Yearly Archives: 2017

2017 run report review

What a year it has been for our running club. The diversity of club membership is awesome. We have elite runners capable of running Marathons within the elite time, we have Ultra Distance marathon runners, trail runners, park runners, road runners and people who just like to run along enjoying the opportunity to get out and about.
It’s been a fantastic year for our club with many events attended, many PBs broken, new members joining and a some wonderful memories as well.
This report will try and relive those memorises as best it can.
Here are some facts; there have been ORC attendance at 112 race events ranging from the West Country league cross country, 5k park runs, lots of 10km and 10mile races, half marathons, marathons as some ultra marathons, one over 100 miles. Attending these we had 119 club members race during the year. What a turnout and how well you all did. We had 73 PBs set across all races, some by a few seconds and others by many minutes.
The Bideford Half-Marathon in March was the most attended event in the calendar this year.
We had a record entry of 37 runners taking part in the Bideford Half Marathon! The forecast of heavy downpours and gale force winds dampened the hopes of those aiming for a new PB, but the weather gods were kind and despite early rain, the skies cleared and the wind was not such an issue, only giving the runners a tough time in the last couple of miles. Over 1,400 runners took part, the highest number ever in this increasingly popular race with its fast, flat and nearly traffic free course. The timing of it also provides an opportunity for those training for a spring marathon to test how their training is going over half the distance.
The furthest away race attended is a tie between Jackie Dawes and Caroline Wilson.
Caroline Wilson travelled to the USA to take on an incredible endurance challenge. Taking place in Disney World, Florida, the Dopey Challenge is a four day event at the end of which the participants will have run a total of 48.6 miles. Caroline eased in with a 5k race, which is followed on the next day with a 10k, a half marathon the next day and finishes with a full marathon on the Sunday. Caroline completed the Challenge and so raise money for Crohns and Colitis UK. Caroline collected a total of six huge medals, which may cause her some excess baggage charge on her return trip!
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.
The final mention on fund raising must go to Mags. She took part in a sponsored Great Escape half marathon in August on behalf of Parkinson’s UK and raised £3017.50. Mags said, Well done Mags for completing the event and raising such a huge amount of money for such a worthy cause.
The longest race and perhaps the toughest races, the Cotswold Century that Rob Hicks took on. This extremely challenging race, with over 12,500ft of ascent follows the Cotswold Way from north to south, starting in Chipping Camden and finishing at Bath Abbey, 102 miles later. With a midday start Rob had to run a greater portion of the race in the dark than in the light. Thankfully the conditions were good with the ground firm and dry and Rob ran a brilliant race, moving gradually up the field to finish in fifth place in a very impressive but mind-boggling time of 22hrs 28mins, well inside the thirty hour completion limit.
There are so many events to relive but will leave the reviews to yourselves and to reflect on your years challenges whatever they have been.
Please remember in 2018 to share on our Facebook page the details of your events so that we can share your achievements to others within the club.
Many thanks to Jane Jackson for gathering all the run reports and preparing the report for the news paper most weeks, to Chris Turner for the editing who also handed that role over to Robert Richards. Without your input we would really struggle to have such inspiring reports.
Have a fabulous New Year and look forward to the races, events challenges and the exciting club nights and training session prepared so professionally by Geoff and managed so well by all the coaches.

Ho! Ho! Ho!

As the festive season draws nearer, our runners were still prepared to get out and tackle some muddy off road races in both daylight and the dark. The Wild Night Run’s Dark Dart Dash, The Torrington Christmas Caper and the Mud Crew’s Scrooge.

At Wild Night Run’s Dark Dart Dash on Saturday evening there was a range of distances to run from the 1k and 2k children’s races to a 5k for anyone over 12 years old and 10k for adults only, all taking place around the grounds of Dartington Hall. Christine Fritsch choosing the 10k and Gill Spinney the 5k, after accompanying her daughter in the 1k, Gill watched her son in the 2k. They both enjoyed their races, with Gill having a terrific run in the 5k to finish in 32.29, coming second lady overall and first in her age group, and Christine finishing well placed in the 10k in 1.03.42.

