Loch Ness, Bristol, Barnstaple and more!

It’s been a very busy week for ORC members with races in many different venues including Loch Ness, Bristol, Barnstaple, Bovey Tracey and Newton Abbot. The annual 5k handicap race was held on Thursday in Simmons Park, which followed the course used on monthly Run in the Park. The race saw an extremely tight finish with Christine Fritsch getting to within 5 seconds of Kerry Morashti who led from start to finish, putting in an excellent sprint over the last 20m. Third in was George Haskell who overtook a good number of runners and the fastest over the course was Matt Pitson.

Coe has been very busy over the last few months preparing for autumn marathons and the first two of these were held this weekend. Geoff Hill had the furthest journey travelling up to the Scottish Highlands to take part in the Loch Ness Marathon. The route began near Fort Augustus and continued through breath taking scenery, going along the south-eastern shores of Loch Ness (Nessie was not seen!), across the River Ness, and into the centre of Inverness, capital city of the Highlands, for the finish. This was Geoff’s first marathon and he thoroughly enjoyed the experience despite getting cramp for part of the route. He finished the course in a very good time of 3:41:50.

The second marathon was much closer to home in Barnstaple. The race course was fairly flat, some of it along the Tarka Trail. Four ORCs took part and they found the route a little windy in places. However, all finished the race with very good times. Rob Kelly was the first ORC to finish in 3:08, followed by Roger Voaden in 3:12, Paul Carter in 3:16 and Andy Vallance in 3.20, who did particularly well as his preparation was severely hampered by an injury (not to mention carrying a fellow competitor for a mile to an ambulance!). Also at Barnstaple was a half marathon which was entered by three ORC ladies who all had a good race. First home was Jackie Dawes in a personal best of 1:52:36, followed by Claire Stanbury in 1:56:19, also a personal best and Lucy Brint finished in 2:10:14.

A second half marathon race was the Great Bristol. Stuart May, Becca Ewing and Jason Ewing travelled to Bristol to take part in the most recent addition to the Great Run Series, with over 10,000 other runners. All three produced very good times. Stuart ran strongly to finish in 1:35:21 while Jason and his wife Becca matched each other well, both finishing in 1:42:16, which was a personal best for Becca.

Sarah Marvin went to Newton Abbot for the ladies’ 10k race which followed a scenic route along undulating, quiet rural lanes. It was Sarah’s first 10k; in fact it was her first road race ever, having previous experience on the track. She thoroughly enjoyed it, finding the marshals hugely friendly and supportive and finished 16th overall in a great time of 46:37.

Christine Fritsch decided that after taking part in the challenging 8 mile Bude Pirate Run a couple of weeks ago she would like to try the Bovey Beauty. This is a 10 mile fell race including 560m of climbing over tough and hilly terrain, through some of the most rugged and remote areas of the East Dartmoor National Nature Reserve. Also taking part were Rob Hicks and Paul Crease. Rob had a storming run finishing second overall and he won the senior male group with a time of 1:22:26. Paul had a great run finishing fourth overall and third in the M40 age group in 1:26:24. Christine also had a good run finishing in 2:09:59.

Many thanks to Mags for the run report