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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.


The Great Escape

Last Saturday saw two of Okehampton Running Club’s (ORC) ladies, Karen Vallance and Katie Littlejohns take on pureTRAIL UK’s ‘The Great Escape’.

This race is part of the Dartmoor Big Day Out series. The aim of these races is to get runners off the road and onto trails, to explore and have fun running in nature.

The Great Escape starts at Princetown in the heart of the Moor, with the route taking in the last 15.5 miles of ‘The Crossing’ (the 36.5 mile race from Belstone to Ivybridge), traversing the remote moorland wilderness along the Abbot’s Way.

The aim is to ‘escape’ from the moor within the time allowed of 4.5 hours, giving the competitors a real taste of Dartmoor trail running.

Both ORC’s finished well within the allowed time, with Katie the first lady home in an amazing 2hrs 9mins and Karen not far behind in a time of 2hrs 32mins. They summarised it as ‘an enjoyable but technical race over the moor’, well done ladies.

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 club’s Facebook post.



An unusual series of races put on by Mudcrew was held this weekend, known as Roseland August Trail or The RAT. They are a challenging series of runs along the stunning South Cornwall coastal path. It incorporates four different routes, the Black route 32 miles, the Red route 20 miles, the White route 11 and the Plague (green) 64 miles.

Two ORC members took on their particular personal challenges, Ali Holliday in the Black Rat and Jo-Anne turner in the Plague. Sadly Jo-Anne had to pull out due to an injury, no longer able to do battle with the routes steep elevations and descents. Ali finished the Black in a time of 9:06:42, an incredible effort.

Ali and Lucy ready to set off in the Black Rat

In addition to the four races above Mudcrew also present The BOYD, Bring Out Your Dead which takes place on a 5 mile lap of the RAT route. This is an extreme event with 350 metres of elevation and 350+ steps. The aim is to see how many laps you can cover in 24 hours. Our amazing trail running enthusiast and ultra runner Rob Hicks was the only member brave enough to take on this challenge. Runners had to be self supported and could spend 10 minutes each lap ‘in sanctuary’ at the event centre in Porthpean to refill bottles, eat and change kit before getting back on the course. Rob said he felt good the whole run, coped with the 350 steps each way and kept a fairly even pace. He managed 18 laps (139 Kms or 86 Miles ) with 7000 Metres of accent to bring him home in 1st place. The second place runner ran 17 laps and the third ran 16.

Rob Hicks 1st Place BYOD


A wonderful week of racing

During the last week ORC members were taking part in 6 different events – from the hills of dartmoor to the streets of London!

Neolithic Fell Race

On Wednesday, 5 ORCs, Joe Lane, Tom Poland, Ian Ripper, Kate Wilson and Christine Fritsch took on the hilly 5 mile route of the Neolithic Fell Race, which starts at Merrivale. A steep ascent to Great Mis Tor, a few more hills and then a fast descent to the finish. Stan Wood also took on the 3k race and came 3rd; well done to everyone.

Yar Tor Fell Race

Then, on Friday, Joe Lane, Tom Poland and Christine Fritsch were joined by Charlie Temperley to compete at the Yar Tor Fell Race. This race starts the brilliant weekend of races as part of the Something Wild Running Festival. It takes in a hilly 4 miles from Huccaby and incorporates Sharp and Yar Tor. Joe Lane was 1st MV40 and 8th overall and Christine was 1st FV40. Fab results from all the ORCs.

Something Wild Running Festival

At the weekend there were the other multiple distance races as part of the Something Wild Running Festival starting at Huccaby Farm. On the Saturday, there was the Half Marathon, Marathon and Ultra Marathon. Chris Turner ran the Half Marathon. Robert Richards and Wendy Walters enjoyed the beautiful, scenic Ultra Marathon 55k route whilst sweeping for that race.

Arlington Court 10k Canter

Saturday saw Mike Westland and David Bates run the Arlington Court 10k Canter. A tough, technical and scenic off road race. David was 2nd in their age category out of a field of 16. Well done to you both on a fab run.

London Landmarks

On Sunday, Ellodie-Lark Stott ran the London Landmarks Half Marathon in a fab 2 hrs. This race offers a fabulous route through Central London. Congratulations on a great run.

Totnes 10k

Karen Vallance and Jasmine Gilkes enjoyed a beautiful run along the Dart running the Totnes 10k together on Sunday.


RunExe 5k & Endure24

In blistering heat last Tuesday evening 2 runners from Okehampton Running Club (ORC), Claudine Benstead and Jane Richardson tackled the RunExe 5k.

This is a great traffic free and pancake flat 5km run on footpaths and cycle tracks around Exwick Playing Fields and the River Exe Flood Relief, suitable for people chasing PB’s along with novice runners.

The RunExe 5k are a series of runs in June, July, August and September, with runners welcome to take part in individual races, or the series. The best results from 3 of the 4 races count, with medals for everyone completing 3 or more races.

Keeping up their winning streaks both Claudine and Jane came first in their age categories, with Claudine completing the race in 20:17 and Jane in 28:10 – hopefully it won’t be quite so hot for them in the August race!