The Torrington Christmas Caper has become a traditional Christmas excursion into the mud and fields around Torrington, taking in some some of the Tarka Trail, forestry tracks and offering plenty of hills with the odd river crossing. As with most of these races at this time of year there was plenty of fancy dress on show, some standing up to the muddy conditions better than others. Tom Andrew and Ruth Bushell taking this tough race on for the first time, while Richard Owen had done it before, but hasn’t raced at all for the past eight years! He was pleased to complete in 1.33.58, as was Tom who ran well to finish in 1.36.06, with Ruth enjoying her debut run here, coming home in 2.00.20 and hoping to return again next year.

While these races had their usual share of mud and hills for winter off roaders in the south west, Mud Crew’s Scrooge, held at the Lost Gardens of Heligan, ensured that runners not only got thoroughly muddy, but got the chance to wash it all off with a swim before getting muddy again. Sold as a perfect pre-Christmas mud fest, this 7 mile trail race includes some stretches of water so deep that some smaller runners have to actually swim rather than walk across! There are also a good number of steep hills to climb, one being repeated three times, but to keep their spirits up and help them get through this brutal race there was cider and merlot on offer at the drinks stations! Jo Turner was the lone runner here, running it with a friend and thought it was the best seven miler she’d ever run, clocking quite a good time for the conditions of 1.51.10.

On Saturday evening, while some runners were out racing in the muddy darkness, others were enjoying the club’s Christmas celebrations at the Pavilion n the Park. There was a buffet meal followed by a draw for prizes including a lovely Christmas hamper, won by Danielle Fullford Brown and £72 was raised for the Devon air Ambulance.

Many thanks to Jane Jackson for the run report and Robert Richards for the editing

Race the Light

Only a few brave runners out this weekend, and mighty cold it was!

Despite the wintery weather Ali Coulton, Robert Richards and Phil Spinney set out on a Race the Light event near Mothecombe in South Devon.

The Race itself is a shadowy 8.5 mile escapade, meandering through Flete Estates’ secret tracks and trails. The race starts on the sand, the runners were crossing the Erme estuary in the freezing waters as the light was fading getting wet feet and legs from the outset and up into the woods they ran. On the return leg, leaving the woods to cross the estuary for the second time, up the slipway and continuing to the finish line at the Old Schoolhouse.

The race had many challenges from racing against the light, the incoming tide, the slippery, sticky mud and off course the biting wind.

This year saw over 290 runners starting the race and the trio represented the club, proudly sporting their club colours. Robert Richards came in first with a time of 1hr 22mins, overall 66th position and 7th in the MV50 age category, second was Abi Coulton with a time of 1hr 33mins and Phil Spinney, despite starting out with a steady halfway pace he suffered a recurrence of a recent calf injury. Although this caused him to slow, his determination and awaiting family ensured he soldiered on to the end finishing in respectful 1hr 46min.

The cold winter snap didn’t put off two further runners from their continued preparation of an Ultra-Marathon in the spring, Jo-Anne Turner and Alison Holliday. Finding the highest and coldest part of Dartmoor setting out early to complete their training. Well done ladies!

Many thanks to Jane Jackson for the run report and Robert Richards for the editing

Santa’s little helpers!

Another awesome weekend of running and not forgetting a mention of our very own Santa’s little helpers!

Saturday evening saw the third race in the Wildnight Run race series. This included a punishing 10 mile slog or a more sedate 10km around the reservoir.

A tough 10mile off road Burrator Noir takes in stunning terrain over open moor-land, including a punishing 5 mile continuous uphill ascent. The compensation for this climb was views to the lights in Plymouth while enjoying the peaceful nights atmosphere of the open moors. An exhilarating descent from Gutter Tor to Meavy Splash where runners had the option of getting wet legs or taking a longer route to avoid the river crossing, finishing with another harsh climb in the last mile. Although having never done the Bur-rator Noir before, Okehampton Running Club’s Christine Fritsch is an experienced night runner, finishing in 1.57.09, coming third FV40.

