Runners and marshals headed to Tamar Lakes Parkrun on Saturday. This was a opportunity to experience the volunteering roles in preparation for the long awaited new Okehampton Parkrun. Karen King was on timing and Hannah Susorney on scanning. Junior member Ollie King and his Dad Paul both ran the course along with Jo Page, Issy Edworthy, Anne Binns and her husband John. The weather was perfect and made it a lovely outing for both runners and volunteers. Thank you Tamar Lakes Parkrun for your hospitality.
Burrator 10 k is a route around the reservoir. It is a pretty route and although it more or less follows the waterline it is most definitely not flat. There were showers before and during the race but the breeze was light and no hindrance to the competitors. Three club members took part. Marianne Brown in her first ever race came in 5th in her age group only missing a podium finish by barely a minute , 53.32 . Paul and Victoria Evison also ran well to finish in 47.59 and 1.03.03 respectively.
Black Mountain Trail Half Marathon
Club Chair Sarah Marvin and daughter Molly travelled to the Black Mountains for the Trail Events half marathon. Sarah grew up there so it was lovely for her to be running on familiar terrain. They were lucky with the weather and the views were spectacular. It was a 14 mile route with nearly 3000 feet of elevation and they loved every minute.
Lakeland Five Passes Ultra
Christine Fritsch took part in the Lakeland Five Passes Ultra this weekend. This 32 mile route with 10000 feet of ascent went over various mountain tops and 5 passes.
Christine had a mixed day, starting strong but then experiencing problems with her back and legs on the second half slowing her down considerably. Despite the challenges Christine made it to the finish in an unofficial watch time of 10 hours 45minutes.
Ellodie-Lark Stott did the Smuggler’s Scuttler after seeing a few ORC’s doing it last year. A half marathon from Lands End to Cape Cornwall and back with a delightful food station. 3hrs 20mins she thinks!
Bude Life Boat Run, Burrator Horseshoe, Tsunami Marathon, Plymouth half Marathon, Boscastle Scramble & French Gulch
Bude Life Boat run returned this year raising much needed funds for the RNLI. The race is 6.4 miles out and back along the Bude canal. John Binns was first ORC home in 51.21 followed by first female ORC Lu Walsh. Other chip times were Anne Binns 56.16, Margaret Jarvis 1.04, Rebecca Simons, Jo Bradford and Kathryn Volkelt-Igoe 1.08, Jo Teixeira and Olivia Wheeleker 1.20. Margaret Jarvis was particularly pleased with her time as she had not raced since December 2019, due to covid and injury.
Aiden and Kiera Spinney ran well in the Junior version of the race. Aiden finishing in 6.53 minutes and kiera gave the spectators a spectacular sprint finish in the Yr 6 race in a time of 7.42.
The Seven ORC runners who entered the Burrator Horseshoe last Saturday encountered wet and windy Conditions. They started at Meavy , then on to Burrator Reservoir, to the top of Sheepstor, then across to Gutter Tor and then downhill to Ringmoor Down and then through the ford and back to the Village Green. Sam Priday was 1st ORC home in 3rd place next and taking 1st vet 50 was Paul Crease. Tom Poland , Andrew Vallance, and Joe Lane all following close behind. Daniel Heggs and Hannah Susorney both ran well to finish in 53.58 and 69.00 respectively.
There was a big field for the junior race with 28 runners across the age groups and they all ran brilliantly. Aiden Spinney was 1st in the U15’s, Arthur Lane was 2nd in U11’s, and Alistair Taylor was 2nd in U9’s. The girls had similar success with Kiera Spinney 1st in U13’s and Eleanor Taylor was 2nd in the U11’s.
Robert Richards and Richie Pike took on the Tsunami Marathon which starts from Clovelly Harbour and rises steeply to the coast path and finishes on the lawns of Castle Bude – taking in almost 2000m of ascent along the route. The event is part of a series taking place this weekend including 75,37, 26,16 and 7mile distances all starting at different times arriving as a Tsunami of finishers in Bude. Both Robert and Richie completed the challenge with respectable times.
