Bats Race Report – TurfNSurf

Five BATs crossed into Cornwall to take part in the second TurfNSurf race today, which is an 11 Mile trail run starting at Maker Camp, Millbrook.

The route takes in the fishing villages of Kingsand and Cawsand, Penlee Point, Rame chapel on the Rame Headland, and Whitsands beach before returning to Maker Camp via  Kingsand and Cawsand.  All terrains are in this race, cross country, tarmac through the villages, woodland paths, coastal paths, cliff climbs, farm tracks, and the highlight of the race is to beat the tide running for 2.5miles along Whitsands beach. On route there are wild dartmoor ponies, deer, and views across Plymouth Sound and the breakwater, unfortunately due to the weather the runners could not enjoy the spectacular views to the Mewstone, Eddystone, Looe and the Lizard along the way.

All Bats taking part ran great times and are pictured: Martin Head 2.16.33, Fran Morgan 2.22.00, Mel Greaves 2.38.15, Hilary Head and Lai-Yin Wong 3.05.35.

Team Bat - TurfNSurf 2015

Bats race round up – October 4th 2015

Bats – here, there and everywhere

Club members took part in three events over the weekend.

Locally eleven club members took part in the Armada Network Autumn Trail at Newnham Park hosted by kind permission of the Cobbold Family.

This eight mile undulating off-road event, with 4 river crossings, was run over the same course as the popular Frank Elford Sports Autumn Trail, which was last held in 2011. First BAT home and in 9th place overall, was Steve Hill in a time of 48:46, Jennifer West first lady BAT 1:09:31, whilst Pam Adams ran as rear sweeper.

Team Bat – Autumn Trail 2015 are pictured with their times. Steven Hill 0.48.46, Martin Head 1.05.30, David Adams, 1.07.47, Matt Luckham 1.07.47, Jennifer West 1.09.31, Lisa Birch 1.11.33, Fran Morgan 1.15.28, Kate Glanville 1.19.59, Phillip Adams 1.25.30, Hilary Head 1.40.37 and Pam Adams 1.45.24.

Further afield in North Devon, three Bats made their way to Barnstaple to take part in the half and full marathon.    Both routes are almost entirely flat making it a fast course with every possibility of a personal beest.

Both races start and finish at Rock Park in Barnstaple and head down Ladies mile onto the Tarka trail all the way to Fremington an onto main road all the way to Yelland from here runners head back to Barnstaple on the Tarka Trail and cross the old bridge and head onto the Strand where the race splits. The half marathoners head back to the finish and the full run all the way along the Strand to the Civic Centre car park where they accessed the Tarka trail again.

Next comes the exciting bit, running across the base at Chivenor! As runners enter the base they are confronted by 22 Squadron – The Wessex helicopters of the Search and Rescue team however, from here the route now becomes a lonely trek around the perimeter track. There are no spectators allowed on the base for obvious reasons but there are marshals, a water station, first aid and some snipers provided by the base. Apparently if runners drop below their goal speed the snipers will offer some encouragement……

All the way back to the park, it is a straight run in.

Team Bat – Barnstaple 2015 are pictured: (left to right) Julie Page 4.25.11 (full marathon), Laura Hogan 2.08.15  (half marathon) and Emma Dooney 4.25.10 (full marathon) and third in her age group – other finishing times not available at time of print.

Much further afield and way up north, two Bats took part in the Loch Ness Marathon. This marathon starts on the high ground between Fort Augustus and Foyers and drops down to the banks of Loch Ness at Foyers . From there, the route follows the loch’s south eastern shore, heading north east towards Dores on the northern tip of the loch. From Dores, the race heads directly into the centre of Inverness turning left over the main road bridge and left again for the last half mile along the River Ness to the finish at Bught Park in the centre of Inverness, the route offers great views.

Finishing 5th lady overall and with a new personal best of 3.02.47 was Rebecca Mingo.  Becky’s husband Paul also ran the event to finish in a time of 4.13.33.