The Burrator 10k is an ideal first step into night running, and is a fast, flat road race, where a route of one and two-thirds laps of the reservoir, finishing at the visitor centre. A new Okehampton member, Tom Andrew, took on this as not only his first night race but his first 10k race too. A relative newcomer to running, Tom had previously only completed a half marathon and a 10 miler and this was his first race since joining Okehampton. He is reaping the benefits of training with the club, already having improved enough to have moved up a group, and was pleased to come 8th in his age category here, finishing in 54.08.

At Sunday’s Westward League fixture in Exeter which hosted the Devon X-Country Championships, there was another impressive turnout of ORCs despite some not making it through injury. Okehampton now has a good strength and depth of competitive runners ready to take on the challenge of these tough, fast races and there were some good performances over a very muddy and energy-sapping course. In the Ladies race, which again was an extended distance due to a marshalling error, Sarah Marvin was the first ORC runner home with a great run to come 4th in her age group for the Championships. She was closely followed by her daughter Molly, who despite lacking training this year, ran a brilliant race to come eighth and go forward to represent Devon at County level. Gill Spinney was next home followed by Jane Jackson, beginning to come back to form after several injuries, with Anne Binns next and Mags Jarvis having a great run at a faster pace than last year despite the worse conditions underfoot to come 3rd in the FV60 category. Issy Edworthy was the only representative for the club in the under 15 girls race where she held her own among some extremely talented opposition to come 9th, making her first reserve to represent Devon at Inter-County level.

Eleven ORC men tackled the longer course which by now had become even worse underfoot, with on-form Paul Crease coming home first for the club with a brilliant run which gave him third place in the MV45 category. Andy Vallance was next, followed by Rob Kelly making them sixth and seventh in their age groups. Chris Turner and Hugh Robinson were next home, these five making up the team results for the League, while Paul Carter ran well to maintain a good placing in the League’s MV50 category, but not entering the Devon Championships. Graham Bryant finished next, followed by Ed Dumpleton having his debut X-country run here and enjoying what was a baptism of mud and hills, with George Haskell next and then new club member Stuart Page, also run-ning his first Westward League race, and Andy Humberstone.

…and on a final note thank you to everyone who helped marshall the Santa’s park run on Sunday morning. A very well attended run with over 80 runners this years most of whom wore their very own Santa’s outfits.

Many thanks to Jane Jackson for the run report and Robert Richards for the editing

Winter has arrived

Winter was suddenly upon us last weekend with, snow and rain combined with cold winds to emphasise the change. This didn’t stop our runners from getting out onto the moor as well as and getting muddy in two off road races, the Run Venture Rollercoaster and the Bicton Blister.

The Rollercoaster at Tamar Trails offers five miles of trails with five main hills, though a few others too! The forest tracks take the runners on some steep ascents and descents through the Tamar Valley starting and finishing at the Run Venture Hub. Okehampton’s Paul Crease showed what great form he is in, winning the race in a great time of 33.20 making his average pace 6.37 over a very hilly course. Okehampton’s only other runner here was Katie Littlejohns who also had a great run, finishing in 40.21 to come fifth lady and setting a new age group club record.

Two Okehampton runners took the trip down to East Budleigh to run the Bicton Blister, one doing the 10 mile Blister and the other the 4.5 mile Blister Lite. The start and finish of both these races are on short road sections with the remainder on muddy forest tracks and sandy, stony heathland paths, also surprisingly muddy, with a river crossing to make sure the runners got their feet wet. The hugely popular Blister always attracts a good entry with nearly 500 taking part this year. Okehampton’s complete newcomer, Jennie Bruce, has never run further than about six miles and never done any off road racing, but this didn’t stop her taking on the full Blister where she finished in an impressive 1.18.57, coming ninth lady. Rachael Haydon had entered the full Blister, but having not completely shaken off a chest infection, she dropped to the shorter distance where she still knocked six minutes off her previous time on this course to finish in 53.50.

Much further afield runners were taking advantage of our glorious moorland environment to prepare for a series of future events or just plain fun. Janet White, Jane Jackson, Mike Baker, Christine Jeffery and Phil Read enjoyed a Wild Moor run with taking in Hangingstone horseshoe clockwise. Still a bit of snow and a lot of water underfoot so their feet felt a bit frozen at one stage. Views to die for though and perfect company!

