Slay the Dragon 10k

Whether it was the sunshine or the anticipation of championship points, the Slay the Dragon 10 trail race saw Chard Road Runners out in their largest number so far this year with 9 runners trotting out. Richard Clifton, having pre-run the course assured us the going was firm to good with only a small amount of ice on the road.

Wayne Loveridge was at the front of the start line and kept up a good pace coming in second in 38:03. Next over the line was Matt Baker in 52:24, James Musselwhite tried hard to keep pace with Matt but was unable to match his speed crossing the line 2 minutes later in 54:25.

First for the ladies was Helen Baxter in 1:09:40, closely followed by Richard Clifton, running with his wife Caroline in 1:11:39.

Having lost Helen at the second style Claire Gibbs came in soon after in 1:13:37.

Next in was Vicky Whitworth in 1:19:32, Miranda Colebred in 1:22:00 and Lizzie Smith enjoying running the race with her Mum in 1:25:10, all spurred on by their team mates letting them know there was free cake at the finish line.

Slay the Dragon




Claire Gibbs and Helen Baxter were the only representatives of Chard Road Runners at the Humdinger event. A challenging course up the side of the Quantocks and back down.
4 miles in Claire’s back problem reappeared but, with encouragment from Helen, she bravely carried on not only completing the race but shaving nearly 20 minutes off if last week’s time.
The ladies crossed the line together in 2 hours and 33 minutes. (They may have been last but they finished!)

Success at Portland half

CRR’s were also off to the chilly coastal Half Marathon around Portland, representing CRR’s was Wayne Loveridge, taking off from the front Wayne was quickly into the front runners heading up the steep climb up onto the Island, settling into his stride following the coastal path with the wind making the already freezing temperatures feel even colder, at the 7.5 mile marker was the turning point for Wayne as he took the lead,with the steep downhill coming up Wayne had to take a leap of faith that the ground conditions would keep him upright, entering into the last 100 meters Wayne could finally settle and sprint into the finishing tape with a fantastic first place. 1h 33m 34s 1/169.

wayne Portland half

5 go running in Dorset

CRR’s were off to Dorset this weekend for the Blackmore Vale Half Marathon, setting out from Bishops Caundel, Matt Baker and Stevie Potter led Chard Road Runners out on a very cold but dry morning. Followed by James  Musselwhite, Claire Gibbs and Helen Baxter. Stevie pulled forward of Matt but he was up for a chase with an aim to get under the 2 hours, James soon left the Claire and Helen behind as he got on with chasing last year’s time sadly the headwind denied him by a minute.

Claire, suffering with a foot problem told Helen to go on alone which she did but struggled with motivation in the icy wind. Claire kept motivated with visions of crossing the finish line completed the course and was glad to get a nice warm cup of tea inside her.

Stevie Potter 137/395 – 1h 42m 00s
Matt Baker – 271/395 – 1h 57m 32s
James Musselwhite – 305/395 – 2h 02m 37s
Helen Baxter – 376/395 – 2h 22m 47s
Clare Gibbs – 392/395 – 2h 50m 12s
Blackmore Vale

Darkness and Light

The first race for the weekend was the White Star Running Dark Moors 10 Mile Forest trail race, CRR’s sole runner in this race was Paul Masters, with the race heading out into the Moors Valley Country Park, Ringwood 18:30 it was Headtorch capital from the off with over 350 runners heading out onto the forest trails glowing as bright as possible to light the route ahead.  Paul made a steady start from mid-pack, as the route opened up Paul was able to start pushing and make progress through the field, this 2 lap race opened out more on the second lap and with knowledge of the route and where the mud was made for faster going, as the final turn off the trail came Paul was in a small group that allowed for a fast paced finish crossing the line in 1h 17m 07s 43/356 and 1st in age category


The next race for Chard Road Runners was the Sunday Morning Axmouth Challenge, this mix of road track and field running with big hills lives up to the challenge title, running for Chard Road Runners was Andrew Leeson, Matt Baker and Addie Douglass, with a quiet start up the first hill of the race it was not long before Andy was starting to make some headway through the pack, as the route changed from lanes into the muddy fields Matt showed his pace over the tricky ground, as the hills evened out at the far end of the route Addie Douglass coming back from injury was getting into her pace finding loads of puddles and mud to cut through.  The last mile of the route was now playing out with a big downhill first via a muddy field with a narrow stile exit at the bottom which made for many laughs as runners tried to slow down, it was then out onto the road back into the village of Axmouth, first crossing the line for CRR’s was Andrew Leeson in 1h 08m 43s 8/100, next in a sprint finish was Matt Baker in 1h 26m 34s 69/100 and Addie Douglass in 1h 36m 10s 82/100


The final race for CRR’s was the 5 mile Axmouth Challenge taking in most of the first half of the 10 mile race but with a high percentage of Hill, Gary Wheaton represented CRR’s and was off to a good start up the Hill with his route then into the now very muddy field the going was more like ice skating than running, heading down into the village was a very tight pack of runners which Gary pushing hard stepped clear of to cross the line in 58m 57s and 8th place.

