One sole ORC, Christine Jeffrey travelled to the Lake District to take part in the Lakeland Four Passes, which is an 19(ish) mile route with 5300ft of ascent taking in four of the Lake Districts most scenic valleys and their adjoining passes. The Lakes blessed the runners with perfect running conditions and breathtaking views on this tough run. Christine finished in 5 hours and 19 minutes (watch time, official results are still pending).
Jewson Barnstaple Half Marathon
Barnstaple Half and Full Marathon made a comeback this week, organised by North Devon Road runners. Two members Chris Turner and Rob Kelly took on the Half marathon course. The route goes from Rock Park through Barnstaple and onto the Tarka trail towards Fremington. It is a flat and fast course which returns to Rock Park for the finish. Chris ran 1.21.07 and Rob 1.27.08.
Newton Abbot Ladies’ 10K
It was the 25th year of this superb scenic race where the route follows undulating rural lanes throughout, with little traffic and passes through the local hamlets of Ogwell and Denbury. 2 ORC ladies enjoyed the undulating course in glorious sunshine along with over 200 others. Joanne Page came 7th and 3rd FV35 in 43.41 Karen King came 46th and 4th FV40 in 52.21
3 ORCs enjoyed the scenic parkrun around the grounds of Killerton. Karen King won her age category in a time of 24:35 which was only 6 seconds off her PB. Jo Page also won her age category in a slow for her time of 24:36. Paul King came in not far behind.
Claudine Benstead is a regular racer in the Exmouth Events. This week she beat many other younger runners as she usually does and ran a 40.58 time to win First Lady overall.
There were two races this weekend supported by ORC’s, both of which held a minute’s silence at the start as a mark of respect to her majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
On Sunday there were 14 ORC’s taking part in the popular local race, the Warhorse 10k. A unique touch to this race is that it is started by shotgun, this is very loud to those unaware!
The race starts and finishes in the picturesque village of Iddesleigh and takes the runners through country lanes and the beautiful estate of the privately owned Ash House. The majority of the route is ascent, with a particularly gruelling 1 mile climb around the 4 mile mark.
On a beautiful day for running, Ian Ripper was the first ORC home in a time of 48:18 followed by Claire Watkins in 48:32 who took first place in her age category. This rewarded her with a beautiful plaque and a signed copy of Michael Morpurgo’s book, War Horse.
Paul Evison continuing his good form was the next ORC back in a superb time of 49:56, followed by Anne Binns, who is training for the New York marathon, in 50.07 and husband John in 50:18. They were followed by another husband and wife team, Karen King in 54:10 and Paul in 55:27.
Rachel Luxton was next home in 55:31, Richard Jones 58:41, Chris Fulford-Brown in 1:05:31 and Victoria Evison in 1:06:46 who smashed a whopping 8 minutes off her time from her last run on this course!
The newest member of the club, Louis Rowlands did well to come home in 1:09:33 followed by Lucy Gooding in 1:11:06 and Olivia Wheeleker and Jo Teixeira together in 1:20:54 – well done to everyone.
Also running on Sunday were Angus Farrelly and Sarah and Molly Marvin, the only ORC’s to travel to Honiton for the 2022 Honiton Hippo.
Billed as a ‘Tough multi-terrain race with roughly 7 miles of mud, sweat and tears’ it lived up to its promise! The ‘highlight’ is the Land Rover Experience where runners have no choice but to pass through several different water features. Water is also on the agenda with the 2 river crossings, which is waist height for most runners!
Sarah said there was plenty of water and lots of mud, hills (hills and more hills), but the many lovely smiling marshals made for a great atmosphere and all in all, a thoroughly enjoyable and recommended day out.
All 3 of them came in together in a time of 1:23:29.
Treggy 7, Run Exe 5k, Sourton Tor Fell Race, Dartmoor In a Day, Great North Run & Bude Pirate Run
Some events were cancelled or postponed while we are mourning the loss of our most wonderful sovereign lady, Queen Elizabeth 2nd, others took place and some were run before the sad event.
Sunday 4th September saw four ORC’s take part in the Treggy 7 Road Race. This undulating course is part of the Cornish Grand Prix Series. This meant a very competitive race with teams from Hayle, Newquay, Falmouth, Truro and St.Austell among others. It was a very warm day with excellent running conditions. First home for ORC was Andrew Vallance in a PB of 45.13, very closely followed by Richard Davies in 45.15. Andrew Vernon followed in 49.44 claiming 3rd V50. The sole lady representative was Claire Watkins who is to be congratulated on setting a new club Vet F45 record of 54.26.
