Club news

Devon County Champs, Torbay & North Devon Halfs & More

Over the last week Okehampton Running Club members took part in a variety of races on three different terrains and also in a mixture of weather conditions.

On Wednesday June 21st Roger Voaden celebrated the longest day by winning the gold medal for the Vet 50 age group in the Devon County Championships 10,000m held on the track at Tavistock. He completed the race in 38:45.13, despite the extreme heat.

On the morning of Saturday June 24th a group of ORCs went to the Tamar Lakes parkrun. The runners were pleased that it was noticeably cooler than earlier in the week, with misty and slightly windy conditions. Chris Turner was first home and an excellent 3rd place overall in 19:08. He was followed by John Binns in 22:49, Jackie Dawes (3rd W45-49) in 24:47, Mags Jarvis (1 st W60-64) in 26:49. Geoff Hill ran with his daughter Shelby who achieved a new PB for the course and was the 1st girl aged 10 years in 32:52. Jackie and Chris also ran PB’s for the course.

On Sunday 25th there were two events that ORCs took part in. These were the Torbay Half Marathon and the North Devon Half Marathon. The Torbay Half Marathon got underway in cloudy conditions. The race followed a route along Torbay road from Paignton Green to Torquay and back, with a second lap before the finish just past Paignton Pier. The ORC runners found the course tough going but still did themselves proud. First home was Geoff Hill in 1:26:34 which was very close to his personal best and clearly the parkrun on the previous day was very beneficial! Ray Lawrence was 2nd ORC to finish with a time of 1:32:10. Mike Westland was delighted with his time of 1:58:35 as he was severely troubled by a knee problem in the second half of the race. Lora Medland finished in 2:05:41, just outside the time she achieved last year.

Tracey Mills, Katy Speak and Carole Cornwall took part in the North Devon Half Marathon which has quickly established itself as one of the most challenging and visually stunning events in the UK. It took place in the North Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, starting and finishing at Woolacombe.
The first 7 miles of the race was along the North Devon Coast path and it included running across the length of Croyde Beach. Here the race started in misty rain but finished in bright sunshine. Tracey was first to finish in 2:36:54 followed by Carole in 2:41:09 and Katy in 2:41:11, all very good times considering the difficulty of the route.

Many thanks to Mags for the run report.

Bude Lifeboat Run & Burrator Horseshoe

With the weather suddenly deciding it really was summer after all, runners in this week’s races found the running conditions pretty hot. On Wednesday the Bude Lifeboat Run was held on a beautiful sunny evening and sixteen ORCs took part in what has become a hugely popular event. The challenging, but not too tough course, the fantastic scenery and the lovely family atmosphere means people come back year after year to take part in this race which is preceded by a junior race that is equally popular. This year a slight change in the six mile course saw runners set off from the rugby club along the path beside the canal as usual, but there was one new hill to negotiate before the long pull uphill to the top of Whalesborough Farm where the stunning view of the coast and Widemouth Bay takes runners by surprise. From there it is all downhill back to the farm and then a fast flat two miles beside the canal all the way to the finish. Geoff Hill led them out off the rugby pitch and held his lead for some of the way but, with a fast Ruby Run three days earlier still in his legs, he eventually finished 10th in a great time of 37.28. Mervyn Rice was the next ORC home, having a much better run than last year when he was recovering from injury and came home in 44.35, to be 3rd MV60. First ORC lady home, having also done the Ruby Run, was Jo Turner, finishing in 47.32.

Other ORC times; John Binns; 46.41, Karen Vallance; 49.20, Mike Westland; 49.35, Jackie Dawes; 50.54, Tracey Mills; 54.23, Phil Turner; 58.11, Deborah Cunningham; 58.13, Ruth Bushell; 58.34, Jane Richardson; 1.01.35, Jessica Corcoran; 1.05.01, Janet White; 1.05.35, Kerry Morashti; 1.05.38, Claire Sprague; 1.08.48.

The Burrator Horseshoe was held on Saturday in even hotter conditions. As part of the Meavy Oak Fair, this traditional fell race doesn’t start until 3.00pm by which time temperatures had soared on a scorching day with only the faintest breeze. The course takes runners out from Meavy in a loop that takes in Burrator Reservoir, Sheepstor, Gutter Tor, Ringmoor Down and returns to the village via Meavy River Ford. Two ORCs, Rob Hicks and Paul Crease, took part and certainly did the club proud by finishing in second and third places. Rob finished in 46.26, just nine seconds ahead of Paul in 46.35, who was back running on his preferred ground of Dartmoor, after a brief diversion to road running for the Ruby Run Half Marathon the previous week where he had taken second place.

