Wimborne Athletic Club

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Sidmouth Saunter - 19 October 2008

If you fancy a challenge in a different area why not consider the ‘Sidmouth Saunter’ next October?

It is organised by the Long Distance Walkers Association but, as on most of their events, runners are welcome. Louise and I did the 25 mile route; there were also 13 and 17 mile options. As it was in Devon there were plenty of hills, some with very steep descents. The recent dry weather meant that the potentially muddy patches were only soft and the paths through the woods were deep with crunchy leaves to kick through. The route description was mainly good, only necessitating a bit of map-reading and head-scratching. There were check-points about every 6 miles, with ample refreshments (‘Tea and cake’ rating for the event is excellent!)

The route started from Sidmouth and went east along the coast for about 4 miles, giving wonderful views as far as Portland, before turning inland. It then took an anti-clockwise loop through villages, farmland, heath and woods as well as a long stretch along the River Otter, before reaching the coast again 4 miles west of Sidmouth, with a vicious ‘sting in the tail’ of a final hill before returning to Sidmouth.

The first runner was Jenny Mills in 5hrs 37mins.

Louise and I walked it in 9 hrs, which considering the terrain (not to mention the prolonged check-point stops sampling the food) we were pleased with.

Jill Harsent


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