Elysium Healthcare Great West Run Half Marathon

This well organised race is on fully closed roads through the heart of Exeter finishing in the Athletics stadium. A nice sustainable idea was a partnership with Trees for Tees, planting a tree for every runner entered instead of giving out T shirts. Three ORC’s braved the heat and hills that formed the Great West half Marathon course. Claudine Benstead ran an amazing time as usual of 1.35 coming 3rd in her age category. Paul Evison was pleased with his time of 1.35 and Chris Fulford Brown ran 2.30.19.


Marilyn’s Meldon Madness, Cornish IMERYS Trail Marathon, Godrevy 10k & Landhydrock Parkrun

Marilyn’s Meldon Madness

This race was formerly the Great West Fell Run which was renamed in memory of ORC member Marilyn Cooper. The race is supported each year by Marilyn’s son Peter, of Coopah Running who presents a glass bowl to the first ORC lady home along with other prizes. This race takes runners to the highest point in the South of England with stunning scenery from Yes Tor and High Willhays before dropping back down to the Start and Finish line at Meldon.

First senior male ORC home in 39.02 was Sam Priday and placing 4th overall followed by Chris Turner in 39.27.

First female ORC home and winner of the beautiful glass bowl for this year was Claire Watkins in 51.57. Also first Female Vet 40.

Other ORC results as follows:
Tom Poland 42.11
Joseph Lane 42.50 3rd Vet 40
Mike Saywell 44.03 4th Vet 40
Charlie Temperley 47.08
Ian Ripper 56.16  3rd Vet 60
Sophie May Luxton came 1st under 17
Daniella Tansley 1.08.15 2nd Vet 40

Full results here

Our ORC Juniors were also well represented in all age categories.

Cornish IMERYS Trail Marathon

The challenging hilly multi-terrain course takes runners through the grounds of Wheal Martyn China Clay then through parts of the Cornwall’s China Clay (IMERYs current operational sites) not accessible to the public.

The weather on race day was hot but great for seeing the breath-taking views of Cornwall’s countryside and coastline.

Jo Page was the only ORC in this event achieving an unofficial time 4:01:27, placed 2nd female overall and 1st female V35.

Godrevy 10k

This was a mid-week race run by prolific racer Jo Page. It is a stunning trail running route starting near Godrevy heading along the Coastpath to the dunes before dropping onto the Beach.  Then along Gwithian sands for a coast path section towards the North Cliffs and a small loop on the Knavocks Headland. The weather was perfect for an evening trail race. Jo came 5th Female and 36th overall out of a field of 201 runners.

Landhydrock Parkrun

A tough hilly trail course around the National Trusts beautiful Landhydrocks estate. Jo Page continued her Parkrun challenge and was placed 4th female in 25.42 and was 1st in her age category.


Buckland Brewer 10k, Run Exe 5k, Exeter 10k, Ivybridge 10k, Coast to Coast Copper Trail, Hierro Trail & Bideford 10k

Buckland Brewer 10k

It’s been a busy week for ORC. Last Monday, on the Bank Holiday, John and Anne Binns ran the Buckland Brewer 10k. This was a new race starting, passing through and finally finishing in the village of Buckland Brewer.

Anne hadn’t anticipated quite how hilly it was going to be, but it was local to them and a fund raiser for North Devon Hospice so they wanted to run it.

With accent of approximately 266 meters the course was well marshalled and had a field of 130 runners. John ran the course in an unofficial time of 51.06 and Anne 56.16.

Run Exe 5k

On Tuesday 8 ORC’s took part in the Run Exe 5k Summer series. This is a monthly event with this being the second in the series of six which run from April to September, with the best results from four of the 6 races taken.

It’s a great traffic free flat run along footpaths and cycle tracks around Exwick playing fields and the River Exe food relief. It was a warm, still evening (but not too warm!) perfect for running.

All the runners did well, especially our young runners Stanley Wood and Sophie Luxton. Stan was the first ORC home in a time of 18:50, second in his age category and Sophie ran 21:12 which gave her first in her age category.

Andrew Vernon finished in 20:18 giving him fourth place in his age category, Claudine Benstead 20:45, second in her age category, Paul Evison 22:45, third in his category, Kate Wilson 25:34 first in her category, Jane Richardson 27:47 first in her age category and Victoria Evison achieved a PB at 30:26.

Brilliant running from everyone.

