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Tavy Half, Exeter Age UK 10k, Forest of Dean Spring Trails Half, Reading Half and the final round of the Westward League 2016-17

13-19th March

A busy weekend of racing saw ORC members racing in four different venues. Nearest home were the runners who only had to make the short trip to Tavistock to run the Tavy 13 Half Marathon. This scenic but hilly course starts in the town where the first 3 miles are fairly flat, but then goes out into the countryside where several challenging hills make for lovely views, before returning to the town to finish with a circuit of the athletics track. Five ORCs took part with Roger Voaden being the first home for the club in 1.25.46 to finish 9th overall and 2nd MV50. Chris Aylen was next, running his first race for eighteen months and pleased to finish in 2.06.02, followed by Caroline Wilson in 2.13.09, then Lora Medland and Nicola Smith finishing together in 2.14.21.

Slightly further away four ORCs took part in the Age UK 10k in Exeter. This 10k, unlike many that are run entirely along the Quay and Riverside Park, actually starts in the city centre and takes runners up the High Street and Sidwell Street before turning back and making their way down to the quayside. It then follows the flat stretch along beside the river and canal and eventually finishing at the Piazza Terracina. As part of the charity’s 30th anniversary of supporting older people in Exeter, this year’s race was a “Retro Run” with participants encouraged to run in retro fancy dress. First club member home was Ged Fitzgibbon with a great run in 51.24 to come 3rd MV65. Rachael Haydon was next, improving on her run here last year by 3 minutes, to finish in 56.11 and set a new PB. She was followed by Jane Richardson in 1.00.42 and Charlotte Williams in 1.06.33.

The Forest of Dean was the destination of three more ORCs to run the Forest of Dean Spring Trails Half Marathon. This multi-terrain event utilises well maintained forest trails, old railway line and some road. With conditions dry underfoot and the trees giving some protection from a blustery wind the runners enjoyed a good day. First home for ORC was Mags Jarvis in a good time of 2.09.08, followed by Katy Speak in 2.10.38 and Janet White in 2.21.25.

Hugh Robinson was the club member to travel the furthest, taking a trip to his former hometown to run the Reading Half Marathon. This is a huge event with over 10,000 runners taking on a fast, flat course that finishes in the Madejski Stadium, the home of Reading FC. Hugh set his half marathon PB on this course five years ago and never expected to improve on it, but a season of training with us has seen his times improve and he ran a great race to finish in 1.22.37, and set a new PB by 1min 36sec.

Many thanks to Jane for the run report

20-26th March

ORC members have been very busy competing in many different events and venues recently. Last weekend the focus was at Redruth which saw the climax of the Westward Cross Country League, on Saturday 25th. The Westward League consists of a series of six races held at various venues from as far apart as Exeter and Redruth. The first race was held in early October 2016 in Plymouth. The standard of the league is high, with many of the South West’s top club athletes taking part.

Three ladies and six men travelled to Redruth School to take part in the final league races of the 2016 -7 series. The weather was bright and dry and Cornwall AC, who were organising, put on a great fixture. Both the men and the ladies did really well and had a very good day.

The results for the men were Pete Devenport 11th, Matt Pitson 18th, Andrew Vallance 21st, Hugh Robinson 30th, George Haskell 63rd and Stuart May 75th. The overall results for the men gave the team an excellent 6th final position. Final league individual placings were very pleasing; Andrew Vallance 20th, Matt Pitson 21st, Pete Devenport 38th, Stuart May 48th and 6th V45, Hugh Robinson 64th, Paul Crease 65th and 13th V40.

The ladies races include under 17’s and seniors who run together. Sarah Marvin finished in 28th. Just two places behind was her daughter, Molly Marvin, who was 30th, a very good result as she was suffering from a cold. Third ORC home was Anne Binns in 51st place. The overall results for the league were: Molly Marvin 16th and a very well placed 5th in the U17 category, Sarah Marvin 17th and an excellent 4th V40; Anne Binns was 65th and 6th V50. The ORC ladies were the 11th team overall in the league.

Many thanks to Mags for the run report