Category Archives: News

A Trio of Races

It was a much quieter week of racing with a trio of races undertaken by Okehampton Running Club members! 

On Saturday, Joe Lane took on the Hutton Roof Crags Fell Race in the Lake District. Taking in the beautiful hills of Hutton Roof Crags and Farleton Knott; this 11.2k route follows established paths and routes in the stunning Lake District. Joe had a great run finishing in a time of 1hr and 2 mins.

Fellow ORC, Angus Farrelly undertook the Sportiva Devon 10k Race at Bicton College. This was a brand new 10k trail run with beautiful views and an undulating course. It was a single lap course starting in the grounds of Bicton College and took in some of Woodbury common’s finest trails. Angus enjoyed a fab run finishing in a time of 55:53. 

On Sunday, Hayden Bond achieved a new pb and set a new club record for 10k of 34:33 after completing a fantastic run at the Newport Wales 10k. The route for the ABP Newport Wales 10k was devised by double Olympic marathon runner Steve Brace. It starts and finishes at Newport’s iconic landmarks and the recently revamped city centre. Huge congratulations to Hayden on a brilliant result.


Junior to Vet, 5k to Marathon!

It was another super weekend weather wise for running and a host of different events were undertaken by members of Okehampton Running Club (ORC).

The weekend started off with the juniors heading off to Tavistock for the Tamar Trails parkrun, this is a free, fun, and friendly weekly 5k community event held at Gulworthy.

Meg helped Laurence round on her first parkrun, only to be outsprinted by him at the finish! Great running and PB’s were achieved for everyone.

Arthur 23:25, Stanley 25:32, Laurence 30:42 and Meg 30:47

Clayre Buccaneer Grice took her stepdaughter to the UK Running Events Inflatable 5k at Exeter. You have to pit your wits against ten giant inflatable obstacles that will let you flip, bounce & boing your way around an incredibly fun 5k course!

Pure Trail races held the Deep River Trail races at Fingle Woods which had 10k and half marathon distances.

Joe Lane and Richie Pike completed in the 10k. Joe had a great race, his time of 46:33 gaining him a sneaky third place podium finish after the runner in front of him got lost!

Hannah Susorney and Will Seviour – completed the half marathon, Hannah said it was ‘perfect weather, steep hills, and lots of fun!’

Lucy headed off to Portsmouth for the Great South Run, a lovely 10-mile route around the town. She finished in a time of 1:39, spurred on by a great crowd.

Hayden Bond kept up his winning streak – he ran in the Tavy 5k run from Tavistock College which takes place on the 3rd Saturday of the month. He took first place in 17:18 – well done Hayden.

Just 2 weeks after he ran the London Marathon, Roger Voaden ran the Plym Trail Marathon on Saturday and had a great victory completing it in 3.11.06.

Chris Turner tackled the Plym Trail Half Marathon on Sunday. This is an out and back route, starting with up and down a short hill along the trail before turning and coming back. It’s nearly all downhill on the way out making for a tough return leg!

Chris was very pleased to finish 1st with a PB of 1:23:21 – well done Chris.

John Binns headed to York for the Marathon which was deferred from last year. Usually, John is supporting his wife Anne on her marathons, but finally he got to do his first after many disappointments over the last 2 years. The training plan worked, and he achieved his goal of sub 4 hours coming home in 3:50:41 an amazing time for his 1st effort.

Paul Evison, Mike Westland and Geoff Hill set off on Sunday for the Weston-super-Mare half marathon, also just 2 weeks after Paul ran the London Marathon. In fact, he had forgotten he had even entered it as the rescheduled date clashed with another event, so didn’t enter, or so he thought, until 10 days ago when the reminder came in the form of his race number in the post!

The runners set off from Marine Parade taking in the glorious sites of Weston-super-Mare and the surrounding picturesque Somerset villages, finishing a quarter of a mile out to sea on Weston’s Grand Pier.

First home was Geoff Hill in an excellent time of 1:28:55 followed by Paul Evison and Mike Westland both in good times of 1:48:20 and 1:51:05 respectively.

A great weekend of running by everyone.


Cross Country Returns

A group of ORC juniors and seniors welcomed the return of the Cross-Country League, the first race was held in Plymouth after a year cessation. The club had 6 senior men running which included Sam Priday who ran for the first time as a senior. Sam was the first ORC home and is expected to show much promise as he gains experience in the senior category.

