Club news

London Marathon, Madrid Marathon & Plymouth Half Marathon

Ten ORCs took part in the London Marathon this year and they all did the club and themselves proud. Several were seasoned marathoners, having secured Good For Age places by running qualifying times at other marathons, while others had places through the club ballot or had charity entries, with only one member getting in through the official London ballot. All of them had trained very hard, putting in really tough schedules since the beginning of the year, and all had set some sort of goal, whether it was just to complete or to run a certain time or to raise money for a chosen charity. Although London is 26.2 miles, the same as any other marathon, it is a very special race because of the atmosphere, the crowds, the iconic landmarks you pass on throughout the course and on a beautiful sunny spring morning London does look its best. Our runners put in some tremendous performances, with three coming in under the hard to attain 3hrs.

Matt Pitson was the first home with a stunning run to finish in 2.42.51. to not only set a new club record for the distance, but also to secure a start with the elite runners next year. The previous holder of the club record, Andy Vallance, came in next, who ran a brilliant race, despite not doing any training in the last three weeks due to a niggling injury, finishing in 2.55.10. Rob Kelly fulfilled all the promise of his recent good form to finally attain a sub-3hr marathon an get a Good For Age qualifying time finishing in 2.58.24. Rob had achieved a GFA time previously, but soon after, Virgin London Marathon changed the standards needed and this meant his time would not count. The whole club breathed a sigh of relief when he finished as everyone knew how difficult his training had been with work and a young family making it necessary for him to run late at night with a head torch, or very early mornings, doing the same sessions as his fellow Coe group runners on his own.

Seasoned London marathon veteran Roger Voaden was the next home in 3.07.02. with Jeremy Tandy next, running his first ever road marathon and finishing in 3.14.12, which was 48 seconds inside his GFA time. His run was all the more impressive for the fact he’d run the tough Exmoor Marathon only two weeks before. Paul Carter was very close behind Jeremy coming home in 3.15.32. Anne Binns was the first lady ORC home with a time of 4.07.19, not her best marathon time but she was happy with it, although not with the huge blister on one of her big toes! Anne also raised £550 for Coeliac Uk, to give back something to a charity that has helped her since she was diagnosed with the illness 18 months ago. It was Heidi Wills’ second marathon, and sadly the end of her training was marred by a family bereavement, but she decided to run anyway and not only completed in a great time of 4.10.44, a massive PB, but she also raised an incredible £2,600 for Force Cancer charity.

Mike Baker was one of the runners who got their place through the club ballot, and had only just got back to running after having Plantar Fasciitis for some time, when his name was drawn. At 49, this was his first marathon, and with his training going very well Mike was hoping for a finish time of around 3.45.00. He was running at the pace to achieve this when he got clipped by another runner which resulted in a pain firstly in his Achilles, then eventually his whole leg. He struggled on with the pain so bad he nearly pulled out with six miles to go, but did continue, finishing in 4.21.00, somewhat disappointed that it had all gone so wrong after a good start. Vicki Hayer had a charity place, running for Hospice UK, a charity to which she felt close having had family members being cared for by in hospices. This was her first marathon, and she really enjoyed the experience that London is, finishing in 4.47.04, pleased to have raised £2,300 for charity but not keen to run another one!

Many miles away another ORC was representing the club at the Madrid Marathon. After completing and thoroughly enjoying the Barcelona marathon a few weeks ago, Mark Hawkins immediately entered the Madrid one and plunged straight back into more training. Unfortunately, while we have had glorious sunshine here lately it has not been accompanied by the sort of heat Mark encountered on Sunday in Spain. In temperature in excess of 26 degrees Mark struggled in the last 4 miles, suffering badly with cramp from dehydration, but still completed in 3.59.16, considerably slower than Barcelona, but with some consolation in the fact he had raised £750 for Devon Air Ambulance.

While everyone’s attention was on what was going on in London, a lone ORC was taking part in the Plymouth Half marathon. George Haskell hadn’t really set himself a goal here, having been pleased with his recent PB at Bideford, but on what would normally be regarded as a much tougher course, George ran nearly 5mins faster to finish in 1.30.48. showing how much he has improved since moving up to Coe.

Many thanks to Jane for the run report.