Bats and the Treggy 7

Today saw a dozen Bere Alston Trekkers (BATs) head into Cornwall for the Treggy 7.

The race itself followed the same route as in previous years, starting in Launceston’s town square and taking in seven undulating miles of picturesque countryside, with a triumphant finish on the Castle Green.

Launceston Road Runners have a reputation for putting on this professional, well organised but above all, thoroughly enjoyable event and the atmosphere and buzz on this year’s Treggy 7 was no exception. First BAT home, and 17th overall was Steve Hill with Sally Dunn being first Lady BAT home – coincidentally both were 4th in their respective age categories and well done to Julia Page who ran a 4 minute personal best.

Some of Team Bat – Treggy 7 2015 are pictured: Steve Hill 43.31, Andrew Bowden 52.25, Sally Dunn 56.32, Julie Page 57.05, Martin Head 57.22, Emma Dooney 01.02.19, Fran Morgan 01.04.56, Ralph Elmes 01.07.03, Mel Greaves 01.09.45, Kate Glanville 01.11.40, Jo Vella 01.16.58 and Hilary Head 01.24.09.

Team Bat - Treggy 7

A big well done also to Murray Turner, Rachel Wood and Francis Dix who completed the 50+ mile pre-ambulation yesterday (Saturday 5th September), full race report and photographs to follow next week.

More Treggy 7 pics:








Bats take on the Rat!

Saturday 15th August saw a team of 12 Bere Alston Trekkers (Bats) took on the Mud Crew Roseland August Trail. The Races are named the Plague, Black, Red and White RAT. The Black Route 32 miles, The Red Route 22 miles, The White Route 11 miles and The Plague (green) 100K – 64 miles! The Plague starts and finishes in Porthpean and the other distances are all bussed to their start points to make their way back to Porthpean.

No matter the distance all races are extremely brutal, with steep ascents and descents, narrow paths, and hundreds of steep steps, each route the terrain getting harder the closer to the finish. Completing any distance is a challenge. Over 64 miles the Plague, runners gain approximately 10000 feet of ascent, half that for the Black RAT, 3500 on the Red RAT and 2100 feet on the White RAT.

Plague runners were – Francis Dix Who finished in 16.46.09, Murray Turner and Rachel wood both started the event but sadly had to retire for medical reasons. Rachel Wood after 2.32.19 and Murray, well past the half way point after 36 miles in 10.09.27. The plague is such a challenge that about 25% of all starters were unable to complete.

Sam Lake finished the Black RAT in 6.13.56 to become the 4th lady home. Sarah Cohen finished in 9.59.10.

Fran Morgan was the only BAT to take on the Red RAT, finishing in 5.13.14.

Matthew Head finished the white RAT in an incredible time of 1.38.06, in 10th position overall. Andy Bowden finished in 2.11.38, Martin Head in 2.17.30, Emma Dooney and Mel Greaves in 3.04.57 and Hilary Head in 3.35.14.

A massive well done to all Bats taking part in this tough event and on such a warm day.




Bats and the Totnes 10k

Last weekend a small colony Bats (Bere Alston Trekkers), made their way to the South Hams to take part in the Totnes 10k. This event follows a scenic route alongside the beautiful River Dart, on footpaths and bridle paths with a challenging hill in the latter stages. Bats are no strangers to this course with club members taking part over the last seven years.

First man home and making a welcome return from injury was Steve Hill and first lady was the fabulous Julie Page.

Team Bat – Totnes 10k are pictured with their finishing times: Steve Hill 41.06, Andrew Bowden 47.39, Julie Page 54.06, Emma Dooney 1.00.05, Fran Morgan 1.00.11, Simon Alford 1.04.51, Laura Hogan 1.05.27, Natasha Ayres 1.06.14, Mel Greaves 1.07.08, Alison Greaves 1.07.16 and Jade Alford 1.11.33.

