Tough­est chal­lenge for Deb­bie in Nepal

ATH­LET­ICS

Herald Express - - Marketplace - BY CLUB CON­TRIB­U­TORS

TOR­BAY Ath­letic Club's Deb­bie Drake com­pleted the Manaslu nine-day stage race, set deep in the Hi­malay, and said it was the hard­est chal­lenge that she had ever taken on.

The runs each day were hard with as­cents of up 13,000ft. The tracks were very tech­ni­cal of­ten very nar­row on the edge of cliffs. Stages three and on­wards were at high al­ti­tude where breath­ing be­came very laboured.

Go­ing up to Manaslu base camp was dif­fi­cult with a steep as­cent and over 4,000m high. lots of the group suf­fered from al­ti­tude sick­ness and horses were needed to bring them back down.

Deb­bie said: “The air was thin only 11 per cent oxy­gen com­pared to 21 per cent at sea level.

“Even sleep­ing at height made you puff. The whole ex­pe­ri­ence has been hum­bling see­ing such poverty that these peo­ple live in and they are still happy and have deep souls.

“It was a priv­i­lege to run with such elite ath­letes and great bunch of peo­ple from all over the world.”

Deb­bie fin­ished all nine stages within the cut off times.

The Bic­ton Blis­ter & Blis­ter Lite was or­gan­ised by the Ex­mouth Har­ri­ers and Teign­bridge Trot­ters mem­bers were on the start­ing lines of both races.

The race dis­tances were 10 miles and 4.5 miles and the start and fin­ish lines were within the grounds of Bic­ton Col­lege in East Budleigh.

The multi-ter­rain races took

Deb­bie Drake on Manaslu in Nepal the run­ners across open fields, along rough for­est trails, through a cou­ple of stream cross­ings, and sev­eral in­clines.

Two Trot­ters rep­re­sented the club in the Lite race – Zil­path Wal­ton and Andy Distin. Andy fin­ished in 59th place in a time of 54mins 07secs Zil­path fin­ished close be­hind in 61st 54.14.

Trot­ters’ Roger Easter­brook was sixth in the Blis­ter in a time of 1:04.58.

Four of the 21 rep­re­sen­ta­tives col­lected age cat­e­gory prizes. Con­grat­u­la­tions go to Roger Easter­brook, Gary Smart, Lucy Payne and Graeme Baker.

Gray­don Wid­di­combe trav­elled to Spain to take part in the San Se­bas­tian Marathon.

Gray­don didn’t man­age a per­sonal best but he was pleased with his time of 3hrs 20mins 35secs – pac­ing it pretty evenly through­out the event.

There was a 1-2-3 for Tor­bay Tri Club at the Tor­bay Parkrun as Ben Ger­rish, Shaun McKer­nan and Naomi Flana­gan raced their way around the Clen­non Val­ley velopark and fields.

For Ben it was a per­sonal best as he joined the sub-18 club, while Julyan Bayes also went un­der 21 min­utes for the first time.

Fin­si­hers: Ben Ger­rish 17.52, Shaun McKer­nan 18.43, Naomi Flana­gan 19.27, Julyan Bayes 20.50, Neil Downer 21.01, Amanda Fran­cis 25.47, Jo Coish 29.41

Char­lie and Rob Har­ris com­pleted Teign­mouth Parkrun in 27.53 and 56.36 re­spec­tively.

Two Dawlish Coast­ers made the short trip to Bic­ton Col­lege for the Bic­ton Blis­ter. Si­mon Bun­day was the first Coaster home in a time of 1hr 35min and Maria Tryl­ska was next 2:15.

South Devon Ath­letic Club held their AGM on Thurs­day where a cheque for £600 was pre­sented to Devon Air Am­bu­lance which was the Chair­man’s char­ity for the year.

The pre­vi­ous week, SDAC ju­niors Han­nah and Lau­ren Carr com­peted in the South Devon Schools Cross Coun­try Cham­pi­onships. Han­nah was fifth and Lau­ren tenth and both are through to the Devon Cross Coun­try fi­nals.

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