Salford 10k & Bodmin 5 Tors

Mags had a busy time over the Easter weekend running a 10k road race on Good Friday and a tough eight mile off roader on Easter Sunday. Her first race was the Salford 10k which she ran in very wet conditions. Her daughter, Sarah, who is coming back from injury, helped pace Mags to her best 10k time for two years, finishing in 54.16 to start the new season of club awards with a diamond time.

In the Bodmin 5 Tors, the second of her weekend races, Mags was joined by two other ORCs, Rob Hicks and Mervyn Rice. This is a challenging fell race of more than 8 miles, starting from Minions and taking in Tregarrick, Kilmar, Bearah and Sharp Tors plus the Cheesewring. It provides some of the most beautiful countryside Cornwall has to offer and the clear skies but cool breeze made for perfect running conditions. Rob Hicks was the first ORC home, flying round in 1hr and 23 secs to come 8th overall.
Mervyn was next, taking third MV60 and Mags took second place in her category, FV60, completing two good runs in three days. Her achievement is all the more impressive as Mags suffers from Parkinson’s Disease, and to bring people’s attention to Parkinson’s Awareness Week Mags swapped her club vest for a Parkinson’s vest which she earned by raising money for the charity last year. She knows only too well that drugs for the disease can only mask some of the symptoms, not stop or slow its progress and hopes that public support will help fund more research to develop better treatments.

Many thanks to Jane for the run report

The Coastal Trail Series

Angela Martin and Jeremy Tandy took on a seriously tough challenge on Exmoor last Sunday. The Coastal Trail Series, run by Endurancelife, are a series of coastal races throughout the year of varying distances and degrees of difficulty according to terrain and total feet of ascent. The Exmoor course is widely regarded as the toughest in the series and is a gruelling test of endurance for even the most experienced trail and fell runners. The course encompasses steep climbs, open moorland, wooded coombes, cliffs, rivers and a stretch of coastline of unsurpassed beauty. On a glorious sunny day, that was more like June than April, the runners could appreciate this beautiful scenery, but it made for hot running conditions.

Angela opted for the most testing race, doing the 45 mile Ultra Plus with over 13,000ft of ascent, while Jeremy ran the 26 mile marathon with over 5,000ft of ascent. Despite the heat and a slight calf niggle, Angela finished this brutal race in 11hrs 23 mins 36 secs to be second lady, making it her hardest challenge to date after the iconic Lakes 50. Jeremy was also on form finishing the marathon in 4hrs 37min 53sec to finish 15th overall, and despite being his slowest marathon ever, he was pleased with this time due to the hard terrain it was over.

Many thanks to Jane for the run report

Taunton Half & Full Marathon, Greater Manchester Marathon and The Exe to Axe

The spring marathon season kicked off last weekend with club members keen to put their winter training to the test. Nearest home was the Taunton Marathon, held over a slightly changed course this year, keeping the runners off the busy A38 and sticking to more rural roads. Here, marathon training partners Roger Voaden and Paul Carter had excellent runs to finish in identical times of 3.03.48 to come joint 14th and share the MV50 age category prize. This was just a warm-up for the duo who are both running the London Marathon in three weeks time.

Two couples made up the four ORC representatives in the half marathon, in which the runners do one lap of the two lap marathon course. First ORC home was Jean Paul Quertier in a good time of 1.38.31, followed by Jason Ewing in 1.45.20. The two ladies, Keri Quertier and Becca Ewing, ran together and finished in 1.50.37, finding the hot sunshine a bit too much to run their best times.

The Asics Greater Manchester Marathon was the venue for Graham Bryant, who was running this distance for only the second time. This renowned superfast course, where many athletes get their PBs, finishes at Emirates Old Trafford, the home of Lancashire Cricket Club and is well supported all the way round. Graham ran well and was pleased with his run but just missed beating his previous time by 17 seconds, finishing in 3.11.14.

