Monthly Archives: January 2022

Storm Force 10

Two ORCS, Paul Carter and Robert Kelly made the trip to Cambourne for the Storm Force 10 road race. The undulating 10 Mile course around country lanes suited both runners well, Paul Carter came in well under his target time achieving 65.36. Robert also had a good race coming in at 59.47 which was the first time he has completed 10 miles in under an hour. Cracking efforts from both of them.

Tamar Lake Park Run

Anne Binns who has been out of action since September, first with a hip injury then Covid infection made a return to her local park Run at Tamar Lakes. Anne was hospitalised with breathing difficulties in December believed to be caused by an inflammatory response to Covid. The 29 minute 5K though overly exhausting for her hopefully marks the beginnings of a return to running fitness.


Westward Cross Country League Round 4

Sunday 9th January saw a large contingent of Okehampton Running Club (ORC) members setting off for the fourth instalment of the 2021/2022 Westward Cross Country league at Westward Ho!

Recent rain cleared to leave a bright and windy day at Northam Burrows. Driving down towards the course the sea looked ominous with larger than expected waves crashing, but luckily these were lost behind the bank of pebbles giving the course some protection from the westerly wind.

It is a flat course, generally not enjoyed by runners because of this and its exposed position. At any point it is possible to see the whole course and the laps are typically longer than other meetings which isn’t to everyone’s liking.

Although there are no hills there are frequent ditches to either jump or run through which is both energy sapping, and often precarious, leading to tumbles and falls.

First to run for the ORC’s was Kelsey Davies in the Under 11 girls race. We were all especially glad to see Kelsey as she was our sole female representative at the meeting. Kelsey appeared a little nervous at the start line, this being her first Westward league run of the season. Any nerves disappeared on hearing the starters whistle and she powered towards the leading girls. She ran her 2,200m lap with apparent ease and coped brilliantly with the course to finish 14th.

The Under 11 boys were up next. We had 5 runners in this race which included Ollie King and Stanley Hicks who had tackled the course before, and newcomers William Bussell, Ezekiel Evans, and Laurence Hicks. The most smiley runners of the day were definitely Zeik and Ollie and their attitude to their running sets an example to us all.

The finishing positions in this category were Stanley 17th, Zeik 25th, Laurence 40th, Will 41st and Ollie 42nd. Thanks to Lucy and Karen for taking great photos as always.

The Under 13 boys race was combined with the under 15 girls race, which gave Arthur Hicks a larger field to compete in. Arthur was a late entrant after his rugby match got cancelled the day before and he decided to come along just before his dad was leaving Okehampton!

The lack of preparation made for a relaxed run and Arthur enjoyed having the girls there too making it a busier course.

He finished his 3,800m run in 30th position having a thrilling last 200m race with another boy and a girl in which he came out on top. It was his most satisfying finish of the season.

Stan Wood ran in the Under 15 boys race wearing his ORC vest today, leaving the white and red of Exeter Harriers in his drawer! He ran 4,400m and finished 13th after a good run on a relatively empty course giving him with fewer people to chase.

Stan is moving towards a strong overall finish to the season with another consistent performance.

The mens course was 3 long laps equalling 8,565m and was combined with the Under 20 men. With 9 runners in this race, we were one of the highest represented clubs.

Chris Turner was first back finishing 25th in a performance he should be very pleased with.

It was Mike Davies first cross country race and he finished in 87th place, cheered on by his wife, children and dog, which we hope will become a regular addition!

The other finishers were Paul Crease 28th, Rob Kelly 36th, Andy Vallance 45th, Tom Poland 50th, Rob Hicks 53rd, Paul Carter 63rd, and Stuart Page 84th. On finishing they all said how enjoyable it is to run in a team event, and with this in mind we look forward to Redruth in a few weeks time.


An Introduction to ORC

Okehampton Running Club (ORC) was formed in February 2009, and we now have over 180 members of all ages and abilities who share one thing – a love of running!

The club meets on a Tuesday and Thursday. Tuesday nights are steady runs, sometimes on road, through the woods and tracks, or on Dartmoor. There are 6 groups based on ability, from super speedy to beginners, so something for everyone.

Thursday nights are technical sessions, aiming to build up stamina and speed. We do sprints, and distance loops, as well as hill reps and more.

2021 has of course been a very different year. With group runs not initially permitted, Head Coach Rob Richards re instigated the lockdown challenges that were started in 2020 to keep members active and motivated.

These were very well received, and members rose to the challenges set and had great fun in doing so. One of the most memorable was in February in memory of Captain Sir Tom Moore. It was based on the statistics of him walking the 25m round his garden 100 times. Runners were asked to run 2.5k or more along this theme and a target was set of 100 runners to take part.

This seemed like a small ask to people who normally run much greater distances, but the bitter cold and wind on Saturday, which was replaced by a milder but equally strong wind and rain on Sunday meant venturing out at all was quite a challenge.

There were lots of very ingenious interpretations of the theme and great fun was had by all. The original idea for this challenge came from a new member Mike Saywell, and not only did he complete a 2.5k run but went on to ‘write’ the name Tom using what’s known as Strava art. This resulted in him running a total of 12 miles and passing the same man digging in his garden four times!

By Sunday afternoon it didn’t look as though the target of 100 participants was going to be reached, but with posts on the club Facebook page keeping a running total word got out and a sudden flurry of late posts saw the final total come in at an amazing 117!

In March we saw the last challenge of lockdown which was inspired by Joseph Lynch in recognition of World Down Syndrome Day, which is held every year on the 21st of March. The challenge was to feature as many 21’s within a run as possible, whilst wearing odd socks, and as usual the ORC’s came up with some great ideas.

Joe totally embraced it; his own personal challenge was running 7km on 3 days – giving him a total distance of 21km.

His enthusiasm inspired many others to get out there and run in their ‘odd socks’ and the unanimous message from the nearly 70 members who completed the challenge was ‘thank you for the inspiration’.

By the end of March runners were able to take part in races again and many were excited to be back racing, especially for the Summer Series of Dartmoor Runs which are hosted by ORC. One had to be cancelled this year but the remaining 3 were able to take place;

Marilyn’s Meldon Madness in June in memory of past club member Marilyn Cooper which is a popular race from Meldon taking you to the highest point in the south of England.

The Cosdon Hill Race in July where runners take their own line on the 3 mile 300m climb run from Belstone Village to the beacon on top of Cosdon Hill, then back to the finish on the green.

Then the Sourton Tors race in September, a traditional fell run of 2.6 miles ascending 300m to Sourton Tors and looping back round the valley.

The club has gone from strength to strength over the past few years, with the inclusion of a Junior Athletics section which started in 2019. Young athletes from the age of 8 can join and take part in a varied mix of running, throwing, and jumping.

For people new to running or wanting to restart, the popular Couch to 5k takes place in September each year. The 10 weeks of training sees participants gradually build up speed and distance under the guidance of the coaches until they tackle the 5k time trial. This is a great introduction to running and to the club.

New members are welcome at any time and can come along to club events for a taster session or two to see how they get on. More details can be found here on the website, on our Facebook Group or by emailing

We look forward to welcoming you.