Monthly Archives: November 2021

2 5ks & a Blister ;-)

It was a quieter weekend for racing, probably just as well given the weather on Saturday. However, Claudine Benstead braved the elements and tackled a very windy 5k Exmouth Park Run on Saturday. With sand blowing everywhere it was quite a challenge, but Claudine maintained her excellent form, coming home in a time of 20:38, second lady and fourth place overall.

Further afield Jo Page had better weather for her 5k run on Sunday, the Larnaca Salt Lake Fun Run, where they enjoyed a sunny 23 degrees. Fun Run Cyprus organise weekly 5k events for all ages. Jo, true to form, ran a great race in a time of 20:58.

Louise Lyle and Kate Wilson headed to Bicton on Sunday for the Bicton Blister. The race starts and finishes at the College and uses a short section of road before taking the sandy, stony, and muddy paths across the pebbled heaths of Bicton and Woodbury common, an area of outstanding natural beauty.

It’s a challenging course covering 10.5 miles, but fortunately the runners enjoyed lovely conditions for the run, with Louise coming home in 1:29:54 and Kate in 1:41:54. Superb running by them both.

However, it’s not all about racing. Okehampton Running Club (ORC) hold Tuesday night club runs in ability-based groups and Thursday night training sessions. This includes the juniors who continue go from strength to strength, with 18 of them tackling a hill pyramid training session last Thursday evening. They covered 6km in total with about 150m of elevation and even looked quite fresh at the end of it! Well done to them and thank you to the lovely helpers for keeping them motivated at the bottom of the hill to go back up again!

Both sessions start at the Pavilion in the Park, meeting at 6:15 for a 6:30pm start. Newcomers are most welcome, and you can give it a go to see if it’s for you with no commitment. See the club website for more information.


Couch to 5k Finale & Race Roundup

Despite the COVID pandemic Okehampton Running Club continue to encourage new membership and the well proven Couch to 5km programme run yearly by the club has concluded this weekend with 4 runners successfully running their 5km challenges after 9 weeks of intensive training. The course is a relatively flat, out and back 5km along the Granite way, turning on the viaduct at Meldon before returning back to the start line to finish. First over the line was Richard Gooding in a time of 34:03, hot on his heels and tracking him all the way was Alison Chambers 34:11, a short gap then Natalie Uglow and Lucy Evans charging to the finish line in 36:33 and 37:09. Another successful of amazing people taking up the challenge and succeeding. Thanks also to Robert Richards our Head Coach, Wendy Walters and Paul Evison for supporting the event.

Couch to 5K runners: Lucy Evans, Richard Gooding, Alison Chambers and Natalie Uglow

Far afield in Larnaca (Cyprus) Joanne Page sported ORC colours running Larnaca Half Marathon. Though a warm 19 degrees there was wind, rain and thunderstorms. Jo achieved a time of 1.38.27 and was 4th FV35. Jo dedicated her run to her grandfather Stan Preece who sadly passed away the night before. No doubt he was in her heart all the way. Stan was an avid runner into his 60s and a member of North Devon Road Runners. Rest in Peace Stan Preece.

Jo Page Larnaca Half Marathon

Father and daughter duo Paul and Victoria Evison went to Tavistock to run the Tavy 5K. Running conditions were good and Paul managed a time of 22.28 and Victoria 31.52.

Pure Trails Race the Light at Morwellham is 6.5 miles of  shadowy meandering  estuarine trails through the Tamar valley. Joe Lane came in before dark in 2nd place and Angus Farrelly was slightly slower and got back in the dark in a time of 1.09.04

Claudine Benstead completed Exmouth Park Run 5K in an incredible time of 20.15. Despite her senior years she was first female overall demonstrating you are never too old to be an athlete. A lesson for anyone considering coming to the club and something our new Couch to 5K achievers have learnt, ‘It is NEVER too late and you are NEVER too old’.      


Muddy Trainers

This weekend saw our runners leave the tarmac and compete in 3 different offroad runs….

The Green Lantern

Wild Running’s event, The Green Lantern, took place this Saturday. A nice mix of park trails, slippery mud, hills and tarmac for this mixed terrain Half Marathon around Exeter’s Green Circle. ORC members Jack Edwards and Lucy Gooding enjoyed this fab route.

Drogo 10

Several ORCs undertook this scenic route – Ellodi Stott, Geoff Hill, Rob Kelly, Jessie Guscott, Harriet Munday, Charlie Temperley and Mike Davies. After a pause of a year; THE DROGO 10 returned to much excitement from all runners! 10 miles of hilly, muddy cross-country terrain. Runners enjoyed stunning views of the Teign Valley and tackled the infamous Hunter’s Path Hill.

