Monthly Archives: September 2021

Lucky Seven

ORC’s took part in 7 different events over the last week with some great results!


The re-scheduled final round of the popular RUNEXE 5K Series in Exeter took place Tuesday 21st, on a warm evening in ideal conditions. Unfortunately, only two Okehampton members ran, with Claudine Benstead having to sit out the last round through injury; however her previous three runs were good enough to give her the FV60 Series win. Jane Richardson posted her best 5k time of the series, winning her age group on the night and the FV70 Series win. Her time of 26:51 narrowly outside her own ORC Age Group Record she set 2 years ago by 3 seconds. Steve Sincock was first in the MV60 age group posting a time of 19:04 (ORC Age Group Record). Huge congratulations to everyone on a great run and series. 


Nine ORCs ran this spectacular 4.5 mile route on Wednesday evening which takes in breathtaking views. Starting and finishing at the Fox & Hounds Hotel near Lydford; it was the last race of the Dartmoor Fell Series. Named ‘The Flyer’ as the descent may come to appear like the runners are flying! The route took them up the track to Gt Nodden Tor, past both cairns, then back on themselves to the ford in the valley. Then, up to Little Links Tor, on to Gt Links Tor. A fast descent follows to Arms Tor, a contouring path to Brat Tor and then an even faster downhill from Brat Tor! Okehampton members Hannah Susorney 1hr 5, William Seviour 51:23, Paul Crease 40:33, Tom Poland 41:39, Joe Lane 41:49, Mel Priday 1hr 11, Kate Wilson 1hr 5, Charlie Temperley 45:24 all enjoyed their runs and Sam Priday took 2nd in 39:03. Well done to Sam and to the ORC Team, who were the overall team winners of the series too – fab running from everyone!


Three ORC members ran the Bradley’s 10km at Exmouth on Sunday morning. Consisting of a flat, two lap route out and back on the promenade, in good conditions with a light breeze, both Chris Turner and Claudine Benstead had exceptional runs. Chris finished in 36:52, coming 2nd overall.  Claudine ran an extraordinary race, having arrived 20 minutes after the start she worked her way through the field and finished in 41.35 to take 2nd Female place. Jane Richardson finished in 58.35. Huge congratulations to them all on a great race. 


One ORC, Hayden Bond ran the 34th Taunton 10k on Sunday. The route starts outside the Blackbrook Pavilion. It is an undulating circular course that heads through the residential Holway area of Taunton into quiet country roads through Stoke St Mary and Haydon; returning to the finish at the pavilion. Hayden came 2nd overall in a time of 35.48. Fantastic result.


On Sunday, Anne Binns achieved her 4th World Marathon Star in Berlin! This phenomenal race takes in the stunning sites of Berlin and the atmosphere was amazing and exhilarating. Anne had come back from injury and showed strength and fortitude to finish in 4hr 49. Anne was delighted to be doing a Major again as they have all been cancelled since Chicago 2019. Congratulations to Anne on completing her marathon and achieving her star in brilliant Berlin.


ORC member Geraldine Walker, ran the Barnstaple half marathon which also took place on Sunday. The course starts and finishes in Rock Park Barnstaple and takes in magnificent views of the Taw and Torridge estuary. The course heads out through Barnstaple and onto the Tarka trail towards Fremington Quay, then joins the main road to Yelland Quay before heading back to Barnstaple on the Tarka Trail. Congratulations Geraldine.


One ORC, Lucy Gooding, ran the Honiton Hippo on Sunday. This is the first time that Honiton Running Club have run this race for two and a half years and it is a little over 7 miles of trail running with several river crossings and some tough ascents which added to the fun! Lucy completed the run in a time of 1:34. Well done Lucy. 


Back to the Pavilion, Mamores Vertical Kilometer & Warhorse 10k

Last week saw the return of running as a club from the Pavilion in the Park after almost 18 months. Head coach Rob Richards offered an Interval Training taster session for all members to try as although interval sessions are designed primarily to be fun, they are also essential for strengthening, technique and all-round fitness.

There was a great turn out of current and new members keen to get involved. This heralds the return of the regular Tuesday runs and Thursday training sessions, with moor runs on a Wednesday.

As well as the welcome return to group training for the main section of the club, the Junior division also returned from the summer break. 39 children trained across the 3 sessions, which included some new starters. There are spaces on the Thursday 5pm group, which is ideal for new athletes, open to any children who are over 8 years of age. Contact if you’d like more information.

