The South West racing season got underway on Sunday with the First Chance 10k in Exeter. This has become a hugely popular race, with runners wishing to get back after the Christmas break and test their fitness, and the race was full several months ago. It is run on a traffic-free course in Exeter’s Riverside Valley Park and the flat course has good PB potential. Eleven ORCs took part this year with the mild and calm weather making for good running conditions. Matt Pitson put in a terrific run, coming home in a very good time of 35.48 to be 17th overall and just one second over his PB. Mike Westland was next home in 50.58 with the first lady ORC, Jackie Dawes, not far behind in 51.06.
Other ORC times; Ged Fitzgibbon; 51.24, Katy Speak; 52.26, Mags Jarvis; 55.35, Alan Luffingham; 56.24, Jane Richardson; 59.42, Debbie Bryant; 1.01.30, Janet White; 1.03.37, Sarah Bell; 1.12.34.
Another 10k race was taking place in Plymouth on the same day. The January Jaunt is a multi-terrain race organised by the Plymouth Round Table. It starts at the Plymouth Devils speedway track, taking runners out into the Saltram Estate before returning to the St Boniface Arena. Roger Voaden was the club’s only runner at this event and finished in 38.58 to come 7th overall.
Molly Marvin was not only representing ORC at a race this weekend, but, was also running for Devon, at the South West XC Championships. This was held at Haldon Racecourse where the dry and fairly level 4.4k course made for a sharp pace. Molly rose to the occasion and ran an excellent time of 17.29, coming in 5th Devon runner which may have secured her selection to go forward to the National Championships. Molly has also qualified for the Devon Schools XC finals later this month along with her sister Eleanor.
Caroline Wilson travelled to the USA last week 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. Starting on Thursday the runners are eased in with a 5k race, which is followed on Friday with a 10k, a half marathon the next day and finishes with a full marathon on the Sunday. Caroline had struggled with injury through her training but was very determined to do the complete Challenge and so raise money for Crohns and Colitis UK. All went well with the first two races, but a tropical storm caused the Half Marathon to be cancelled, although they promised runners would still get their medals. This wasn’t enough for Caroline and many of the other runners who wanted to actually test themselves over the entire distance and earn the medal, so once the weather had improved, they did an unofficial half marathon round their resort with a lot of supporters cheering them on. The Marathon went well on Sunday and Caroline collected a total of six huge medals, which may cause her some excess baggage charge on her return trip!
Many thanks to Jane for the run report