Elis Aldrich ran in the Under 15 boys and did brilliantly to finish in 12th place amongst a large field. This speedy young man is an asset to the ORC team.

We also had boys in the U11 and U13. Despite the challenging terrain that cross country is renown for, everyone ran a fantastic race with smiles on their faces at the end. Good team work boys giving ORC a good start in this cross country league and thank you to coach Rob Hicks for support and work with the junior section.

Something missed from last weeks report was Lucy Gooding’s effort to run the Starcross Shuffle half marathon in a time of 2hrs 20minutes. Not a personal best for her but a good effort after a heavy night socialising the night before. For a lot of us its about getting off the sofa and being active as opposed to racing to win. This was a picturesque route along the Exe Estuary alongside the grounds of Powderham Castle.


Virgin Money London Marathon & Snowdon Skyrace

This weeks racing has been dominated by the phenomenal experience that is Virgin Money London Marathon. Normally a spring marathon, it has been put back to October for 2021 and 2022 due to the pandemic. According to the Race Director it will return to a spring marathon for 2023. Some runners have waited a long time to run this marathon as places were deferred from 2020. Eleven Okehampton RC members headed to London to pound the streets this weekend. Of the eleven seven had qualified for a place based on ‘Good for Age’ times obtained running other marathons. The event was also host to the Wanda World Age Group Championships so those runners all received an additional Age Group Championship medal as well.

Results were as follows:- Karen Vallence 4.00.11, Jo Bradford 4.19.34, Roger Voaden 3.04.26, Andrew vallance 3.04.26, Paul Evison 4.09.44, Paul Carter 3.13.40, Rob Kelly 2.52.46, Neil Agnew 3.46.57, Gary Letheren 4.05.59, Jules Lewis-Thompson 5.57, Graham Bryant (former member with club ballot place) 3.54.59.  If this has inspired you, the 2022 Marathon ballot is open and closes at 2100 on 8th Oct, get your application in.

Coe group runners (L to R) Andrew Vallance, Rob Kelly, Roger Voaden and Paul Carter recuperating after the Marathon

In addition to the mass participation event in London, 40,000 runners pounded the streets around their homes in a Virtual London Marathon. Runners had to download a marathon App which logged their time and distance whilst delivering some much needed virtual crowd support and encouragement. Deemed to be psychologically harder due to the loneliness of a virtual event, four members took on the 26.2 mile task with some amazing results. Louise Lyle 3.46.24, Jessie Guscott 4.55.07, Jane Richardson, 5.54.03 and Clayre Grice 7.28.36

Jane Richardson after her 26.2 mile virtual London Marathon

In a different league from VM London Marathon Gill and Phil Spinny headed to Wales for the Snowdon Skyrace. Gill was running the 40K/25mile race while Phil was part of the mountain safety team. This race included 3150M/10,350ft of accent taking in the Snowdon summit twice. It included scrambles of Y Griin, north ridge Of Tryfan, and Grib Goch. Gill completed the race in excellent time of 4.44.02.


Lucky Seven

ORC’s took part in 7 different events over the last week with some great results!


The re-scheduled final round of the popular RUNEXE 5K Series in Exeter took place Tuesday 21st, on a warm evening in ideal conditions. Unfortunately, only two Okehampton members ran, with Claudine Benstead having to sit out the last round through injury; however her previous three runs were good enough to give her the FV60 Series win. Jane Richardson posted her best 5k time of the series, winning her age group on the night and the FV70 Series win. Her time of 26:51 narrowly outside her own ORC Age Group Record she set 2 years ago by 3 seconds. Steve Sincock was first in the MV60 age group posting a time of 19:04 (ORC Age Group Record). Huge congratulations to everyone on a great run and series. 


Nine ORCs ran this spectacular 4.5 mile route on Wednesday evening which takes in breathtaking views. Starting and finishing at the Fox & Hounds Hotel near Lydford; it was the last race of the Dartmoor Fell Series. Named ‘The Flyer’ as the descent may come to appear like the runners are flying! The route took them up the track to Gt Nodden Tor, past both cairns, then back on themselves to the ford in the valley. Then, up to Little Links Tor, on to Gt Links Tor. A fast descent follows to Arms Tor, a contouring path to Brat Tor and then an even faster downhill from Brat Tor! Okehampton members Hannah Susorney 1hr 5, William Seviour 51:23, Paul Crease 40:33, Tom Poland 41:39, Joe Lane 41:49, Mel Priday 1hr 11, Kate Wilson 1hr 5, Charlie Temperley 45:24 all enjoyed their runs and Sam Priday took 2nd in 39:03. Well done to Sam and to the ORC Team, who were the overall team winners of the series too – fab running from everyone!


