The Women’s Running Race Series hit Exeter on 18 June for what must have been our hottest event yet! Temperatures were already into the twenties as women started to gather at the event village in the Piazza Terracina, right on Exeter’s waterfront. Despite the incredible heat making things tough, there were some great performances and a fantastic atmosphere, with many partners out in force on Father’s Day.
The event village was busy from early in the morning. Our Regional Charity Partner, Children’s Hospice South West, were there to support runners and offer shade on their stand – as well as a brilliant lucky dip for families to take part in! Healthy Snack Partner Good Full Stop had brought samples for people to taste and were offering brilliant discounts on their snack bars on race day. They also ran a competition on stage where two ladies went head to head to try to remember as many of Good Full Stop’s eight flavours as possible – and with a tie at five each, both won prizes!
On hand to offer advice and support – literally – were our Specialist Apparel Partner, Boobydoo, who were showcasing Panache bras on their stand – and had even brought a trampette so people could do their own bounce test on the spot! Anyone looking for a complete new outfit could also buy exclusive WRRS gear from the Run Geek stand on the day.
Also supporting the race were our National Charity Partner, NSPCC; Healthy Blend Partner, Roots Collective; and our very much needed Hydration Partner, Saka Water, who had provided additional water around the course to help women cope with the conditions.
After a rousing warm-up from the team at Snap Fitness, at 10am, the 5K runners set out on their one-lap course, along the River Exe and the canal and into the Riverside Park. The 10K runners set off six minutes later, accompanied by our dedicated team of pacers. Despite maintenance works going on around the course, leading to some pinch points, the expert marshalling and staggered start times meant there were no problems. The course is exposed in places so – as expected – it became really hot, but the extra water laid on meant that everyone was able to complete the run, and – as always – the last few runners were cheered on as loudly as the first! Home first in the 5K was Emma Dooney in 24:19; in second place was Helen McPhee in 24:37; followed by Monika Richards in 24:46. In the 10K, Nicky Savill came home in an incredible 41:16, clear of second-placed Rachel Marshall in 46:14 and third placed Sara Robins in 47:47.
Following the two main races, our family one-mile event kicked off in the heat of the day with some brilliantly fast runs by some of the young athletes! Some women took the opportunity to bag a second medal, while dads, partners also had a chance to sprint round the out-and-back course.
Find out what some of our runners had to say about the Exeter events:
“It was like running in a desert, particularly that section just before the halfway point. It’s open, it’s dusty, it’s dry, there’s absolutely no shade whatsoever. I probably walked more than I ran, but I’m still pleased, I think I did reasonably well considering the conditions.
I entered the Cardiff event because a friend of mine on Facebook, tagged me in it, because they knew I’d been training in the gym since September – with Snap Fitness gym actually, the people who did our warm-up here. I’d never run before, I hate running, loathe it, but peer pressure did it in Cardiff. It’s been said round our office a number of times that I might have caught the bug and here I am in Exeter! So we’ll see…”
Abi Durrans (5K)
“I’ve been doing a lot of running recently and thought I’d get something to aim for and I picked Children’s Hospice South West because it’s something I’ve not raised money for before and I thought it was a really good charity to do it for. It was really hot – a lot harder than I expected because of the heat. But really good, there was a lot of support on the way round.”
Ruth Luxton, Running for CHSW
“It’s a Women’s Running 10K and 5K, and we’re a women’s running group in Exeter, so if we don’t come here we’re doing a disservice to our group. So we wanted to promote our running group and the ladies in the area, we’re a part of This Girl Can too so we’re all about empowering women and making them feel stronger, and supporting each other. I did it last year and I really enjoyed it, so we signed up again. The heat has been a big factor but I have to say you’ve been so well organised, there’s been loads of water stations, loads of people cheering on, loads of Jelly Babies, so I have to say, despite the conditions, you guys have really put on a good show and made it easier to run.”
Sarah, Women on the Run Exeter