Monthly Archives: October 2022

Halloween Five, Tavy 7, Grand Canal Canter & Mags’ 40k Duathlon Challenge

After a very quiet week for the ORC runners last week, this Sunday saw runners heading off for Exeter, Tavistock, Tiverton and Great Torrington.

Halloween Five

Claudine Benstead ran in a new five mile run organised by City Community Trust, the Halloween Five event, perfect to blow off the cobwebs as we head into the winter period. The race starts at the Piazza Terracina by the Exeter Canal Basin, taking the runners round the scenic route of the Exe Valley River Park.

In very windy conditions Claudine had a very impressive run to finish in a time of 32:56, second lady home.

Tavy 7

Nine ORC’s headed to Tavistock to take part in the Tavy 7, a popular, and very well supported local 7 mile road race organised by Tavistock Athletic Club. The race starts at Plaster Down on the western edge of Dartmoor and goes past Pew Tor and the hamlet of Sampford Spiney, winding its way through quiet lanes and open moorland road back to the start/finish line.

There is always a good field of runners as this race also hosts the long established Ross Shield.

This year the runners were not met with entirely good conditions. A heavy shower just before the start sent the assembled runners scuttling for what cover they could find, fortunately thereafter the rain held off. More of a problem was the blustery wind which blew into the faces of the runners for the last mile, which was strong enough to take the pace out of most of the runners.

The ORC’s raced well, first home was Andrew Vernon in a time of 47:41, giving him second place in his age category. Jo Page was next in a time of 48:56, first in her category with a PB and club record, well done to both of them.

They were followed by Mike Saywell in 49:38 and Claire Watkins in 54:22. Paul Evison was next, recovering from a recent bout of Covid and did well to finish in 57:09, third place in his age category. He was followed by Paul King in 01:01:13 and Ged Fitzgibbon in 01:01:28 giving him second place in his age category.

Also, both recovering from illness, Karen King finished in 01:14:06, and Vicky Evison in a time of 01:17:08.

Grand Canal Canter

Joanne Teixeira and Olivia Wheeleker headed to Tiverton for the Grand Canal Canter Half Marathon. The route starts at the Tiverton Canal Basin and heads along the canal path for 6.6 miles to Sampford Peverell, then the runners turn round and head back to Tiverton.

There is less than 90ft of ascent in the half marathon, making it a flat course along the hard packed gravel canal path. Finishing in a time of 2:57 the ladies were rightly very proud of themselves!

Mags’ 40k Duathlon Challenge

Mags Jarvis, an ORC for over 10 years, ran and cycled in a 40k Duathlon Challenge (run 3k, cycle 35k, run 2k) along the Tarka Trail to raise money for Parkinson’s UK.

Mags has had Parkinson’s for the same length of time as she’s been a member of the club and if she wasn’t suffering with knee injuries would still be running races regularly.

She took on the challenge with support from other ORC’s and friends, Christine Jeffery, Chris Fulford-Brown, Janet White, Claire Sprague, Jane Jackson and Kerry Tyler.

They had a brilliant time, not deterred by continuous rain on their first run and then 9 miles of the bike ride getting them soaked and filthy!


Marathons and More!

Run for all York Marathon

Members often travel afar to run their marathon of choice. This week Mike Davies travelled to York for the Run for All York Marathon. The course starts and finishes in the campus of York University taking a meandering and slightly undulating route around local country. This marathon is now in its 13th year and is growing each year to become a splendid event. Mike ran a chip time of 3. 38. 16.

Eden Marathon and Half Marathon

A firm fixture in the running calendar and one of the biggest events in Cornwall the Eden Project Marathon and Half Marathon offers hilly multi-terrain courses around the famous site, following a challenging route through areas of spectacular mining heritage and beautiful countryside landscapes.

Andy Vallance had a lovely day out running the marathon distance. He came 4th place overall in a time of 3.12.