Three ORC members ran the Bradley’s 10km at Exmouth on Sunday morning. Consisting of a flat, two lap route out and back on the promenade, in good conditions with a light breeze, both Chris Turner and Claudine Benstead had exceptional runs. Chris finished in 36:52, coming 2nd overall.  Claudine ran an extraordinary race, having arrived 20 minutes after the start she worked her way through the field and finished in 41.35 to take 2nd Female place. Jane Richardson finished in 58.35. Huge congratulations to them all on a great race. 


One ORC, Hayden Bond ran the 34th Taunton 10k on Sunday. The route starts outside the Blackbrook Pavilion. It is an undulating circular course that heads through the residential Holway area of Taunton into quiet country roads through Stoke St Mary and Haydon; returning to the finish at the pavilion. Hayden came 2nd overall in a time of 35.48. Fantastic result.


On Sunday, Anne Binns achieved her 4th World Marathon Star in Berlin! This phenomenal race takes in the stunning sites of Berlin and the atmosphere was amazing and exhilarating. Anne had come back from injury and showed strength and fortitude to finish in 4hr 49. Anne was delighted to be doing a Major again as they have all been cancelled since Chicago 2019. Congratulations to Anne on completing her marathon and achieving her star in brilliant Berlin.


ORC member Geraldine Walker, ran the Barnstaple half marathon which also took place on Sunday. The course starts and finishes in Rock Park Barnstaple and takes in magnificent views of the Taw and Torridge estuary. The course heads out through Barnstaple and onto the Tarka trail towards Fremington Quay, then joins the main road to Yelland Quay before heading back to Barnstaple on the Tarka Trail. Congratulations Geraldine.


One ORC, Lucy Gooding, ran the Honiton Hippo on Sunday. This is the first time that Honiton Running Club have run this race for two and a half years and it is a little over 7 miles of trail running with several river crossings and some tough ascents which added to the fun! Lucy completed the run in a time of 1:34. Well done Lucy. 


Back to the Pavilion, Mamores Vertical Kilometer & Warhorse 10k

Last week saw the return of running as a club from the Pavilion in the Park after almost 18 months. Head coach Rob Richards offered an Interval Training taster session for all members to try as although interval sessions are designed primarily to be fun, they are also essential for strengthening, technique and all-round fitness.

There was a great turn out of current and new members keen to get involved. This heralds the return of the regular Tuesday runs and Thursday training sessions, with moor runs on a Wednesday.

As well as the welcome return to group training for the main section of the club, the Junior division also returned from the summer break. 39 children trained across the 3 sessions, which included some new starters. There are spaces on the Thursday 5pm group, which is ideal for new athletes, open to any children who are over 8 years of age. Contact if you’d like more information.

Saturday saw one brave ORC, Christine Fritsch face a challenge she had not attempted before, the Mamores Vertical Kilometer, which is described as:

“An incredible leg burning and lung-busting ascent from sea level to Munro summit – an epic vertical challenge.”

The Salomon Mamores VK follows the well-established International Skyrunning Federation Vertical Kilometer format, in which participants follow a marked course gaining 1000m of height in less than 5km. Participants set off at timed intervals with the winner having the fastest overall time to the summit.

The route included some extremely steep and pathless terrain which meant participants were on all fours at times. Christine managed to complete the route in 1:42:00. Her training was cut short by a painful achilles, so she was very pleased with her time and said the views from the top made up for the pain!

On Sunday 14 ORC’s ran the local War Horse 10k race, set in the beautiful Warhorse Valley that remembers the role that horses played in WW1. This popular, scenic run, which raises funds for North Devon Hospice, starts and finishes in the village of Iddesleigh.

The threatened rain held off which made for great running conditions on what is a mainly uphill course reaching 180m. The route, which is actually a little over 10k, takes the runners out of the village on a round trip on roads, with a short off-road section through private land. The last kilometer is downhill which gives a welcome decent back to the village and the finish line.

