OKEHAMPTON Running Club had a record entry of 37 runners taking part in the Bideford Half Marathon on Sunday.
The forecast of heavy downpours and gale force winds dampened the hopes of those aiming for a new personal best, but the weather gods were kind and despite early rain, the skies cleared and the wind was not such an issue, only giving the runners a tough time in the last couple of miles.
More than 1,400 runners took part, the highest number ever in this popular race with its fast, flat and nearly traffic free course. The timing of it also provides an opportunity for those training for a spring marathon to test how their training is going over half the distance.
There were some outstanding performances from Okehampton members, with 14 scoring new PB’s, four setting a PB with their first run over this distance, including Jane Richardson running her first half marathon ever at the age of 67 and one running his first race ever.
Male veteran 50 runner Paul Carter was the first ORC home in a great time of 1 hour 23 minutes 54 seconds. Katie Littlejohns, who has had a terrifically successful year since she set a new PB and club record at this venue last year, continues to improve and knocked nearly another two minutes off both, finishing in 1.33.45 to be the first ORC lady.
Several others improved their PBs with Claire Sprague taking ten minutes off, Lucy Marrison eight minutes, Jayne Peachey six minutes and Lucy Brint four and a half minutes.
Ed Dumpleton only started running last September when he joined the beginners group, but it soon became clear he had ability and moved up through the groups. He thoroughly enjoyed his first race and was pleased to finish in an impressive 1.45.34.
Nicola Smith, who had trained hard to run a sub two hour half at Exeter two weeks ago, only to fall victim to a badly timed heavy cold, achieved her target here, finishing in 1.57.43.
ORC times: Paul Carter, 1.23.54; Andy Vernon, 1.29.28; Katie Littlejohns, 1.33.45 (PB); George Haskell, 1.35.23 (PB); Jean Paul Quertier; 1.38.05; Andrew Thorne, 1.39.41; Jason Ewing, 1.41.20; Jayne Peachey, 1.44.22 (PB); Ed Dumpleton, 1.45.34 (PB); John Binns, 1.45.53; Mike Westland, 1.46.48 (PB); Rebecca Ewing, 1.47.21; Keri Quertier, 1.47.21 (PB); Karen Vallance, 1.50.41; Jackie Dawes, 1.51.41 (PB); Abby Metherall, 1.52.17; Heather Richards, 1.54.51 (PB); Ged Fitzgibbon, 1.55.19 (PB); Heidi Wills, 1.57.39 (PB); Lucy Marrison, 1.57.39 (PB); Nicola Smith, 1.57.43 (PB); Roger Voaden 1.57.43; Caroline Willson, 2.01.07; Lucy Brint, 2.03.57 (PB); Viki Hayer, 2.06.53; Lotte Smith, 2.08.39; Derborah Cunningham, 2.11.47; Rachael Haydon, 2.13.37; Tracey Mills, 2.15.06; Rachel Holland, 2.15.06 (first half marathon, PB); Jo Burrow, 2.15.49 (first half marathon PB); Kerry Morashti, 2.25.06; Ruth Bushell, 2.25.06 (first half marathon PB); Claire Sprague, 2.29.23 (PB); Jane Richardson; 2.31.56 (first half marathon) Jessica Corcoran; 2.33.57.