Molly Marvin also enjoyed herself, finishing the half marathon in 2:07. There was also a very strong run from new member, Patrick Steel, with a chip time of 1:41.

Plym Trail Marathon

Daniella Tansley completed her first Marathon – part of the The Plym Trail Autumn Series. The course is a short out and back in Clearwater village followed by a double out and back along the cycle route 27 to Coypool. She is pleased to have finished in a time of 4:55:25, official results pending.

Bath Half Marathon

After several postponements, the 40th running of the Bath Half Marathon took place on Sunday. In what is quite a hilly city this course does it’s best to stay on level ground. This race does however have a sting in the tail and that being a relatively short but very sharp uphill to the finish. As the runners turn the corner leaving Upper Bristol Street at mile 13 they are confronted with a sight that no runner enjoys in the last 400 metres of a race. Paul Evison was sporting the ORC colours and was satisfied with a finish of 1:50:11.

Jurassic Coast 20k

This 20 Km route starts just outside the picturesque village of Corfe Castle, where you then run steadily across marshland gradually making your way towards the coast before heading back to the start point.

Lucy Gooding took on the challenging terrain, completing in a watch time of 2:30.

The Great South Run 10 mile

Starting and finishing on the glorious seafront, the 10 mile route offers a run through history passing iconic landmarks including the Historic Dockyard, HMS Victory and Southsea Castle along with breath-taking sea views and view of the Isle of Wight. Okehampton RC was well represented with four runners travelling to Portsmouth for the race. As the name suggests this race is really great, being one of the biggest 10 mile races in the South.

Jo Page was the first ORC home in a time on 1.10.21, setting a new club record for FV35, followed by partners Jo-Anne and Phil Turner who ran the race together in 1.35.53. Lucy Gooding, not content with her Jurassic trail run the day before, made the finish within minutes of Jo-Anne and Phil in a time of 1.40.14.

East Mill Tor Loop (juniors)

Five ORCJ ran either 2km (U9s & U11s) or 4km (U13s & U15s) on an out and back course towards Belstone Tor. Arthur Lane was 1st home in 10:58 (1st U11B), followed by Ellenor Taylor 11:43 (2nd U11G), closely followed by her brother Alistair Taylor 11:55 (1st U9B). Then came Aiden Spinney 18:21 (1st U15) followed by his sister Kiera Spinney 22:45 (2nd U13G).

It was the final race of the Dartmoor fell running series with Alistair, Arthur and Aiden finishing as series champions in their respective categories with Ellenor and Kiera both coming a close 2nd in theirs!

East Mill Tor (seniors)

10 ORCs took part in the senior East Mill Tor Loop fell race. This was the series finale of the Dartmoor Fell series. The route featured 6 hilly miles starting and finishing in Belstone.

Chris Turner was the first ORC back and came in 5th place. Paul Crease came 7th and 1st MV50. Paul also won the series age category trophy. Claire Watkins finished first woman and first FV40. Other runners were Tom Poland, Jo Lane, Charlie Temperley, Daniel Heggs (2nd MV60), Mervyn Rice (3rd MV60), Christine Fritsch and Ellodie Stott.

Congratulations go to the team as ORC won the team trophy for the whole series second year running.


Westward XC, Manchester Half Marathon & Mission: Unbreakable

Westward Cross Country League

This weekend saw the start of the 2022/23 Charles Stanley Westward Cross Country League, with seven senior ORC’s heading off to Newnham Park in Plymouth, a new venue for this year.

The cross country league is a series of 6 races which take runners to different venues around the southwest, all of them are off road and no doubt bring back memories of school days running around fields!

The weather was very mild and dry for this first 5.3mile race, a welcome change as it’s very unusual for these events to be in the dry.

Paul Crease lead the men home in 39th position in a time of 33:24 followed by Andrew Vallance in 71st place, Robert Kelly 75th, Tom Poland 89th, Joe Lane 106th, Daniel Heggs 136th and Stuart Page 148th.

