Sunday saw the third in Okehampton’s summer Race Series, the Cosdon Hill race. This lovely little race is a typical up and down, self navigating fell race held in conjunction with the Belstone Fair.
While short in distance at just 3.5 miles, this race is guaranteed to get the heart rate soaring with the long climb over open moorland with no path to define the route for some of the way, to the top of Cosdon Beacon, before flying back down to Belstone Common for the finish. A large area of bog is waiting to catch the unwary taking too straight a path on the way down, while many trodden paths can lead runners to the wrong destination. This was not the case for overall winner Tim Lenton or Female winner Jo Meek who both set new course records, Tim finishing in an incredible 28.52 and Jo in 33.54. First home or ORC was Geoff Hill in a rare off road run and having come first at the Run In The Park earlier that day with a superb PB of 18.01, finishing in 10th place here in a time of 34.17. Not far behind him was Paul Crease, recently back from injury, coming home in 34.26, and chased home by ORC junior runner Mathew Richards who ran an impressively strong race, finishing only seconds behind Paul in 34.31. Robert Kelly was next in 35.10, also on his second race of the day having run the Barnstaple 10k earlier. Indigo Ramsey headed another group of ORC finishers, completing in 43.36, followed by Molly Marvin in 43.37 and Merv Rice in 43.31. Rob Hicks, usually to be found at the head of this race was running with his son Arthur, a junior member who pipped his dad to the post in 44.06 with Rob just behind in 44.10. Phil Read was next in 45.04 and Katherine Murray, now well into her Dartmoor Marathon training, to be first ORC lady in 48.56. Paul Evison was next in 58.42 and Janet White in 1.01.27.
On Sunday morning five Okehampton runners took part in the Care for Kids Barnstaple 10k. the race starts at Park School, and then meanders around the historic Rock Park before it continues along Taw Vale and the Strand using the Tarka Trail and over the Taw Bridge, which is the steepest part of the course. It then returns back to the town square along the riverside and into Rock Park, finishing back at Park School.
The course is a flat, fast one, perfect for a first race as well as an ideal opportunity to gain a personal best. First home for the club was Robert Kelly in a time of 37.43 to be placed fourth overall. Next was Jo Page, coming home in 42.36 to take the First Lady prize. New member Karen Gear was next, finishing in 51.53 to be fourth FV35, while Joseph Lynch and Charlotte Lynch ran together, finishing in 1.22.40 in their first 10k race.
A single ORC, Hayden Bond, travelled to Tenby in Pembrokeshire to take part in the Tenby Half Marathon. This is held alongside the Wales Marathon, with the Half runners starting in Pembroke at the halfway mark of the marathon and following marathon’s route back to the start on closed traffic free roads. The course is set in the Pembrokeshire National Park and is a testing route with over 1,00ft of ascent. Hayden ran a superb race, enjoying the support from the crowds over the red carpet finishing straight, his time of 1.31.23 placing him 9th overall.
Tuesday night saw eight Okehampton Runners take part in round four of the Run Exe Summer series 5k. Whilst Exeter was graced with blazing sunshine, the accompanying strong head wind along the river made conditions on the back straight, which participants run along twice, reasonably challenging.
First home was Roger Voaden, taking a break from his usual long distance running and happy with his time of 18.45, winning his age category in the process. Next in was Graham Bryant in 19.02, closely (a little too close for comfort at one stage) followed by another age category winner Stephen Sincock a massive one minute inside his platinum award time target, finishing in 19.08.
Next in was Jo Page who finished as second senior lady in 20.46. Another age category winner on the night was Claudine Benstead who finished in 21.00. Paul Evison was next in, in a time of 23.06.
Closely following behind was Jo Bradford who finished in 23.26. Margaret Jarvis came home in 25.26 to finish third in her age category.
Having completed 3 races apiece in the series now, Jo Bradford and Mags Jarvis are well placed for podium finishes in their respective age categories leaving it with all to play for with two rounds left. Good running all!