Team Bat - Totnes 10k 2015

Bats race round up 18/19th July 2015

11 of the 79 senior teams taking part in the Tavistock Town Relays were made up of members of Bere Alston Trekkers (Bats).

With only seconds separating the teams crossing the line it was a very close finish for a number of teams.  First team home for the Bats were the 8 Deadly Shins who crossed the line in a combined team of 25.33, followed by Blazing Glory in 25.56.  First lady team home were the Blister Sisters in 31.16.

Well done to the other Bat teams: Mixed Double 28.07, We’re Sweaty And We Know It 29.32, Accel-Erators 31.19, Shake, Rattle & Run in 32.19, The Racing ‘Mammas’ 32.19, Pavement Princesses 33.04, The Dashing Divas 33.59, and The Over Active, Under Achievers 34.07.

Team Bat – Tavy Relay 2015 and supporters are pictured.

Team Bat - Tavy Town Relays 2015

Saturday 18th July was a busy time for Bats, with club members taking part in four events.

Paul Mingo, Sarah Cohen and Steve Barwis participated in the Dorset Invader Marathon in Rural Dorset.   It was the first ever running of the course which proved to be a particularly tough, primarily trail route in very hot conditions.

Paul Mingo finished in 5.32.03, Sarah Cohen in 5.55.12, sadly Steve Barwis was unable due to finish due to injury which occurred in the second half of the run.

Saturday afternoon Janice Fuller and Lisa Birch took part in the Masanga charity fell run which was an 8 mile route on Dartmoor starting at Cadover Bridge.  This was not a timed event and was about fun and to raising awareness of the charity.

Janice and Lisa are pictured cracking on across Dartmoor.

Masanga 2015 (1)

On Saturday evening lone Bat Andrew Bowden took part in the Haytor Heller.   The race started on Haytor and began with a sharp ascent, before heading out towards Hounds Tor. The terrain was rugged and comprised many tricky uphill and downhill sections. The uphill routes proved challenging for the runners who also had to deal with hot and humid conditions.  Andrew ran a great event to finish in 56.32.

Team Bat - Haytor Heller 2015

Much later in the evening, three members took part in the Dartmoor Search & Rescue Midnight Madness.  This circular route starts at Princetown Primary School and heads North West across North Hessary Tor and on to Check Point (CP) 1 at Little Mis Tor. The route then heads South to join the road for a short section from Four Winds, through CP2, before following the bridleway past Huckden Tor, Daveytown & Withill, before reaching CP3. The route then heads East to join the dismantled railway track near Ingra Tor then on to CP4. The home straight is then along the disused railway track, back to Princetown.  The total length of the route is approximately 16 kilometres.

Well done to Fran Morgan, Rachel Wood and Murray Turner who completed the course in just over two hours.

Dartmoor Midnight Madness

On Sunday 19th July, ten Bere Alston Trekkers (BATs) crossed the Tamar to participate in the Magnificent 7. This is a challenging seven mile road run starting from and finishing in at Saltash in Cornwall, organised by the Tamar Trotters.  The 7 mile race follows a tough, well marshalled course through country lanes with good views over the Tamar Estuary, it is by no means easy, but allegedly all participants enjoy it! First BAT home was Matthew Head (49.30) followed by Andrew Bowden (53.56) and the lady BATs were led in by Julie Page and Sally Dunn (57.32).

The finishing times were. Matthew Head 49.30, Andrew Bowden 53.56, Julie Page 57.32, Sally Dunn 57.32, Martin Head 01.02.30, Emma Dooney 01.07.40, Fran Morgan 01.07.52, Mel Greaves 01.13.19, Jo Vella 01.18.57 and Hilary Head 01.25.21.

Team Bat - Mag 7 2015


Masanga 2015 (2)







Bats race round-up

On Sunday 5th July, Bere Alston Trekkers (BATs) took part in 6 Moor Miles. Organised by Plymouth Harriers.