Exeter 10k

Following this Claudine Benstead also entered the Exeter 10k on Friday, which is 2 laps of the 5k course. Claudine had a great run, even though she took a wrong turn, she came home first in her age category in 44:24.

Ivybridge 10k

Andrew Vernon was the single ORC entrant in the Ivybridge 10k on Saturday. This undulating course with a steep climb at 3k starts at Ivybridge Station and finishes at Ivybridge Rugby Club.

It was a large field with around 550 running. Andrew finished in 42 mins exactly which gave him second place in his age category.

It was very humid and he surprised himself as he did find the race very enjoyable considering his current level of race fitness.

Purple Gecko Coast to Coast Copper Trail

Also, on Saturday 3 ORC’s crossed the border into Cornwall to take part in the Purple Gecko Coast to Coast Copper Trail event. The 11.5 mile trail run goes from Portreath on the north coast of Cornwall all the way across to Devoran Quay on the south coast. It follows two historic transport routes across Cornwall first opened in 1812, helping the mines transport copper to the ports.

The day started chilly in the mist at Portreath, but after a few miles the sun came out and this made the last 5 miles quite tough on the runners as it was very warm to say the least!

Daniella Tansley finished in 1:59:18, just ahead of Mike Saywell in 1:59:21 who was using the event as a recovery run after his ultra-race last weekend.

Kathryn Volkelt-Igoe finished in 2:18:28, this wasn’t enough for her however, as she followed it with a 5-mile dog walk!

Hierro Trail

Keeping up her Park Run successes Jo Page did another Park Run on Saturday morning, but not content with just one run she followed it with a trail run in the afternoon!

The first run of the day was Ormskirk Parkrun to tick off O in the Parkrun alphabet challenge and her 62nd Parkrun. The weather was perfect and according to all the regulars not normally like this. It’s known for being a windy course, but it was sunny and not a breath of wind, a nice course along gravel tracks and tarmac. Jo was first female and eighteenth overall out of a field of 207 in a time of 21:54.

Her second run of the day was the Hierro Trail race in Lancashire. This lovely trail race was free thanks to be sponsored by SportsShoes.com and New Balance, with all finishers receiving a goody bag.

The 4 1/4 mile course took the runners through some of the secret snickets in and around Hurst Green, before finishing outside the picturesque Stonyhurst College.

Jo ran hard from the start and took the lead after the first mile. She knew the second and third place ladies were not far behind, so there was no time to take in the scenery or take any mid race photos! She was the first female to cross the line in a time of 32:58 – well done Jo.

Bideford 10k

Sunday saw a plethora of 13 ORC’s heading to the popular Bideford 10k. This race starts and finishes very close to the Bideford Amateur Athletic Club clubhouse and takes in magnificent views of the Taw and Torridge estuary. The course heads out on the road to Instow and returns on the Tarka Trail, it’s moderately flat with only two small inclines.

It was a hot day with 655 runners taking part in the race. Great running from the ORC’s saw Paul Evison the first ORC home in a time of 47:43 giving him third place in his age category. Ged Fitzgibbon also got third place in his age category with time of 52:51, as did Jane Richardson with her time of 59:09.

The other results were:
Lucinda Walsh 52:14
Kate Wilson 52:44
Andrew Pullinger 54:39
Tom Andrew and Jo Bradford 54:45
Chris Fulford-Brown 58:06
Vicky Bond 58:59
Gill Bryant 1:02:10
Michelle Luddington 1:04:35
Victoria Evison 1:05:07

Great running over a very busy, hot weekend – well done to all.


Hartland Hartbreaker, Smugglers Way & a Trio of Parkruns

Hartland Hartbreaker – North Devon Road Runners

Jo-Anne Turner, Chris Turner, Karen Vallance, Alison Holliday, Cathy Carey, Abby Williams,  and Christine Fritsch braved this tough race. This is a very hilly challenging 19 mile off road multi-terrain course taking in sections of exposed cliff tops, muddy steep slippery paths and river crossings. Lovely bluebell woodland and cocktail drinks stations are along the route as are funny encouraging signs. Results are still pending.

Smugglers Way – Purple Gecko Events

ORC Mike Saywell ran The Purple Gecko Events Smugglers Way on Saturday – a coast to coast run from Boscastle to Looe – 37.7 miles. It is a beautiful, varied route with lots of bluebell woods, open fields and moorland. Mike finished 9th overall in an official time of 07:38:19 and would have been 6th if not for a slight navigational error in the final stretch that saw him drop three places. Nevertheless, a fantastic result for his first Ultra Marathon event. 