Plymouth Half Marathon
The Plymouth half Marathon also took place at the weekend. This race starts and finishes at the Hoe. It passes over the Laira bridge, loops around Elberton and Saltram before re-crossing the bridge and back into Plymouth. Gary Letheren took on this race having warmed up the day before by doing the Plymouth Central Park Run (21.02) and came home in the excellent time of 1.38.04.
Plymouth also hosted a 10k race and ORC were represented in this by Karen and Paul King. Conditions were good after the recent hot spell. It was Karen’s first road race back after her injury a year ago so took it easy coming home in a time of 54.09 whilst Paul came home in 48.45
On Saturday Mike Saywell ran the Boscastle Scramble – a 25 mile trail run from Rock to Boscastle along the Coast Path. With over 5000ft of elevation it is a tough run, especially as most of the hills are in the second half. Although a little wet and windy at times the conditions were perfect for running. He was very pleased and surprised to finish i4th in 5.08.24.
French Gulch (Rocky Mountains!)
And finally we had an ORC in the Rocky Mountains. Will Seviour snuck away from a work conference in Colorado to run the Summit Trail Running Series – French Gulch race near Beckenridge. It was just under 10k and had 200m of elevation gain, but was held at 3000m altitude! He enjoyed the race but his time of 1.12 was not his fastest as he had only just arrived at altitude.
The week started with 5 ORC’s heading to Exeter on Tuesday for the third event in the 5k Summer series – this event is a great traffic free and flat 5km run on footpaths and cycle tracks around Exwick Playing Fields and the River Exe Flood Relief.
The evening was quite warm, and the slight drizzle did nothing worse than cool the runners. So apart from a shower just before the start and a minor head wind in the finishing straight it was a good evening for running.
Clearly the ORC’s liked it, as we had three age group wins, Claudine Benstead in 20.29, Kate Wilson in 25.45 and Jane Richardson in 28.10, well done ladies!
Also running was Paul Evison who came third in his age group in a time of 22.34 and an improving Victoria Evison did a splendid time of 31.00.
It was almost perfect conditions for this year’s Oke Croak!, on Saturday, the second and longest of the Okehampton sponsored summer series of hill races.
The route takes the runners on a tour of the northern moor, and at 10+ miles and 2,000ft it is a challenger to any runner. They leave the park, head to Oke Tor, then across to Yes Tor before dropping back down to Okehampton.
This beautiful route allows the runners to choose their own way across the moor, with the straightest line not necessarily the fastest!
There were 12 ORC’s taking part in the race, with Sam Priday the overall winner in a superb time of 1:21:12. Andy Vallance was the next ORC home in fourth place in a time of 1:23:53.
The first ORC lady home, and winner of her age category was Claire Watkins in 1:46:00 and Ian Ripper was first in his age category in a time of 1:49:31. All the runners said how much they had enjoyed this lovely race hosted by the club.
Five ORC’s headed to Princetown on Saturday for the Dartmoor Discovery, or DD as it’s affectionately known for the UK’s longest single lap road ultra-marathon.
The Dartmoor Discovery is a stunning 32 mile race starting at Princetown and taking in fabulous scenery, as well as some of the toughest hills on Dartmoor, with the loop covering Dartmeet, Ashburton and Widecombe-in-the-moor to name a few. It’s a fantastically well organised and friendly event which keeps some ORC’s coming back for more year after year.
First ORC back was Paul Crease who had a superb run, equalling his 6th place from last year in a great time of 4:11, a PB for him and picking up 1st male V50. Robert Kelly had a strong start but struggled with his legs in the later part of the race, but toughed it out to come home in 14th place in 4:24. He was closely followed by Chris Turner with a PB time of 4:28 in 15th place.
Next in was Paul Carter who was running his 12th DD in a time of 4:39 and 2nd male V55.
The ORC’s were thrilled to bring home the 1st male team trophy for the second year running. Brilliant running and well done to all of you!