Saturday saw one brave ORC, Christine Fritsch face a challenge she had not attempted before, the Mamores Vertical Kilometer, which is described as:

“An incredible leg burning and lung-busting ascent from sea level to Munro summit – an epic vertical challenge.”

The Salomon Mamores VK follows the well-established International Skyrunning Federation Vertical Kilometer format, in which participants follow a marked course gaining 1000m of height in less than 5km. Participants set off at timed intervals with the winner having the fastest overall time to the summit.

The route included some extremely steep and pathless terrain which meant participants were on all fours at times. Christine managed to complete the route in 1:42:00. Her training was cut short by a painful achilles, so she was very pleased with her time and said the views from the top made up for the pain!

On Sunday 14 ORC’s ran the local War Horse 10k race, set in the beautiful Warhorse Valley that remembers the role that horses played in WW1. This popular, scenic run, which raises funds for North Devon Hospice, starts and finishes in the village of Iddesleigh.

The threatened rain held off which made for great running conditions on what is a mainly uphill course reaching 180m. The route, which is actually a little over 10k, takes the runners out of the village on a round trip on roads, with a short off-road section through private land. The last kilometer is downhill which gives a welcome decent back to the village and the finish line.

There were 148 runners competing, with Chris Turner the first ORC home in 41:08 at fourth position overall. He was closely followed by Andy Vallance in 41:43, who fortunately didn’t have a recurrence of his recent injury. Mike Saywell had a good run, finishing strongly in 47:21.

Jessie Guscott was the first ORC lady home in 57:38, closely followed by her sister Ellie in 57:51. Her mum Catherine was also running, competing in her first ever race, so a great family achievement. Lu Walsh had a good race as next ORC lady home in 1:01:20 – well done to all the runners.


A bevy of races – Brighton Marathon, Bideford 10k, Torbay Half, Great North Run, Sourton Tors

Sourton Tors Race

The Sourton Tors, the last of the 4 races in this year’s Dartmoor Summer Series, was held on Wednesday evening. This is a traditional fell run of approx. 2.6 miles ascending 300m to Sourton Tors and looping back round the valley, downhill on the return leg.

It was a pleasant evening, the rain having passed and super conditions for the race, apart from the midges that were out in force!

The race was well attended with 56 runners taking part, with a great spread of age categories from U15 to M75. There were 12 runners from ORC.

A new course record was set for both the men and women. Tom Perry was first home in an impressive 18:47:00 wining the first male and the U17 category, superb running from him. The first senior male, Adam Holland, finished next in a time of 19:19:00. 

Jo Meek was the first lady home in 21:52:00, great running from her and setting a new course record. The male record was broken by 19 seconds and the female record by 1 minute 49 seconds!

Sam Priday was the first ORC home in 19:41:00. The other ORC runners were Paul Crease, Joe Lane, Tom Poland, Mike Saywell, Charlie Temperley, Rob Gooding, Stanley Wood, Ian Ripper, Will Seviour, Christine Fritsch and Mel Priday. 

All the Juniors set course records for their age categories given it was their first event! Quickest on the 2k was 7min 29secs.

Special thanks to Hugh Robinson as this was his last race as Race Director as he has now moved away.

Bideford 10k Sunday 12th September

The Bideford 10k is a very popular race between Bideford and Instow. The course takes in some stunning scenery of the Taw and Torridge. Several ORCs enjoyed superb results. Stephen Sincock came 2nd MV60 in a time of 39:35, Geoffrey Hill also was 2nd MV45 in a time of 40:49, Jane Richardson came second in her age category FV70 in a time of 57:59, Kathleen Sincock was 3rd FV55. Ian Ripper, Lucinda Walsh, Joseph Lynch, Charlotte Lynch all ran well. Rachael Elliott achieved a new pb in 57:51. Garry Letheren also a new pb in 44:54.

Torbay Half Marathon 

A popular seaside event of two traffic free laps starting and finishing on Paignton Green also took place on Sunday. The scenic route takes in stunning coastal views across Torbay, including the historic Torre Abbey and the Princess Gardens. ORC Mike Saywell ran in a great time of 1hr 38.

Great North Run

This race also took place on Sunday. ORC Jackie Osborne Dawes took on the 40th Great North Run with a work colleague to raise funds for National Trust, Castle Drogo. It was a dry, cool day which saw over 50000 runners enjoy a great atmosphere, crossing the Tyne Bridge twice before making their way through Newcastle city centre before finishing on the Great North Road. Jackie had a fab run completing the course in a time of 1hr 56.