Parkruns – Bideford, Burgess and Tamar Lakes

Paul Evison and his daughter Victoria enjoyed the Bideford Parkrun, Paul ran in a time of 22:59 and was 1st in age category and Victoria in a time of 30:26; which was a new PB for Victoria.
Jo Page ran the Burgess Parkrun in a great time of 20:50, coming in 4th Female and 1st VW35-39, 47th out of 469.  Garry Letheren came in 10th at Tamar Lakes in a new PB of 20:50. 


Yeovil Easter Bunny 10k, Sid Valley Ring Half Marathon & Parkruns

Yeovil Easter Bunny 10K

Easter Monday was race day for Ged Fitzgibbon who took part in the Yeovil easter bunny 10K. He ran a great time of 53 minutes and came 2/9 in his age category. 

Sid valley Ring Half Marathon

Several ORCs travelled to Sidmouth on Saturday for the Sid Valley Ring half marathon. This largely trail course encompasses woodland, farmland, coast path and over 2000 feet of elevation. Despite some adventures along the way, everyone completed the distance and thoroughly enjoyed it.

Park Run

Two Orcs took to the roads to become Park Run tourists:-

Jo Page opted to travel to Dudley Parkrun to tick of D in her Parkrun Alphabet. She thought it to be a lovely course even though it included laps of the Athletics track. She wasn’t expecting to run along the canal or through a nature reserve. This was Park Run number 60 for her, she came 1st female in 22.18 and was in 17th place overall.

Gary Letheren ran in Plymouth’s Central park and achieved a PB of 21.45.

Well done to everyone who ran this weekend.


Easter Running

On Good Friday six ORC’s headed to Exeter for City Runs Fast Friday 10k. This is a great fast, traffic free, 10km run on footpaths around the River Exe and Exeter Quay, a great event for people chasing PB’s and also for novice runners.

The weather was excellent for running, cloudy and still, but when the sun shone through at times it was pretty warm. The race is two laps on the footpaths on either bank of the Exe. The runners head out from Exwick playing fields then turn back towards the Quay crossing the Millers bridge then recross the river on the Blue bridge and head back to the start to complete lap one.

Great running by the ORC’s saw Christ Turner first home in a time of 36:29 in a position of 23rd overall. Jo Page had a superb run, first ORC lady in 45:03.

Kate Wilson ran 54:02 giving her the award for first in her age category and she was closely followed by Ged Fitzgibbon in a time of 55:03.

Jane Richardson was next home in a time of 59:53 giving her first in her age category also and she was followed by Victoria Evison in 1:04:09. Victoria wasn’t planning on running, but took the place of her father, Paul who is injured.

Jo Page summed up her enjoyment of the event saying, ‘Today had added bonuses of fellow ORC’s on the start line and receiving a creme egg on the finish line with your medal!’

Brilliant running by everyone.

There were also a couple of Parkruns attended by ORC’s over the weekend. After fighting a knee injury Mags Jarvis completed her first running event for nearly a year last Saturday. Following on from this she travelled to Ellesmere Port Parkrun this Saturday, near her daughter’s house, to do her 16th Parkrun.

It was a lovely morning, and the course was ideal for her injured knee, mainly short grass and woodland paths.

Mags finished in a time of 28:35, faster than last week and in a time to earn her a club diamond award. She was also first in her age category – what a comeback, lovely to see you racing again and well done Mags!

Easter Sunday saw Jo Page in action again at the Beyond Jurassic Trail 10k. The Jurassic trail is a spectacular route starting in West Bay and it follows the coastal paths that make up the Jurassic coastline, heading towards Lyme Bay.

It’s a small race and the coastal footpaths were busy. Much of the race had sea views either out towards Weymouth or on the return towards Lyme Bay.

Jo came home in 58:43, third overall and first female. Fantastic running Jo, especially as she was enjoying the views so much she kept stopping to take photos!


City Runs Exeter & Beat the Train

City Runs Exeter 5K

On Tuesday 5th April, Sophie Luxton and Andrew Vernon competed in the first City Runs Exeter 5k race of the summer series. This course starts at Exwick playing fields and is a two lap race alongside the Exe River. Windy conditions made it a tricky race. Andrew finished 2nd in Vet 50 Category in a time of 19.01, Sophie was 1st in her age group achieving a club record of 21.02. The next race in this series will be on 3rd May.

