Monthly Archives: February 2022

Pervolia 10k

Storm Eunice put paid to most of the races this weekend, but not so for ORC Jo Page who was running in 20 degree temperatures in the Pervolia 10k.

This is an annual international running event held in Cyprus, covering distances of 21.098m, 10km, 5km, 2km and 1km. People from all over the world are invited to participate in the race and discover the historical Pervolia area. This is an amazing route to run in beautiful countryside in the warm Cyprus winter weather.

This was also just 2 weeks after Jo braved the brutal Cyprus coast to coast Ultra run.

Jo ran the 10k and completed it in an excellent time of 45:35. She was very chuffed to come away with a trophy, 4th female overall and second in her age category – well done Jo, excellent running.


Exeter Half Marathon, Dark Skies 10k & Cross Country

On Saturday ORC’s Robert Kelly and Andrew Vallance headed to Exeter to compete in the Exeter City Community Trust Half Marathon. This two-lap race is a great, traffic-free, relatively flat route run along the footpath and cycle track of the River Exe and Exeter Canal. Traditionally timed to help with training for a spring marathon, this event is the perfect way to test your training or simply challenge yourself.

Conditions were a little breezy at the start, but generally very good for February. Rob was looking to build on his brilliant effort at the Storm Force 10 miler a few weeks ago and Andy was racing for the first time this year.

With official results not yet confirmed, Rob was delighted to come in with a watch time of 1:17:29, an improvement on his PB by over 2 minutes and in 7th position overall. Andy’s watch didn’t record from the very start, but he came in at around 1:21, making good progress in his training.

The event also took place on Sunday, open to all with an extended maximum completion time of 3 hours. Garry Letheren took part in this race, with the weather taking a turn for the worse from the day before with wind and rain. He was happy with his time of 1:45:41, not his fastest, but he was using this race as part of his training for a marathon in April.

On Saturday night Angus Farrelly headed up to Saunton to take part in the Dark Skies Night Running Series. The winter 2021/22 ‘Dark Skies’ series consists of seven events spanning from Brean Down in Somerset to Baggy Point in North Devon.

Angus was competing in the Assault on Baggy Point, which is a long 10k taking in 2 loops of Baggy Point. It was very wet and windy, but Angus ran well and came in 35th place in time of 1:07:16.

Sunday also saw ORC’s Joe Lane, Stuart Page and Stan Wood headed to Redruth for the latest and penultimate in this series of Westward League Cross Country events, held at Redruth School. This is a series of six cross country events which take place at various locations across Devon and Cornwall throughout the winter.

Joe finished the 4.4miles in 34:03, a career high for him in 47th place. Stuart was not far behind in 71st place.

Stan finished in 6th place in the U15‘s, an excellent result, especially with the amount of mud on the course (and taken home!)

Excellent running from the ORC’s again – well done to all.


South West Schools Cross Country Championship

Saturday 5th February was an important day for two of our young members who had been selected to race in the South West Schools Cross Country Championship. Stan Wood (pictured) and Sam Priday both represented Devon. The  competition was held at Sheldon School in Chippenham so thanks go to their parents for their time and taxi provision. This is tough competition attracting top selected runners from seven Counties. The seven counties have their own Athletics association which promotes the regions Championships and this competition aids the selections for their respective English Schools championship teams.   

Despite having some knee pain during the previous week Stan had nothing hindering him during the race and was able to catch up on 5 runners in his start pen of 10 after he was unlucky to start last. Stan continues to make progress and extend his race experience. He came 5th place for Devon and 36th overall.

Sam Priday also did not fail to amaze us by taking 2nd place for Devon and 22nd overall.

Congratulations to both young men, the club is proud to call them ORC’s!


Arc of Attrition – 100 mile Winter Endurance Run

On Friday 28 January lone ORC runner Rob Hicks set off to compete in the Arc of Attrition 100 mile run. The Arc, organised by Mudcrew, is a point-to-point extreme coastal race from Coverack to Porthtowan, taking in 100 miles of stunning and dramatic Cornish coast paths. Runners complete an Arc around the entire south west foot of Cornwall. 

From the 350 entries there were 248 runners on the start line at Coverack Cove at midday. After the usual Mudcrew fanfare (blue flares, start line interviews for the news feed, and music) the runners set off.

The first 4 miles were quite congested as the route went straight onto the narrow and technical coast path, with little chance for overtaking, and everyone wanting to get a good pace either to make sure they hit the cut off times, hit personal deadlines or seek podium positions. Rob wished he had started a bit quicker, and a bit closer to the front of the pack, but as it started thin out he hit his stride.

It was a warm, foggy afternoon, hardly winter conditions, but perhaps easier for the runners with less mud on the coastpath than in previous years.

There was a bit of wind and rain later on, but it was generally good all the way through. Rob was relieved to see his crew (human and canine) at various coastal towns along the way. The race was going well, and Rob revised his original target of finishing in around 26 hours to aim for an elite sub 24 hour finish.

By checkpoint 2 at Lands End (55 miles in) Rob was well into the 14 hours of night-time running and moving well,  but beginning to be concerned by persistent nausea. After not being able to eat beyond checkpoint at 1 at 24 miles Rob was essentially running on empty – with half the race still ahead of him.

The following section was especially tough with a lot of technical running, severe ups and downs and limited opportunity for crew support. By check point 3 at St Ives, with the infamous ‘Dunes of Doom’ ahead Rob had resigned himself to slog it to the finish.

The final section saw more walking than running as the nausea continued and he couldn’t face eating to refuel. Crossing the line in just under 28 hours, any disappointment subsided as Rob spent time with his crew and supporters and received his much-prized gold buckle (awarded for a sub 30 finish). Rob finished in an incredible 30th place – well done Rob – and he says already looking forward to returning next year!

Overall, of the 248 runners on the start line only 130 made it to the finish with runners falling foul of injury and checkpoint cut off times.

The race was won by Mark Darbyshire in 19 hours and 12 minutes, shaving over an hour and half off the course record. A superb achievement from all runners.