishing this race report and any event glitches. If you wished to receive a medal and did not, please email me by the end of July at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will order and post one to you.
We will be putting this event on again next year, date expected to be Saturday 14th July, and the Women Can Marathon will also be taking place in 2018 on Sunday 27th May, bank holiday weekend. Information about how to enter will be circulated through our Facebook page and website www.womencan.co.uk
In the meantime, if you’re looking for another friendly community based Devon event to do, why not try the Muddifords Cheese Run, at Muddifords Court Country House, near Cullompton, on Sunday 8th October. This fun 5 miler is raising funds for the Exeter Dementia Action Alliance. You can enter online at https://register.canbook.me/muddifordss-event
I will certainly be lacing up my trainers for that one – delicious Devon cheese to enjoy, music, a BBQ and bar at the finish, and a great cause.
Thanks for being a part of our 50th anniversary fundraising efforts for Tipton playing field. It’s been a memorable year!
More photos at www.runCW.org.uk
There were 184 finishers. Updated results now attached…
Otter Run 2017 – entries open
Entries are now open for the 2017 Otter Rail and River Run, which is on Saturday 8th July.
It’s the usual off-road 10km course and 1.5 mile fun run. This year’s event will be combined with the playing field’s 50th anniversary summer fair, so hopefully a golden year!
There’s an early bird reduced price entry, until April 30th, of £10, discounted to £8 for members of EA and ARC-affiliated clubs. From May 1st entries will be £12 and £10. If space permits we will take entries on the day at £14 and £12.
We’re delighted to welcome back Otter Brewery, Michelmores Solicitors, estate agents Harrison-Lavers & Potbury’s as event sponsors, along with Beers by Post who will be running a licensed bar, so the beer will be on tap, with an Otter Brewery half-pint glass as one part of the race memento. If you fancy some beer in the meantime, or sending to others use this discount code TIPTON10 on the Beers by Post website.
This popular multi-terrain race, organised in conjunction with Sidmouth Running Club and held under ARC rules, has attracted record entries for the last two years.
Camping is available on the field on Friday and Saturday night – prior booking is essential for the restricted number of pitches so an early reservation is advised. Camping rates are £5 per pitch (add £2.50 per extra person) per night.
The 10km will set off at 11am as usual, following the same course as in recent years. The fun run will be slightly altered this year because of the fair taking place. It will set off at 12.30pm, and follow an amended fully off-road course.
There is parking and toilets at the nearby village hall, further parking locations to be advised. There will be ample provision of portaloos on site. Race HQ and late entries will be in the pavilion. Race numbers will be issued on the day unless an SAE is sent in advance.
There will be individual, team and veteran prizes.
Enter the 10km online at… Otter Run 2017 Entries
Or download entry form here… Otter run form 2017
Fun run £3, entries by post in advance, or enter on the day.
The playing field is also hosting Devon’s first women only marathon on May 28th, celebrating a 50 year milestone in women’s endurance running – more at www.womencan.co.uk
Thanks for the interest in our friendly, community events.
To book camping or for more information organiser Jo Earlam, email email@example.com or ring 01404 813313.
Report of the 2016 event and results from previous years listed below:
A great turnout for the 10th Otter Rail and River Run – thank you to everyone who came along to run, marshal or support generally.
It was a brilliant year – as organisers, we are all delighted with the response and how the day went.
A brief race summary follows, and there is a full downloadable PDF report here….
Pictures from Chris Woodcock, on www.runCW.org.uk, including this of the three front runners early on.
Third in line Sam Hopton of South West Road Runners made gains to cross the finish line first in 36:29; with Haldon Trail Runner Matthew Menary second in 37:06; and Tim Pratt of Teignbridge Trotters 3rd in 38:07.
First lady across the line was Elizabeth Dyson of Haldon Trail Runners in 39:50; second Nicky Savill of South West Road Runners in 43:23; and third Chloe Fox also of SWRR in 46:06.
