Ruby Run a warm-up for 69 mile Wall ultra-run
TO Hadrian's Wall via Holsworthy and Hatherleigh.
The winners of the Ruby Run on Sunday warmed up for an even greater endurance challenge to come.
Chris Sellens, of Bideford AAC, and Jo Meek, of Tavistock AC, took the honours in the ninth running of the half marathon race. And both were using it as final preparation for the Wall ultra run, a 69-mile cross-country trek through Cumbria and Northumberland next week.
Setting off from Holsworthy in blustery conditions, Sellens was first to complete the undulating Ruby course, arriving at the finish in Hatherleigh in 76mins 45secs.
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Andrew Vallance, of Okehampton Running Club, took second, dipping under the 80-minute barrier by one second and his club-mate Roger Voaden was fourth in 81-56.
The Blues occupied three of the top five places with Martin Colwill finishing third in 80-20 and getting stronger every week after his return from injury.
Jimmy Murray, in fifth, was preparing for another gruelling endurance test too, this weekend's Ironman 70.3 UK at Wimbleball Lake.
Meek, the women's champion, finished sixth overall in 83-56, proving she is in fine form for the solo effort along Hadrian's Wall. Sellens, of Westward Ho!, will be taking on that challenge as part of a relay team with his partner Sarah Ivory, who finished second in the women's race in 88-28.
It was the first time the Bideford duo have raced in the South West since taking top-five places in the Grizzly in March.
Charlotte Cassels, of North Tawton, claimed third in the women's race in 92-50.
The prizes for the top local finishers went to Paul Carter, of Northlew, in 85-02, and Helen Heard, of Holsworthy in 96-22.