Hill proves his class

15:46 18 January 2013

Running - a generic picture

Running - a generic picture

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Graham Hill blasted round the Axmouth 10 Mile Challenge in 1:01:58 hours, despite not competing often, writes John Perratt.

He finished in second place just behind the winner, Alex Todd of Axe Valley Runners, who is several years his junior. Hopefully we will see more of Hill this year as he is in his element in the muddy sort of conditions that runners seem to be able to take for granted these days.

The Axmouth Challenge course was changed this year and runners were initially delighted that they were no longer required to twice negotiate the steep hill from the estuary up to the Seaton Golf Course.

Suitable ascents were found elsewhere and there was more off-road running than in the past. This doesn’t suit Milan Goc but he squeezed into ninth place in 1.06.42 so he will not be displeased with that.

Hill’s enthusiasm must be infectious as he also managed to get Scott, his teenage son, to enter the five-miler that was staged at the same time. With the Devon Schools Cross Country coming up shortly his third place finish will be a confidence booster.

Other youngsters from Sidmouth RC going to the ‘Devons’ will be Nick Smith, Tania Marriott, Toby Garrick, Abi Pyne, Scott Harman and a bunch of Griersons.

●An invitation to a ‘Dirty Weekend’ in Wiltshire was enough for Justin Ashby to put on his faithful multi-terrain shoes and off-road gear and line up at the start of the 10-mile Rough ‘n Tumble race across the Pewsey Downs starting from the village of Milton Lilbourne. The 500+ runners met up with congestion as they were forced through a muddy gully soon after the start of the race as many felt their way through cautiously. By the time that it came around for the second time the field had spread out and all inhibitions had been abandoned. At that stage there was no point in trying to keep the mud off one’s socks, clothing or even hair.

Ashby survived in great shape, in fifth place, looking pretty grubby but all fired up for the Four Trigs on February 10. He will be one to look out for on that day.

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