Hartland Heartbreaker, Crediton Crunch, North Dorset Village Marathon & Run in the Park!

Another busy weekend of races saw ORCs competing in various venues on Sunday. Seven took on the brutal terrain and weather at the fourth Hartland Heartbreaker where a cold wind made the rain all the more unpleasant and the ground become very slippery. 4 chose the 9 mile option and 3 the full 18 mile distance. This amazing race starts in the beautiful grounds of Hartland Abbey and takes the runners inland first and through woods that are smothered in bluebells before heading out north on the coast path to run around Hartland lighthouse and back on fields and tracks to the Abby. Here the shorter route finishes while the 18 milers cross a river (with the option of drinking a cocktail just before) and head back to the coast path to head south along cliff tops with paths only inches away from vertical drops to the rocks below. Other notable points were an ascent called the Wall, a beer stop at mile 17 and a section so steep a rope was supplied to pull yourself up. The runners return through the woods with another opportunity to have a cocktail before the finish. Alison Holliday, Heidi Wills, Carole Cornwall and Katy Speak all successfully completed the shorter course, while Karen Skye, Lucy Skye and Jane Jackson took a little longer over the 18 mile course and all did well to beat the challenge!

Much better weather greeted the six ORCs who took part in the Crediton Crunch, another tough off road race, over a 10k distance. The course has been changed this year and at one point the runners came over the brow of a hill to find a motocross course set out below them and here they had to weave around the packed mud track and up and down all the undulations within it. Charlotte Radnor was the first ORC home followed by Ben Stevens, Hannah Ramsay, Deborah Cunningham, Debs Crome and Ruth Bushell. Excellent efforts all round, especially Deborah with the Brighton Marathon still in her legs.

Further away in Dorset, three ORCs took part in the North Dorset Village Marathon. Starting in Sturminster Newton, this charming small marathon has an undulating though not hilly course, taking the runners through the lovely Dorset countryside and going through many pretty villages on the way. Despite its small size it is a very well organised and well supported race with people out through all the villages to cheer you on. Robert Kelly had a good run and finished as first ORC home and Chris Turner ran a PB. Unfortunately Andrew Vallance had a good race until he pulled a calf muscle half way and had to retire.

Club helpers and runners were also out in force at the monthly Run in the Park with several who had run the London Marathon taking the opportunity to loosen up their legs with a 5k run. This was another record turnout and with the weather improving it looks set to reach 100 runners in June. Well done all!

ORC race results can be found here

Many thanks to Jane for the run report