We host a wonderful array of outdoor events in the parkland at Escot Estate. This December we welcomed cyclists and runners for two very different events.
On December 3rd, Exeter Wheelers and the South West Cyclocross League ran the South West Championships. There were almost 200 riders on the Estate with plenty of spectators, family and friends.
This was the final event of the year. Round 8 would see the final league placings decided as well as the championship placings. On Saturday the weather was bright and frosty for the Exeter Wheelers volunteers who were getting the course and infrastructure in place. Overnight the weather changed and the course turned wet and slick, creating challenging conditions.
We were gratified that the organisers were confident that the course would hold up and indeed, the day ran smoothly and participants said what a brilliant event it was.
Well done to everyone who took part, those who collected medals and titles, and to race organiser Jon who said afterwards, “The Escot course is, we firmly believe, one of it not the best CX course in the SW league, involving as it does slopes, flat stretches, and a ‘spiral of doom’, all within the amphitheatre-esque bowl of the fine Escot grounds.”
Photos by Full Fat Photography
This was followed just one weekend later on December 9th by the annual ‘Extremely Jolly’ run, organised by Jolly Running. This has traditionally been a 5k race but for 2023 they upped the ante with a 10k race.
This year 195 runners took part. Some of them really went to town with fancy dress, we spotted Santas, elves, shepherds and lots of festive sparkly clothing. Despite the costumes, the course isn’t all about fun, it’s actually a challenging run for all who take part.
On the day before the race there was torrential rain. Certain parts of the course that crossed the River Tale were re-routed as the river had burst its banks. But on the day itself, which had Met Office warnings of wind, the weather held and the sun came out!
There were some incredibly impressive times given the conditions underfoot; the winning male runner finished in 45 minutes and 34 seconds, and the female in 51 minutes and 44 seconds.
As always, the giant red slide was a hit.
Organiser Tracy said: “Thank you to Escot Estate for having us back again and allowing us to run around the beautiful land.”
Photos by Lens Pulse Photography