Chard Road Runners’ Flying Start

CRR’s Own event the Chard Flyer 10k road race was a great start to 2018, Heading out for a gentle jog to the start on New Year’s Day from the Cricket Club down to Stringfellow Park where 180 runners prepared for the 11 O’clock start.

With the weather breaking to give a fairly dry run times for the front runners were going to be fast, with just 35 minute elapsed the first runners were heading into the finish at the Cricket Club having negotiated the Cycle-path to Knowle Lane, up the long hill to Cricket Lane before running down to Chaffcombe lane and into Chard Reservoir (Nature Reserve) and out along Touches Lane, Furnham Road and a final push up through Glynswood footpath and across to Zembard Lane and in to the finish.

The Winners were as follows

1st Male – Philip Bridge – Wells City Harriers – 35m 04s

2nd Male – Max Hazel – Bradford On Avon – 35m 24s

3rd Male – Wayne Loveridge – Chard Road Runners – 36m 31s

1st Female – Betty Bohane – Truro Running Club – 42m 58s

2nd Female – Eleanor Wood – Axe Valley Runners – 45m 27s

3rd Female – Lisa Mather – Chard – 47m 55s

Full Results are on the Chard Road Runners Web Page

Next on the CRR’s radar were 2 events over this weekend, the Stoke Stampede, Stoke St Gregory Taunton and the England Athletics Southwest Cross Country Championships at Aldon Hill, Yeovil

First off the line was the Stoke Stampede, this 10k road race heads out of the village of Stoke St Gregory into the quiet country lanes with just a few undulations to test the runners, representing CRR’s were Adrian Male and Stevie Potter, with the sub-zero temperatures it was all about a late dash to the start line and off to the sound of the starters air-horn, with a fairly flat start Stevie and Adrian were swapping places amongst the 360+ runners, with the field stretching out Stevie started to pull ahead, Adrian was now pushing hard and into the top third of the field as he rounded the halfway point.  With the wind now taking a bit of a rest coming into the finish Stevie had 2 targets insight 1 the lady ahead and the 2nd the Finish line, with an almighty push both goals were achieved with Stevie virtually stumbling over the line in a time of 44m 58s 56/363, Adrian was not far behind and having his own battle to the line pipping his adversary by 2 seconds and finishing in a time of 46m 12s 70/363

Photo L/R Stevie Potter, Adrian Male


Second Racing of the day was the England Athletics Cross Country Championships where some of the very fastest Southwest Runners competed, representing CRR’s were Wayne Loveridge, Mike Egan and Rachel Collins, this event held in Yeovil attracted a big field, with the Senior Men’s race taking to this undulating 8.5k course across the fields first, Wayne and Mike were off to a good start on the slightly frozen surface, and heading down into the valley then in the climb out Wayne started to make ground on a few of the early front runners, Mike Egan kept Wayne in sight as they rounded the hill to have a bit of open ground to get into a more regular stride, with the race coming to its conclusion Wayne had a great sprint finish to cross the line in 35m 09s 59/134, Mike rounded of the race in a great battle to the line in a time of 42m 17s 121/134

The next race over the a 5.280k cross country course saw Rachel Collins carrying the CRR’s banner, with the ground now softer following earlier races Rachel dug in hard from the off, with some close running in the early crowd of runners Rachel’s determination shone through and by the first of the hilly sections had made great progress through the field, this was always going to be a harsh contest and coming to the line Rachel was heads-up and throwing everything into the ;last few meters crossing the line in 23m 47s 23/68


This weekend was more active with CRR’s involved in 2 races, the first being the Bovington Marathon which based out of the Tank museum provided much entertainment for runners before heading out onto the tank training grounds, representing CRR’s were Stuart and Roddy Mclean, Adrian Male, Helen Baxter and Paul Masters – With the Cold early morning and the promise of a bright sunny day CRR’s Stuart, Roddy, Adrian and Paul set off together at a steady pace with only Male who had run recently.  With the first few miles being flat the challenge was getting through the 4 rivers on the outward route, Helen made good progress through the centre of the rivers, it was then out onto the training grounds and Stuart and Roddy upped their pace making their way up through the pack, as the race reached the halfway marker Roddy had stepped ahead of brother Stuart, with Paul and Adrian a while behind, Helen was finding the going hard having not ran following a sprained ankle.  With Mud aplenty that last road crossing at 22 miles promised the return through the rivers to clean up, it was with some relief that the finish line come into view, first across the line for CRR’s was Roddy McLean in a time of 4h 9m 51s 31/512, Stuart was next to run between the tanks in 4h 35m 13s 81/512, Adrian Male pushed hard to run in at 4h 46m 15s 108/512, having struggled over the last few mile Paul Masters hit the line in 5h 07m 53s 172/512, Helen, recording 29 miles having been mis-directed by a blown down sign ran in at 7h 10m 17s 478/512 ,