Westward League Cross Country (Newquay)

It was a still and mild grey day in Newquay for the second Westward League Cross Country fixture. The meeting was also the Cornish Championship so drew the best runners from our neighbours to the West.

The U13 kicked things off with two boys representing ORC. William Miles ran strongly on the first lap of their 3km course with Arthur Hicks just behind. Arthur’s experience with pacing paid off and he was able to move past William on the second lap but not able to advance his position further. Both boys are both still getting used to the increased distance now they have gone up an age category and will hopefully stay more in touch with the leaders at the next opportunity.

We had 4 ORC boys tackle the 1.6km U11 course. They changed positions amongst themselves but ran more or less as a 4 for the first lap. Within a strong field the ORCs had a race within a race. Stanley Hicks pulled away from his team mates but was unable to catch the boy in front. A strong last 300m saw Arthur Lane run past Will Bussell and Laurence Hicks won his battle to avoid finishing at the back of the field.

Finally the senior men’s race saw 7 ORCs on a very busy start line. An extra field was added to the course to increase the distance and the men ran 3 long laps and 2 smaller to total 8.7km. Over 100 places separated our first and last ORC which shows the size and strength of the field. Conditions were generally still good under foot leading to quick times which weren’t necessarily reflected in finishing positions with the strongest Cornish runners working hard to secure their spot in their county team. All the senior men agreed it was a good run and they had given a good account of themselves.

We look forward to taking a strong team to Devon for our own County Championships on 5th December. Hopefully some of our female runners will be available.

Final positions were:
U13 boys: Arthur Hicks 25th, William Miles 27th.
U11 boys: Stanley Hicks 20th, Arthur Lane 21st, William Bussell 22nd, Laurence Hicks 26th. Seniors: Male Sam Priday 32nd, Paul Crease 45th, Andy Vallance 75th, Rob Hicks 84th, Joe Lane 112th, Paul Carter 126th, Stuart Page 142nd


Bideford 10 Miler & Sidmouth 10k

A big and popular event on the race calendar this weekend was Bideford AC 10 Miler. The flat course gives the whippets an opportunity to chase personal best times and age category positions. The temperature on the day made for ideal running conditions and the results amongst club members did not disappoint. 

Hayden Bond went all out with a time in mind but his race did not go to plan. He achieved an amazing time of 1.01.00 so should not be disappointed. Geoff Hill was aiming for a 1hr race but managed 1.05.26 taking 2nd place MV45. Claudine Benstead ran 1.08.08 to scoop the 1st FV60. Mike Saywell 1.09.39 and Paul Evison 1.17.14 both achieved PB’s. Kate Wilson took 3rd in her FV55 category with 1.28.12. Rachael Holland ran 1.38.28. Neil Agnew ran 1.16.17 whilst Tracey Mills limped from mile 4 of the race with a recurring injury to finish in 1.42.14. Garry Letheren ran 1.13.34 and Andrew Thorne 1.21.15. All in all it was a good show of ORC performances.

A few of the ORC runners at Bideford 10 Mile

Mike Westland headed South to Sidmouth to run a 10K race. Feeling very much the ‘lonely goat’ he missed the camaraderie of his fellow ORC members but was pleased with his provisional result of 54.17.

Mike Westland at Sidmouth 10K


Tavy 7

There were not many races this weekend, but a large contingent from Okehampton Running Club (ORC) headed off on Sunday to take part in Tavistock AC’s long-standing 7-mile road race.

The race is on its third course since it was started in the late 1980s.  It is now held on Dartmoor, on an undulating, but fantastically scenic course.  It starts at Plaster Down on the western edge of Dartmoor and goes past Pew Tor and the hamlet of Sampford Spiney on its 7-mile route.

Continuing his brilliant season, first home for ORC, and seventh overall, was Hayden Bond in a time of 41:47.

Hayden was closely followed by Rob Kelly who had an amazing race, picking up not just the trophy for first male V40, but also achieving a new ORC V40 club record of 43:10.

He said it was ‘a great race in a stunning setting – highly recommended if you’ve never done it!

Steve Sincock also did the double, coming home as first MV60 with a new MV60 club record in 46:26.

Not to be outdone, Paul Evison took the trophy for first MV65 in 56:18 – what a result for the ORC men! Well done to them and to Ged Fitzgibbon and Tom Andrew who also completed the race.

Also, well done to Kathleen Sincock who was running for South West RR. She completed the course in an excellent time of 56:38, coming in fourth in her age category.