Summer Runnin’

With summer holidays occupying many ORCs, there were just a handful of out racing this weekend. On Saturday evening Mike Westland took part in the inaugural running of the Wessex 10k in Somerton, Somerset, the ancient capital of Wessex. Starting and finishing at Somerton Recreation Ground the course follows a fairly flat, mainly road route and was a well organised but low key race hosted by Immortal Sport. Mike ran well, finishing in 52.03 to be first in the MV60 age group.

Further away, Paul Crease flew the flag for Okehampton when he ran the Weasdale Horseshoe Fell race in the Eden district of Cumbria, where the 10.5 mile course had an elevation of over 2,100ft. In the company of good fell runners, including the current British Fell Running champion, and over a course where local knowledge was an advantage, Paul had an excellent run to finish in fourth place overall and first MV40 in a time of 1.26.50.

On Sunday Ed Dumpleton travelled up to Bath for the Bath Two Tunnels Half Marathon. This quirky course has a mix of scenic countryside, some city centre running through the heart of Bath along footpaths and trails, and as the name implies, two tunnels to negotiate. The tunnels formed part of the Somerset and Dorset railway which closed in 1966 when the tunnels were sealed up. In 2013 they were restored and are now well surfaced and lit, forming a shared path for cyclists and pedestrians. At 1,672m long, the Combe Down Tunnel makes this the foot-race with the longest underground section in Britain. Ed is at present in the middle of training for his first marathon and used this race as part of that training. With some hold-ups caused by other users of the paths it was never going to be a PB run, but Ed was happy with his time of 1.40.27.

For Hayden Bond, Torbay was the destination to run the Torbay 5 Bays Challenge, a 10k race organised by Torbay Athletics Club. This is a multi-terrain race that starts and finishes at the lovely Broadsands beach, following an inland route to Brixham from where it heads back along the coast path via Oxen Cove, Fishcombe Beach, Churston Cove and Elberry Cove. With stony tracks, shingle, steep climbs and a total of 423 steps either up or down this is quite a tough 10k. Hayden finished in a very good time of 48.46 in 16th place overall.

Many thanks to Jane for the run report.