Nicola Smith and Lora Medland took part in their first marathon last weekend. Having never run the distance before, and not being very comfortable with trail running, they still chose to run the off road Bad Cow Marathon in Dorset as their first. This event, organised by White Star Running, is one of their Weekender events with options of different length races over two days, and is held on the fields and heathland of Holton Heath Nature Reserve near Poole. Just to add to the challenge, Nicola and Lora chose to run the 10k race the evening before the marathon, which they completed in 1.04.45 in very windy conditions. Both races were a series of 5k loops and they regarded the 10k as a chance to get used to the terrain and prepare their legs for the marathon the next day. After two laps the evening before and eight for the marathon they decided they were perhaps a bit over-familiar with the route! With great determination and fuelled by jelly babies and Coke, they completed the marathon together in a very respectable 5hr 21min 11sec.
Christine Fritsch was also running a challenging race on the more familiar terrain of Dartmoor on Sunday. This was the second running of the Dartmoor Volcano Race, organised by pureTRAIL Running, a 10.25 mile race with over 500 metres of ascent, taking the runners over the highest point in the south moors, Ryders Hill. Starting in Scorriton, the first three miles were all uphill with the runners taking in The Volcano, a pyramid of a spoil-heap from the disused Red Lake china clay works which made for a stunning focal point for the race, at mile six. In wet, misty conditions Christine loved the boggy, hilly terrain, finishing in 2hrs 6min 12sec.
This coming weekend sees the third race in our summer series, the Oke Croak! This is a challenging 10mile plus route across Dartmoor, including over 2000 ft of ascent. More information can be found on the OkeyRaces website: okeyraces.com
Many thanks to Jane for the run report.