Exeter Half Marathon, Wild Night Run & Stover XC!

In another busy weekend of races ORC members were rewarded for the performances they put in at several venues.

The Exeter Half Marathon is a pancake flat three lap course on the footpaths along the River Exe and Exeter Canal and is held on both Saturday and Sunday. This is due to the width of the paths and the route being an out and back three times, limiting the number of runners that can safely take part and ORC was well represented on both days with seven runners taking part on Saturday and ten on Sunday.

With hot competition on Saturday, Matt Pitson put in a terrific run to come third overall in an excellent time of 1.16.42. setting a new PB and club record in the process. Not far behind was Andy Vallance with another great run, coming sixth in 1.18.15, followed by Robert Kelly who continues to improve with every race and finished in 1.21.44. Next home were Chris Turner in 1.26.49, Ray Lawrence in 1.31.13, John Binns in 1.46.05. and the only lady ORC was Anne Binns who finished in 1.50.50.

Sunday saw a mix of fortunes for the ORCs with the first home being Andy Vernon, coming 13th overall with a good run in 1.28.00, followed by Mike Baker in 1.42.05. Nicola Smith and Lora Medland, had been training hard together specifically for this race with the aim of running a sub-two hour half for the first time. They had been having coaching from Roger Voaden who was confident they would succeed this time. Sadly things didn’t work out for Nicola who has been fighting a heavy cold all week, but Lora showed that the training had been right on track by coming home first lady ORC with an impressive PB of 1.56.41. Next in was Jane Jackson in 2.00.01, having been struggling with injury all winter. Bravely, Nicola kept going despite feeling so bad and was next home in 2.01.43, so close to her target time and accompanied by Roger all the way. Lotte Smith had a better run and was pleased to run a PB in 2.06.57. Alison Holiday ran with Karen Valence to finish together in 2.17.39 and Kerry Morashti 2.20.34.

Our resident night running enthusiast, Christine Fritsch, took part in another of Wild Night Run’s races on Saturday night. This was a tough 10 miler with the first five miles all uphill, before going onto the open moorland of south Dartmoor. On a bitterly cold night much of the ground was frozen, but not unfortunately the deep, muddy puddles which tested how well the runner’s shoes were laced. Christine did well to finish in 1.52.54, which gave her fifth place in the series category placings.

Sunday also saw the penultimate race in the Westward League series, with this leg being held in the lovely grounds of Stover School. The course was much drier than last year making for some good times. Several of ORCs had run hard races at the Exeter Half Marathon the day before but still managed to put in great performances the next day. First man home for ORC yet again was Pete Devenport to come 12th with Matt Pitson, showing he still had speed in his legs after his 3rd place at Exeter yesterday coming next in 29.53 (25th). Paul Crease was next in 30.15 (30th), followed closely by Andy Vallance who had also had a hard run at Exeter in 30.28 (33rd), Hugh Robinson in 30.33 (35th), Rob Kelly in 31.13 (40th) and Stuart May in 34.21 (76th). The ladies team was down to three people this time with young Molly Marvin again leading them home in 19.18 (35th) followed by her mum, Sarah in 19.20 (36th) and Anne Binns, another post-Exeter runner, coming home in 21.52 (65th).

Many thanks to Jane for the run report.