Two dozen Trotters toed the line at Exeter Quay for the traditional year-opening First Chance 10k race, writes Chris Broadbent.

And it resulted in a club record, and three top-three age group races is a great haul for club.

First Trotter home was Jamie Barnett. The multiple club-record holder is once again in good shape and he clocked an impressive 33:03 for fifth place. 

James Saunders picked up from where he left off last year with a solid run, dipping below 40 minutes with 39:50 in 64th place, making him the second male over-60.

Helen Anthony placed as third-fastest female over 40 in 42:07 in 95th and Mandy Wheeler was second F50 in 44:24, placing 138th overall.

But the big winner of the day was Deb Hart who claimed a club record for F60, clocking 52:49 for 294th. 

The other Trotter finishers were James Long (76th, 40:29), Mandy Wheeler (138th, 44:24), Alan Kember (153rd, 44:55), Jacki Woon (162nd, 45:23), Jemma Bennett (186t, 47:15), Debbie Elphick (187th, 47:17), Tim Synge (252nd, 50:51), Joanna Randall (253rd, 50:52), Patricia Atkins (288th, 52:28), Corinne Bright (303rd, 53:56), Callum Price (315th, 54:17), Rod Payne (358th, 56:48), Keith Anderson (361st, 57:02), Lucy Evans (374th, 57:37), Laura Law (404th, 59:19), Joanna Griffin (455th, 63:23), Richard Keatley (480th, 65:12), Kay Shilabeer (482nd, 65:25), Teresa Holmes (530th, 71:42) and Claire Farrar (551st, 77:35).

There were 565 finishers overall.  

The seasonal Plym Trail Marathon events returned over the weekend of January 7 and 8 and there was Trotter representation on both dates. First up on Saturday was Derek Skinner who encountered a wet but mild day. 

Off the back of a bout of a virus, he got the job done in 4:33:02, which placed him fourth among 13 marathon runners on the day.

Twenty-four hours later and it was over to Karen O’Brien and Sue Tremlett and the dynamic duo came home in 5:27:47 to be joint fifth from eight marathon runners. 

But it was not plain sailing with thunder, lightning, hail and heavy rain all playing their part to create a tough day of running. 

Meanwhile, Tamsin Cook was another to take on a tough challenge, taking on the Sir Walter Raleigh Round.

The half marathon visits the birthplace of Sir Walter Raleigh and the countryside where he spent time as a child. It includes quiet back lanes, unsurfaced county roads, little known footpaths, the Otter valley, High Peak, the Jurassic Coast and a dismantled railway.

The race starts and finishes in the coastal town of Budleigh Salterton.  

Tamsin finished in 114th in 3:33:00. There were 132 finishers.