The training has started for Alison Holiday and Jo-Anne Turner coast to coast journey next Easter, Sunday’s 16 miles was mainly walking across fields up to their knees in mud and cow muck!

Notwithstanding the cold weather a further group decided to take to the ring road and make their way around on Sunday morning included Ruth Bushell, Beki Simmons, Claire Sprague, Kerry Morashti and others including dogs.

Many thanks to Jane Jackson for the run report and Robert Richards for the editing

It was long but short

For such a short report it was in fact a long run, well done guys for yet another marathon feat. How do you all keep maintaining those times?

The last of the autumn marathons took place on Sunday with the challenging Cornish Marathon.
This is now Cornwall’s only all road marathon and has been organised by the East Cornwall Harriers for the last thirty years. Starting from Pensilva, the runners are taken on a scenic circular route out along the Draynes valley to Jamaica Inn at Bolventor and back along the Fowey valley. With over 2,000 feet of ascent and a steep climb from miles 24 to 25, this is a tough end to the marathon season. Four guys who took part and the first home for the club was Paul Carter, reversing his more accustomed position of a few minutes behind club mate Roger Voaden, to finish in 3.12.51 coming 10th overall and first MV50. Roger was the next home, finishing in 3.15.29 to be placed 12th and second MV50, both of them improving on last year’s times, with Paul knocking 13 minutes off his and setting himself a new PB for the course. Chris Turner also improved on his previous time by ten minutes, finishing with club mate Charlie Galley in 3.39.54.

At the Templar Wild Night run on Saturday evening it was Okehampton runner Gill Spinney’s turn to race this time, while her husband sat it out with their children. This is a brand new 10k route from Stover Country Park to Stover School on compact earth tracks through woods and fields as well as a section along the bank of the River Teign. After a warm up run with her daughter Kiera in the under eights 1k race, Gill had a good run round this relatively flat course to finish in an impressive 51.19, coming fourth in the FV40 age category.

Katie Littlejohns took a small group early on Saturday morning. They climbed over 1200′, including West Mill Tor and Rowtor. A special congratulations to Lucy Marrison who passed her 1000 miles of running this year while they were out. Robert Richards also went out to recce one of the legs of the Dartmoor 600 starting from the Dartmoor Inn over to Yes Tor and back.

As always someone somewhere is taking advantage of the empty space and wonderful off-road opportunities right on our door step. Always moor runners going out during the weekend. Do keep an eye on the Facebook pages to see who is going. They will always welcome company so if you are interested just says so and someone will take you up.

If there are runners out there not getting a mention in the weekly run report then please ensure you post some details on facebook. We have not heard from any beginners yet so please encourage then to write a post.

Many thanks to Jane Jackson for the run report and Robert Richards for the editing

Autumnal running

Despite the Autumnal weather the runners keep coming out to represent our club. Yet another weekend of awesome running. Sunday saw another fantastic turnout of runners both at the Drogo 10 and the second round of the Westward League cross-country in Newquay, with one dedicated ORC actually taking part in both these events.

The Drogo 10, a hilly and often muddy trail race through the grounds and woods surrounding Castle Drogo, attracts many runners every year wanting to enjoy the beautiful autumn colours and the testing course, culminating in the steep climb up the notorious Hunters path. Following his win at the Templer Ten last week, the mud and hills were no problem for Okehampton’s Brennan Townshend and he finished in 1.00.04 to come second overall. Clearly in such a hurry Brennan had no time to stay for the presentation, he rushed off and drove down to Newquay to join the club’s Westward League team. Rob Hicks also had a good run to finish strongly in 1.08.45 to come tenth, followed by Geoff Hill in 1.14.18. Charlie Collyer was the first ORC lady, in 1.38.06, with Christine Fritsch next, running her best time round the course in 1.43.21 and Mags Jarvis in 1.47.48 to be 3rd FV60.

Other ORC times; Mike Baker; 1.24.09, Jason Ewing; 1.28.34, Chris Aylen; 1.37.36, Andy Collyer; 1.38.06, Phil Read; 1.42.45, Emma Dean; 1.57.09, Jo Turner; 1.57.57, Janet White; 2.04.13.
Geoff Hill said, ” Well done all you Orcs…Everyone who completed this run should be proud of themselves as the course is so very tough. From Fosters to Coe an amazing effort all”.

