With the untimely deluge of snow jut before the weekend there were fears that races may be affected, but as the worst of the snow was only over the moors it turned out that most races went ahead as planned. On Saturday Endurancelife’s coastal trail series started off this years series of races with the South West Coast Path Trail Running Challenge, where a selection of distances from 10k to Ultra Marathon are offered. This is where the Coastal Trail Series was born and it has become a cult classic. Situated within an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, it is both picturesque and punishing. There was a lone Okehampton Running Club member taking part here, club Chairman Jeremy Tandy, taking on the 34 mile Ultra Marathon, just two weeks after escorting Roger Voaden round his 100th marathon. Jeremy is no stranger to running long distances and enjoyed his run with friends round this scenic course in beautiful weather, where the only trace of snow was the occasional glimpse of Dartmoor’s white bulk in the distance, finishing in 8.30.14.
On Sunday a fast five mile race gave two Okehampton runners an opportunity to test their speed round a fast and flat course. The Exmouth Express 5 is a five mile road race comprised of a two lap course of Exmouth Town and Sea Front. Formerly known as the Fullfords Five, this race, hosted by Exmouth Harriers, is now sponsored by Climb South West. Jo Page and Jane Richardson were the two ladies representing Okehampton and both enjoyed their runs in beautiful but very cold conditions. Jo Page showed what great form she’s in with a brilliantly fast and well paced run to finish in 33min 09secs to be placed 5th lady and 1st Senior Lady, also setting a new club age group and overall record. Jane Richardson had a good run too, coming home in 48.29 to also set a new club record for the FV65 category.
Unfortunately there was one ORC whose race plans fell victim to the snow this weekend. Rob Hicks was due to start the incredibly tough 100 mile Arc of Attrition along the Cornish coast path from Coverack to Porthtowan on Friday, running through the night to finish on Saturday. Obviously this sort of race requires not only a great deal of training, but also some logistical arrangements as it involves having crew to support the runners throughout the race. For someone with a family and young children this became impossible in the chaos of Thursday and Friday’s travel disruption due to the snow and sadly Rob had to abandon his race plans.
Thank you Janes for the reporting.