The third in our summer race series, the Oke Croak, took place last Saturday on a beautiful sunny day slotted between two wet and windy ones. The sun always seems to shine for this race giving it a reputation of a very tough but stunningly beautiful run. Starting in Simmons Park, the runners are taken along Ball Hill to Fatherford, continuing on through the woods to access the moors at Chapel Ford. From here the course is no longer marked and the race becomes self-navigating out to a checkpoint at Oke Tor, after which varying routes will be taken either round or over East Mill Tor to then climb to the top of Yes Tor where there is the only other compulsory checkpoint. Once the boulders around the summit of Yes Tor are cleared, the almost entirely downhill course gives the runners he opportunity to finally get some speed up if the legs aren’t too tired. Leaving the moors at Moorgate, the return route is via Klondyke corner to Fatherford and they then retrace the path back to the park along Ball Hill. The conditions were perfect for a great race and the first two runners both finished inside the previous course record, with the winner, Ceri Rees, knocking three minutes off with his brilliant time of 1.15.19. A good battle can always be assured between Rob Hicks and Axe Valley runner Tim Lenton, but while these two were having a tussle coming along the road from Moorgate, Paul Crease flew past both of them and continued to put distance between them, running sub-six minute miles to come home in third place in 1.21.12. The first ORC lady home was Charlie Collyer with a great time of 1.56.30 to be second lady overall with Gill Spinney taking the third lady prize in 1.59.03, a thirty minute improvement on her time last year.
Other ORC times; Rob Hicks; 1.22.41, Andrew Vernon; 1.39.19, Phil Read; 1.49.50, Ed Dumpleton; 1.49.54, Andy Collyer; 1.56.50, Tom Andrew; 1.57.59, Jo Turner; 2.06.17, Karen Vallance; 2.06.17
Before taking up her marshalling duties at the Oke Croak, prolific race runner Jo Page ran a new PB at the Killerton Parkrun which is not normally regarded as a PB course. Jo has taken a step back from racing at the moment while training for her first marathon, but ran here to accompany her father and was very surprised and pleased to set her new record time of 21.01.
Sunday saw two ORCs, Roger Voaden and Geoff Hill, take part in the Plym Trail Marathon. For Roger this was just another marathon to tick off in his quest to complete 100 marathons, this being his 88th while Geoff used it as training for his upcoming Lochness marathon. On a day where the wind and rain were exactly the conditions they didn’t want they both did remarkably well. After running together for the first 20 miles Roger pulled away from Geoff finishing in 3.26.30 for second place, with Geoff coming home in 3.37.25 to be third.
Many thanks to Jane for the run report.