There were 148 runners competing, with Chris Turner the first ORC home in 41:08 at fourth position overall. He was closely followed by Andy Vallance in 41:43, who fortunately didn’t have a recurrence of his recent injury. Mike Saywell had a good run, finishing strongly in 47:21.

Jessie Guscott was the first ORC lady home in 57:38, closely followed by her sister Ellie in 57:51. Her mum Catherine was also running, competing in her first ever race, so a great family achievement. Lu Walsh had a good race as next ORC lady home in 1:01:20 – well done to all the runners.


A bevy of races – Brighton Marathon, Bideford 10k, Torbay Half, Great North Run, Sourton Tors

Sourton Tors Race

The Sourton Tors, the last of the 4 races in this year’s Dartmoor Summer Series, was held on Wednesday evening. This is a traditional fell run of approx. 2.6 miles ascending 300m to Sourton Tors and looping back round the valley, downhill on the return leg.

It was a pleasant evening, the rain having passed and super conditions for the race, apart from the midges that were out in force!

The race was well attended with 56 runners taking part, with a great spread of age categories from U15 to M75. There were 12 runners from ORC.

A new course record was set for both the men and women. Tom Perry was first home in an impressive 18:47:00 wining the first male and the U17 category, superb running from him. The first senior male, Adam Holland, finished next in a time of 19:19:00. 

Jo Meek was the first lady home in 21:52:00, great running from her and setting a new course record. The male record was broken by 19 seconds and the female record by 1 minute 49 seconds!

Sam Priday was the first ORC home in 19:41:00. The other ORC runners were Paul Crease, Joe Lane, Tom Poland, Mike Saywell, Charlie Temperley, Rob Gooding, Stanley Wood, Ian Ripper, Will Seviour, Christine Fritsch and Mel Priday. 

All the Juniors set course records for their age categories given it was their first event! Quickest on the 2k was 7min 29secs.

Special thanks to Hugh Robinson as this was his last race as Race Director as he has now moved away.

Bideford 10k Sunday 12th September

The Bideford 10k is a very popular race between Bideford and Instow. The course takes in some stunning scenery of the Taw and Torridge. Several ORCs enjoyed superb results. Stephen Sincock came 2nd MV60 in a time of 39:35, Geoffrey Hill also was 2nd MV45 in a time of 40:49, Jane Richardson came second in her age category FV70 in a time of 57:59, Kathleen Sincock was 3rd FV55. Ian Ripper, Lucinda Walsh, Joseph Lynch, Charlotte Lynch all ran well. Rachael Elliott achieved a new pb in 57:51. Garry Letheren also a new pb in 44:54.

Torbay Half Marathon 

A popular seaside event of two traffic free laps starting and finishing on Paignton Green also took place on Sunday. The scenic route takes in stunning coastal views across Torbay, including the historic Torre Abbey and the Princess Gardens. ORC Mike Saywell ran in a great time of 1hr 38.

Great North Run

This race also took place on Sunday. ORC Jackie Osborne Dawes took on the 40th Great North Run with a work colleague to raise funds for National Trust, Castle Drogo. It was a dry, cool day which saw over 50000 runners enjoy a great atmosphere, crossing the Tyne Bridge twice before making their way through Newcastle city centre before finishing on the Great North Road. Jackie had a fab run completing the course in a time of 1hr 56.

Brighton Marathon

ORC Clayre Buccaneer Grice ran the Brighton Marathon on Sunday. This route starts at Preston Park and finishes on Brighton Pier. A little over 7500 runners took part in this iconic race. Well done to Clayre on a great run.


Wye Valley, Treggy 7, Plymouth Half Marathon & Granite Way Races

Last weekend was a busy one for races and saw Okehampton Running Club (ORC) members taking part in events from the Wye Valley to Cornwall.

On Saturday lone ORC Lucy undertook the gorgeous 15 mile trail race starting at Chepstow race course. The scenic route takes runners through parts of Wales and England, passing two prominent landmarks: Tintern Abbey and Chepstow Castle. It was fairly hilly with 2,400 feet of elevation on what was a very hot, but enjoyable day.

Four ORC’s headed off to take part in the Treggy 7 event on Sunday which was hosted by Launceston Road Runners. This 7 mile circular race starts in Launceston Town Square, finishing in the grounds of Launceston Castle.

