Close this search box.
Close this search box.

Ivybridge 3 Tops Fell Race, Tarka Trail Run, Exeter Riverside, Dartmoor Crossing and The Great Escape

Ivybridge 3 Tops Fell Race

Last Wednesday evening (9th) the Okehampton Running Club was well represented at this old classic Fell Race which was resurrected by Erme Valley Harriers last year.

The race is approximately 10k long with about 450m of climb. As with all Fell Races there is plenty in the terrain to challenge the runners. There are some sheep trods to follow but good route selection through the Off Piste sections is essential for a fast time. There is a quicker stretch after the climb to Weatherdon but then a scramble over tussocks to Glasscombe Ball. Two stream crossings, one either side of the sharp rise to Ugborough Beacon, add to the test. Finally a chance to ‘empty the tank’ on the tarmac to the finish.

ORC runners had a really good evening especially the men who took the team prize. First of the team home was

Tom Poland 54.53 followed by Joe Lane 57.03, Daniel Heggs 63.50, Will Seviour 69.15 and Hannah Susorney 93.42.

The Lane boys did a great job representing the Club in the Junior races. Jacob in the U9 (11.15) and Arthur in the U11 (11.45). There efforts now will surely be rewarded as they move through the age groups to more senior levels. Well done to them.

Okehampton to Barnstaple Tarka Trail

Robert Richards completed the Tarka Trail from Okehampton to Barnstaple last week. This was an unsupported run without any event label but one he had been planning for some weeks, completing it all on his own. He started in the dark on Wednesday morning leaving Okehampton via Abbeyford Woods. Robert followed the lanes and Byways passing through the valley of the War Horse at Iddesleigh to reach the village of Dolton where he had his breakfast. A well earned fueling for the trip. Leaving Dolton he joined cycleway 3 which follows the old railway track bed to Barnstaple. Robert stopped for a hot Tea and some more fuel at Great Torrington before passing through Bideford and Instow enjoying the views along the Torridge Estuary. Upon arriving at Fremington he was rather worse for wear but he made the final few Kms in good time to catch the 3.35 train back to Okehampton.  A full 72Km run with some walks for good measure. A truly mammoth feat and one that he should be proud of.

Exeter Riverside Parkrun

Claudine Benstead produced another fast run at the Exeter Riverside Parkrun on Saturday. Her time of 20.29 for the 5K gave her an Age Grading value  of 98.97% which improves the Course Record she has held since 2019.

We get used to her setting the standard for others to follow but this really is world class running!

The Dartmoor Crossing and The Great Escape

These two races are inter twined in so far as the Great Escape (named for the start at Princetown) uses the last part of the Crossing route. Both races also benefit, if that is the right word, from the vagaries of the Dartmoor weather. A flavour of which is given later.

The Crossing is an aspirational baby Ultra Marathon. Although it is intended to be an introduction to Ultra distance trail running it is far from easy! The start is at Belstone and en route to the villages of Postbridge and Bellever the runners cross the high moor visiting two 600metre peaks. There is 1119m of ascent in all. There was a strong headwind to compliment the rain and add to Dartmoor’s usual attractions of mud and bog.

Jo Page was the only ORC to take part and selected this one as her first Trail Ultra. Jo’s sole aim was to complete it, so she was surprised to find herself racing the last 3 miles in a battle for a podium place. With a sprint finish she crossed the line at Ivybridge 2nd female in a time of 6hrs 14minutes.

The Great Escape started in horrible conditions with rain coming in sideways and not feeling at all like mid-August much more like Autumn. After about 4miles the rain eased to Dartmoor mizzle but the wind was still howling. It wasn’t until the runners had crossed a lot of open moor, rivers, bogs and streams that the sun tried desperately to shine through. This was most welcome as the runners finally make it to the finish at Ivybridge Rugby Club.

Two ORC ladies took up the challenge and battled the Dartmoor weather.

Claire Watkins had another incredible run and in the latter stages was in a battle for 1st position. Within the last half mile she took the lead on a steep technical downhill section. Fortune favours the brave and she was able to maintain that position finishing as 1st female in 2hrs 13.47.

Karen King had an enjoyable and social run, crossing the line in 2hrs 56.51. (All times unofficial).