Photo 1

Roddy McLean, Helen Baxter, Paul Masters, Stuart McLean, Adrian Male

Mike Egan and Stevie Potter were CRR’s who headed over to Hemyock on a grey overcast morning, meeting at Hemyock Primary School for the Wellington Monument 10k multi-terrain race, with a steady first kilometre the runners then faced a long hard climb, Mike Egan really pushed to clear the early pack with Stevie just behind, with the monument in view Mike had picked his way through the trails and at the turn with far reaching views could see the return route and the runners coming up the Hill with a High 5 to Stevie Mike charged hard for this now mainly downhill section,   Stevie was now getting into a better stride and making good progress through the field, with the last few kilometres to go Mike could hear the cheers of support as a runner was heading in just behind him, with the touch paper lit Mike push form and finesse and charged for the line crossing in 45m 37s and having regained his composure was ready to greet Stevie who crossed the line in 47m 48s

Photo 2 Mike Egan, Stevie Potter

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Chard Road Runners go Full Montacute

Chard Road Runners had four entrants into the final race of the club championship, the Full Montecute, a challenging 10 mile course with as many hills (they only count the big ones). First off was Wayne Loveridge setting a good pace but realised he would be denied a podium place by the man hot on his heels. Dis appointment didn’t stop him from showing his true sportsmanship as he waited for the last Chard runner to come in before heading home. Adrian Male was next over the line, he enjoyed the weather and the views more than the mud. Helen Baxter and Lizzie Smith both decided to run as Mrs Christmas, Helen starting her first race since a nasty fall with 3 goals, don’t end up in hospital, don’t get another injury and finish. Mission accomplished, good job staying upright wasn’t on the list as both she and Lizzie took tumbles, with Lizzie falling before mile 4 she proved there’s a hard in Chard and finished the race despite hurting her foot. The Mrs Christmases can safely say that all marshals and supporters are on the good list this Christmas.

Wiltshire half marathon and Bicton blister

A fairly quite weekend with the weather changing, it was down to Nina Wagstaff to represent CRR’s in the first event, Heading off to the Avon Valley Runners Wiltshire Half Marathon based out of Edington Nr Trowbridge. Nina having been suffering with a virus took the gamble to run this popular event, heading out from the start Nina took a more cautious approach and finding her pace over the first few miles, with the hills claiming some of the early sprinters Nina was starting to feel her racing pace returning and took to push hard and move up the field with confidence, with the miles passing Nina had made up some good places and heading into the finish Nina crossed the line in 1h 31m 50s 53/336 and 2nd in Category.

The Bicton Blister 10 mile off road race was the second event for CRR’s, heading off to Bicton Gardens, East Budleigh was Wayne Loveridge, This race starts in the ground of the gardens and then heads out for a short road section, Wayne was off hard from the start, with the road section cleared Wayne then took to the trails and tracks around Woodbury Common, with the gradient changes the going was definitely started to takes its toll but Wayne was in his element and was chasing down the very competitive field of front runners to move into the top 5, with the route peaking at 8 miles the smoother and more predictable paths back down towards the finish line allowed Waynes smooth running style to come to the fore with a final sprint over the last road section to the finish line Wayne crossed in 1h 03m 26s and 3rd/439

Cornish marathon

It was quite weekend for CRR’s with just the one event attracting Paul Masters down to Cornwall

The Cornish Marathon is a Hilly road race setting off from Pensilva, East Cornwall Paul set off towards the back of the pack having been Ill for the last few weeks. Heading up the first set of hills Paul started to move up the field as he found his pace, with the first 15 miles being predominantly uphill Paul was relieved to get to the famous Jamaica Inn on the edge of Bodmin Moor and the start of a few miles of downhill.  As the race started to unfold the sting in the tale of a 1 1/2 mile uphill climb at 24 -25 miles made for a challenging but really eventful last few miles, the downhill finish allowed for a final push with Paul crossing the line in  3h 54m 23s and 3rd in age category.