CHARD Road Runners were off this weekend for a race of two lengths.

It was over to Dunkeswell for the Blackdown Beast, a race of either 10 miles or 16 around the beautiful Blackdowns.

Lizzie Smith took on the 16-mile event, with Celia Cohen (returning from an injury) in the 10-miler.

With both races starting together it was a bit of a jumble, as all the runners were trying to find a less muddy route and stay on their feet.

The Blackdowns are renowned for the hills, so it was not shock that some serious climbing was coming. 

Heading into Smeatharpe and the official pasty and cider stop, Cohen was faring well in the conditions, followed by Smith, who was taking part in her first ever self-navigation event.

With food and drink on board, both runners headed off towards Upottery and the Sidmouth Arms, which was the next drinking stop and the finish for Cohen, who having withstood some slippery conditions with a body that really didn’t want to be there, raced across the line with a huge smile.

Smith took on the refreshments and then set off for her last leg, off towards a crossing of the River Otter.

From Rawridge she could see her next challenge towards Luppitt, crossing Luppitt Common before heading back into Dunkeswell and the finish line.