Club news

Sun, Sea & Trails!

Poldhu 10k Summer Sessions beach race

Two ORCs, Jo Page and Jeremy Tandy, made the trip to Poldhu Cove, Cornwall, on Thursday 11th July for the third instalment of Freedom Racing’s Summer Sessions 10k races. Hot, sunny weather gave way to a muggy evening and eventual drizzle – but that didn’t dampen anyone’s spirits! Setting off north from Poldhu Cove, the route headed up and over the headland to Church Cove and onward along the “undulating” coastal path through Gunwalloe before turning back and making the runners climb all those hills again. Fortunately, the stunning coastal scenery provided ample distraction from the pain in the legs! Jeremy Tandy finished in 7th place, with a time of 47min 06sec, and Jo Page finished in 17th place, 51min 33sec, as second place lady.

Haytor Heller

ORCs Tom Andrew and Jeremy Tandy tackled the Haytor Heller on Saturday 13th July. Organised by the Teignbridge Trotters, this was the 34th year of the 6-mile off road race. Starting halfway up Haytor (thankfully!) the route headed directly up to Haytor Rocks before heading into the stunning Dartmoor landscape. Out to Holwell Tor, then boulder-hopping down technical single track to Becka Brook before heading up the steep ascent to Hound Tor and then down again through more twisty single track and across the brook once more (wet feet this time!). The route then climbed to Black Hill and then, with runners gasping for breath, all the way back up to Haytor Rocks and a steep grassy descent to the finishing line. Jeremy Tandy, in his second race of the day, finished in 19th place with a time of 48min 45sec (and third in MV45 category). Tom Andrew finished in 150th place with a big smile on his face and a time of 66min 50seconds. ORCs will definitely be back in 2020 for this gem of a race!

Lydford Dash

The third running of the Lydford Dash took place on Saturday (13th) and attracted 11 Okehampton Running Club runners. The weather was overcast which made conditions better than during the preceding week. The race took place alongside other events in the Lydford Summer Fair. The route was multi terrain, being fairly rough in places. It was basically a figure of 8 course, running on paths and tracks, including the West Devon Way and up and across Fernworthy Down where the runners had excellent views of the moor and surrounding countryside, not that they stopped to look!! First ORC home was Jeremy Tandy in an excellent 32.01 and he was 2nd M40, followed by Andy Vernon who finished in 34.00 and was placed 2nd in the M50 category. First ORC lady to finish was Jo Page in 36.13 and she was 2nd lady overall. Molly Marvin had a great run, forging ahead of her mum to finish 3rd lady, in 37.44. Phil Read finished just ahead of Sarah Marvin in 39.14 and 40.07 respectively. Sarah won first prize in the W40 age category. Ian Page came in next in 41.21 and he was placed 3rd in the M60 category. Christine Fritsch crossed the line in 46.08 and was 3rd in the W40 category. Mags Jarvis came home in 47.21 and she was 2nd in the W60 age category. Janet White was happy that she completed the race in under an hour, in 59.32. Fiona Porter looked like she had really enjoyed the race when she crossed the line 61.34. Andy, Jo, Christine and Janet were all very pleased that their times were faster than they ran last year.

Race To The Stones

Having run her first 55mile Ultra Marathon successfully three weeks ago, Okehampton runner Jane Jackson moved up to attempt a 100k Ultra last Saturday. The Race To The Stones is an iconic 64miler starting in the Oxford Chilterns and following the ancient Ridgeway west to finish at the Avebury Stone Circle in Wiltshire. Jane’s morning didn’t start well when the bus taking runners from the finish to the start was so held up in traffic that the runners gave up, got off and walked in adding an extra mile to their day. Twelve miles into the race Jane was one of many to fall, victims of a path full of tree roots, suffering cuts and bruising her ribs. She continued on, determined to finish the race despite having to breathe in shallow breaths. The day was hot and with very little shade on the ridgeway it all made for an uncomfortable day. From 40miles on Jane experienced the nausea she had at the end of her previous ultra and kept going on small sips of water and no food, eventually finishing in 17.03.30, having not enjoyed the experience at all but pleased to have completed.

A busy week of running for Team ORC.

Sunday saw the third in Okehampton’s summer Race Series, the Cosdon Hill race. This lovely little race is a typical up and down, self navigating fell race held in conjunction with the Belstone Fair.    

