The third race of our summer series took place in hot, sunny conditions last Sunday. At over 10 miles, the Oke Croak is the longest and toughest of all four of the races with 2,000 feet of ascent over open moorland. Starting in Simmons Park the runners follow the River Okement via Ball Cleave and Chapel Ford out to the moors. After taking the “Goat’s Track” up to Oke Tor and passing through the stone arch, they head for East Mill Tor before climbing to the top of Yes Tor. From there it is all downhill past the Army Camp and back to Simmons Park. There was a good entry of visiting runners from as far afield as Derbyshire and Wales, with an international flavour being added with runners from France and even Australia.
The winner of the race was Pete Devenport of Bude Rats with a terrific run in 1.18.49, just 20 seconds outside the course record. A new female course record was set by Lizzy Dyson of Haldon Trail Runners whose finishing time of 1.25.09 knocked two minutes off the previous record. First home of the four ORC’s that took part was Rob Hicks, coming 7th overall, in 1.25.21, followed by Chris Turner in 1.33.20, Greg Miller in 2.01.58 and Christine Fritsch in 2.20.35.
On Friday evening, Okehampton runner Roger Voaden, slotted a quick five miles at the Haldon Forest Flyer into his marathon training schedule. This is one of the Dawlish Coasters’ races and is completely off road through the forest tracks, paths and fire roads of Haldon Forest Park. Roger finished in a good time of 32mins 04secs to come 10th overall.