Sourton Tors and Bude Pirate Run

The 4th and last of our Summer Series races took place last Wednesday evening. The Sourton Tor race is a traditional up and down fell race, starting and finishing at the Bearslake Inn, Lake. It always has a relaxed, friendly atmosphere, with the opportunity for runners gather afterwards in the pub and chew over the race together. With the distance of the race being a mere 2.6 miles it is surprising how far some competitors travel to take part, with club runners from Bournemouth, Truro, and Axe Valley this year. Last year’s winner, Toby Chapman returned to defend his title, which he did with ease while setting a new course record of 19.06. Rob Kelly was the first ORC home, taking a break from his more usual road racing, to finish in 21.59. Next home, in 28.29, was Phil Read, who only joined the club as a beginner less than 12 months ago, but he has really embraced moorland running and has completed three of the four summer series races. Jane Jackson was next, enjoying an outing on the moors after four months off due to injury and finishing in 32.43, just 5 seconds ahead of Jo-Anne Turner, Karen Vallance and Jayne Peachey who ran together.

With gale force winds and rain forecast for Sunday it didn’t look to be the best day for a coastal race, but the Bude Pirate run went ahead and the runners found the conditions not quite as bad as expected. The rain held off and although very blustery, the conditions underfoot weren’t too bad either. Starting near Crooklets Beach in Bude, this 8 mille race heads north on the coast path before turning inland where it follows woodland tracks before retuning to the coast at Duckpool and heading back to Bude. With stunning coastal scenery, it is however a tough race even on a good day, with the first three miles being almost entirely uphill. The steepest ascent though is on the return part of the course where walking is as quick as attempting to run. Two ORCs took part this year with John Binns enjoying a good run to finish in 1.14.30. Despite the conditions, Mags Jarvis also put in a great run to finish over 5 minutes faster than last year in a time of 1.29.56.

Many thanks to Jane for the run report