Chester Marathon, Galway Half Marathon, Exe Estuary Trail Half Marathon & London Marathon

Once again Okehampton’s running club members were spread far and wide to race this weekend.

Paul Carter was in Chester with an old friend of the club, Roger Voaden, to run the Marathon. This race sees runner’s leave the race course and pass through the city centre, then leaving through the Roman Walls heading for the Dee Bridge and Wales. Having left the city behind the route passes the Duke of Westminster’s Estate, through Pulford before crossing the border into Wales and the villages of Lavister and Rossett. Keeping to the rural lanes runners enter the historic village of Holt. Then crossing the ancient Roman bridge at Farndon to return to England and the home stretch running through Churnton, Aldford and Huntingdon. The course is largely flat with some short hills or gradual climbs which are predominantly in the second half of the course. Paul had a great run coming home in 3hrs 13:08. As a side note, this race would have seen club member Stephen Sincock don an England vest had it not been for a most unfortunate accident earlier in the year which put him out of action for 4months!

Simon O’Neill was in Ireland to run the Galway Half Marathon with his 21 year old son. The event, which covers other distances, is held at Nimmo’s Pier, Claddagh and took place on Saturday in beautiful weather. Simon, although 10 minutes slower than the last time he ran this race in 2018, did very well to finish in 1:42 having had covid a few weeks ago and not yet fully recovered.

Lucy Gooding was in Exmouth to take on the Exe Estuary Trail Half Marathon. This gently undulating route heads along the Exmouth Prom and joins the Estuary Trail, here it winds it’s way alongside  the Exe Estuary through the picturesque village of Lympstone and into Exton. Runners then turn around at a Marshall and head back the way they came to finish at Exmouth. Lucy ran well crossing the line 3hrs14:33

The London Marathon took place again this year in the Autumn before returning to its more usual season in the spring of 2023.There are many reasons that this event holds such an attraction for runners of all ages and from all over the world. The setting with all the historic buildings and iconic landmarks, the atmosphere and the support of the crowds. For  very many it is an opportunity to raise money for a chosen charity and with 40,000 runners in total the sums raised are considerable to say the least.

Two ORC ladies took part this year. Jo Page, who was unable to take advantage of a championship place awarded earlier, started in the second wave and despite this made her way through the traffic to gain an excellent time of 3hrs 27:19. This is good enough for a Boston qualifying time and a London ‘Good For Age’ as she looks to build on her two World Major Stars.

Mel Priday ,who was running for a charity, found the many words of encouragement from her supporters and the crowds that line the streets, along with much training, enough to get her round the 26.2 mile course. Considering she was uncertain whether she would be able to complete the distance was naturally pleased to finish in the very creditable time of 5hrs 8:51.