I ran cross country and track competitively and pretty fast through my teenage years and then, in true teenage fashion, tired of it and barely ran a step until I was 40. At that point, I rediscovered my love for running and joined ORC. I loved running the Westward League cross country events and Parkrun 5ks, and eventually increased my mileage and enjoyed a 10k and then half marathon events. Sometimes I run hard to compete, but more often I run for the pleasure of completing. Being part of the club and running with friends makes running so much more enjoyable and I urge anyone who wants to improve their physical and/or mental health to give it a go.
For the Joy of Running: Running has become a true joy for me. I started running in 2016 and have enjoyed it ever since! It has enabled me to get fit and make so many friends along the way who inspire and encourage me. Following the 'Couch to 5k', I gradually increased my distance and ran my first Half Marathon in 2018 and am now delighted and excited to be looking forward to running Ultra distances. I became an ORC in 2020 and have thoroughly enjoyed the Lockdown Challenges and running with the club. Running has improved my health, well-being and friendship - I would recommend it to anyone!
Although I was keen on sport at school, mainly playing hockey for Okehampton School first XI and Columbines, along with moor walking and Ten Tors, I wasn’t a big fan of cross country. After leaving school I mainly went to the gym to keep fit and enjoyed group exercise classes. When I moved back to Okehampton in 2015 I was keen to do something to keep fit and meet new people, so thought I’d give running a go and joined ORC. I must say I haven’t looked back! I have gradually improved and run a few 10k races, although this isn’t my main focus, I just enjoy getting out with like minded people and exploring new routes. What I like about ORC is the constant support and encouragement from colleagues and coaches to do your best. The club is incredibly friendly and welcomes athletes of all abilities, so like me, why not just give it go – it will be worth it!
I became an ORC in summer ’16 having never been a member of a running club before – despite nearly 20 years of pulling on a pair of trainers. Initially I joined because I wanted to run on the moor but didn’t fancy getting lost. I’ll usually run on the moor rather than in town on our Tuesday night session come the summer months and that's fuelled my enjoyment of fell races. More recently that participation has morphed into my becoming Race Director for the ORC summer series – four races taking in North Dartmoor’s best Tors. I love the idea that we’re hosting the types of events that don’t even exist in most parts of the country, and that we're introducing Dartmoor’s stunning landscape to people who wouldn’t otherwise experience it. I thrive on the competition and inspiration that my club mates provide. Training with the Coe group (as well as following my club mates on Strava) has changed my mindset on what “fast” actually means - and what I’m capable of achieving. As a result I’ve run my fastest ever 5k, half marathon and marathon times during 2017. I’ve also got involved in the Cross-County league races and relish the ORC team ethos and support at those events.
I allowed middle age to creep up on me and almost take over my life. I remained young at heart but realised in 2016 that I needed to do more to improve my health. After searching for the right challenge I found running as a great way to keep healthy. In 2017 I completed my first off-road trail marathon and beat my personal best time for a half-marathon held since I was in my early 20's. I carried on training and completed my first Ultra Marathon at 32miles followed by 50miles then the big 100 miles in Sept 2018. I continue with Ultra-distance running as a niche area, enjoying the challenges it gives me. The inspiration that the club has given me helped me through those challenges. I have been the Head Coach of this club since 2018 and continue to enjoy providing coaching throughout the club.
Cross-country was the only time I can remember bunking off lessons at secondary school. I would never have expected that aged 21 and having moved to Bristol for work running would fill both a social and physical need. I joined the Town and Country Harriers, an off-road running club who met and ran from a different real ale pub in the surrounding area each Thursday evening. I was hooked straight away and particularly enjoyed the crisp winter nights running under torchlight before retiring to a decent country pub for a pint and a chat. I’ve always enjoyed running and racing the most when it’s hilly and tough underfoot and moving to Okehampton in 2012 has given me hours of running pleasure. I consider myself a fell runner and train almost exclusively on Dartmoor. My wife’s work pattern means I rarely make club training although I always wear my ORC vest with pride at races. In a typical calendar year I’ll attempt to run as many Fell races on the Moor as possible as well as some orienteering, multi-day events and ultra-marathons. I also get huge enjoyment from running Parkruns with my children.
I took up running late in life (age 45) because I wanted to be fit at 50. I was unfit and needed to lose weight. I joined ORC in Sept 2012. The club gave me the confidence to believe in myself and taught me that anyone can run a marathon. I was lucky to get a club place in London Marathon 2014. A year later I achieved a qualifying time for the Boston Marathon which will always be special to me. I always intended to give something back to the club and when the need for a Welfare Officer arose I thought I had better offer my services. I am joint trained RNMH and qualified social worker with over 27 years experience of statutory social work. As Welfare Officer I am committed to driving the safeguarding agenda. I strive to ensure the club is inclusive and fully accessible to all.