Glencoe Gathering, Plym Trail Marathon and Lanhydrock 10

After last weekend’s busy schedule of races, there were just two marathons that were the focus for ORC this weekend. Three ORCs, Mervyn Rice, Christine Fritsch and Gavin Punchard took on the challenging Glencoe Marathon in Scotland. Merv did have a previous off-road marathon under his belt, although that had been a learning curve for him, but for Christine this was her first marathon of any sort. This is an epic trail run that ascends a total of 1,608 metres through the heart of Glencoe and into the foothills of Ben Nevis. The route takes the runners through the pass of Glencoe before climbing 500 metres up the fearsome Devil’s Staircase, before dropping back to sea level at Kinlochleven.  There is then more climbing until the descent into Glen Nevis and the base of the UK’s highest peak, Ben Nevis. A spectacular race in good conditions, but on Sunday there was rain all day, turning the paths into rivers and making the going slippery and more boggy even than normal. Gavin, who had provided much assistance to Merv in preparation for this race, completed in a good time of 5:18:29. Merv ran a very good race completing in 5:24:01 and second in the age group, while Christine went wrong at the end of the race, adding another mile to the already long distance and finished in 6:14:50. All were pleased to complete such a challenging race.

Much nearer home Roger Voaden took part in the Plym Trail Marathon. This race is organised by firstandlastrunning who, following the success of their events in the spring over this course, have put on another weekend of half and full marathons. Situated in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the runners do a double out-and- back on the popular Cycle Route 27. Despite the rain Roger had a great run finishing in 3.24.00 to take second place.

The previous weekend, four ORCs took part in the Lanhydrock 10. Organised by the National Trust this is a lovely, undulating 10 mile multi-terrain run around the spectacular Lanhydrock estate that takes the runners along woodland paths and parkland. Jackie Dawes and Juliet Paterson ran together, finishing together in 1.36.23 and Carole Cornwall also had a good run coming home in 1.52.06. Unfortunately Katy Speak had to retire form the race with an injury.

Many thanks to Jane for the run report