While the Drogo runners had the woods to shelter them from the strong and very cold northerly winds, the runners in Newquay had nothing to protect them on the exposed rugby pitches where the Westward League cross country was held. In parts of the course it was a struggle to run at all when being knocked backwards, but Okehampton’s male and female teams all battled through it. The Ladies race was first, with the talented Jennie Bruce coming in first for the club and very well placed within the race. Jennie, who has only taken up running in the last few months, felt she hadn’t paced it well, but as this was only her second race of any sort she is still learning racing technique. After Jennie, the finishing order for the ladies was Sarah Marvin, who is now 3rd in her age category, Molly Marvin, Gill Spinney, Anne Binns and Jane Jackson.

The Men’s team was slightly depleted this month with several runners not able to go, but those who did put in great performances. Brennan Townshend made the trip down there worthwhile by coming in an excellent 20th overall and first of the ORC men. He was followed by Paul Crease, Andy Vallance, Paul Carter, who is currently a magnificent 1st place for his age category, Hugh Robinson, Mervyn Rice and Andy Humberstone.

A round up of the team positions so far are; Men’s Vets are 5th and the Men’s senior team are positioned a respectful 6th place overall with 52 teams. This is particularly good considering the league is full of track athletes as well as top class club runners. The Ladies Vets team are 7th out of 47 and the Ladies seniors are also 12th out of 72 teams. Our running club is really holding its own in a very competitive league. Well done to everyone taking part.

The final mention in this weeks run report must go to Mags. She took part in a sponsored Great Escape half marathon in August on behalf of Parkinson’s UK and raised £3017.50. Mags said, “Thanks so very much to everyone for your amazing generosity. It has been brilliant for me to have such fantastic support. I can’t thank you all enough xx”. Well done Mags for completing the event and raising such a huge amount of money for such a worthy cause.

Many thanks to Jane Jackson for the run report and Robert Richards for the editing

What an awesome turnout!

What an awesome turnout this weekend for our club. It is a privilege being part of such a well supported and diverse club. We had 33 members at three events this weekend; Saturday night saw the first in the Wild Night Run series, kicking off with the Haldon Night 5k and 10k races, The Templar Ten and off course the Bideford 10.

Despite the massive attendance at the Bideford race the first mention must go to Brennan Townshend only recently joined the club and he did it proud, flying round in a hugely impressive time of 57.22 to win his first race in Okehampton club colours. The Templar Ten is a multi-terrain race starting and finishing in the grounds of Stover School with the course taking the runners through the picturesque Stover Country Park. Also running there was David Slocombe who is enjoying his recent return to racing and finished in 1.46.54.

The Wild Night Series takes place at Haldon forest and on a clear night there was a full moon to help light the way along the woodland paths and trails of the Forest. Five ORCs took on the 10k distance and the first home for the club was Christine Fritsch, improving on her time last year to finish in 1.02.35. Phil Spinney, who has only recently got back to running after a lay off, was next in 1.04.12, followed by Geraldine Walter in 1.04.47, Beki Simmons in 1.08 .00 and Hannah Woods in 1.10.31. Phil’s son Aiden won the under 8’s fun run with his younger sister Kiera coming 7th, a good prospect for Okehampton’s future membership possibly!

At the Bideford 10 Miler on Sunday there was another huge turnout of ORCs to take on this fast, flat course which this year had nearly 930 finishers. The weather often has a big effect on this race which heads out on the roads to Yelland and then returns beside the Torridge estuary along the Tarka Trail. There was a strong headwind on the outward journey, and along Instow seafront it was brutal, whipping up sand from the beach and throwing it in the runners’ faces, but it was slightly more favourable on the return leg of the race. There were some great performances, some first timers at the distance and a host of personal bests from Okehampton’s runners.

First home for the club was Roger Voaden, just a week after his Snowdonia Marathon in a time of 1.04.40. The first lady home was Katie Littlejohns who is really on form at present, her time of 1.11.37 giving her a new PB and a new club record for the distance.