Stan Wood ran in the U15 race and was the 11th home in his group. He ran a strong race and was pleased with his time after nearly 6 months off from competition due to injury.

The next race in the series is on Sunday 13th November at Newquay.

Manchester Half Marathon

On Sunday Kate Wilson joined 11,000 other runners to take part in the Manchester half marathon. This is a fast, flat course and it was ideal conditions being cool and dry.

The runners were cheered round by, amongst others, a rock choir, a drumming group, an ear-splitting sound system (under a motorway bridge for extra loud effect!) a Brownie pack and an 80’s crooner. All great motivation for them!

Kate had a good race and was pleased with her time of 1:57:33.

Mission: Unbreakable

Also on Sunday, Katy Graves took part in Mission:Unbreakable, a 10k commando course filled with tough challenges and obstacles at North Molton in aid of North Devon Hospice. The event takes place on a specially designed course through fields, rivers and forests. The terrain is rugged with plenty of hills and mud to make it even tougher. 

Katy and her team completed the 10k challenge tackling the obstacles along the way – scaling heights, taking a leap of faith, tackling mud, fire, water and ice bath, a sheep dip, monkey bars and a slip n slide. A challenge not for the feint hearted, but it looks like they all enjoyed it!


Chester Marathon, Galway Half Marathon, Exe Estuary Trail Half Marathon & London Marathon

Once again Okehampton’s running club members were spread far and wide to race this weekend.

Paul Carter was in Chester with an old friend of the club, Roger Voaden, to run the Marathon. This race sees runner’s leave the race course and pass through the city centre, then leaving through the Roman Walls heading for the Dee Bridge and Wales. Having left the city behind the route passes the Duke of Westminster’s Estate, through Pulford before crossing the border into Wales and the villages of Lavister and Rossett. Keeping to the rural lanes runners enter the historic village of Holt. Then crossing the ancient Roman bridge at Farndon to return to England and the home stretch running through Churnton, Aldford and Huntingdon. The course is largely flat with some short hills or gradual climbs which are predominantly in the second half of the course. Paul had a great run coming home in 3hrs 13:08. As a side note, this race would have seen club member Stephen Sincock don an England vest had it not been for a most unfortunate accident earlier in the year which put him out of action for 4months!

Simon O’Neill was in Ireland to run the Galway Half Marathon with his 21 year old son. The event, which covers other distances, is held at Nimmo’s Pier, Claddagh and took place on Saturday in beautiful weather. Simon, although 10 minutes slower than the last time he ran this race in 2018, did very well to finish in 1:42 having had covid a few weeks ago and not yet fully recovered.

Lucy Gooding was in Exmouth to take on the Exe Estuary Trail Half Marathon. This gently undulating route heads along the Exmouth Prom and joins the Estuary Trail, here it winds it’s way alongside  the Exe Estuary through the picturesque village of Lympstone and into Exton. Runners then turn around at a Marshall and head back the way they came to finish at Exmouth. Lucy ran well crossing the line 3hrs14:33

The London Marathon took place again this year in the Autumn before returning to its more usual season in the spring of 2023.There are many reasons that this event holds such an attraction for runners of all ages and from all over the world. The setting with all the historic buildings and iconic landmarks, the atmosphere and the support of the crowds. For  very many it is an opportunity to raise money for a chosen charity and with 40,000 runners in total the sums raised are considerable to say the least.

Two ORC ladies took part this year. Jo Page, who was unable to take advantage of a championship place awarded earlier, started in the second wave and despite this made her way through the traffic to gain an excellent time of 3hrs 27:19. This is good enough for a Boston qualifying time and a London ‘Good For Age’ as she looks to build on her two World Major Stars.

Mel Priday ,who was running for a charity, found the many words of encouragement from her supporters and the crowds that line the streets, along with much training, enough to get her round the 26.2 mile course. Considering she was uncertain whether she would be able to complete the distance was naturally pleased to finish in the very creditable time of 5hrs 8:51.