The Totnes 10K on Sunday (7 August) was an immensely enjoyable event that attracted 500 entries and saw first-time victories for Phil Wylie (Cheltenham Harriers) and Elizabeth Dyson (Haldon Trail Runners). However, the talking point amongst athletes and spectators was the very special guest who presented the awards after the race.
Phil Wylie, who was under 30mins for 10k at Cardiff last year, may have been surprised to cross the finish line here in 34:55 but this was an M35 course best and a fair return for this tough, off-road course with a 250’ climb in the fourth mile. The podium was completed by Torbay AC’s Simon Longthorpe (36:31) and Lee Turner (36:51). Torbay AC retained their men’s team trophy for the ninth consecutive year and added the women’s team award for good measure.
Elizabeth Dyson (41:02) was four minutes outside her best set at Exeter in January but still enjoyed a comfortable win from Nicky Savill (South West Road Runners, 44:41) and last year’s winner, Naomi Flanagan, (Torbay AC, 45:46). Annabelle Evans (Newton Abbot AC, 47:48) set a new U18 record in tenth for an age-group bonus prize.
All the prize winners were then treated to a firm handshake and encouraging words from remarkable D-Day veteran, Verdun Hayes, who once ran the mile in 4:20 and had completed a 10,000 foot tandem sky dive to raise funds for North Devon Hospice on his 100th birthday. Verdun, grandfather of the race director, now plans to set a world record by sky-diving aged 101 next year!
Race director, Roger Hayes, said: “It was great to see two newcomers win the race. It was pretty warm out there today which was reflected in the fact that just two course records were broken”. It was the end of an era for the Teignbridge Trotters chairman who retires as race director having been at the helm since the Trotters took over staging the race in 2000. Roger added: “I’ve got some great memories of the race and I’m sure I shall miss it. I wouldn’t have been able to do it without the support from the Trotters, for which I am very grateful”.
The race was sponsored by Dartington Estate, Dartmoor Brewery, Tony Pryce Sports and Totnes Caring. Trotters are proud to have supported Totnes Caring since 2000. This year they were delighted to present the Chief Executive, Bob Alford, with a cheque for £1800 to bring the total raised to £16,000.
Full details at the race website