TAVISTOCK Run Project were denied a hat-trick of men’s titles at the annual Erme Valley Relays, which this year took place virtually due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Run Project, winners in 2018 and 2019, had to settle for runners-up spot with Exmouth, who had triumphed in 2013, 2016 and 2017, regaining the crown.
Tom Merson proved to be the difference between the teams. He clocked a personal best time of 14 minutes and 12 seconds for 5k. That was one-and-a-half minutes faster than anyone else ran over the weekend, with Exmouth triumphing overall by 42 seconds. Their four runners clocked a total time of 1:03.04, with the Run Project quartet of Oliver Smart, Chris Rimmer, Ben Neale and fit-again Jim Cole finishing in 1:03.46. Exmouth B came third with a time of 1:08.08.
All athletes were able to pick their own 5k course and could complete it at any time over the weekend.
England Schools’ international Smart was Run Project’s fastest finisher and came third overall with a time of 15.44 minutes. Team-mate Chris Rimmer, who was the fastest runner last year, was just behind with a time of 15.49.
City of Plymouth junior Molly Shorey (pictured top), who has just moved up to under-15 level, clocked the fastest female time of the weekend with a 17.33 minute run, which was quicker than Great Britain under-20 international Molly Canham of Teignmouth.
Shorey helped her City of Plymouth team win the girls’ under-18 title. Joining her in the side, which clocked an overall time of 1:21.46, were Molly Gilby, Verity Tank and Kate Phillips.
However, Tavistock’s junior quartet of Amelia Riggott, Tilly McDowell, Kristyna Cade and Charlotte Walker were only 13 seconds behind.
Second senior female team were Newquay Road Runners in 1:21.37.
Tavistock AC claimed the boys’ under-18 crown courtesy of Jacob Holland, Joe Dix, Ewan Dix and Dan Luckham.
The virtual event helped raise money for NHS Charities.
Full team results can be found HERE
Individual leg times can be found HERE