On Saturday 22nd February, Looe Pioneers Running Club hosted the 8th running of the 2020 Looe 10 Miler. This race was the 2nd Club Championship race of the season, hence the great turn out from our team.
This year’s race was aimed at helping raise vital funds for the Cornwall Air Ambulance’s ‘New Heli Appeal’. £2.5 million needs to be raised by April 2020 to purchase the new aircraft, which the county are in desperate need of. Each entry included a £2 donation to the appeal, and the entrants were encouraged to raise sponsorship to support the campaign.
The race is an open event and is also part of the Cornish Grand Prix series, which attracts hundreds of runners from the South West and beyond.
The course is an undulating run through West Looe, and then onto the coastal road to Talland. A loop around the Killigarth, Porthallow area brought the runners back down to Talland,before the return leg back to Looe.
Weather conditions at start time were just about perfect, with overcast and mild temperatures. The runners set off from Millpool carpark, helped on their way by the vocal support around the start line. The total elevation of the route was over 1600 feet, and some runners described the route as ‘hellish’.
The Trotters all ran superbly, with some notable performances amongst the results.
Roger Easterbrook led the team home, finishing in 9th place, clocking a great time of 1:07:15. Roger also collected the MV 45-49 age category prize.
Duncan Knight ran superbly, on a course that in the past would not have suited him!! He finished in a time of 1:16:18 to claim 44th place.
It was great to see Tracy Elphick back on the race scene, her last race appearance being back in Sept 2019. Tracy was lead Trotter female home, posting a great time of 1:24:19 to finish 102nd and win the FV 45-49 age category award.
Bob Small also won the MV 70-74 category, finishing in 197th place in a time of 1:34:02.
There was also age category prizes for Alan Kember (2nd MV 60-64), Kim Knight (3rd FV 45-49) & James Saunders (3rd MV 55-59).
A special mention must go to Tyler Smith, who made his Club debut at such a tough race! Tyler finished in 398th position, clocking a time of 1:49:45. A superb result.
The other Trotter positions and times were:
James Saunders (64, 1:19:05), Alan Kember (105, 1:24:33), Bon Rymel (106, 1:24:40), Derek Skinner (115, 1:26:16), Max Conroy (142, 1:29:23), Debbie Proctor (166, 1:31:16), Kim Knight (167, 1:31:21), Sharon Sharples (172, 1:31:47), Neil Rutley (1:183, 1:32:49), Nathan Elphick (196, 1:34:00), Scott Knight (203, 1:34:16), Emma Ray (266, 1:39:20), Ruth Johnson (272, 1:40:03), Dylan Cooper (284, 1:40:37), Sue Brown (312, 1:42:26), Philip Norden (328, 1:43:27), Eleanor Taylor (335, 1:43:29), Claire Comber (351, 1:44:34), Tamsin Cook (354, 1:44:49), Chris Andrew's (378, 1:47:40), Sue Tremlett (379, 1:47:40), Susanne Westgate (383, 1:48:07), Corinne Bright (452, 1:55:04), Kay Shillabeer (463, 1:55:47).
Teignbridge ladies also won the team event. The victorious team comprised of Tracy, Debbie, Kim, Sharon, Emma and Ruth. Well done ladies.
There were 630 exhausted and relieved finishers.
Race winner was Dave Angell, representing Mile High. The winning time was 1:03:05.
An after race party with disco took place that evening, at the Tencreek Holiday Park. Admission was free, but donations to the appeal were again encouraged at the door.
The event was a resounding success.. A big well done to the Looe Pioneers Running Club, for organising such a great event, and for all the money that they have helped raised for the Cornwall Air Ambulance appeal.
On Sunday 23rd February, Joe Hornsby, Natalie Clare, Sharon and Paul Sharples, and Karen O’Brien travelled to the village of Widecombe-In-The-Moor to take part in the Hameldown Hammer Half and the Hameldown 7Even.
This was the 5th running of these races, staged by Puretrail Running.
The races started and finished at the village at the foot of the Hameldown ‘massif’, and is surrounded by some of Dartmoor’s most iconic granite tors.
Both races weree tough, challenging trail affairs and is a serious test of endurance. The Hammer has a total ascent of over 600 metres. It was 98% trails, over a series of well defined, grassy, rocky and slippy muddy tracks, and through forestry glades. More significantly, there was a double ascent of The Hameldown Ridge!! The ‘Hammer’ rises high and steep affording spectacular views of the Moors and Tors.
The 7Even mile race route exceeded over 300 metres of ascent, and still included the double ascent of the Hameldown Ridge.
There were two drink stations sited at Challacombe Farm and Natsworthy Gate.
Race conditions were atrocious, with strong gusty winds and heavy drizzle.
Joe Hornsby and Paul Sharples took on the Hammer. Joe ran a superb race to finish in 11th place, posting time of 1:59:49. His iron man training is paying dividends?
Paul also acquitted himself well to the tough conditions, clocking a time of 2:38:21 to finish in 104th spot. There were 207 entrants.
The winner of the Hameldown Hammer was Adam Kidson finishing in a time of 1:46:45.
Natalie, Sharon and Karen competed in the shorter but still challenging test. Natalie was the first female, clocking a great time of 1:19:50 to finish 17th overall.
Sharon and Karen kept each other company, crossing the line together in a time of 1:57:25 for 89th & 90th places respectively.
