Club news

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