A large elite team of Muskie racing snakes tackled the tough Plym Valley Challenge at Estover.
This is largely a trail race, with mostly well-defined paths, some tricky rocky riverside and some road.
Thankfully, although it was a hot sunny day, most of the race was under the cool shade of trees. This is a most beautiful scenic route which belies its strenuous nature.
Those who survived the sevenish-mile race were: 15th Eroy A in 56m; 19th Tom J 56m 57s; 21st Guy B 58m 27s; 31 Steve M 1h 2min 15s; 35th Craig F 1h 2m 39s; 45th Mike S 1h 3m 58s; 51 Dave M 1h 5m 23s; 52 Neil W 1h 05m 22s; 57th Rodney H 1h 6m 58; 63rd Ken K 1h 8m 39s; 69th Roy U 1h 1om 43s; 73rd David C 1h 11m 47s; 98th Sharon L 1h 17m; 99th Jane H 1h 17m; 106th Lucy S 1h 18m 44s; 107th Marie Hannam 1h 18m 44s; 122nd Maggie L 1h 23m; 123rd Sarah Horton 1h 24m 27s; 125th Mark Wilcocks 1h 25m 33s; 129th Ian L 1h 31m 27s; 130th Penny HB (hon Musketeer) 1h 31m 27s; 131st Kate H 1h 31m 27s; 132nd Louise K 1h 31m 27s; 133rd Sarah A 1h 34m 29s; 134th Caroline W 1h 34m 29s.
A notable triumph was by Rodney who won a trophy for winning his age group. He may make rare appearances, but when he does, Rodney makes an impact. Long may his non-injured period last.
Everyone deserves a medal (which we all received) for finishing a testing course with some long hills, one particularly cruel one was about two miles from the finish which last almost to the end and was too steep for many to run or even walk up.
The multi-terrain lived up to its name with the rocky path by the river being especially demanding of close attention with many an obstacle threatening to trip up the unwary or those in a reckless hurry. The flights of steps were also very hard to run down, being of uneven width and having sunken surfaces, leaving trip hazards. That is not to forget the gates, hurdles, stream, random cyclists and a short steep slope that almost had runners on their hands and knees.
However, the friendly myriad marshals and tasty cakes at the end helped reward all.
I will come back next year - this was the first time at the shorter distance and new start location for a very well organised race by Instinctive RC, who are to be congratulated.