Friday, April 13, 2012
The Bampton to Tiverton is the oldest ongoing running race in the County. It all started in 1946 and has kept going every Easter Monday since, writes John Perratt.
Coaches from the Tiverton Rugby Club take runners to the start at the White Horse pub in Bampton and the race covers the 7 plus miles back to the People’s Park high above the town in Tiverton.
Bill Valentine has probably run more of these races than anyone else, having started way back in the 60s, and it is one that he always enjoys, despite slowly working his way down the field each year. Mick Allen was the club’s only other representative on the day and this time he showed Bill a clean pair of heels. The results are not yet available but there are occasions when meeting up with old friends is more important than the finishing times.
●On the same rain swept morning, another trio went to Yeovilton for the Easter Bunny 10k based on the Royal Navy Air Station. It is John Perratt’s favourite distance and surface but his companions were a bit of a surprise.
Helen Palmer wanted to get some mileage in as preparation for London but also wanted to check her pacing with a quickish 10k. She solved both of those contrasting problems by flashing round the 10k time trial in just on 52 minutes in the morning and then going out on the club’s 6 miler in the evening.
The third runner came from nowhere. Sophie Keast on her Easter vacation from Chichester University woke up in the morning and thought it would be a good idea to run a 10k race.
She hadn’t done one before so what better time to start. She set herself a target time of one hour but those long legs of hers got her round comfortably and in impressive style some four minutes quicker. Welcome to the 10k club, Sophie!