Graded races bring grand prix step closer
SOUTH DEVON AC's senior grand prix moved another step closer to its conclusion with a mile race around Paignton's North Green on Thursday.
Despite the high winds and driving rain, 27 runners braved the conditions in three graded races.
The A race set off first. Four second claim runners who train with SDAC but represent other clubs joined in the race.
Tris Sellors, in his first race since a return to running, led the pack through the opening two laps. As they turned into the home straight the runners switched to top gear and a final sprint saw Russell Cleave come home 1st in 5.17, with Richard Wallace 2nd in 5.19. Jamie Dent held off Sellors as they crossed the line in 5.20 and 5.21 respectively.
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Russell Hart was a strong 5th place in 5.25, with Vince Langdon 6th (5.27) and Dave Hampton 7th (5.31). JJ Johnson, recovering from a recent marathon in Jersey, was 8th (5.33), with Jerry Hocking (5.35) and Rob Leeke (5.42) completing the field in the A race. Jeremy Goddard went from the gun in the B race to win in 6.01. Ryan Rudge took 2nd in 6.24 after a close battle with Rory Treharne (6.28) and Marc Jones (6.29). Paul Chesterman (6.39) and John Drennan (7.09) were next home. Val McClean was 1st lady in 7.11, ahead of Roger Webb (7.13) and her daughter Nell (7.33).
The C race saw another gun to tape victory as Sue Hayes motored round in 7.13, ahead of Guy Henderson (7.23) and John Barrett (7.30). Kerry Bell (7.40), Lynda Sloman (7.53), Lisa Jeffery (7.58), Laura Chesterman (8.13) and Steve Waddington (9.30) all successfully negotiated the course and weather conditions. The runners' £1 entry fees were added to the pot for this year's SDAC Chairman's Charity, Torbay Hospital's Louisa Cary Ward.