The Exe to Axe is a tough 22 mile point to point race along the South West Coast Path, starting in Exmouth and finishing in Seaton. Although it doesn’t quite have the Kudos of the renowned Grizzly, perhaps because it lacks the mud and beach sections, this is a longer and tougher race with over 4,000ft of ascent. Two ORCs, Rob Hicks and Christine Fritsch, took this challenge on, both having completed the Grizzly three weeks ago. On a glorious sunny day the coastal scenery was stunning and both runners enjoyed the race despite the steep gradients and many sets of steps. Rob had a much better run than at the Grizzly and finished in an impressive 3.17.13 with Christine, who had never run this distance even before coming home in 5.17.20

Many thanks to Jane for the run report

Tavy Half, Exeter Age UK 10k, Forest of Dean Spring Trails Half, Reading Half and the final round of the Westward League 2016-17

13-19th March

A busy weekend of racing saw ORC members racing in four different venues. Nearest home were the runners who only had to make the short trip to Tavistock to run the Tavy 13 Half Marathon. This scenic but hilly course starts in the town where the first 3 miles are fairly flat, but then goes out into the countryside where several challenging hills make for lovely views, before returning to the town to finish with a circuit of the athletics track. Five ORCs took part with Roger Voaden being the first home for the club in 1.25.46 to finish 9th overall and 2nd MV50. Chris Aylen was next, running his first race for eighteen months and pleased to finish in 2.06.02, followed by Caroline Wilson in 2.13.09, then Lora Medland and Nicola Smith finishing together in 2.14.21.

Slightly further away four ORCs took part in the Age UK 10k in Exeter. This 10k, unlike many that are run entirely along the Quay and Riverside Park, actually starts in the city centre and takes runners up the High Street and Sidwell Street before turning back and making their way down to the quayside. It then follows the flat stretch along beside the river and canal and eventually finishing at the Piazza Terracina. As part of the charity’s 30th anniversary of supporting older people in Exeter, this year’s race was a “Retro Run” with participants encouraged to run in retro fancy dress. First club member home was Ged Fitzgibbon with a great run in 51.24 to come 3rd MV65. Rachael Haydon was next, improving on her run here last year by 3 minutes, to finish in 56.11 and set a new PB. She was followed by Jane Richardson in 1.00.42 and Charlotte Williams in 1.06.33.

The Forest of Dean was the destination of three more ORCs to run the Forest of Dean Spring Trails Half Marathon. This multi-terrain event utilises well maintained forest trails, old railway line and some road. With conditions dry underfoot and the trees giving some protection from a blustery wind the runners enjoyed a good day. First home for ORC was Mags Jarvis in a good time of 2.09.08, followed by Katy Speak in 2.10.38 and Janet White in 2.21.25.

Hugh Robinson was the club member to travel the furthest, taking a trip to his former hometown to run the Reading Half Marathon. This is a huge event with over 10,000 runners taking on a fast, flat course that finishes in the Madejski Stadium, the home of Reading FC. Hugh set his half marathon PB on this course five years ago and never expected to improve on it, but a season of training with us has seen his times improve and he ran a great race to finish in 1.22.37, and set a new PB by 1min 36sec.

Many thanks to Jane for the run report

20-26th March

ORC members have been very busy competing in many different events and venues recently. Last weekend the focus was at Redruth which saw the climax of the Westward Cross Country League, on Saturday 25th. The Westward League consists of a series of six races held at various venues from as far apart as Exeter and Redruth. The first race was held in early October 2016 in Plymouth. The standard of the league is high, with many of the South West’s top club athletes taking part.

Three ladies and six men travelled to Redruth School to take part in the final league races of the 2016 -7 series. The weather was bright and dry and Cornwall AC, who were organising, put on a great fixture. Both the men and the ladies did really well and had a very good day.

The results for the men were Pete Devenport 11th, Matt Pitson 18th, Andrew Vallance 21st, Hugh Robinson 30th, George Haskell 63rd and Stuart May 75th. The overall results for the men gave the team an excellent 6th final position. Final league individual placings were very pleasing; Andrew Vallance 20th, Matt Pitson 21st, Pete Devenport 38th, Stuart May 48th and 6th V45, Hugh Robinson 64th, Paul Crease 65th and 13th V40.

The ladies races include under 17’s and seniors who run together. Sarah Marvin finished in 28th. Just two places behind was her daughter, Molly Marvin, who was 30th, a very good result as she was suffering from a cold. Third ORC home was Anne Binns in 51st place. The overall results for the league were: Molly Marvin 16th and a very well placed 5th in the U17 category, Sarah Marvin 17th and an excellent 4th V40; Anne Binns was 65th and 6th V50. The ORC ladies were the 11th team overall in the league.

Many thanks to Mags for the run report