The race provides a unique opportunity to run a one lap course of approximately 6 miles, in the picturesque surroundings of the Maristow Estate, across open moorland on a well marshalled course. The race started (and for the front runners finished) in warm and dry conditions, but then the heavens opened and heavy rain, hail and thunder spurred the remaining runners onto the finish and to seek some shelter.

In spite of the conditions a number of BATs secured PBs.  Making their club vest debut were two of the clubs newest members Simon Glossop and Sally Dickson, both running great times.  First male BAT home was Matthew Head followed closely by Francis Dix and Sally Dunn led ladies in with Julie Page not far behind her.

BATs would like to express their gratitude to the race officials and Marshalls from Plymouth Harriers who stood by their posts as the rain (and hail) came down.

Team Bat – Six Moor Miles are pictured with their finishing times: Matthew Head 47.27, Francis Dix 48.59, Sally Dunn 54.15, Julie Page 54.31, Martin Head 56.52, Matt Luckham 57.16, Jenny West 57.31, Laura Newton 01.00.42, Lisa Birch 01.01.00, Kate Glanville 01.06.57, Alison Greaves 01.06.59, Julian Setterington        01.07.11, Jane Page 01.07.18, Laura Hogan 01.07.31, Mel Greaves 01.08.57, Natasha Ayres 01.10.49, Sally Dickson 01.12.06, Jo Vella 01.12.11, Simon Glossop 01.12.11, Hazel Bickley 01.14.48, Cally Barnes 01.14.49, Jo Bourton 01.19.09 and Hilary Head 01.20.34. (More pics are at the bottom of the page).

Team Bat - Six Moor Miles 2015

On Wednesday 8th July four club members took part in the 4th of the Armada 5k summer season organised by the Armada Athletic Network. This is a multi-terrain run over a circular course with a fast downhill start and finish in Saltram Park. It was a warm and dry evening in which the first BAT home in 20th place overall and a time of 19:45 was Matthew Head, followed by Francis Dix in a time of 21:24, Martin Head 25:54 and Hilary Head 32:27. The next event of the series is on the 19th August at 19:00 with registration on the day up to 18:45. It is an event which is open to club members and non-club members of all abilities and ages.

Saturday 12th July saw 11 club members take part in the Plymstock Road Runners “Muddy Duck”. This is also a multi-terrain event, formerly called Duckponds, which has been extended to 9.5k for this its 10th Anniversary and included four water crossings and a number of short but very sharp climbs over 2 figure 8 loops around Roadford Park in Plymstock.

First male BAT was Andrew Bowden (41:35) and first female BAT and winner of the FV45 category was Julie Page (44:53). The pictured BATs and their times were Andrew Bowden 41:35, Julie Page 44:53, Sally Dunn 46:18, Matthew Head 46:18, Jennifer West 47:55, Martin Head 48:41, Matthew Luckham 48:49, Laura Hogan 55:18, Kate Glanville 55:39, Mel Greaves 55:59 and Hilary Head 1:05:27.

Team Bat - Duckponds 2015

Also at the weekend, two stalwart club members took part in the Ham & Lyme 50k.  The Ham & Lyme race take in the stunning Liberty Trail, which runs from Ham Hill Country Park in Somerset to Lyme Regis in Dorset, taking in some fabulous locations along the way, including the beautiful grounds of Forde Abbey, the enchanting Wayford Woods, the breath-taking panoramas from Lambert’s Castle and a number of pretty villages, before descending to wonderful Lyme Regis with its famous Cobb.  Runners followed in the footsteps of villagers who walked down towards the sea to join the Monmouth Rebellion in 1685.

Murray Turner and Rachel Wood tackled the event together to finish in a fantastic time of 7:37:45.

Bats will next be running at this week’s Tavy Town Relays.

Bats Club Trip 2015 (+ Snowdonia & Burrator)

This weekend it was time for a large colony of Bere Alston Trekkers (Bats) to pack their overnight bags and head to Petersfield for this year’s club trip.  The event this year was the South Downs Half and Full Marathon.

