A flying start to the new running year from a good turnout of getting fitter Musketeers for the January Jaunt 10km.
Getting those rusty legs into gear were Bryan, Sharon A, Chris Andrews, Neil Williams, Guy, Darren, Louise, Michael, Kev, Caroline Errickson and Lynsey Wilson. The latter two completed their first ever races and seemed to enjoy the experience which bodes well for the future - they deserve congratulations.
This is not the fastest race and the route is largely what might be called a trail run. The course is rarely flat, with a short road section and had a slippery uneven surface with added ice and frost on a cold but dry day and a steep hill at half way.
But it is a good first race of the new year with scenic river and woodland scenery - if you can appreciate it while running and trying to keep your footing and not running into anyone and recovering your breath.
Sharon was again accompanied by her minders/bodyguards or coaches Darren and Bryan. She seems to be on course for her ultimate aim of completing her first ever marathon. Neil continues his fast progress with a typically committed 47.56min finish - only ten minutes behind the winner who finished in 37min.
Chris missed the start, having gone off on a long warm-up, but caught up again and used the event as training for his Dartmoor Discovery 32-mile run, having run to and from the race via home, so a long run for him.
Michael enjoyed his run in just under one hour, supported selflessly by Kev, another marathoneer in training. This caring sharing running is catching (well for some) with Louise helping Caroline on her debut race to a very good 61.45min finish. Her next 10km will be under one hour.
Then Lynsey finished in 67.42min which should encourage her for future races.
There is nothing like entering a race for giving you confidence. The atmosphere and competitive environment is stimulating and shows you how far your training is taking you and usually very rewarding physically and mentally.