The winner of the 7Even miler race was Brett Stevens, clocking an impressive time of 1:01:40
There were 100 runners.
The Dalwood 3 Hills Challenge and Mini Challenge, a 10 mile multi-terrain, also took place on Sunday.
Dalwood is situated between Axminster and Honiton and the race is organised by Axe Valley Runners. Over 1500 feet of elevation is what the runners had to endure, through scenic East Devon country roads and fields. Oh and 4 miles of hills!!
The route was roughly a figure of 8, where the first loop was a warm up before the challenge of the second loop.
The weather was damp but very wet underfoot. Five Trotters braved the 3 Hills, whilst Zilpah opted for the Mini Challenge.
Ronnie Jones ran a fantastic race to finish in 8th place, clocking an impressive time of 1:21:28. Ewan alsoput in a fine performance to finish 21st in a time of 1:28:15.
The other Trotters positions and times were: Andrew Fox, (the new Men’s Club Captain – 42, 1:38:43), Gavin Parrott (46, 1:39:03), Jim Donovan (70, 1:45:44).
Chet Gillespie, representing the home club, won the race in a time of 1:03:07.
There were 124 finishers.
Zilpah won her age category, finishing in 11th place, posting a great time of 00:45:25.
A trio of Trotters took part in the Haldon Forest Twilight races on Friday 21st February
organised by Purple Gecko Events. There was a 5K and a 10K trail run on offer, with no cut off times. Head torches were a must as the runners braved the dark forest.
Sue Tremlett took part in the 5K event, and didn't she do well? Sue finished 6th overall and won the FV50 age category. Her time was 00:31:13.
Kate Lenthall and Kat Ashburton-Scott took part in the 10K race.
Both ran superbly well, finishing well up the field. Kate led the duo home, finishing in 17th position, clocking a time of 00:55:12. Kat posted a time of 1:00:56 to finish in 27th place, which earn't her 2nd in the FV40 age category.
Julian Scanes travelled to West London, Surrey to take part in the Wokingham Half Marathon. There was also a mini mile family run, new to this year’s event.
The Half Marathon is a flat, fast route, run on fully closed roads, on what has produced very quick times over the years. The race village and start was situated at Cantley Park.
Unfortunately, weather conditions were poor, with strong winds putting pay to PB’s. Having said that, Julian still clocked an impressive time of 1:29:13, to finish 353rd out of the 2632 competitors. Fantastic run Jules.
Graham Baker took part in the Brighton Half Marathon on Sunday, running alongside his 19 year old rugby playing grandson, to raise money for the Injured Rugby Players Charity
The weather was terrible, with thick drizzle and a 45mph wind making the visibility so bad, the end of the pier couldn’t be seen!! Huge waves also crashed over the promenade. The organizers were unable to put up their planned tented village, the start/finish structure or any mileage markers, but they still decided to run the race.
The race started at the pier, the route taking the runners east for 3 miles, before heading back to the start. A loop of the city centre followed, before heading west for 3 miles before returning back to the pier. The 6 miles into the west wind were among the hardest miles I have ever run said Graham!
They both finished in very respectable times. Graham clocked a time of 2:13:35, and the grandson was just 9 seconds quicker! Well done both of you.
Kate Blackmore took part in the Exeter City 10K.
The start and finish was at The Quay, and the route took the runners on a two lap spin around Duckes Meadow Park and Riverside Park. Kate, despite her ongoing injury problems, still managed a very decent time. Kate completed the fast, flat course in 1:00:31, to finish 235th.
The winner was Tim Gordon, clocking a rapid time of 00:34:52.
Graydon Widdicombe travelled up to Wolton-on-Thames for the 100 Marathon Club AGM Marathon, organised by Phoenix Running. Graydon is a second claim, associate member (meaning he hasn’t yet reached the tonne) of the 100MC, and the event was open to anyone regardless of what number marathon they were on, or whether they were a member or not. Having said that, most were members of the 100MC, but naturally Graydon wore his Trotters shirt with pride.
Having not done any of these Phoenix events before, Graydon wasn’t too sure what shoes to wear, but having a quick look around he saw the majority of people were using road shoes, so that's what he went for too, and that was the right choice. It was one of those mornings where it was a bit difficult to decide on clothes as the car was saying 11deg at 8am, but there was a strong, cold wind. Graydon opted for a T-Shirt and gloves, which again was the right decision for him.
This event was actually a 7hr event as well as a handicap event, but Graydon opted for the mass start at 8am. The course was was an out-and-back one, with 8 laps required for the marathon. The first section of each “out” was quite muddy, and also parts of the outbound leg were into a strong head wind; of course, when the runners came back the other way, the resulting tail wind hardly seem to make any difference to pace. How does that work!?
Although the terrain wasn't really to Graydon’s liking, he was ran well within himself early on. Although not all of it was muddy by any means, there was still a camber, or cobbles, or uneven surfaces, or large puddles, or geese, or dogs, to contend with, so he found it quite hard to get into a rhythm. But Graydon did enjoy the event and went through half way in 1:54, finishing in 3:50:32.
The main star of the show today was Steve “The Godfather” Edwards. Very well known in marathon circles, Steve chose this race for his 900th official marathon event. Not only is that a mind-boggling number, what makes it even more special, is that Steve's average time for those 900 is an astonishing 3:19:20. What an achievement!