Brighton Marathon

ORC Clayre Buccaneer Grice ran the Brighton Marathon on Sunday. This route starts at Preston Park and finishes on Brighton Pier. A little over 7500 runners took part in this iconic race. Well done to Clayre on a great run.


Wye Valley, Treggy 7, Plymouth Half Marathon & Granite Way Races

Last weekend was a busy one for races and saw Okehampton Running Club (ORC) members taking part in events from the Wye Valley to Cornwall.

On Saturday lone ORC Lucy undertook the gorgeous 15 mile trail race starting at Chepstow race course. The scenic route takes runners through parts of Wales and England, passing two prominent landmarks: Tintern Abbey and Chepstow Castle. It was fairly hilly with 2,400 feet of elevation on what was a very hot, but enjoyable day.

Four ORC’s headed off to take part in the Treggy 7 event on Sunday which was hosted by Launceston Road Runners. This 7 mile circular race starts in Launceston Town Square, finishing in the grounds of Launceston Castle.

Chris Turner was third overall in a time of 43:42, with Paul Carter first MV55 and Jane Richardson first FV70, Janet White also had a good run – well done to all of them.

Mike Westland completed the Plymouth Ocean City half marathon on Sunday, part of the Britain’s Ocean City Running Festival. The race starts and finishes on the iconic Plymouth Hoe and takes the runners on a challenging, scenic route past some of Plymouths most famous landmarks.

Runners were encouraged to wear something green in memory of those who died in the recent shootings.

Mike completed the course in 1.57.17 knocking 1.25 secs off his time for the same event in 2019. He was very pleased to stay under his target of 2hrs.

Also, on Sunday saw the rescheduled Exeter City Community Trust’s Granite Way 10mile and 20mile races which started and finished at Okehampton. The route was a 5mile out and back along the Granite Way, which the 20milers did twice.

There was a good turnout of ORC’s for this local race, both taking part and marshalling. They were all pleased it wasn’t quite as hot as it had been on Saturday!

Hayden Bond came home first overall in the 10mile race with a superb time of 0:58:19, well done Hayden. Jackie Dawes ran well coming home as the second ORC in 1:26:59, closely followed by John Binns in 1:28:22.

There were 5 runners in the 20mile race with Rob Kelly the first ORC coming home in fourth place in a time of 2:08:37. Roger Voaden was the second ORC back in 2:22:43, Paul Evison 2:59:37 and Louise Lyle in 3:10:26. This was a PB for Paul, knocking a whopping 4 minutes off his previous club record. Sadly, Andy Vallance had to pull out after 10miles due to injury. Amazing running by everyone.

For people who are new to running, or want to improve, the next Couch to 5k starts on Tuesday 21 September. You can find details and register your interest on the post on the club’s Facebook page.


Weekly Report 30-8-21

There was another great turnout at the latest race of the Dartmoor summer fell running series. On Wednesday evening eight members completed the Tavy Trio of Tors Race: Sam Priday, Melanie Priday, Joe Lane, Ian Ripper, Tom Poland, Charlie Temperley, Paul Crease and Kate Wilson. Sam Priday won his age category and ORC won the team club prize.

Tavy Trio of Tors Race

Glorious weather made the camping weekend at the RunFestRun Festival in Hampshire a great experience for runners Tracey Mills and Neil Agnew. This was not only tough, hilly cross country running but consisted of three races over three days. Starting with a 5K then a 10K, finishing with a half marathon on the third. The pair managed a half marathon time of 2hours 13 minutes on the final day despite feeling effects of the cumulative fatigue from three days running, camping and having fun.

RunFestRun Festival

6 ORC members, Andy Vallance, Ian Ripper, Jessie Guscott, Joe Lane and his son Arty and Christine Fritsch braved the Chagford Two Hills Race, which takes in both Meldon Hill and Nattadon Common with a total ascent of about 1170 feet on only 3 miles. Both climbs are steep slogs followed by a fast tumble downhill with a notorious bog in the middle. Congratulations to Andy, who won with a nail-biting finish within seconds of the second and third runners. Arty did fantastically well flying downhill with his dad struggling to keep up with him and grabbed the trophy for first male 10 years and under. Ian Ripper won 1st MV60. Everyone had a great time and some might have rewarded themselves with an ice cream at the end.

Chagford Two Hills Race