Monthly Archives: June 2021

A great week of racing!

Wow – What a great week of racing for Okehampton Running Club! Everyone enjoyed being out running, racing and just as importantly catching up with friends this week.

Exe 5k Summer Series

A great traffic free and pancake flat 5km run on footpaths and cycle tracks around Exwick Playing Fields and the River Exe Flood Relief. Starting off on Tuesday 22nd, 3 ORCs went where Paul Evison, Claudine Benstead and Jane Richardson who enjoyed a great evening. Claudine’s fab time of 19:43 earned her 1st in her age category, a new club record and the course record too! Jane was also 1st in her age category in a time of 28:27. Paul finished in 22:54. Congratulations to them all.

Summer Solstice Fell Run

Wednesday 23rd saw several ORCs run at Merrivale. A 6 mile course with some tough hills. Sam Priday won the U18 category and came 3rd overall, Rob Hicks came 1st for his age category, fantastic results all round. Paul Crease, Ian Ripper, Kate Wilson and Christine Fritsch. Well done to everyone.

The Burrator Horseshoe Fell Run

A 6 mile moorland run on Saturday 26th from Meavy and out over Dartmoor, Sheepstor Summit, Gutter Tor Summit, and the cooling Meavy River Ford.  

Joe Lane, Charlie Temperley, Christine Fritsch, Elodie Stott, Mervyn Rice, Mike Saywell, Tom Poland, Rob Hicks and Paul Crease all enjoyed the fell course in their ORC colours. ORCs won the club team prize for the 4 fastest men and women in a club.

8 Juniors represented ORC and ran really well and had a great time supporting each other. A great evening was had by all.

Smugglers Scuttler

This had three ORCs facing the wind, rain and hail on their run along the beautiful and rugged Cornish coastline of Cape Cornwall! Pirate costumes a plenty along the way too. Hilly and technical in places for the runners. Jo Page had a fab run and finished 1st Lady, Karen King and Jessie Guscott also ran this on Sunday 27th. Awesome running from the ORC ladies.

Exeter Community Trust Half Marathon

The route starts and finishes at Exeter’s Historic Quayside, flat route run along the footpath and cycle track of the River Exe and Exeter Canal. It took place on Sunday 27th. Claudine Benstead, Jane Richardson and Clayre Buccaneer Grice ran. Claudine ran a strong run with an amazing time of 1:28. Jane Richardson also enjoyed a good run with a new PB for Jane of 2:16:56. Fab runs from all.

Milton Keynes Marathon

Anne Binns travelled to the Milton Keynes marathon. Anne ran extremely well and achieved a new PB of 3:49:48 and came 2nd in her age category out of 31 runners. Fantastic result for Anne.


The Joy of Racing Again

The Pure Trail Tsunami series of races took place at the weekend. These races take in the most rugged, wild and remote sections of the North Devon and Cornish coastline and are not for the faint hearted. The shortest 7 mile race was tackled by Jo Page and Angus Farrelly with Jo taking first female and 4th overall and Angus achieving 4th place in his age category.

Gill Spinney took on the 16mile race option and came in 3rd place in her age category.
Not being satisfied with the shorter distances Rob Richards and Richard Pike took on the Tsunami Ultra, from Westwood Ho! to Bude, a mere 37.5 miles. Rob has some experiences of Ultra distance running but for Richard this was his first ultra. Hats off to him for a superb effort as this was undoubtedly one of the toughest trail running challenges to chose from. Both looked in remarkable shape at the finish.

Wild Running held their Green Lantern half marathon on Saturday, an evening race which follows the Green Circle clockwise around Exeter. Paul Evison finished in a time of 2 hrs 30 and despite taking a small detour to add on an extra mile he took first prize for his age category.

The consensus felt amongst club runners this weekend was the joy of being back out there again racing with fellow runners.

In the early hours of Monday 21st thirty bleary eyed runners left Belstone village for a Summer Solstice run. The route along the Taw Valley then up to Little Hound Tor stone circles was in time to watch the sunrise before returning to Belstone and home for breakfast and the day ahead. However the Dartmoor weather did not disappoint and the lack of sun did not thwart anyone’s enthusiasm This was the first of its kind, again an idea thought up be Head Coach Rob Richards. It was remarkable popular despite the silly hour!


Marilyn’s Meldon Madness

Last Wednesday evening 50 runners from Okehampton Running Club (ORC) went on a ‘fun’ run to recce the route of the weekends Marilyn’s Meldon Madness (MMM) race.

The race, on Saturday 12 June is the first of the Dartmoor Summer Series of Fell Races hosted by ORC. As places are limited, and competition keen from athletes from other local clubs, Head Coach Rob Richards thought a trial run for club members would be a great way to get back into group running.

The evening itself was not promising, with Dartmoor ‘mizzle’ hanging over the moor at Meldon, but great fun was had by all. The run covered 9km, staring at Meldon, going via Yes Tor, High Willhays (the highest point) before a welcome descent to Black Tor and down Homerton Hill to the finish back at Meldon reservoir.

It was wonderful to see old familiar faces along with several new faces. The club has actually increased its membership numbers over the lockdown period.

Fortunately, Saturday dawned bright with much better weather than the recce on Wednesday!

The race takes you to the highest point in the south of England with stunning views over the county. The 1,362ft ascent is tough enough to challenge any off-road runner but, at just 9km, it offers a rare opportunity for anyone to try their first fell race.

There are a number of compulsory checkpoints at which all runners MUST give their number to the marshalls. Due to difficulty of marking the course accurately, self-navigation is required by all runners.

The race was renamed in 2017 in memory of Marilyn Cooper and was this year sponsored by her son Peter, of Coopah Running. They kindly gave clothing as prizes for the winners and a generous donation to North Dartmoor Search and Rescue.

There was a great turnout with the maximum entry allowed of 50 runners competing in the senior race, on what turned out to be a bright and sunny day.

The first home was Adam Holland of Tavistock AC in a time of 38:54 and first lady was Jo Meek in 42:04.

The first ORC runner home was an under 18 runner, Sam Priday in a superb time of 41:10.

First ORC lady home and winner of the Marilyn Cooper trophy was Jo Page (having recovered from her 24hr challenge of last weekend!) in a time of 49:45.

The race also had a junior’s section with children under 11 competing in the 2km, under 13 in the 3km or under 15 in the 4km return races. Another great turn out from the juniors, with 20 runners in total. Well done to all of them.

The next of the ORC races in the Summer Series is the Cosdon Hill Race on Sunday 4 July.

Full race results here


Warrior Chimps – Conquer 24

This weekend saw 3 intrepid runners from Okehampton Running Club undertake the Conquer 24. The team of Sarah and Molly Marvin and Jo Page, supported by Karen King undertook this new and exciting 24 Hour Trail Race around the grounds of Powderham Castle.

You could run solo, or as a relay team of 2-8 runners on a 5 mile course around the stunning trails of Powderham. The race started at 12noon on Saturday, finishing at 12noon on Sunday, with one of the team always having to be on the course.

The team did incredibly well and won the award for the Female Small Team with some amazing times along the way. The fastest lap was 0:39:03 with the average lap time of 0:49:38.

As well as supporting the team Karen also did her own 5mile race, coming in at 4th place overall.

It was particularly hard, especially during the night, but the team kept their spirits up with lots of treats and messages from their Club mates.

Sarah summed it up by saying:

‘I’m broken and can barely walk. Molly is on a mission and out for 50 miles. Jo is bionic and
will probably stay for another 24 hours!’

Well done to you all!