Katie Littlejohns, Jayne Peachey; 1.19.07 (PB), Louise Lyle; 1.21.31 and Jackie Dawes; 1.22.03 (PB) made up the Okehampton ladies team who were placed second.

Jackie Dawes also bettered her own club record for her age category, and Jane Jackson was 3rd FV60 in 1.27.04. Personal bests were also scored by Ed Dumpleton, who knocked six minutes off his previous best in 1.09.45, Tracey Mills; 1.26.13, Jo Bradford took five minutes off her’s in 1.27.19, Rachael Haydon; 1.35.42, Lotte Smith; 1.39.01, and Jane Richardson; 1.48.58.

For seven runners it was the first time they had run this distance and for Catherine Walker the furthest she had ever run having only completed eight miles in training previously. First of these was Robert Richards, using this as a recovery run from his Exmoor marathon last week in 1.22.36, Phil Read; 1.23.43, Viki Heyer; 1.28.47, Rachel Holland; 1.40.52, Catherine Walker; 1.44.38, Debbie Miller; 1.51.20, Daniella Bryant; 2.04.28.

Other ORC times; Andrew Vernon; 1.06.22, Andrew Thorne; 1.12 41, Darren Trick; 1.22.16, Mike Westland; 1.24.29, Lucy Marrison; 1.41.20, Ruth Bushell; 1.49.30, Claire Sprague; 1.54.57.

Not forgetting the regular Moor runners who braved the elements with some brilliant Moor running by Janet White, Mike Baker and Emma Dean. 11 mile hard but fun slog!

Many thanks to Jane Jackson for the run report and Robert Richards for the editing

A Marathon weekend

A weekend of many Marathon’s, Snowdonia National Park, Dartmoor National Park and Exmoor National Park. All very diverse terrains, scenery and challenge. Impressive performances all around.

Calling all beginners! Please take note as you start your journey into the runners world, toying with your own goals and ambitions everything is possible. Liam Keen joined the club in September, having only started running in April, pushing himself until he was able to run 5k so that he could join one of the club groups. He did extremely well to complete his first ever race in the Dartmoor Vale 10k in 58.00 and is now looking to take on other challenges.

On Saturday, Roger Voaden and Chris Aylen made the long journey to North Wales to take part in the Snowdonia Marathon. For Chris, this was his third visit to the race, but for Roger it was a new marathon to try out. The first Snowdonia Marathon was held in 1982, and was conceived as an alternative to the many city and town races that were becoming so popular. The spectacular route, encircling Wales’ highest peak, has made this a must do event for marathon runners and this year over 2,500 people took part. With two huge climbs in the course, the total ascent is 823 metres, meaning that if it was run on the flat, the distance would be 29.3miles. A slightly misty day meant that the tops of the mountains weren’t visible, but the scenery was still very impressive. Both runners enjoyed their runs with Roger clocking another excellent time for such a difficult course to finish in 3.23.06 and coming 6th MV50, while Chris Aylen completed in 4.55.31.

Sunday saw Paul Carter, Rob Kelly and Chris Turner all take part in the Sibelco Dartmoor Vale Marathon much closer to home. This is a two lap race along country lanes, starting and finishing at the Newton Abbot Racecourse. The course is relatively flat but has quite a hill at mile 6 which is then repeated at mile 18. Paul Carter ran a superb race to finish in 3.15.53, coming 6th overall and first MV50. Chris Turner, who is setting new personal bests with every race recently, also put in an incredible run to come home in 3.19.23, improving on his current PB by nearly eight minutes and finishing 11th overall. Rob Kelly also had a good run, finishing only four places behind Chris in 3.23.47.

Geoff Hill had withdrawn from the full marathon here, having had to take a break from training due to injury. He felt fit enough to run the half marathon however and was running very well up to mile ten, when he started to feel the lack of training. His pace slowed but he still completed in a very good time of 1.35.07 to come second MV40.

