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Solstice Fell Race, ORC 1-Mile Time Trial, Exmoor Man vs Moor & The Hangers Way 50k

Solstice Fell Race

On Wednesday evening, six ORCs and three ORC Juniors ran in the Solstice fell races at Merrivale. The popular and long running senior race offers just under 6 miles of hills with a testing first mile as the route rises steeply up to Middle Staple Tor. From there the gradient eases as the runners follow the ridge to Higher Staple Tor and Roos Tor before yet more climbing up to White Tor. After a super fast descent back down the valley, the runners climb back up to Middle Staple Tor before the final steep 1km downhill to the finish. Euan Ripper put in a particularly flying descent to the finish line (see photo!)

There were some great results: first ORC home and in 5th position overall was Tom Poland in 40:27 (2nd MV40) followed by Joe Lane in 43:43, Charlie Temperley in 45:27, Stewart Taylor in 46:34, Euan Ripper 49:26 (first MU21) and Ian Ripper in 52:11 (first MV60).

In the junior races, the youngest runners took on a 2km hilly course whilst the older juniors raced a 4km route, also of course with plenty of climb! In the MU11 category, Jacob Lane finished in first place in 12:44 followed by Alistair Taylor in 18:07. Ellenor Taylor was first in the FU13 category in 24:09. Great running juniors!

With the lovely Dartmoor Inn for post race refreshments plus some welcome sunshine, an enjoyable evening was had by all!

ORC 1-Mile Time Trial

This week our Club Coach, Robert Richards, organised a 1-mile time trial on the Granite Way. Nearly 40 runners from the club took part in this exciting, high speed, adrenaline rush event. The 1-mile distance for our ORC club members is part of the club achievement awards, so posting a time early in the season gives all the runners a benchmark to improve upon.

Two club records were broken – a massive congratulations to Andrew Vernon in the MV55 category in a time of 5:12.48 and to Paul Evison in the MV70 category in 6:22.50. Many other runners made gains on their personal best results, as well as some new members pacing out their first time trial at this distance. Everyone had a great time and it was such a pleasure watching so many runners try their very best to run as fast as they can for a relatively short distance. It was equally amazing to see several of our pathway runners coming through the junior ranks achieving some eye watering times.

Anyone can give this challenge a go – head to the Granite Way where the start and finish has been marked up. The start is just past the rail tunnel entrance and the finish is at the station end of the Granite Way.

Exmoor Man vs Moor

On Sunday, ORCs Matt Grint and Emma Jewell travelled to Exmoor with friends from Okement Hash Harriers to take part in the 10 mile Man vs Moor by Channel Events. Based on the ancient ‘Chains’ area of Exmoor, runners are taken through some of the most remote parts of Exmoor National Park to run, walk, scramble, swim and tunnel their way around the 10 mile course! Each obstacle has been created naturally over time and included open moorland, bogs and ‘total blackout’ (a natural tunnel in complete darkness), as well as a 100m open water swim.

Matt and Emma both had a great time and really enjoyed the course though it was 4-0 to Emma for the most falls! They finished in 2hrs 06 with Emma as third female overall though they said it was definitely a course for fun and not for chasing a PB!

The Hangers Way 50k

Also on Sunday, ORC Carole Loader travelled to Hampshire to run the Hangers Way 50k, a brand new event for 2024 by BigFeat Events. The Hangers Way is a spectacularly unique long distance path, characterised by steep-sided wooded hills, known as “The Hangers”. The course runs from Alice Holt Country Park in Farnham and finishes at the Queen Elizabeth Country Park near Petersfield. The course meanders through the beautiful woodlands, farm tracks, crop fields and grassland of the Hampshire countryside and along quiet country lanes through quaint villages.

Carole said that it was an absolutely stunning event. However there were some gigantic lung-busting hills, especially in the second half, but the views and stunning scenery were well worth the climbs. She finished in 6hrs 42. Massive well done Carole!