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Marilyn’s Meldon Madness Fell Race, Climb South West Devon Coast to Coast 75km, Wray Trail Half Marathon, Roadford Sprint Triathlon, AJ Bell Great Bristol Run & The Tea Round

Marilyn’s Meldon Madness Fell Race

On Saturday afternoon, the first fell race of the ORC Summer Series and the second race of the SW Fell Runners Series took place. Marilyn’s Meldon Madness is held in honour of Marilyn Cooper, former member of the club, and again this year the club was delighted to welcome five-time Olympian Jo Pavey and Marilyn’s son Peter who joined the race and presented the awards afterwards alongside Marilyn’s husband, Paul.

There was a great turnout for the two junior races which were run as qualifiers for the Intercounty Championships. The U11’s ran a 2km course up the steep Longstone Hill and back down to the Dam where they started. First ORCJ home and first MU11 was Jacob Lane in 9:42 followed by Agatha Laslie in 10:40. The U15’s ran a 4km course heading further on to the base of Yes Tor before returning to the finish. Arthur Lane was the only ORCJ U15 finishing in 23:36. Great running by all!

The Senior race started in a thunderstorm though fortunately it soon cleared! Heading up to the summits of Yes Tor and High Willhays and returning to the Dam via Black Tor, it’s a challenging and technical course including sections with no clear path, boggy areas, boulder fields, tussock grass, hidden holes and sheep trods. The runners are then rewarded with a super fast descent on springy grass to the finish!

First ORC home and overall race winner was Luke Stannus in just 37:53. This was Luke’s first senior race in the MU19 category and earns him automatic selection for the Intercounty Championships. Luke was followed by Joe Lane 43:52; Charlie Temperley in 45:51; MU17 Aiden Spinney in 49:56; Sarah Dean in 1:18:37, Marie Paynter just milliseconds behind and Lucy Gooding first FV35 in 1:20:35 (who had to retrieve a shoe lost in a bog on the way down to Black Tor!) After the race the competitors received their prizes from the Cooper family and Jo Pavey and were delighted to have their photos taken with her. New ORC member Sarah Dean was awarded the Marilyn Memorial Bowl as first ORC female home. It was a lovely afternoon’s racing with the post-race cakes going down well!

Climb South West Devon Coast to Coast 75km

On Saturday morning, ORC Ian Ripper set off from Wembury to run his longest race to date; the new Coast to Coast 75km ultramarathon. This challenging course finished in Chagford having covered over 2,000 metres of ascent and a full Dartmoor crossing. Ian explained that whilst the course started gently with beautiful weather along the Plym Trail along woodland trails full of bluebells and wild garlic, it then headed uphill from Ivybridge onto Dartmoor via what Ian described as “a beast of a stony track”. Some torrential downpours after lunch made the going tougher still for a couple of hours but fortunately it cleared and Ian was pleased to meet fellow ORC Rob Richards on the moor with a welcome cup of tea! Rob was also there to support later on the course and again at the finish.

Ian was delighted to finish as first male overall in 10hrs 50 but reckons he could have shaved 20 seconds off that time! A fantastic achievement Ian!

Wray Trail Half Marathon

On Sunday morning in hot, sunny conditions, ORC Mike Westland ran the Wray Trail half marathon which follows the old railway line connecting Bovey Tracey to Moretonhampstead. Starting in Bovey
Tracey the course heads through Lustleigh and then onto Moretonhampstead before the runners turn and head back to Bovey Tracey. Mike’s race was slightly marred on discovering he had dropped his car key part way round the course which slowed him on the return leg as he tried to keep an eye out for it. Fortunately another runner had spotted the key and he was relieved to recover it at the finish. Mike was pleased to finish in 2:09:20 just three weeks after running the Newport marathon.

Roadford Sprint Triathlon

A last minute sign up saw ORC Matt Grint compete in his first triathlon taking on the Sprint distance at the scenic Roadford Lake on Sunday. This was a unique opportunity as the lake is not usually open for swimming. Matt’s event started with a tough 750m open water swim, then moved onto quiet local roads for a 20km cycle and finished on mainly gravel paths for a 5km run. He was pleased to finish in 29th place in 1:46:11 really enjoying the course and the fabulous weather!

AJ Bell Great Bristol Run

The much loved AJ Bell Great Bristol Run, known as the best in the South West, returned on Sunday. This year over 15,000 runners enjoyed the scenic 10km and half marathon routes around Bristol in hot, sunny conditions. Attracting runners from far and wide it’s known as a perfect course for those hunting a new PB.

Eddie Kingdom was the sole ORC running the half marathon finishing in 1:31:35. Although the sub-1:30 time he was aiming for remained elusive, he still had an enjoyable run commenting that this well-organised race is definitely one of his favourites.

Ged Fitzgibbon was another sole ORC running in the 10km distance and was pleased to achieve a new PB of 51:07 earning him a diamond age graded award. Ged enjoyed this race for its great crowd support, music and atmosphere and would highly recommend it.

The Tea Round

ORC Simon Partridge travelled to the Lake District last week to complete The Tea Round. This is a 30 mile route with 12,000+ feet of ascent that starts and finishes at the doors of George Fisher in Keswick and includes all of the tops that can be viewed out of the upstairs café window. The Tea Round has the same ascent as Legs 1 and 2 of the Bob Graham Round in total and Simon commented that “this is horrific if like me have you haven’t done enough training in the mountains for very steep quad burning ascents and the even worse descents!” He was also hit by 45 mile an hour winds on the last three summits which made the going interesting. Simon was not racing the route this time around but is already planning a repeat trip for later in the year after completing more relevant training.