Many thanks to Jane for the run report.

Ruby Run & Awards Evening

We had a very successful day at the Ruby Run last Sunday!  This half marathon follows a route that runs between Holsworthy and Hatherleigh, with the start and finish alternating each year. This year’s Ruby Run started in Hatherleigh and this is regarded as the tougher direction with more uphill and a harder second half. The steep hill leading into Holsworthy square from Coles Mill is a really testing finish at the end of a long hilly race too.

Okehampton had a good turnout, most of them running the full race, but a few being part of a relay team. Paul Crease, not normally a road runner and more usually to be found running on Dartmoor, put in an outstanding performance to come second overall in a time of 1.24.58, obviously relishing the hilly route. Geoff Hill was the next ORC home in 6th place, storming up the final hill to finish in 1.28.20.
Not too far behind was Graham Bryant with a terrific run to finish in 1.31.35 and come 10th, just a week after completing the Dartmoor Discovery Ultra Marathon. Chris Turner was the fourth ORC home in 11th place in 1.33.10 and these four made up Okehampton’s team, winning the newly presented Dartington Glass Affiliated Club Trophy for the highest placed club with four runners home. Geoff Hill also took the prize for the First Local Male home. ORC runners were dominating the finish line by this time with Andy Vernon the next home (1.37.05), followed by George Haskell (1.38.08), and Ed Dumpleton (1.40.35), hitting his target time and setting a new PB in only his second half marathon and only nine months since he started running. John Binns was next (1.48.14) and then the first of the four ORC ladies, Jo Turner and Karen Vallance who ran the race together (1.59.49), followed by Deborah Cunningham (2.14.55), Rachael Haydon (2.16.44) and Alan Luffingham (2.18.23), who has run every Ruby Run since it first started in 2003. Kerry Tyler and Suzanne Gratton also ran together and finished in 2.36.50.

On Friday we held our annual Awards Evening at Okehampton Golf Club. This is a celebration of members achievements throughout the year and trophies are awarded for outstanding performances in different categories. Certificates are also awarded, covering six different distances raced by members and with different levels of award. This year eight runners managed to complete every distance from one mile to marathon; Lucy Brint, Jackie Dawes, Claire Stanbury, Nicola Smith, Andy Vallance, Rob Kelly, Chris Turner and Stuart May.

The Annual Awards as voted for by the members were;
Highest Achiever Female; Mags Jarvis.
Highest Achiever Male; Roger Voaden.
Most Improved Female; Becca Ewing.
Most Improved Male; Mark Hawkins.
Best Newcomer; Ed Dumpleton.
Hardest Trainer Female; Nicola Smith.
Hardest Trainer Male; Rob Kelly.
Coach of the Year Female; Charlotte Radnor.
Coach of the Year Male; Chris Aylen.
Member of the Year; Jane Jackson.

The Marilyn Cooper Memorial Trophy, which was presented to the club last year by Paul Cooper in memory of his wife Marilyn who sadly died last March is not voted for, but is presented to the lady runner who has raced the most miles in one year. This was won by Caroline Wilson, having clocked up 198 miles of racing throughout the year.

Many thanks to Jane for the run report

Dartmoor Discovery

At the Dartmoor Discovery last Sunday four Okehampton Runners took on the infamous hills of this 32 mile road ultra marathon. For three of them this was a return visit to a course they had all raced before, but for one this was a new venture into ultra marathon running. The race starts in Princetown and follows a single lap course through Dartmeet, Poundsgate, Widecombe in the Moor,and Postbridge before making its way back to the finish in Princetown. On a good day the countryside is beautiful with stunning scenery, but the hills are relentless, especially in the second half of the course. Rob Kelly loves this race and was first ORC home in a terrific time of 4.31.32, an improvement of nearly 12 minutes on his previous record for the course. Just one person sepa-rated him from Roger Voaden, the next ORC back, finishing in 4.34.21 and behind him was Paul Carter in 4.35.52. For Graham Bryant this was completely new territory, having never run an ultra marathon before, and although he found it tough he put in a great performance to come home in 5.04.44.

Many thanks to Jane Jackson for the report