The South Downs Marathon is a scenic point to point race over the beautiful South Downs.  The South Downs Marathon has its 10th Anniversary in 2015 and is now a classic trail run from Slindon College, through the Slindon estate to join the South Downs Way at Bignor Hill. From her it heads west to finish at the bottom of Butser Hill in Queen Elizabeth Country Park for the classic marathon distance 26.2 miles.

The South Downs Half Marathon was launched in 2012 to offer a shorter trail race to the Marathon.  Traditionally the route has started with a stiff climb up Butser Hill however, the route ran from the village of Chalton up on to the South Downs Way to accommodate the Ditcham School mountain bike event.  From there runners followed the Sussex Border Path from the railway bridge at Woodcroft Farm up to the South Downs Way. This brought runners out further East on the South Downs Way than before so they had a longer run back to the joint finishing line.  It has to be said that neither of these courses were easy with both including steep hill climbs and descents, stony tracks and runner made tracks through the hay fields.

Taking part in the full marathon were nine members of the club, with four running the distance for the first time.  First home for the Bats were Sam Lake who was also second lady overall and her running buddie Steve Hill to finish together in a time of 3.46.07. Jenny West ran her first marathon for the club to finish in a great time of 04.52.29.  Julie Page, Mel Greaves and Emma Dooney also ran their first marathon.

For the half marathon, first male Bat home was Phil King who ran a great off road event and was chased across the line by Dave Adams.  Club veteran Ralph Elmes was the next man home and finished third in his age group.  Lisa Birch was the first lady Bat home.  Stew Barwis made his debut for the club and a special well done to Philip Adams who ran his first ever half marathon to finish third in his age group.

Team Bat South Downs Trail Half & Full Marathon are pictured with their finishing times: Full Marathon: Steven Hill 03.46.07; Samantha Lake 03.46.07; Francis Dix 04.26.36; Jennifer West 04.52.29; Matthew Luckham 04.53.42; Julie Page 05.15.59; Sarah Cohen 05.30.05; Melanie Greaves 05.58.36 and Emma Dooney 05.58.36.

South Down Trail 2015 (8)

Half Marathon: Philip King 02.04.26; David Adams 02.05.15; Ralph Elmes 02.14.29; Lisa Birch 02.16.35; Andy Cowden 02.16.37; Marcia Macey 02.19.24; Pam Adams 02.28.58; Mike Smith 02.30.05; Heather Smith 02.30.06; Natasha Ayres 02.31.32; Alison Greaves 02.35.57; Janice Fuller 02.41.02; Philip Adams 02.41.02; Steve Barwis 02.45.42; Jade Alford 02.47.12; Lai-Yin Wong 02.51.51; Jo Bourton 02.57.32 and Jo Vella 02.57.32.

South Down Trail 2015 (10)

As is often the way with the Bats, many ran together in pairs and crossed the line hand in hand and as they finished the usual clapping and screaming support of the team formed at the finish and waited until the last Bat cross the line some six hours after the starting horn sharing hugs and tears of a job very well done.  Here is the whole team 🙂

South Down Trail 2015 (6)

Also as the weekend lone Bat, Fran Morgan made her way to the foothills of Snowdonia to finish the mountain trail marathon in a great time of 6 hours 16.

Team Bat - Snowdonia Trail 2015

Closer to home a team of five Bats took part in the Burrator Horse Shoe which is a 7 mile moorland run from Meavy and out over Dartmoor, via Burrator Reservoir, Sheepstor Dam, Sheepstor Summit (369m), Guttor Tor Summit (357m), Ringmoor Down and Meavy River Ford which is often knee deep.

Team Bat Burrator Horseshoe 2015 are pictured with their times: Laurence Sargeant 01.00.30; Christine Le Flem 1.05.16; Paul Mingo 01.13.00; Kate Glanville 01.13.42 and Nicky Edmunds 01.14.13.

