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Exmouth Parkrun, Tokyo Marathon, Bideford Half Marathon, The Grizzly, South West Cross Country

Exmouth Parkrun

The weekends running got off to a flying start with a terrific performance from Rob Kelly. Robert has achieved some outstanding times in recent weeks and went to Exmouth Parkrun to try and continue in the same vein. He did indeed.

Making the most of perfect conditions he produced a PB of 16.44 and a MV40 Club Record for the 5K distance.

Tokyo Marathon

An ORC member became the first person to be awarded the Abbotts World Major 6 Star Marathon Medal this weekend. The six majors are Boston, Berlin, Chicago, New York, London and Tokyo.

Anne Binns flew to Tokyo in 2020 only to find the race was cancelled for international runners. Anne was inspired to run all six majors by founder club member Marilyn Cooper who set out to do it but sadly passed away. The race was made more special because she got to run it with Marilyn’s son Peter. With Japans borders closed for 3 years Anne has only just had the opportunity to run the race. The process has been fraught with difficulties. Japan had only opened its borders in November 2023 and had little time to prepare for the influx of foreign visitors.

On the day the race could not have gone better for Anne. Weather was perfect and the course flat and debris free (unlike other Majors). Despite some health issues over the last year she ran a pretty constant pace to shave 9 minutes off her PB with a time of 3:40:37. This is a qualifying time for the Wanda World Age Group Championship, a good for age place in London, a Boston qualifying time and a new Club Record. She brings home her Tokyo Medal along with the Abbotts Six Star Award.

Bideford Half Marathon

A dozen ORC’s joined the throng of almost a thousand runners at Bideford on Sunday. The weather was perfect for this perennial fixture if a tad cold till the runners settled to the task in hand. Some excellent results were gained.

Chris Turner was first Okehampton runner home in the quick time of 1:19:23 following him were Paul Carter 1:27:31, Mike Davies with an excellent run gaining a PB 1:34:06, Mike Saywell a PB of 1:37:25, Claire Watkins opening her account at the Half Marathon distance took the FV45 Club Record in 1:39:25, Ian Ripper ran well again to shave 2 minutes off last years time with a PB of 1:39:46, Paul Evison also did well to gain a PB, 3rd place MV70, Club Record and first ever Platinum Achievement Award, Mike Westland had a cracking run and as a result took the 3rd MV65 Trophy 1:47:41, Ged Fitzgibbon also improved on last years time by 2 minutes with a PB of 1:52:43, Kate Wilson 1:55:30, Lucy Gooding, 2:12;59 and Chris Fulford-Brown 2:13:34.

The Grizzly

Sunday also saw Sarah Marvin and Angus Farelly head to Seaton for the annual Grizzly race organised by Axe Valley Runners. It is a multi terrain race involving 2 shingle beaches one at the start which is a good introduction to the 20 miles of ups (3300’) and downs. It was a very well organised race with numerous and well stocked check points.

Sarah and Angus finished in 4:09:26 and followed it off with a hose down by the Seaton Fire Crew

South West Cross Country

Just two Okehampton runners at the final race of the SW Cross Country League held at Redruth School on Sunday. Good running conditions and large fields in all age categories led to some close races. Paul Crease needed to complete the course and to beat a runner who had already completed the required 4 events, a tough ask given he hadn’t raced since having to pull out of the last race with a calf injury. He eased through the first couple of laps (5 in total) before overtaking and stretching away from his main competitors and ultimately winning his age category. Daniel Heggs rounded out a full series of runs to claim 2nd in his category. Well done both.