Friday evening saw Jo Page start her weekend running adventures with the Polzeath 10k. Starting on the beach they ran through the sea to get to the next cove, where they climbed off the beach and onto the coast path. From there they ran inland, returning on the coast path via the Rumps headland which makes you feel like you’re right out in the Atlantic and has some fun scrambly sections.
The finish was also on the beach, but thankfully the tide had gone out by then! Jo was very pleased to finish 4th female in a time of 52:49.
On Saturday Jo ran the Eden Parkrun. It was a family affair; Jo was running with her dad and Karen and Paul King running with Ollie. Ollie smashed his PB by 4 minutes on a very hilly and twisty route. They then all enjoyed the free entry into the park and an ice cream!
On Sunday Jo and Karen followed this with the Purple Gecko Cardinham Woods Summer Series 10k. This is a forest trail run starting off with a steady 3km incline, but it’s not exactly all downhill from there, but it did get a lot easier for them…
Jo worked hard in the last 2 miles to go from third place to finish as first female in a time of 47:24. Karen had a good run, enjoying her first race back from injury finishing in 3rd place in her age category.
A week of superb running from all the ORC’s, well done to them all.
Chagford Two Hills & Fort William Park Run & Blair Castle Trail Weekender
With the Platinum Jubilee celebrations happening there weren’t that many races this weekend. However, 6 ORC’s headed to Chagford for the popular Chagford Two Hills Race.
Now in its 45th year, the race was founded in 1977 as part of the Queen’s Silver Jubilee celebrations. The race includes 1076 feet of ascent, up the hills of Meldon and Nattadon, with the notorious ‘bog’ in between. Although only 3.5miles/5.5km in distance the race is tough, testing even the most experienced runner!
With an excellent run the first ORC home was Andrew Vallance in a time of 29:45, he was fifth overall and third in his age category.
Stanley Wood had a tough race due to an injured knee, but he still performed very well and hobbled home to finish in fourteenth place, second in his age category in a super time of 33:32.
Ian Ripper finished in 35:35, beating last years’ time by 22 seconds and winning his age category.
Next home were Joe and Art Lane. They flew round the 3.5 miles of steep hills and waist high bog together, for Art to finish the first U10 in 37:42, timing his run to perfection, pulling away from his Dad and taking the lead with 200m to go!
Kate Wilson was the only female ORC and she finished in a time of 46:48 – well done to all the runners in this challenging race and thank you to Chagford Runners for hosting the event.
Fort William Park Run & Blair Castle Trail Weekender
True to form Jo Page was again running this weekend during her stay in Scotland, with 2 runs on Saturday. Her first race of the day was the Fort William Parkrun, a great place for a Parkrun, a nice trail route through the woods in the Nevis range.
Jo was in a small group that may have missed a turn and got a little lost at the end, but a lap of the carpark soon got them to the finish line. Jo said it was a lesson learnt, follow the arrows and not the person in-front! Her time of 22:54 gave her first female and seventh place overall out of 60 participants.
The midges get a mention, from the moment she crossed the finish line they are crawling all over her…. Not fun.
Jo followed this with the Dianas Grove 7km. This race was part of the festival ‘Blair Castle Trail Weekender 2022’ which hosted 4 difference distances. Jo chose the shortest one, not being conditioned to running up Scottish Munros.
The iconic Blair Castle on the Atholl Estate, is nestled at the base of the Cairgorm national park. The 7km rolling route went out of the grounds and then back through beautiful forests before returning to the Estate.
It was a touch race as it was very warm, but Jo finished as second lady and fourth overall in an unofficial time of 36.09.
Okehampton Running Club Juniors Fell and Track weekend
Our Juniors have been tackling the hills and the flat this weekend. 6 juniors entered the Jubilee Fell Race at Peter Tavy on Saturday. 5 juniors went down to the Devon Open in Plymouth on Sunday. 1 brave and enthusiastic member did both.
