Merson wins race in home club's colours
TOM Merson won Exmouth Harriers' Fulfords Five mile road race on Sunday in his home town.
Although he mainly now races for Bristol & West, South West cross-country champion Merson turned out in Harriers colours for the race.
And he continued his recent excellent form to win in 24mins 50secs – more than one-and-a-half minutes clear of runner-up James Denne (26.17) from Exeter Harriers.
More than 200 runners completed the two-lap event, including 24 from Exeter-based South West Road Runners.
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The outstanding performances from the club saw Lucy Commander win the women's category in 29.11, which also put her 18th overall.
Karen Cook was the first female over-55 and 62nd overall in 32.35 and there were also age category prizes for some of the club's male runners.
Mike Feighan was second male over-45 and 11th overall in 28.08, Dave Phillips was second male over-55 and 65th overall in 32.44 and Ian Pang was third male over-45 and 36th overall in 30.12.
SWRR teams gained top-three places in three of the four team contests. The senior women's team of Commander, Cook and Alexandra Cutts, who was 51st in 31.18, won their section.
There were also second-placed finishes for the male veteran's team of Feighan, Pang, Phillips and Graham Reynolds, who was 61st in 32.29 and the female veterans team of Cook, Gail Furness (122nd in 38.19) and Debra Pressley (161st in 42.56).
Other SWRR finishes were: Matthew Bellamy 16th in PB of 29.08, Michal Lesniak 17th in 29.10, Michael Pearce 52nd in 31.20, Alistair Ferguson 58th in 32.07, David Balch 59th in 32.10, Jim Durston 68th in 32.57, Barry Frost 70th in 33.10, Ayse Vahiboglu 79th in 33.44, Matt Vahiboglu 80th in 33.45, John Caswell 87th in 34.34, John Kavanagh 88th in 34.45, Neil Popham 102nd in 35.41, Peter William 123rd in 38.20, Alex Lepuill 132nd in a PB of 39.37, Alixandra Reynolds 179th in 45.14, Jon Wilkinson 185th in 45.55 and Michelle Pang 186th in 46.11
Exeter Harriers were second in the senior male team event, with Denne joined by Howard Bailey (10th in 27.58), Simon Minting (19th in 29.19) and James Mclaren (39th in 30.35).
Katherine Humhreys was the only female in Exeter colours and she finished 54th overall in 31.35.
After Merson, the next Exmouth Harrier home was Dave Stone, who was 14th overall and third male over-40 in 28.44.
Other Exmouth Harriers finishers: Marc Cox 29th in 29.47, John Garrity 44th in 30.48, Lisa Hatchard 104th overall and third woman over-35 in 36.19, Carly Audritt 10th in PB of 36.29, Caroline Gentry 119th overall and third female over-40 in 38.06, Ray Elston 126th overall and second male over-70 in 38.39, Kurt Margison 141st in 40.33, Lisa Broad 159th in 42.44, Mick Allen 167th in 43.50, Les Turner 188th in 46.21
Representing the Exmouth Running Belles female group were Chris Doe (156th in 42.16) and Sarah Walker (164th in 43.25).
In the team competition, Exmouth Harriers' Hatchard, Audritt and Gently were second in the senior women's section.
From elsewhere in East Devon there was a third place in the female over-45 category for Axe Valley Runners' Jane Calvert, who was 169th in 44.18.
Sidmouth Running Club's Adrian Organ was 99th in 35.22, with clubmate John Perratt 147th in 41.47 and Sidmouth's Bob Minting won the male over-60 category in 33.24. Axe Valley Ruuners' Michael Venn was 204th in 50.28.
Tiverton Harrier Kerry Roberts was 15th overall and comfortably first male over-50 in 28.55, with clubmate Stuart Veen third in the same age group and 46th overall in 30.57. Serena Stone from Tiverton Harriers was second female over-35 and 84th overall in 34.04, while Eileen Sanders was 154th in 42.05.
From the Tiverton Women's running group, Amanda Ellis was second female over-45 and 151st overall in 42.01. Okehampton RC were represented by Margaret Jarvis (135th in 40.03), Mandy Pod (213rd in 56.26) and Sarah Bell (218th in 58.53).
Newton Abbot-based Teignbridge Trotters saw Dave Tomlin finish fourth overall and forst male over-40 in 26.44, with Craig Churchill 69th in 33.05, Alexander Shearman 97th in 35.18 and Steven Wallace 142nd in 40.38.
Claire Gillard from Newton Abbot finished 135th in 39.52, with Dawlish Coasters' Keith Scholey 89th in 34.49, Mellanie Scholey 149th in 41.56 and Susan Brown 191st in 47.38.