Exmouth Harrier Tom Merson denied Bideford Amateur Athletic Club a home winner in the club’s third and final race of the year.

Bideford 10 Miler 2018 winner Tom Merson. Picture: Graham HobbsBideford 10 Miler 2018 winner Tom Merson. Picture: Graham Hobbs

This year’s half marathon and 10k both saw Bideford Blues runners take first place, but it wasn’t to be at the Bideford 10 Miler on Sunday, with Merson the first of more than 850 runners to cross the line.

The Exmouth runner finished with a time of 51mins and 8secs and was mere metres ahead of Bideford’s Ronnie Richmond, second overall, when he crossed the finish line in Victoria Park.

Bideford’s Mark Jenkins was third, finishing after 52mins and 26secs. Bideford’s James Pugsley (55:41) and Ian Gooding (56:30) secured sixth and seventh place.

Avon Valley Runners’ Ruth Barnes was the fastest female runner, finishing 10th overall with a time of 57mins and 46secs.

Bideford 10 Miler 2018 winner Tom Merson (middle) with second place Ronnie Richmond (right) and Mark Jenkins. Picture: Graham HobbsBideford 10 Miler 2018 winner Tom Merson (middle) with second place Ronnie Richmond (right) and Mark Jenkins. Picture: Graham Hobbs

Hannah Taunton was second fastest, finishing 18th overall with a time of 1hr, 1min, and Tiverton Harriers’ Serane Stone was third, crossing the line after 1hr, 1min and 49secs.

The race took place in memory of Andy Watt, a long-time Blues member who passed away in September. Entrants paid tribute to Andy with a minute of applause before the start of the race.

The route itself saw entrants head out on the road to Yelland before joining the Tarka Trail and running back to Bideford.

The full results for the Bideford 10 Miler can be found here.