Beat the Train

4 ORCs took part in Beat the Train on Saturday and they thoroughly recommend this lovely event from Jolly Running. The race is a long 10k (6.8 trail miles) in South Devon where you race a steam train in an out and back trail route through the beautiful Dartington Hall Estate. They also took the unique opportunity to ride the steam train to the start line before disembarking and preparing to race it. Jo Page had a fantastic run and was the second lady home, Molly Marvin was the 5th, Sarah Marvin was 1st in her age category and Angus Farrelly had a storming last mile to ensure he got to the station a full five minutes before the train pulled in.  They all had a lovely day out.

L to R Sarah Marvin, Angus Farrelly, Molly Marvin, Jo Page


24 ORCs run in 10 races over 1 weekend!

It was a VERY busy racing weekend for Okehampton Running Club!

Exeter Riverside Parkrun 5k

This course is run on a mixture of tarmac paths, gravel paths and grass. The course starts and finishes on Exeter Quay, near the marina on the South bank of the river Exe. Okehampton Running club’s Geoff Hill had a great run on Saturday and came in 2nd place.

Frogmary Green Farm Parkrun : South Petherton, Somerset

Jo Page and Karen King tried out this new Parkrun on their trip. The sun came out for them while they ran round the trail course which was around a working farm. They were pleased to see so many people taking part as it was only the fifth parkrun there. Jo had a fantastic run in a time of 22:23 and finished 1st Female, place 26th/273; Karen, 29th female. Great running and congratulations.

City Runs – Power Run at Powderham Castle

Kate Wilson and Jane Richardson ran the Powderham Power Run organised by City Runs. The perfect conditions and a stunning trail route through the Powderham Estate resulted in great times for both runners.  Kate completed the 2-lap 10 mile run in 99:56 mins and Jane completed the single lap 5 mile run in 55:05 mins, and was 2nd In F70+. Congratulations to both Kate and Jane.

The Trilateral 40 – Purple Gecko Events

Mike Davies ran this event, which starts and finishes at St. Fimbarras Church in Fowey; taking in some iconic Cornish Landmarks and the Saints Way. Mike ran in a fab time of 4:45:49. Congratulations to Mike on a great run.

Exe to Axe event – Sidmouth Running Club

The race starts at the Foxes Hole Car Park on the Exmouth Sea Front and finishes at the Esplanade at Seaton.  Well done to Paul Crease, who came 3rd on the very challenging 22 coastal miles with nearly 4,000 feet of ascent! Paul finished in 3:10:45; congratulations to Paul on a great run.

Devon Trials for the Inter Counties Fell Running Championship

Okehampton Running Club was the most represented club in this inaugural race starting from Peter Tavy.  We had an U13 team and a Mens Team.  Excellent courses and great racing from all the ORCs. In the Boys Team they came : 1st – Arthur Hicks, 2nd – Ezekiel, 3rd – Stanley and 4th – Laurence. Men’s Team – Sam Priday was first ORC back (4th) – 44:56.1, then Joe Lane – 49:10.4, Rob Hicks – 49:32.8 and Tom Poland 49:41.6

Taunton Marathon

This race took place on Sunday and starts and finishes at the Somerset College of Arts and Technology. Runners follow a two lap course through the streets of Taunton.The weather conditions were good for ORCs Robert Kelly, who ran a fantastic race to place 3rd overall and 1st V40 in a new pb of 2:47:59, Chris Turner in a new pb of 2:56:58 and first time under 3 hours, Andrew Vallance closely behind in 2:58:08 and Mike Saywell   completing his first marathon in a great time of 4:05:20. Congratulations to them all on fab results.

Tough Runner OCR – Wiltshire

Karen King and Jo Page travelled north to Malmesbury, Wiltshire to take part in the Tough Runner OCR race. This 4 mile trail race had over 40 obstacles on route, before you had to run up a travelator to finish the race. Lots of mud, freezing water and rivers added to the fun.

Therme Manchester Marathon

The Manchester Marathon is a major event; the 4th largest in Europe and also took place on Sunday. Several ORCs ran this course. Roger Voaden; 2:57:08, Steve Sincock; 3:03:03, Paul Carter; 3:06:27 and Garry Letheren ran his first Manchester marathon and finished in a time of 3:46:42, a new pb for Garry. Well done to everyone on great runs.

