A MOORLAND running race attracted more than 100 runers from the West Devon and Plymouth area to raise funds for the Fire Fighters Charity.

Princetown fireighters organised the 10km race last Thursday (September 21) from their fire station round a scenic route on Dartmoor. The first Fire Fighter Charity Dartmoor Run was so successful it will be staged again next year after raising more than £1,200 from 115 runners’ entry fees and income from refreshments.

Simon Wallace, Princetown Fire Station crew manager, said: “It was a fantastic event. We were delighted because it was more popular than we expected. We raised more than £1,200 and had 115 runners who completed the 10km course.We had so much positive and great feedback that it will definitely be happening again next year.”

The race avoided the rain which had poured down on and off all day and followed the old railway line which used to serve the mining industry.

Times reporter Guy Boswell took part and reports on his experience: “Getting stuck in rush hour traffic from Plymouth was not the ideal prep for a running race. A more calming pre-race period would have been better. Then it started raining, yet again!! But then I was due to run on Dartmoor — so what did I expect?! To be honest rain is not a problem in running for me. But wind is. And wind combined with rain is a real problem. But a soaking while running is no problem. However, stressing about being late, possibly missing the start and getting wet on top was not good for a good race.

“However, I love off-road races and especially in sceneic countryside. So, it was with relief I arrived with five minutes to spare at Princetown Fire Station where I was laughed at by a friend for being so late. I was pleased for the organisers because it was their first ever race and for a good cause. The Fire Fighters Charity supports all firefighters and their families and offers endless support and services in a sometimes stressful and dangerous job.

“I joined the starters who were mainly running club members in a return course along the very wide but tricky surface of the old railway line round King’s Tor.

“The sky was dramatic with rain clouds breaking to blue sky with shafts of sunlight showing off the dramatic landscape at its best. Mist lay in the valley down to the river which reflected the light from miles away.

“Concentration was vital because manmade chippings or the humps from the old sleepers lay in wait to trip up runners. The trickiest stretch was off the railway line downwards over embedded wet granite boulders. The runner in front almost fell twice, a warning, so I slowed. Most of the course was a slight uphill and I was pleased to finish, but with a smile.”