Chris Turner was third overall in a time of 43:42, with Paul Carter first MV55 and Jane Richardson first FV70, Janet White also had a good run – well done to all of them.

Mike Westland completed the Plymouth Ocean City half marathon on Sunday, part of the Britain’s Ocean City Running Festival. The race starts and finishes on the iconic Plymouth Hoe and takes the runners on a challenging, scenic route past some of Plymouths most famous landmarks.

Runners were encouraged to wear something green in memory of those who died in the recent shootings.

Mike completed the course in 1.57.17 knocking 1.25 secs off his time for the same event in 2019. He was very pleased to stay under his target of 2hrs.

Also, on Sunday saw the rescheduled Exeter City Community Trust’s Granite Way 10mile and 20mile races which started and finished at Okehampton. The route was a 5mile out and back along the Granite Way, which the 20milers did twice.

There was a good turnout of ORC’s for this local race, both taking part and marshalling. They were all pleased it wasn’t quite as hot as it had been on Saturday!

Hayden Bond came home first overall in the 10mile race with a superb time of 0:58:19, well done Hayden. Jackie Dawes ran well coming home as the second ORC in 1:26:59, closely followed by John Binns in 1:28:22.

There were 5 runners in the 20mile race with Rob Kelly the first ORC coming home in fourth place in a time of 2:08:37. Roger Voaden was the second ORC back in 2:22:43, Paul Evison 2:59:37 and Louise Lyle in 3:10:26. This was a PB for Paul, knocking a whopping 4 minutes off his previous club record. Sadly, Andy Vallance had to pull out after 10miles due to injury. Amazing running by everyone.

For people who are new to running, or want to improve, the next Couch to 5k starts on Tuesday 21 September. You can find details and register your interest on the post on the club’s Facebook page.


Weekly Report 30-8-21

There was another great turnout at the latest race of the Dartmoor summer fell running series. On Wednesday evening eight members completed the Tavy Trio of Tors Race: Sam Priday, Melanie Priday, Joe Lane, Ian Ripper, Tom Poland, Charlie Temperley, Paul Crease and Kate Wilson. Sam Priday won his age category and ORC won the team club prize.

Tavy Trio of Tors Race

Glorious weather made the camping weekend at the RunFestRun Festival in Hampshire a great experience for runners Tracey Mills and Neil Agnew. This was not only tough, hilly cross country running but consisted of three races over three days. Starting with a 5K then a 10K, finishing with a half marathon on the third. The pair managed a half marathon time of 2hours 13 minutes on the final day despite feeling effects of the cumulative fatigue from three days running, camping and having fun.

RunFestRun Festival

6 ORC members, Andy Vallance, Ian Ripper, Jessie Guscott, Joe Lane and his son Arty and Christine Fritsch braved the Chagford Two Hills Race, which takes in both Meldon Hill and Nattadon Common with a total ascent of about 1170 feet on only 3 miles. Both climbs are steep slogs followed by a fast tumble downhill with a notorious bog in the middle. Congratulations to Andy, who won with a nail-biting finish within seconds of the second and third runners. Arty did fantastically well flying downhill with his dad struggling to keep up with him and grabbed the trophy for first male 10 years and under. Ian Ripper won 1st MV60. Everyone had a great time and some might have rewarded themselves with an ice cream at the end.

Chagford Two Hills Race


A trio of races


This course is a 5km flat route of 2 laps at Exwick. ORC runners, Jane Richardson and Claudine Benstead ran it on Tuesday evening. Jane Richardson, in a time of 29:42; after running 14 miles in the morning and Claudine Benstead in a time of 19:58. Well done to both ORC ladies.


The Tavy 5km is a flat, fast course around Tavistock College grounds and takes place monthly on the third Saturday. ORC runner Hayden Bond had a great run and was 1st in a time of 17:10. Fantastic result and a fab way to start his Saturday!


Scorrier House, Redruth: Also on Saturday, was the Purple Gecko event consisting of 2.5k, 5k and 10k. The course was a hilly trail route around the private grounds of Scorrier House. It takes in some horse cross country jumps, making it fun; but with very rutted terrain underfoot on the entire course. ORC runner Jo Page left entering until the last minute but travelled down to run the 2.5k race (without a number) to test out her hip and thankfully it felt fine. So, Jo then put on her 5km race number and ran the course in a fab time of 22:12 which was 6th overall and 1st Female. Huge congratulations to Jo on a great result.