The ORC team of juniors ran 75m, 150m, 600m and 800m between them. And threw Vortex, Javelin and Long Jump. Corina took on her first track events and was 1st in Long Jump and Vortex throw. The 4 boys all had their individual successes too in some fiercely contested and high-quality races.
Edinburgh Marathon Festival
Mike Westland endured a stressful journey to Scotland when his evening flight was suddenly cancelled, and he had to take the train. His journey did not put him in a poor state of mind on race day as he went all out to achieve a personal best of 3.58.36. Not surprisingly he was very pleased with his Sub 4 time. Though not known, his time probably put him well up in age category positions. Edinburgh Marathon starts from Holyrood Park road and runs down the royal mile before following the coast passing through Leith, Portobello, Musselburgh, Prestonpans out to the Aberlady for the turnaround back to Musselburgh. The grand finish is at the primary school in Musselburgh. Conditions were quite hot but no doubt there would have been some degree of coastal headwind breeze on the return leg, the Marathon is notorious for sometimes horrendous headwind gusts.
Trail Events Brecon Beacons Marathon
One sole ORC, Christine Fritsch travelled to South Wales to take part in the Trail Events Brecon Beacon Marathon. The route features 5000ft of ascent taking you up Taff Trail which follows along the picturesque Talybont reservoir and Pen y Fan, the highest peak in South Wales. Conditions were near perfect with a cold strong breeze.
Christine was surprised to find she was 3rd female in an unofficial time of 6.27.29.
Park runners Gary Letheren and Jo Page were out flying ORC colours. Gary at Tamar Lakes came a respectable 10th place in 21.32 even though he was not feeling his best. Jo Page ran Alness Parkrun in the Highlands, somewhat further afield in a time of 21.37.
Jubilee Langstone Fell Race
This hilly fell race at Peter Tavy is part of the Dartmoor Fell Race Series. Starting and finishing in Peter Tavy it covers approximately 10KMs taking in Coombe Tor, Cox Tor and Longstone. The race also had a Junior section. Senior results are as follows:-
Sam Priday achieved 4th position in 45.52 Paul Crease 48.13 Joseph Lane 52.21 Daniel Heggs 58.40
This well organised race is on fully closed roads through the heart of Exeter finishing in the Athletics stadium. A nice sustainable idea was a partnership with Trees for Tees, planting a tree for every runner entered instead of giving out T shirts. Three ORC’s braved the heat and hills that formed the Great West half Marathon course. Claudine Benstead ran an amazing time as usual of 1.35 coming 3rd in her age category. Paul Evison was pleased with his time of 1.35 and Chris Fulford Brown ran 2.30.19.
This race was formerly the Great West Fell Run which was renamed in memory of ORC member Marilyn Cooper. The race is supported each year by Marilyn’s son Peter, of Coopah Running who presents a glass bowl to the first ORC lady home along with other prizes. This race takes runners to the highest point in the South of England with stunning scenery from Yes Tor and High Willhays before dropping back down to the Start and Finish line at Meldon.
First senior male ORC home in 39.02 was Sam Priday and placing 4th overall followed by Chris Turner in 39.27.
First female ORC home and winner of the beautiful glass bowl for this year was Claire Watkins in 51.57. Also first Female Vet 40.
Other ORC results as follows: Tom Poland 42.11 Joseph Lane 42.50 3rd Vet 40 Mike Saywell 44.03 4th Vet 40 Charlie Temperley 47.08 Ian Ripper 56.16 3rd Vet 60 Sophie May Luxton came 1st under 17 Daniella Tansley 1.08.15 2nd Vet 40
Our ORC Juniors were also well represented in all age categories.
Cornish IMERYS Trail Marathon
The challenging hilly multi-terrain course takes runners through the grounds of Wheal Martyn China Clay then through parts of the Cornwall’s China Clay (IMERYs current operational sites) not accessible to the public.
The weather on race day was hot but great for seeing the breath-taking views of Cornwall’s countryside and coastline.
Jo Page was the only ORC in this event achieving an unofficial time 4:01:27, placed 2nd female overall and 1st female V35.
