The Tavy 7, one of the oldest established races in the local race calendar, took place on Sunday. Always a much loved and popular race, this year it was sold out well in advance of the day. An impressive turnout from ORC saw fifteen members take part this year in beautiful sunny, if somewhat windy conditions. Despite being on the edge of Dartmoor, the course is relatively flat and fast, with an uphill climb to just over mile two, followed by a long downhill before a gently undulating run along country lanes and open moorland. First ORC home was Andrew Vernon in 47.52, followed by John Binns in 55.00 and the first lady ORC, Charlotte Radnor in 55.57. Other ORC times; Keri Quertier; 58.45, Abby Metherall; 58.45, Heidi Wills; 59.30, Emma Dean; 59.36, Becca Ewing; 59.36, Katy Speak; 1.02.55, Ged Fitzgibbon; 1.03.11, Lucy Brint; 1.05.15, Cathy Carey; 1.05.15, Lucy Marrison; 1.05.15, Janet White; 1.16.40 (2nd FV65). Unfortunately Lotte Smith had to retire after being stung by a wasp on her leg and needing medical attention.
Further afield Okehampton’s most prolific marathon runner, Roger Voaden, continued his autumn marathon season with a superb run at the Leicester Marathon. Despite his consistently fast times, Roger has never run a sub-three hour marathon outside of his London Marathon runs, but in good conditions he ran a terrific race to finish in 2.58.27, coming 16th overall and 2nd MV50.
Nick Seccombe also took on a marathon on the Sunday. The Abingdon Marathon was first held 35 years ago and, over time, has built a reputation for being a fast, flat course with PB potential, and entries are always sold out within a couple months of going on sale. In perfect conditions Nick did achieve a PB, despite not having the best run-up to the marathon having only recently started at University, he had a great run to finish in 3.10.34.
Many thanks to Jane for the run report
Great West Run, Eden Half & Westward League
Posted by: Chris Turner 19th October 2016
ORC was out in force in Exeter on Sunday to take part in the Great West Run Half Marathon. With the early rain clearing to a bright, sunny autumn day, the conditions were perfect for both the runners and the many spectators along the route. Almost 3,000 took part this year and included amongst them was Olympic Medallist Jame Cracknell. The course, which takes the runners through the heart of the city, is quite hilly and not renowned as a PB half marathon, however ORC’s thrive on hills, and five of them achieved some excellent personal bests. First of these was Matt Pitson who stormed round to come 15th overall in a brilliant time of 1.20.29. Roger Voaden was the next home in 1.23.11, followed by Rob Kelly with another good run in 1.24.37. Katie Littlejohns, who has had great success this summer with off road races on Dartmoor, proved that she could still be quick over the city runs, to be the first lady ORC home in a very good 1.39.59.
Other ORC times: Geoff Hill; 1.25.18 (PB), Stuart May; 1.32.11, Jean-Paul Quertier; 1.38.48, George Haskell; 1.39.35 (PB), Andrew Thorne; 1.42.31, Mark Hawkins; 1.42.09 (PB), Charlotte Radnor; 1.47.10, Mike Westland; 1.54.27, Chris Fullford Brown; 1.59.05, Claire Kelly; 2.09.12, Rachael Haydon; 2.11.32 (PB), Claire Sprague; 2.39.48, Sarah Bell; 2.44.40.
Christine Fritsch travelled in the other direction to take part in the Eden Half Marathon. Starting from the iconic Eden Project, the course here is a challenging mix of tarmac and trail with plenty of ups and downs and takes the runners through some spectacular scenery, from lunar-like clay quarries to lush green valleys. Christine loves this type of course, and after finishing in 2.17.22, said she would be back to do it again next year.
The previous Sunday saw the start of the new season of Westward League cross-country races. This is a series of six races held once a month, with men running 8k and ladies 5k, the first race being held in Plymouth. With very dry conditions this was not one of the typically muddy, hilly courses but there was a big turnout for the first race and we had six runners taking part. Matt Pitson was the first home coming 39th in 33.36, with Andy Vallance just five places behind in 34.02. Paul Crease was next in 35.09, Geoff Hill in 36.39, Stuart May in 38.08 and Chris Turner, with the Bournemouth marathon the week before still in his legs, in 39.42.
Saturday four ORCs took part in a team triathlon at Roadford Lake. The event took place from the Activity Centre on the lakeside and started with a 400m swim, followed by a 13k cycle and finished with a 3.5k run. With 90 teams taking part, Tim Watson, Dave Mugliston, Sarah Marvin and Juliette Paterson did extremely well, coming second in their age category just four seconds behind the winners, with Dave closing down on the last member of the winning team right to the end.
The autumn marathon season saw three more ORCs taking on the 26.2mile challenge at the Bournemouth Marathon Festival on Sunday. Seasoned marathon runners, Chris Turner and Graham Bryant, were joined by marathon rookie Mark Hawkins on a glorious day that was perfect for trip to the seaside, but a bit too hot for marathon running. This year’s race was started by Ben Smith who is nearing the end of his challenge to run the equivalent of 401 marathons in 401 days, and the course takes the runners along the seafront between Boscombe and Bournemouth with beautiful coastal views but not much shade. Despite the heat, Chris Turner had a great race to finish first of the three in 3.28.08, setting a new PB by just over a minute. Mark Hawkins had struggled with the training, having only run his first half marathon this year, but had managed all the mileage, before pulling a hamstring with just 18 days to go. Rest and physio treatment made it possible for him to run and he was very relieved to complete in a great time of 4.02.01 and in doing so raised a large sum of money for Children’s Hospice South West and the Devon Air Ambulance. Sadly Graham Bryant was forced to retire after a shoelace broke.
The Delicious Drake’s Trail is an untimed trail run, not a race, with a difference. The runners are taken on a gastronomic tour of the western fringes of Dartmoor between Tavistock and Yelverton sampling locally produced food and drink, including beer, wine, savouries and sweets, along the 11.5 mile route. With only 300 places available, 15 ORCs managed to secure places and embraced the fancy dress “sporting heroes”