Gary sporting his finishers medal

First Chance 10k – South West Road Runners

This is a flat course and the route is around the picturesque Exeter Riverside Valley Park. Lucy Gooding ran this on Sunday and enjoyed a lovely run in a pb time of 58:48. 


Cardiff & Sheffield Half Marathons

There wasn’t much racing this weekend, with several marathons coming up, but 2 ORC’s headed off to different parts of the country to take part in half marathons.

John Binns headed north to Sheffield and Hayden Bond to Cardiff.

The Sheffield Half Marathon is a major event in the UK’s running calendar, with nearly 4,000 runners of all abilities taking part. The start and finish in the city centre which allows for a huge crowd of enthusiastic supporters to cheer participants out and back.

The event boasts a stunningly scenic route with majestic views of the Peak District on the climb to Ringinglow at 5miles in with an elevation of 360m, after which there is a fast descent back to the city centre, much to the runner’s relief.

John completed the course in a time of 1:47:11.

The Cardiff University Cardiff Half Marathon has grown into one of the largest and most exciting road races in the United Kingdom, from 1,500 runners when it was founded in 2003 to over 11,500 today. Club runners take part alongside world-class athletes in a trio of fiercely contested men’s, women’s and wheelchair elite races.

Starting and finishing in the city centre its flat, fast course passes all of the city’s most breath-taking scenery and iconic landmarks including Cardiff Castle, the Principality Stadium, Civic Centre and stunning Cardiff Bay.

Hayden had a great race finishing in 1:21:47.

Well done to both of them!


ORC’s compete in 6 races from 3 to 33 miles!

A busy weekend on the race calendar for Okehampton Running Club with runners challenging distances ranging from 3 to 33miles.

Exmouth Park Run

Rob Kelly took on Exmouth Park Run to smash the club Vet40 record in a time of 16.50. Windy weather on the day perhaps assisting him as well as hindering him.

Tavy 13

Andy Vernon ran the Tavy 13 which as the name suggest is a 13 mile run from and back to Tavistock. The route is uphill for the first 8 miles giving runners a delightful 5 miles down to the finish. Andy finished in a time of 1.30.38 being the first Vet50.

Granite Way 10 & 20

A big event each year is the Granite Way 10 and 20 mile race. An out and back along the Granite Way from the Youth Hostel. This year the 10 miler was held on the Saturday and 20 miler was on the Sunday. The 20 mile distance is a popular race for those preparing for marathons however with London Marathon taking place in October this year I am not aware of any ORCs taking
part this year.

In the 10 miler Geoffrey Hill (pictured) came 4th place in 1.02.23 achieving a PB followed by Hayden Bond not far behind in 1.03 First ORC lady home was Claudine Benstead in an incredible time of 1.12.48. She was third lady overall and was 1st in her age category.

For some runners this distance is relatively new to them have not long since completed the Couch to 5K programme so well done Vicky Evison who ran 1.47.16 and Vicky Bond ran 1.37.41. Paul Evison, recovering from illness ran 1.19 to take 1st Vet60. Claire Watkins 1.21 and Harriet Munday 1.18 also had a good race despite the very windy and cold weather. The event is organised by Exeter City Community Trust and is supported by ORC marshals. As the number of ORC participants demonstrates this is a very popular and local event.

Run for Rosie

Chagford charity event Run For Rosie is 10.5 miles of mixed terrain raising money for the Roy Castle Lung Foundation. Two members, Karen Vallance and Alison Holliday were up for the challenge and had fun in the process.

Whistland Pound 6 Hour Challenge

Not so much fun was had by Garry Letheren who had entered the Whistland Pound 6hr Race Challenge which had been postponed due to Storm Eunice putting the race 2 weeks before he is entered in a marathon. Principle of the challenge was to run as many laps as possible in 6 hrs with time allowed to complete the last lap if started before the 6 hr deadline. Garry ran for 6hrs and 19 minutes and completed 32.88 Miles to come 12th place overall and 9th male.

Limossol Marathon

Out in Cyprus Jo Page competed in Limossol Marathon achieving 3:30:04. It was a cold windy morning but the sun shone the whole way round. 6 degrees but felt like 2 in the wind. Limassol Marathon is a  relatively flat course which follows the Mediterranean coastline. From the centre of the city, along the beachfront, to the ruins of the ancient Royal city of Amathus, and back to the city. 42.195 kilometres. 26.2188 miles.