Big squad from Tiptree Road Runners conquer ‘The Grizzly’ in Devon

James Haskey-Jones, of Tiptree Road Runners, who finished in the top 100 at 'The Grizzly' in Devon i

James Haskey-Jones, of Tiptree Road Runners, who finished in the top 100 at 'The Grizzly' in Devon in 2hrs 59mins 14secs

A record 40 Tiptree Road Runners made the journey down to East Devon to compete in ‘The Grizzly,’ the legendary 20-mile off-road race.

It is a gruelling event that has it all, including mud, beaches, bogs, streams and hills, not to mention a breath-takingly beautiful costal backdrop.

All 40 Tiptree Road Runners made it through to the finish relatively unscathed.

Craig Dawson was first home for the club, his time of 2hrs 55mins 13secs being a personal best for the event and good enough to secure 72nd place out of more than 1,500 finishers.

James Haskey-Jones also had a strong run, finishing in 2:59.14 and also achieving a place in the top 100.

Paul Dellar was next in 3:04.09, 27 minutes faster than his previous best for the race, with Jonathan Finch making an impressive debut in 3:24.37. Mark Shillaker shrugged off injury concerns to clock 3:43.58 and was closely followed home by Tracy Harrington, in 3:44.28, and Mark Lawes in 3:44.57.

The next five finishers were all enjoying their debuts in the event. Stuart Peace crossed the line in 4:15.48, Peter Banks 4:20.03, Lee Kerrison 4:21.08, Lorraine Baker 4:23.57 and Simon Baker 4:26.52.

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Jim Slater, as usual, made light of his age to finish in 4:26.52 – it’s unlikely there were many other septugenarians on the course, and those that were would almost certainly have been spectating.

Valerie Rees recorded 4:34.24 and Pete Fuller 4:36.03 in their first ‘Grizzly,’ with Anthony Knight (4:45.16) finishing with Stacy Hember (4:45.52). Zoe Gould ran 4:49.57, Rachel Jackson, on debut, 4:50.08, and Julian Holder, something of a veteran in the event, finished in 4:50.44.

Next was Jo Roblin (4:52.38), followed by Paul Gregory (4:52.53) and Jo Dickman (4:53.12), with Kim and Michael Broughton (4:57.06) also breaking five hours.

Tina Clarke, despite taking a nasty tumble, finished in 5:05.06, the same time as Chris King, with Phill Clarke making a return to the event in 5:14.49. Debutant Alison Peace ran 5:15.05, with Julia Bawden and Ann-Marie Bearne both crossing the line in 5:17.32, pursued by Larina Marsh (5:34.12), Gemma Schelvis (5:34.14), Sam Cheung (6:01.27), and Seonaid Shepherd (6:01.42).

Alia Hamden, Sally Wood and Zoe Jackson started and finished as one in 6:03.27, while John McVelia ran 6:03.29 and Karen Pearse 6:05.45.

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