The men’s team prize was won by Teignbridge Trotters, ladies by South West Road Runners.
Final results, prizes and first three age placings from the day are attached (veteran prizes are awarded for first place, 2nd and 3rd for information):
Thanks to all our sponsors – Michelmore Solicitors, Harrison-Lavers & Potburys and of course Otter Brewery.
Jo Earlam – race organiser
For more 2015 race photos go to www.runCW.org.uk
OTTER RAIL AND RIVER RUN 2015 BREAKS ALL RECORDS
Results from the 2015 Otter Rail and River Run were unprecedented. There was a 50 per cent increase in entries on 2014, with more than 100 people registering on the day and 215 finishers.
Winner James Denne, from Honiton, set a new course record of 34:33, coming in just ahead of the 2014 winner James Reeve, of South West Road Runners, in 35:45, who despite taking a minute off his time, couldn’t reel James in. Simon Minting of Exmouth Harriers, winner in 2013, also improved on his time, but still had to settle for third place in 35:52.
Helen Anthony, of Teignbridge Trotters, set a new ladies course record of 40:35, with last year’s winner Alexandra Cutts, of South West Road Runners, in second place, in 42:07 despite improving on her time by two minutes. Third lady was Nicky Savill, of South West Road Runners, in 43:25, a time that would have secured her first place last year.
South West Road Runners won the men’s team prize, with last year’s winners Teignbridge Trotters in second place. The Teignbridge Trotter ladies did the honours for the club this year, with the ladies team from South West Road Runners in second.
The first local man was Alex Paget in 42:25, and first local lady Natalie Smith in 50:23.
In the veteran awards very good times were recorded by John Horton, from Newquay and Par AC, of 47:25 for M70, and Eleanor Wood, of Axe Valley Runners, of 44:33 for F55, a PB in a category she’s won since 2012.
The high number of club runners led to times overall being very fast – nearly 80 people, more than a third of entrants, ran a sub 50:00, another 70 crossed the line within the space of 10 minutes to finish within the hour. It was a good day for pacing all round, with the last finisher completing in 1:23:16.
The spread of entries ranged far and wide, a first-time camping offer attracting people from Oxford, Berkshire, Hampshire and Cornwall and people travelling from Bournemouth and across the south west to enter on the day. The furthest travelled entrant was 18-year-old Ernie Miszewski, from Indiana, USA.
There was also a great turnout from local clubs – Teignbridge Trotters numbering 22, and South West Road Runners 19, with good showings from Sidmouth and Honiton Running Clubs, also Axe Valley Runners, Exmouth Harriers, Haldon Trail Runners, and Women on the Run. Devon club runners also came from Okehampton RC, Plymouth Coasters, North Devon Road Runners, Dawlish Coasters, Torbay AC, Newton Abbot AC, Bideford AAC, and Tiverton Harriers.
Other clubs represented were Bexley AC, Crewkerne, Thomas Cook RRC, Bournemouth AC, Gloucester AC, Newquay and Par AC, Kidderminster and Stourport AC, UKNet Runner, Droitwich AC, Springfield Striders, N1 Triathlon Club, Mud Stactle, and City of Salisbury.
The event first staged in 2007, is run by Tipton St John Playing Field Association, in conjunction with Sidmouth Running Club.
Race organiser Jo Earlam said: “We were overwhelmed by the level of entries, which broke all our records. The team taking entries and all our helpers rose to the challenge and did a brilliant job. We improvised with numbers to ensure everyone who came on the day got a run. Unfortunately we did run out of mementoes of beer or chocolate and medals.
“The choice of a pint of Otter bitter was particularly popular, and despite having 12 dozen crates, we were soon drunk dry.
“We apologise to those who were disappointed not to receive anything, and will ensure they all get a medal and memento sent on to them.
“I wish to thank everyone for coming and making the day such a great success. Also thanks to our excellent team of marshals and helpers. It is a real community effort. We are delighted to have raised a significant amount of money for our volunteer run village playing field.”