Not content with doing a team 24 hour challenge recently, ORC Jo Page decided she would do a solo challenge, the Endure 24.

The event on the 23rd – 25th July 2021 was held at Temple Island Meadows, Henley on Thames. There were 108 solo female runners and 212 solo male runners, along with numerous teams entered in the race. The tag line was ‘Epic, brutal, relentless’ and I’m sure it was all of those things!

Solo runners started the race on Friday at midday, and they carried on running as many laps as they could in the 24 hours, finishing on Saturday at midday. They could stop for rests and food whenever they wished during this time.

Jo covered an amazing 161km, smashing her expectations by completing not just her first 50miler, 100k but also 100 mile race. Her furthest distance before was 32 miles, so she was over the moon with what she achieved, especially as she was nursing an injury. In her own words “I can’t quite believe that I have run 100 miles, I am completely broken now, but it was worth it!”

Amazing isn’t really a big enough accolade for this fantastic achievement! Well done Jo.

The club is not just about racing, with many members enjoying the comradery and support of group runs and the popular Dartmoor runs that are put on by the coaches. There will also be another Couch to 5k intake in September for new runners, more details will be on the website in due course.


Exeter 10k, Tavy Relays & Haytor Heller

In contrast to last, this week was a busy race calendar with races on weekday evenings as well as the weekend.

Three members ran City Runs 10K in Exeter where they were joined by World, European and Commonwealth medallist Jo Pavey. This is a race where speed and a good time for each individual is the ultimate goal and the presence of Jo Pavey probably put everyone in race mode. All three achieved age category positions, Claudine Benstead 1st with a time of 41.36, Ged Fitzgibbon 2nd with 51.40 and Jane Richardson 1st with 1.01.37.

On Wednesday Okehampton Running Club, with the phenomenal support of its members were able to enter 6 junior, 1 under 12 boys, 3 men’s and 2 ladies teams to the Tavistock relays. The teams of four have one runner on the fast and furious 1.1 mile circular course at a time with a hand over of a baton within a designated space. The six Juniors teams known as the Tigers, Panthers, Lions, Lionesses, Puma’s and Jaguars all embraced the concept of team work and gave their all. Under 12 boys, Arthur Hicks, Aiden Spinney, Rudy Simmons and Elliot Woods won 1st place. Rob Hicks, Rob Kelly, Joe Lane and Mark Lynch took 1st place for the  Veteran 40 men. The Veteran ladies, Lucinda Walsh, Wendy White, Anne Marie Lethbridge and Wendy Walters took 2nd place. This event is always a great evening and it was super to see it back on the calendar and so well supported by the club.

On Saturday sole ORC Christine Fritsch took on Teignbridge Trotters Haytor Heller in phenomenal heat and a time of 1.16. As its name suggests this is a race with gruelling climbs and descents over 6 miles. It was the 35th anniversary of this race.     


Cosdon Hill Race

It was a much quieter week for racing, but this didn’t stop members of Okehampton Running Club (ORC) getting out and about on their usual club runs. Lots of members just enjoy the companionship of group running without racing, there really is something for everyone. Fosters even found a message that had been left for them on Tuesday when they did their run from the town up to the moor!

There were also 2 of the popular moor runs last week, one being a recce, or ‘chance to trot up and down one of many routes to Cosdon Hill’ in preparation for the club hosted race on Sunday.

The Cosdon Hill Race is part of the Dartmoor Fell Race Series. It usually coincides with Belstone Fair, but this unfortunately has to be cancelled again this year.

The day dawned bright, with just some light drizzle, but by late morning it turned in to what can only be called a monsoon! Hopes for a race that was dry with any visibility at all was looking very unlikely. But, in true Dartmoor fashion, the rain did eventually stop and by the start of the race the sun had even come out.

The juniors set off first in a 2k race for the under 11’s or 3km for under 13’s. Great racing by Thomas to win the Under 11’s boys and Kelsey the Under 11 girls and to William and Neve in the Under 13’s. Any juniors over 13 were permitted to race in the adult event.

A great turnout of runners from the area took part in the main race, with Tim Lenton and Jo Meek both racing and hoping to keep their crowns. It was great to see Adam Holland in the line up ‘fresh’ from just having completed his 10 marathons in ten days challenge, well done Adam!

The runners pick their own route up and down the hill, the only stipulation being they must check in with the marshals at the top of Cosdon. There are no easy routes with bogs, gorse and long grass to contend with – many of the runners also chose to take the quicker river crossing option on the final home stretch rather than go to the bridge, even though the water was quite high after all the recent rain.

Congratulations to Samuel Kelly for coming home first in a time of 29:50, with Sam Priday the first ORC home in third place and Tim Lenton in fourth. Jo Meek retained her title as winning lady and Karen Vallance was the first ORC lady home. Well done everyone for taking part, and thanks to all the marshals and North Dartmoor Search and Rescue for their support. Full results are available here.

The next race hosted by ORC in the Summer Series is Sourton Tors Race on Wednesday 8 September.