The following Tuesday evening saw five ORC members take part in the 6th and final round of the Run Exe 5k Summer Series. As regular readers of this column will know this event is a two lap course beside the flood relief channel and along the footpaths which surround Exwick playing fields. First home was Andrew Vernon 19.16 2nd V50, Claudine Benstead was next in 20.11 1st V60 then Sophie Luxton finishing her season with a fine 21.34 1st FU17. Paul Evison followed in 22.48 3rd V65 and Victoria Evison who gained a PB of 30.10 to round off a successful evening.
The overall series rankings, in which Okehampton are well placed again this year, have been announced. In order to figure in the final rankings runners have to complete four of the six races. A yellow jersey is awarded for category winners, red jersey for 2nd and green jersey for 3rd. ORC took four category prizes. Claudine Benstead and Sophie Luxton won their age group, Andrew Vernon was 2nd and Paul Evison 3rd in their respective age groups.
Okehampton Running club has it’s very own Summer Series comprising four fell races. The final one of the season is the Sourton Tor Fell Race. The race is a short and sharp traditional fell race and this year it was tackled by four junior and twelve senior ORC’s under threatening skies. In the event the rain held off and the senior male course record was broken by just under a minute, Tom Perry returning to Bearslake where the race had started just 17minutes and 52 seconds earlier. The home club runners had a great showing with Arthur Lane (11.01) taking the U11 boys spot, Paul Crease (20.59) being the first V50 male to finish and Claire Watkins coming in as third lady (25.44).
The juniors performed really well with Eleanor Taylor (12.03), Alistair Taylor (12.32) and Kieran Spinney (20.46). In the senior race, Chris Turner (20.15) was first ORC to return followed by Paul Crease, Joe Lane (21.57), Tom Polland (22.29), Aiden Spinney (24.35), Daniel Heggs (25.24), Claire Watkins, Will Serviour (26.54), Katherine Hails (28.46), Christine Fritsch (30.43) and Lucy Gooding (41.40).
On behalf of the club the Race Director would like to thank the Volunteers and especially the Bearslake Inn for hosting and Andrew Horn for the use of his field for parking.
There was some excellent running on Saturday from Daniella Tansley and Ian Ripper who took on the ‘Dartmoor in a day’ challenge. This is a self navigation event across the moor with two checkpoints/aid stations on the way. The weather was warm and there was little breeze.
Ian took on the full 50km from Okehampton to Ivybridge and finished in a provisional time of 6:56 (17th overall and 15th male) just inside his target time of 7 hours. Daniella did the 30km option from Postbridge to Ivybridge her longest run to date. Finishing in 4:18 (10th overall and 6th lady).
Having nearly 60,000 runners the Great North Run is the worlds biggest half marathon. This year the weather was kind and the sun came out for the second half of the race. Jo Page, who was the sole ORC racing, reports that she enjoyed the race from start to finish due to the crowds and atmosphere. She finished 2248th in 1hr 37.07 her fastest time in 18months.
Another fixture held on Sunday was the Bude Pirate Run organised by the Bude Rats. The race is billed as 8ish miles and covers trails, fields, woods and the North Cornwall Coast Path. It is a beautiful course with lots of steep climbs and the added bonus of a pasty for all finishers. Claire Watkins represented the club and gained 2nd Vet45 crossing the line in 1hr14.
Saints Way Challenge, City to Sea Marathon, Bridgewater 10k & Parkrun
Two ORCs have been running big races this week. Firstly, Mike Saywell ran the Purple Gecko Saints Way challenge. A 28-mile coast-to-coast mixed trail/road run from Padstow to Fowey. Things did not quite go to plan for Mike as he had to walk most of the last 10 miles due to a dodgy knee, so he was really pleased to finish 28th out of 82 runners in a time of 5:41:09. This was the last run in a series of 4 races (totalling 100 miles) and a finish secured him an excellent 3rd place male in the series.
Lucy Gooding completed the City to Sea marathon yesterday, a mix of road and coastal trail. This was her first marathon, she finished in 6 hrs 53 mins. Lucy said she loved it! The first 18/19 miles were flat, but the last few miles were very hilly with lots of steep steps which she said were a bit much for her little legs! The route took runners from Exeter, through Starcross, Dawlish, Teignmouth, Shaldon and ended up at Babbacombe. Congratulations on becoming a marathoner Lucy.
Claudine Benstead ran Bridgewater 10k to scoop 3rd place Female in a time of 48.04 and 1st place VF60. The 10K race along with a Half marathon is a fund raiser for Cancer research UK. It started and finished at Morganian’s Rugby Club passing through the beautiful village of Chedzoy.
Park Run runners this week were Jo Page and Karen and Ollie King; they chose Exmouth this week. Jo ran her fastest 10K since 2019 after a big mileage week of marathon training. Jo ran 20.48 and was 3rd female and 1st FV35. Ollie and Karen ran together in a time of 28.41.