Wimborne Athletic Club

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North Devon Marathon – 24 June 2012

Claire Scammell runs a blinder, here’s her story.


Ready for action, WACers Annie Dougall, Pete Lemon, Paul Hougham,
Phil Whitehurst, Ian Kennedy, Stewart Little and Claire Scammell.

Having entered the North Devon Marathon a few months ago it wasn’t long before it came around and I found myself stood looking across the sea the Saturday night before in the strong wind and rain, hoping the sun would come out on Sunday. I was unusually relaxed about the whole thing having seen the hills and having an idea what was coming. I decided there would be no time watching and if it all went wrong I could just do the half marathon instead.

Sunday morning came, the clouds cleared and the sunshine came out which was helped by a coastal breeze. The race started at 10am. The route was all along the coastal path and in the distance I could see the headland we were to run around. I can’t fault the scenery and that helped take my mind of some of the steeper inclines. There was a stretch across a beach and through an ankle deep 'river' of water down to the sea. I found the numerous stiles in the first half refreshing as it meant I got to have a rest whilst waiting in queue to get over them and to take in the scenery. There were a few steep hills which I took the opportunity to walk up along with everyone else around me. The miles just seemed to fly by and before I knew it I was coming up to the halfway point again.


I had already decided to do the second half as I was feeling pretty good at this point and my watch was telling me I was under 2˝ hours. What I didn’t realise was the second half of the race was by far the hillier and harder. The next few miles were rocky and there were steps. What got my attention was the couple of basking seals staring up at us all. A regular attraction so I was told. I remember thinking back to something Ian mentioned to me before the race, which was ‘Save something for mile 18, there's a hill’. It did confuse me as the whole of the second half appeared to be non-stop hills!


However, at mile 18 there was a beast of a hill that just kept going on and on, it was never ending. By now I was starting to feel a bit tired and my knee was starting to ache a bit. There was a section of the course which went along the cycle path which was relatively flat. I joined up with a couple from North Devon Road Runners and that made a couple of miles pass more easily. Finally, with about two miles to go I could see the finish. The terrain was the side of a grassy hill and was slightly downhill. This eventually led out on to the main road and I knew exactly how far it was to the finish. Running through that finish line was an amazing feeling and although tired I really enjoyed this. Definitely back next year.


I can find only one criticism in that the Half Marathon starts after the Full Marathon, some of the paths are narrow and when you start getting over taken by the runners doing the Half makes it a bit awkward. Also, I would like to see the second half of the marathon run first. That said this is one of the best runs I have done purely through the location, scenery and the sense of achievement at finishing. See you next year!!

WACers results were:


26 – Pete Lemon – 4:13:31
63 – Stewart Little – 4:35:11
94 – Phil Whitehurst – 5:03:09
116 – Claire Scammell – 5:17:34
123 – Paul Hougham – 5:24:38
125– Annie Dougall – 5:25:26

Half Marathon

Ian Kennedy – 2:20:56


If you are considering adding this race to your CV, remember this is (happily) no normal marathon course – add on an hour-plus to the times you would expect to record in a road race.

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