This was a mid-week race run by prolific racer Jo Page. It is a stunning trail running route starting near Godrevy heading along the Coastpath to the dunes before dropping onto the Beach. Then along Gwithian sands for a coast path section towards the North Cliffs and a small loop on the Knavocks Headland. The weather was perfect for an evening trail race. Jo came 5th Female and 36th overall out of a field of 201 runners.
A tough hilly trail course around the National Trusts beautiful Landhydrocks estate. Jo Page continued her Parkrun challenge and was placed 4th female in 25.42 and was 1st in her age category.
Buckland Brewer 10k, Run Exe 5k, Exeter 10k, Ivybridge 10k, Coast to Coast Copper Trail, Hierro Trail & Bideford 10k
It’s been a busy week for ORC. Last Monday, on the Bank Holiday, John and Anne Binns ran the Buckland Brewer 10k. This was a new race starting, passing through and finally finishing in the village of Buckland Brewer.
Anne hadn’t anticipated quite how hilly it was going to be, but it was local to them and a fund raiser for North Devon Hospice so they wanted to run it.
With accent of approximately 266 meters the course was well marshalled and had a field of 130 runners. John ran the course in an unofficial time of 51.06 and Anne 56.16.
Run Exe 5k
On Tuesday 8 ORC’s took part in the Run Exe 5k Summer series. This is a monthly event with this being the second in the series of six which run from April to September, with the best results from four of the 6 races taken.
It’s a great traffic free flat run along footpaths and cycle tracks around Exwick playing fields and the River Exe food relief. It was a warm, still evening (but not too warm!) perfect for running.
All the runners did well, especially our young runners Stanley Wood and Sophie Luxton. Stan was the first ORC home in a time of 18:50, second in his age category and Sophie ran 21:12 which gave her first in her age category.
Andrew Vernon finished in 20:18 giving him fourth place in his age category, Claudine Benstead 20:45, second in her age category, Paul Evison 22:45, third in his category, Kate Wilson 25:34 first in her category, Jane Richardson 27:47 first in her age category and Victoria Evison achieved a PB at 30:26.
Brilliant running from everyone.
Following this Claudine Benstead also entered the Exeter 10k on Friday, which is 2 laps of the 5k course. Claudine had a great run, even though she took a wrong turn, she came home first in her age category in 44:24.
Andrew Vernon was the single ORC entrant in the Ivybridge 10k on Saturday. This undulating course with a steep climb at 3k starts at Ivybridge Station and finishes at Ivybridge Rugby Club.
It was a large field with around 550 running. Andrew finished in 42 mins exactly which gave him second place in his age category.
It was very humid and he surprised himself as he did find the race very enjoyable considering his current level of race fitness.
Purple Gecko Coast to Coast Copper Trail
Also, on Saturday 3 ORC’s crossed the border into Cornwall to take part in the Purple Gecko Coast to Coast Copper Trail event. The 11.5 mile trail run goes from Portreath on the north coast of Cornwall all the way across to Devoran Quay on the south coast. It follows two historic transport routes across Cornwall first opened in 1812, helping the mines transport copper to the ports.
The day started chilly in the mist at Portreath, but after a few miles the sun came out and this made the last 5 miles quite tough on the runners as it was very warm to say the least!
Daniella Tansley finished in 1:59:18, just ahead of Mike Saywell in 1:59:21 who was using the event as a recovery run after his ultra-race last weekend.
Kathryn Volkelt-Igoe finished in 2:18:28, this wasn’t enough for her however, as she followed it with a 5-mile dog walk!
Keeping up her Park Run successes Jo Page did another Park Run on Saturday morning, but not content with just one run she followed it with a trail run in the afternoon!
The first run of the day was Ormskirk Parkrun to tick off O in the Parkrun alphabet challenge and her 62nd Parkrun. The weather was perfect and according to all the regulars not normally like this. It’s known for being a windy course, but it was sunny and not a breath of wind, a nice course along gravel tracks and tarmac. Jo was first female and eighteenth overall out of a field of 207 in a time of 21:54.