Completing the list of marathoners on Sunday was Robert Richards. He had set himself a huge challenge by taking on the Exmoor Trail Marathon as his first ever marathon. Starting in the beautiful Doone Valley, this is a very tough trail run with open moorlands, wooded valleys and coastal paths, encompassing some stunning scenery but accredited with the steepest marathon climb in the country, with the total ascent for the marathon being nearly 5,000ft. Robert loved the whole thing and did himself and the club proud by finishing within his target time of six hours, completing in 5.49.57, to come third in the MV50 age group.

And for something different…. Mags Jarvis took on a different discipline on Sunday when she competed in the Dartington Duathlon, held in the grounds of Dartington Hall, Totnes. Competing in the Sprint distance, she started with a 5k road run, followed by a 20k bike ride and finally a 2.5k off road run. Mags had done this race last year and was very pleased to find she was nearly four minutes faster this time round, finishing in 1.45.54. This year Mags was the oldest female competitor, coming second in the “Vintage” (60+) age category.

Many thanks to Jane Jackson for the run report and Robert Richards for the editing

Tavy 7 and the Edinburgh Marathon Festival tour

It was another top draw performance from our amazing club this weekend with a huge turnout for the Tavy 7, records tumbling, team success’s across the board and much further afield a more sedate running experience in Edinburgh.

At the Tavy 7 on Sunday, the remnants of Storm Brian failed to stop our runners from putting in some great performances. The 7 mile course is surprisingly fast, all on roads except for the start and finish which are into a field. This popular race had record entries this year, despite the continued threat of showers that was ever present the wind was brutal on the exposed sections of the course. With the wet conditions the start was delayed 15mins to allow runners to safely navigate the parking area and get to the start point. Unfortunately the gateway had become a quagmire with vehicles and foot traffic through it, so runners were slowed to a ‘tiptoe through the mud’ pace on the way out and sprint finishes were delayed on the return. Nineteen of our runners competed this year and what an awesome display and a brilliant team effort.

First Male home for the club was Roger Voaden in 45.06, using this race as a final week’s taper before he runs the Snowdonia Marathon next weekend. Just one runner separated him from fellow club mate Graham Bryant, coming back to form to finish in 45.36 with Andy Vernon next in 47.54. These three, together with Ed Dumpleton who was next in 49.29, made up Okehampton’s Men’s Team who took 1st place.

The ladies were headed by Katie Littlejohns, for once leaving her usual off road moorland running and putting in a great run to finish in 50.37, setting a new club record for the distance. New club member Jennie Bruce, running her first ever race, is proving to be a great prospect for the future, having a natural talent which meant that despite very little training and no race experience at all she put in a great performance to finish in 53.25. Third home was Monika Richards finishing in 59.35. Katie, Monika and Jane Jackson made up Okehampton’s Ladies’ Team also scooping 1st prize, with Jennie’s time not being included having entered before joining the club.

The more senior members certainly did the club and themselves proud with Jane Jackson’s time of 1.00.40 won her the 1st FV60 prize and was also a new club record for her age category. Ged Fitzgibbon taking the 2nd MV65 prize in a time of 1.01.53, bettering his own club record for the distance set last year at the same venue. Janet White also had a better run this year with her time of 1.13.52 winning her the 2nd FV65 trophy. Jane Richardson is still on a roll with some impressive runs recently. Having knocked 8 minutes off her half marathon PB at the Great West Run last week, she ran another PB, here coming home in 1.14.31 to take the 3rd FV65 prize.

Other times; Mike Baker; 50.39, Claire Stanbury; 1.02.33, David Slocombe; 1.02.59, Lucy Brint; 1.05.04, Cathy Carey; 1.05.04, Jo Camies; 1.05.06, Emma Dean; 1.05.23, Lotte Smith; 1.12.25.

Much further afield and proving that running as a hobby is not all about competing or pitting yourself against the elements Tracey Mills and Rachel Holland along with some friends took to a more relaxed jog around the beautiful sights of Edinburgh. Conquering Arthurs seat among other historic sites with the Edinburgh Marathon Festival running tours was a precursor to afternoon tea!

With the winter season shortly over the horizon, head torches, warmer clothing and impressive headgear is the order of the day and the winner this week in the amazing head gear category at the Tavy 7 goes to….. Mike Baker.

Many thanks to Jane Jackson for the run report