Monthly Archives: May 2022

ORCJ Fell & Track Weekend, Edinburgh & Brecon Beacons Marathons & Langstone Fell Race

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 Runs

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


Elysium Healthcare Great West Run Half Marathon

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.


Marilyn’s Meldon Madness, Cornish IMERYS Trail Marathon, Godrevy 10k & Landhydrock Parkrun

Marilyn’s Meldon Madness

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

Full results here

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.

Godrevy 10k

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.

Landhydrock Parkrun

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

Buckland Brewer 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.

Exeter 10k

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.

Ivybridge 10k

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!

Hierro Trail

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 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.

Bideford 10k

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

Hartland Hartbreaker – North Devon Road Runners

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.