Her second run of the day was the Hierro Trail race in Lancashire. This lovely trail race was free thanks to be sponsored by SportsShoes.com and New Balance, with all finishers receiving a goody bag.
The 4 1/4 mile course took the runners through some of the secret snickets in and around Hurst Green, before finishing outside the picturesque Stonyhurst College.
Jo ran hard from the start and took the lead after the first mile. She knew the second and third place ladies were not far behind, so there was no time to take in the scenery or take any mid race photos! She was the first female to cross the line in a time of 32:58 – well done Jo.
Sunday saw a plethora of 13 ORC’s heading to the popular Bideford 10k. This race starts and finishes very close to the Bideford Amateur Athletic Club clubhouse and takes in magnificent views of the Taw and Torridge estuary. The course heads out on the road to Instow and returns on the Tarka Trail, it’s moderately flat with only two small inclines.
It was a hot day with 655 runners taking part in the race. Great running from the ORC’s saw Paul Evison the first ORC home in a time of 47:43 giving him third place in his age category. Ged Fitzgibbon also got third place in his age category with time of 52:51, as did Jane Richardson with her time of 59:09.
The other results were: Lucinda Walsh 52:14 Kate Wilson 52:44 Andrew Pullinger 54:39 Tom Andrew and Jo Bradford 54:45 Chris Fulford-Brown 58:06 Vicky Bond 58:59 Gill Bryant 1:02:10 Michelle Luddington 1:04:35 Victoria Evison 1:05:07
Great running over a very busy, hot weekend – well done to all.
Hartland Hartbreaker, Smugglers Way & a Trio of Parkruns
Jo-Anne Turner, Chris Turner, Karen Vallance, Alison Holliday, Cathy Carey, Abby Williams, and Christine Fritsch braved this tough race. This is a very hilly challenging 19 mile off road multi-terrain course taking in sections of exposed cliff tops, muddy steep slippery paths and river crossings. Lovely bluebell woodland and cocktail drinks stations are along the route as are funny encouraging signs. Results are still pending.
Smugglers Way – Purple Gecko Events
ORC Mike Saywell ran The Purple Gecko Events Smugglers Way on Saturday – a coast to coast run from Boscastle to Looe – 37.7 miles. It is a beautiful, varied route with lots of bluebell woods, open fields and moorland. Mike finished 9th overall in an official time of 07:38:19 and would have been 6th if not for a slight navigational error in the final stretch that saw him drop three places. Nevertheless, a fantastic result for his first Ultra Marathon event.
Parkruns – Bideford, Burgess and Tamar Lakes
Paul Evison and his daughter Victoria enjoyed the Bideford Parkrun, Paul ran in a time of 22:59 and was 1st in age category and Victoria in a time of 30:26; which was a new PB for Victoria. Jo Page ran the Burgess Parkrun in a great time of 20:50, coming in 4th Female and 1st VW35-39, 47th out of 469. Garry Letheren came in 10th at Tamar Lakes in a new PB of 20:50.
Yeovil Easter Bunny 10k, Sid Valley Ring Half Marathon & Parkruns
Easter Monday was race day for Ged Fitzgibbon who took part in the Yeovil easter bunny 10K. He ran a great time of 53 minutes and came 2/9 in his age category.
Sid valley Ring Half Marathon
Several ORCs travelled to Sidmouth on Saturday for the Sid Valley Ring half marathon. This largely trail course encompasses woodland, farmland, coast path and over 2000 feet of elevation. Despite some adventures along the way, everyone completed the distance and thoroughly enjoyed it.
Two Orcs took to the roads to become Park Run tourists:-
Jo Page opted to travel to Dudley Parkrun to tick of D in her Parkrun Alphabet. She thought it to be a lovely course even though it included laps of the Athletics track. She wasn’t expecting to run along the canal or through a nature reserve. This was Park Run number 60 for her, she came 1st female in 22.18 and was in 17th place overall.
Gary Letheren ran in Plymouth’s Central park and achieved a PB of 21.45.