Okehampton runners have had another busy week beginning with some exciting news from Exmouth.
Claudine Benstead ran the 5K Parkrun there in a fantastic time of 19.34 which earned her an age grading of 102.4% a new record Age Grade for this course. Unsurprisingly she came 1st in her age category and has a new Club Record to her name. Well done indeed.
Marilyn’s Meldon Madness
The Flagship event of the weekend was the first race of Okehampton Running Club’s Summer Series. The first of four Fell Races Marilyn’s Meldon Madness is held in honour of Marilyn Cooper, former member of the club, and this year we had a special guest running and presenting the awards.
On a beautiful day and in beautiful surroundings it was wonderful to have no lesser person than Jo Pavey, Britain’s only Five Time Track Olympian in our midst.
The Junior Race got started promptly at 1pm under the watchful eye of Race Director John Binns much as you would expect from an Officer of the Senior Service. The whole schedule was carried out with Military Precision which made the day a complete success.
The U11 Juniors ran 1Km up Longstone Hill and back down to the Dam where they started. It is a fair test for young or old legs and certainly made the sweeper work which in this case was Karen King who also had to do it all over again for the Senior Race. Full marks to her. All the youngsters performed well. First home was Arthur Lane (10.38) followed by Alistair Taylor (10.40), Jacob Lane (13.02) and Ellenor Taylor (13.24).
The Seniors have to gain the summit of Yes Tor and High Willhays and return to the Dam via Black Tor. Not much if you say it quickly but that short sentence holds a world of effort and skill. Not only is the steep climb to Yes Tor a bit boggy in places but much of it is strewn with boulders to pick your way through. The descent to Black Tor has no clear path to follow just sheep trods, tufty grass, hidden holes and stones. The way just after Black Tor is particularly uneven and hazardous but eventually the route gives way to short springy grass. The runners are then able to push on before hurtling down towards the finish.
First home for ORC and race winner was Sam Priday in 41.11 followed by Jo Lane (45.08), Charlie Temperley (47.58), Stan Wood (48.19), Ian Ripper (51.45), Claire Watkins (52.09) and Will Seviour (54.51). After the race the competitors received their prizes from Jo and were delighted to have their photos taken with her. Sam for winning the race, Joe for 3rd M40, Stan for 1st older Junior and Claire Watkins received the Marilyn Memorial Bowl as first ORC female home. When all the awards had been made Jo was very happy to talk to anyone and everyone who wished to do so and the Club were delighted she chose to come.
Full results available here.
North Downs Way 50
So while all eyes at home were on the Meldon Event Jo-Anne Turner was a long way East tackling the North Downs Way 50. The NDW50 is a 50 mile point to point run along the North Downs Way National Trail from Farnham in Surrey to Knockholt Pound on the outskirts of Greater London. Total climb:5600ft. In it’s 11th annual running it is the second race in the 50 mile Grand Slam.
The race begins in Farnham at the western end of The Downs travelling past Putteham and Guildford. The course then continues on to Ranmore Common before the steepest climb of the race to the top of Box Hill. The trail then drops down the other side and back up Colly Hill, on through Merstham to Oxted and a further 8 mile to Knockholt Pound and the finish. It took Jo-Anne just 12hours 29 mins. to cover the 50 mile route in full sun.
Roadford Lake 70.3 Middle Distance Triathlon
Sunday saw new member Eddie Kingdom get to grips with this triathlon at Roadford lake. This event combines a 1.2 mile swim with a 56mile bike ride and a 13.2 mile run. However the competitors report 58 miles for the bike section and 13.6 for the run. Be that as it may Eddie recorded a 20 minute PB set against his performance here last year finishing in 5hours 54.31. Obviously a pleasing result.
Great West Run, Exeter
The Marvin family Sarah, Nick and daughter Mo were set to run this half marathon to raise funds for Cancer Research in recognition of the help received for a family friend. Sadly Sarah is suffering from a stubborn and painful back injury and could not run. It was left therefore to Nick and Mo to take up the challenge and they did so with some style. They flew round the roads and streets of Exeter Mo finishing in 1.52.47 and Nick in 2.15.21 doing their running cred no harm at all and raising a considerable sum of money for the charity into the bargain. Well done to them.