Team Bat - Burrator Horseshoe 2015 (1)

….and here are some shots of our club trip (all pics can be found on our Facebook page):








Bats – Race reports (from another busy week)

Bats have taken part in a number of events over the past week.

The toughest event has to be the SDW100 which is a 100 mile continuous point to point trail race along the South Downs Way, from Winchester to Eastbourne. The race began at 0600 on Saturday 13th June 2015 and runners must reach the finish line in Eastbourne within 30 hours or by noon on Sunday 14th June to be recognised as an official finisher. There are further cut offs on route.

The South Downs Way crosses a huge range of terrain types and underfoot conditions vary greatly. The Downs are primarily composed of chalk, which tends to mean the trail is dry and usable year round, but also means the trail is very rough in places with a lot of loose stones and rocks. At times the SDW becomes dirt road, woodland tracks, rocky chalk ascents and descents, grass, mud or in places tarmac. The South Downs are one of the warmest and driest parts of the UK, but they are exposed, sitting high above the surrounding countryside, looking down across the coastline and English Channel in various places. It is therefore relatively easy to spot weather coming from any distance, but runners will be exposed both to whatever weather conditions prevail on the day as well as potentially very high winds. The winds commonly prevail from the West which will assist runners in their direction of travel. It is always possible that the wind may be blowing from any other direction which will hinder progress at certain spots.

Taking part in this really tough event was lone Bat Rachel Wood. Rachel was supported by her crew (Team Weird Chicken), Gilly Champion and club member Murray Turner who kept the rest of the club updated with Rachel’s progress as she made her way across the Downs. Rachel finished in a truly fantastic time of 25.02.37 and has earnt herself the name ‘The Legend’ from fellow team mates who are totally in awe of her fantastic achievement, well done Rachel.

Rachel is pictured with Murray at Devils Dyke.

On Wednesday 10th June, on a glorious summers evening, 3 Bere Alston Trekkers (BATs) took part in the third of Armada Athletic Networks 5k series in the Grounds of Saltram House. This a multi-terrain 5k suitable for all abilities of runner, held on the second Wednesday of the month.

Martin Head 24.54 (PB); Matthew Luckham 26.00 and Hilary Head 33.25 (PB)

On Sunday 13th June, a humid morning saw 15 Bere Alston Trekkers (BATs) take on the Plym Valley Challenge. Organised by Instinctive Sports this is a multi-terrain run of 7 country miles within Plym Bridge woods on rough ground with uneven steps and a steep slope.

The start and finish is at Tor Bridge High, Estover. The route follows old tram tracks and logging tracks out to Hatshill Wood, below Bickleigh Village and then returns along the river valley navigating two disused rail bridges. There is then a short run along the old canal before turning right over Plym Bridge back into the woods and then the climb back up the hill to return to Tor Bridge High. A number of BATs recorded personal bests. First male Bat home and eighth overall was Steve Hill and first lady Bat was Julie Page who also finished first in her age group for the second time this summer.

Steve Hill 0.50.42; Julie Page 1.04.53; Sally Dunn 1.08.33; Martin Head 1.08.33; Emma Dooney 1.13.13; Matthew Luckham 1.17.00; Tobias Rankin 1.17.00; Frances Morgan 1.17.47; Kate Glanville 1.20.53; Natasha Ayres 1.23.41; Alison Greaves 1.23.41; Mel Greaves 1.23.41; Christine Le Flem 1.29.40; Jo Vella 1.29.40 and Hilary Head 1.41.01.

Running the Potters ‘Arf Marathon was the clubs Bat ‘up North, Andy Cowden who finished in a time of 1.59.57 and Nicky Edmunds who completed the Swansea Half Marathon in 2.21.00.

Bats will next be running at next weekends South Downs Trail Half and Full marathon which is this years club trip.

Centurion 100 - Start(3) Centurion 100 - Start(2) Team Bat - Potters 'Arf 2015 Team Bat - Swansea Half 2015