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Firstly let me say a great ‘thank you’ to everybody who has been able to support me in this event. And of course for the donations which will be passed to the organising Rotary Club, who hope to ‘match fund’ the amount, and so pass more than £1000 to Diabetes UK.

I have taken part in a few marathons now, generally off road as it seems a little easier on the knees and feet. As I wanted to raise money in memory of Dave Blackford, I thought it would be a good idea to find a run down in Devon, and found this event which was mostly on country lanes. As it was south of the A38 and it had ‘Vale’ in the title I didn’t look too closely at the course, but the other clue was also in the title: ‘Dartmoor’, and so the route had a couple of nice mile and a half uphill sections that made for a testing time.

We stayed with Jeanie the night before the race, and then drove down to Newton Abbott. There were also half marathon and ten kilometre races taking place, so about 1000 runners overall. The race was two 13 mile circuits, and Vanessa and the dogs were there to cheer me on at the half way point where I was still going strong. The steep climb took it’s toll, however, on the second lap!

The plan was for Jeanie and Arthur (Glenmorlich Catch the Wind for Hartvalley) to join me for the last few miles, and it was a great relief to see them as I was flagging at the end of the second lap. It certainly gave me a lift, and raised a great cheer from the crowds as we crossed the finishing line, more for Arthur than for me I’m sure!

Some of you kindly made pledges, at various Champ and Limited shows, and if you haven’t sent your money yet then it would be appreciated if you could send it soon, in order that I can send the money off to the organisers. If anyone else feels inspired to send anything, it would of course be gratefully received. Cheques should be made payable to ‘DVRC Marathon’, and please let me know if you are a UK tax payer.

Once again, many thanks!

Cliff Dargonne

10 Heighton Road, Newhaven, BN9 0RB