While short in distance at just 3.5 miles, this race is guaranteed to get the heart rate soaring with the long climb over open moorland with no path to define the route for some of the way, to the top of Cosdon Beacon, before flying back down to Belstone Common for the finish. A large area of bog is waiting to catch the unwary taking too straight a path on the way down, while many trodden paths can lead runners to the wrong destination. This was not the case for overall winner Tim Lenton or Female winner Jo Meek who both set new course records, Tim finishing in an incredible 28.52 and Jo in 33.54. First home or ORC was Geoff Hill in a rare off road run and having come first at the Run In The Park earlier that day with a superb PB of 18.01, finishing in 10th place here in a time of 34.17. Not far behind him was Paul Crease, recently back from injury, coming home in 34.26, and chased home by ORC junior runner Mathew Richards who ran an impressively strong race, finishing only seconds behind Paul in 34.31. Robert Kelly was next in 35.10, also on his second race of the day having run the Barnstaple 10k earlier. Indigo Ramsey headed another group of ORC finishers, completing in 43.36, followed by Molly Marvin in 43.37 and Merv Rice in 43.31. Rob Hicks, usually to be found at the head of this race was running with his son Arthur, a junior member who pipped his dad to the post in 44.06 with Rob just behind in 44.10. Phil Read was next in 45.04 and Katherine Murray, now well into her Dartmoor Marathon training, to be first ORC lady in 48.56. Paul Evison was next in 58.42 and Janet White in 1.01.27.

On Sunday morning five Okehampton runners took part in the Care for Kids Barnstaple 10k. the race starts at Park School, and then meanders around the historic Rock Park before it continues along Taw Vale and the Strand using the Tarka Trail and over the Taw Bridge, which is the steepest part of the course. It then returns back to the town square along the riverside and into Rock Park, finishing back at Park School.

The course is a flat, fast one, perfect for a first race as well as an ideal opportunity to gain a personal best. First home for the club was Robert Kelly in a time of 37.43 to be placed fourth overall. Next was Jo Page, coming home in 42.36 to take the First Lady prize. New member Karen Gear was next, finishing in 51.53 to be fourth FV35, while Joseph Lynch and Charlotte Lynch ran together, finishing in 1.22.40 in their first 10k race.

A single ORC, Hayden Bond, travelled to Tenby in Pembrokeshire to take part in the Tenby Half Marathon. This is held alongside the Wales Marathon, with the Half runners starting in Pembroke at the halfway mark of the marathon and following marathon’s route back to the start on closed traffic free roads. The course is set in the Pembrokeshire National Park and is a testing route with over 1,00ft of ascent. Hayden ran a superb race, enjoying the support from the crowds over the red carpet finishing straight, his time of 1.31.23 placing him 9th overall.


Tuesday night saw eight Okehampton Runners take part in round four of the Run Exe Summer series 5k. Whilst Exeter was graced with blazing sunshine, the accompanying strong head wind along the river made conditions on the back straight, which participants run along twice, reasonably challenging.

First home was Roger Voaden, taking a break from his usual long distance running and happy with his time of 18.45, winning his age category in the process. Next in was Graham Bryant in 19.02, closely (a little too close for comfort at one stage) followed by another age category winner Stephen Sincock a massive one minute inside his platinum award time target, finishing in 19.08.

Next in was Jo Page who finished as second senior lady in 20.46. Another age category winner on the night was Claudine Benstead who finished in 21.00. Paul Evison was next in, in a time of 23.06.

Closely following behind was Jo Bradford who finished in 23.26. Margaret Jarvis came home in 25.26 to finish third in her age category.

Having completed 3 races apiece in the series now, Jo Bradford and Mags Jarvis are well placed for podium finishes in their respective age categories leaving it with all to play for with two rounds left. Good running all!


Jo Page had a characteristically busy weekend, doing three races in Cornwall on the same day!  The ‘Smuggler’s Scuttler’ pirate and smuggling half marathon route runs from Land’s End to the top of Cape Cornwall and back again.  The race starts at Peal Point at Land’s End, goes past the Mayon watchtower and into Sennen Cove and along the pathways to Priests Cove, up to the top of Cape Cornwall and then returns. Once at the top, runners pick up the loot (including rum, coins, gems and teabags) and bring them back to the finish or risk disqualification. No booty no medal! This race had the potential to have some lovely views but sadly they were not present during the race this time due to the sea mist. Jo was the 1st Female, 9th overall and crossed the line in a time of 2:14:23 which is a course record by over 17 minutes.

Later that day Jo joined hundreds of runners and music lovers on Watergate Bay at sunset to do the Rock 2 Rock races. The tide only goes low enough to run from one rock to the other rock at each end of the beach 3 times a year. Jo ran both the 2k and the 5k beach race which was then followed by a beach party and all topped off with a Firework display!





Angus Farrelly and Alec Robinson finished a hard North Devon AONB Half Marathon in Woolacombe today on a course which offers as many stunning views as it does challenging hills. The multi-terrain course involves roads, trails, beaches, fields, steps and the incredible South West Coast Path.

Jo Teixeira, Lynsey King and Vanessa King took on a hot Barnstaple Race for Life 10K on Sunday, finishing in 1:10:14. The ladies were running a 10K distance after successfully completing a couch to 5K programme over 10 weeks with Okehampton Running Club last September.  They are an inspiration to others, so if you have felt inspired by them and are interested in doing a couch to 5k, the ORCs will be starting the next programme in September 2019, please see their website for details.