The event also includes the 1.5 mile Jackie Box Fun Run, encouraging the next generation to get their running shoes on.
Last year’s winner 14-year-old Toby Garrick, of Sidmouth Running Club, retained his first place, closely followed by Samuel Yearling, age 13, from Plymouth, and 3rd placed Christian Teague, age 11, from Newton Poppleford. First girl was Holly Eyre, age 13, of Axe Valley Runners, 2nd 10-year-old Ellie Bishop, from Tipton, and third 12-year-old Sophie Andow, also from Tipton. Ellie won the first local girl award, and 11-year-old Michael Lilley, was first local boy.
Age awards went to: Boys under 10 – 1st Sam Eyre, 2nd Thomas Grove; boys under 13 – 1st Toby Bishop, 2nd Albert Smith; boys under 15 – 1st Lewis Anthony, 2nd Luke Davidson; girls under 10 – 1st Harriet Nash, 2nd Nancy Smith, girls under 13 – 1st Florence Nash, 2nd Daisy Grove.
Veteran age prizes were awarded in the 10km as listed in the separate prize PDF attachment.
The race has always been the second Saturday of July, so a provisional date for what will be the 10th special year is Saturday 9th July 2016.
Thanks as always to all our sponsors: Michelmores Solicitors, Otter Brewery and Harrison-Lavers & Potbury’s.
Thanks to these local businesses and all the volunteer helpers who make this event possible.
The route changed slightly in the first few years, but has remained the same since 2012 so results are comparable.
2014 RACE REPORT: FULL STEAM AHEAD FOR OTTER RUN
The race HQ, at the playing field, is a stone’s throw from the old railway station and part of the course follows a section of the former line through Harpford Woods.
More than 150 runners entered the 10km – the biggest turnout from Sidmouth Running Club, a record 30 members. With many people choosing to register on the day, including most of 70 fun runners, the admin team had a busy morning.
Runners came from across the south west as far as Cornwall and South Devon, and beyond, including Bristol, London and even Norway.
Run organiser Jo Earlam was delighted with the support and to see so many runners return to the event, now in its 8th year. The run is staged by Tipton St John Playing Field Association in conjunction with Sidmouth Running Club.
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. 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.
There were mixed fortunes for three members of the hosts Sidmouth Running Club – Milan Goc was first home for the club, seventh overall, in a good time of 41:54; Jessica Raynor was second lady in 44:33, but fellow SRC runner Paul Brown took a nasty tumble just after the 7km mark, and was taken by ambulance to A&E at the RD&E. Race organisers were very pleased to learn that he had been allowed home later that day and was making a good recovery.
The hot weather matched the hot sense of competition in the 10km. First to cross the finish line was South West Road Runner James Reeves in 36:57, just ahead of Teignbridge Trotter Daryl Milford in 37:06, with Alex Watkins of Haldon Trail Runners in third place in 37:57.
First lady was also a South West Road Runner, Alexandra Cutts, in 44:06, 15th overall; second Jessica Raynor of Sidmouth Running Club in 44:33, 18th place overall; and third Exmouth Harrier Hannah Bown, in 45:27, 24th overall.
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.
The first local man home was Alex Paget in 43:16, and first local lady Catherine Hilton in 48:59.
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.
There was a new element of competition in the fun run – this year renamed the Jackie Box Fun Run, in memory of the local mum who sadly died a few days before last year’s event. Her family sponsored new prizes, shields and medals which were warmly received by the many children taking part.
First home was Toby Garrick, with Sam Pyne in second place. The first girl was Jemima Gambier, and second Niah Bown. The first local boy was Toby Bishop, first local girl Sophie Andow. In the under 10 boys Oliver Beech was first, Josiah Drew second. Under 10 girls first Darcie Morton. In under 13 boys first Sam Yearling, second Christian Teague. Under 13 girls first Anya Gosal, and second Kate Marriott. In under 15 boys, first Matt Sheridan, and girls, first Bethany Sampson.
Jo Earlam, race organiser