The first weekend of autumn saw some more challenging off road races for ORC. There were three options of distances for those taking part in the Dartmoor Highground Races, organised by Freedom Racing on Saturday. All starting from the Pavillion in Simmons Park, there was a 10 mile Yes Tor race, the Dartmoor Marathon and the Dartmoor 50 Ultra. These were all fully waymarked and supported races, but with the feel of a fell race, where runners crossed open moorland, scaled the highest points in the south of England, and also went over many lesser known Tors. Two ORCs took on the marathon distance with Mike Baker having trained specifically for it through the summer and Chris Turner just entering on impulse on the day, having had a great run over the 34mile Crossing Ultra the week before. With Yes Tor being visited twice in the course and a total ascent of 5,000ft this was a very tough marathon, with difficult terrain to be negotiated. Sadly Mike didn’t have a good run and had to retire at mile 17, but Chris had a great race, and, despite the miles in his legs from the previous weekend, finished in an excellent time of 4.48.17 to be 5th overall and 4th male.
On the same day three ORCs took part in another fell race on the moors, the Beer and Bacon Fell Run. This was described by last year’s inaugural race finishers as proper fell running, not on paths, but across open terrain, crossing streams, bogs and boulder fields with a total ascent of over 1,100ft. Starting at the Fox and Hounds the runners follow a five mile circular route, taking in Brat Tor, Doe Tor, Hare Tor, Chat Tor and Great Links Tor before returning to the finish at the Fox and Hounds. The first ORC home was Mervyn Rice, now in the late stages of his training for the Glencoe marathon, who had a good run to finish in 55.54. Next home was Gill Spinney coming home in 1.06.00 with Debs Crome finishing in 1.11.28.
In contrast to the good conditions for the runners on Saturday, the Treggy 7 was held in appalling weather the following day. Hosted by Launceston Road Runners this is a popular but hilly seven mile road race which follows a circular route from Launceston Town square and finishes in the grounds of Launceston Castle. Heavy rain before and during the race made for wet feet even before the runners set off, but in places the roads were so flooded competitors had to wade through quite deep water. Jane Richardson and Janet White were not deterred by the weather and ran well, coming home in 1.15.50 and 1.16.12 respectively.
Jackie Dawes was dedicated enough to take her running gear with her when she and her family went on holiday to Malaysia and Singapore. Jackie is raising money for Alzheimers Research UK, and is constantly updating her mileage to her fundraising page, aiming to raise £400. She ran the West Coast Parkrun in Singapore, taking ORC colours to a new part of the world. In 30 degrees heat, despite the race starting at 7.30am, she finished in 27.32. Jackie was also named Runner of the Week for the Running Down Dementia Campaign.