Tavistock Athletic Club athlete Ben Neale had a great result at the Fleet half marathon on Sunday, achieving his best-ever time at the distance., writes Andy Hughes.

Amongst 2168 runners, he finished in 1h 09m 05s (6th overall and second in his M35 age group). It was an undulating road course around the town of Fleet and surrounding Hampshire countryside, with the race also incorporating the inter-services (armed forces) team event.

This made for an exciting, competitive race, with Ben being part of a sprint finish involved 5 front runners, all finishing within 8s of each other.

Ben Neale (TAC)

Primary School Challenge

It was a day to celebrate their achievements in the Meadows on Sunday as over 400 children gathered for the culmination of the Primary Schools Challenge, organised by Tavistock Athletic Club,

The event is normally held alongside TAC's annual Tavy13 race but, due to the ongoing track refurbishment, it was not possible to hold the adults' half marathon race this year. For many years, the primary schools have supported their children running their own half marathon by running a mile each week, with the 13th mile taking place as a race alongside the Tavy13.

The Town Council allowed the use of the Meadows (and St John's Walk) for the 1-mile course this year.

Primary schools taking part included Bere Alston, Gulworthy, Menheniot, Meavy, Mary Tavy and Brentor, Lamerton, Lady Modiford's Walkhampton, Horrabridge, Milton Abbot, Whitchurch, Tavistock, St Rumen's, St Peter's, St Andrew's, St Neot and Mount Kelly. Lots of parents chose to accompany their younger racers and there was a wealth of donated cakes plus refreshments available in the bandstand. Each runner was given a white Tavy13 shirt and received a medal on completion of their 13 mile challenge.

The day wasn't really about winning the final mile race but, for the record, first and second places in each race group were as follows: Year 2 and below - Reuben Aggiss (Whitchurch) and Eira Moyse (Horrabridge); Years 3-4 - Serena Bigham (Meavy) and George Lake (Whitchurch); Years 5-6 Tristan Bigham (Meavy) and Olivia Walkerdine (Whitchurch).

A key support for this event comes from the Okehampton Community Recreation Association (OCRA). Mastermind of today's event and also an OCRA member is TAC's Mhairi McCall, who has organised the Challenge every year since it started about 15 years ago. It's also worth noting that the young TAC athletes who volunteered to run with and support the children started out by doing the Primary School Challenge and the OCRA cross country events. The Club is grateful to them and all the other Club members who gave up their time to provide help with race organisation, marshalling and catering. It was another great day for the Club.