CHARD Road Runners were off to Devon and Wiltshire this weekend with some really challenging events made just a little harder by the strong winds.

First off were Paul Masters and Adrian Male, who headed over to Tollard Royal for the Larma Tree Marathon.

This off-road trail marathon sets off with the beautiful gardens, peacocks and macaws as its background.

The first of the significant hills was approached with heads down and teeth gritted, but a quick look ahead of the steep incline and Masters and Male were greeted by the Grim Reaper with scythe, passing judgement on runners to go the extra mile or . . .

Heading towards the village of Farnham the true extent of the recent storm was seen with a huge tree blocking part of the route and then another tree fallen against the power lines, meaning a hasty diversion.

At half marathon distance, both runners were starting to pick off places.

Wind-driven hailstones were the next obstacle, but the views at the top of the hill were a fine reward.

Crossing the finishing line first was Masters, taking the finish line in 4h 57m 02s (101st out of 365 and second in age cat), followed by Male in 5h 27m 55s (172nd).

Up next, South Devon for the Axe Valley Runners Grizzly races.

These races start on the promenade at Seaton and head off toward Beer, before joining the coast path across to Branscombe.

The first race is the Grizzly 20-mile trail which includes bogs and knee-high streams, before the famous ‘Stairway to Heaven’ which takes runners from the beach up to the cliff-top.

Representing CRR’s were Steve Barnes, Liam Whyte, Andy Mear, Stuart McLean, Fiona McLean, Addie Douglass, Neil Adams, Darren Murphy, Matt Baker, Phil Goodridge-Reynolds, Helen Baxter, Lizzie Smith

Results: 104th Stephen Barnes 02:57:03, 236th Liam Whyte 03:15:07, 266th Stuart McLean 03:17:00, 274th Neil Adams 03:18:43, 547th Darren Murphy 03:40:56, 676th Fiona McLean 03:50:35, 874th Matt Baker 04:09:33, 981st Philip Goodridge Reynolds 04:17:11, 1262nd Andy Mear 04:43:54, 1263rd Addie Douglass 04:43:55, 1406th Helen Baxter 05:05:40, 1407th Elizabeth Smith (Lizzie) 05:04:09.

The Grizzly Cub was a 10-mile challenge for seven club members.

Results: 27th Rachel Collins 01:22:56, 204th Claire Pomeroy 01:49:03, 302nd Gary Wheaton 01:58:48, 314th Nikki Long 02:00:14, 347th Simon Hall 02:03:52, 385th Richard Clifton 02:07:45, 531st Miranda Coleberd 02:26:20.