Solo Bat at Hameldown Hammer

The Hameldown Hammer is a tough, challenging trail race, designed to be a serious test of endurance. The race start and finish was  in the village of Widecombe-In-The-Moor, at the foot of the Hameldown ‘massif’ and surrounded by some of Dartmoor’s most iconic granite tors. The Hammer has a total ascent of over 600m, is 98% trail, over a series of well defined, grassy, rocky, sometimes muddy tracks and through forestry glades. Most significantly, there is a double ascent of the Hameldown Ridge. Solo BAT Chris Anthony flew well to finish in an unofficial time of 2:11:24.

Bats at Brighton

Three BATs ventured further afield this weekend to run the popular Brighton half marathon, accompanied by two former BATs. One of the first city half marathons on the race calendar entered by over 13,000 runners, this is a beautiful seafront course. The race starts by heading north onto the cliff tops then back west with panoramic views towards Brighton. Running past both piers, into Hove, back along the seafront and beach huts to finish between the marina and the pier. BATs enjoyed the near perfect weather conditions and great entertainment around the course to deliver good times all round: Dave Adams 1:42:00, Mike Smith 1:45:00, Lisa Birch with a PB of 1.54.15, Pam Adams 2:08:56 and Heather Smith 2:08:56.

Brighton Feb16


Bats trio go hillish and hellish

A team of three Bere Alston Trekkers, crossed the Tamar, to take part in the Looe 10 on Sunday 27th February which is organised by the Looe Pioneers running club. The course heads west from Looe, to Talland, broadly following the line of the Coastal Path. Down through Talland then inland towards Sclerder (via a Monastery, for those in needs of higher assistance), the route returns across West Looe Downs. The race has a total climb of 438m or 1437ft. So all the hill-work training by the BATs, in both the Tamar & Tavy valleys was all of benefit.

The three BATS, Mel Greaves, Laura Hogan & Julian Setterington finished the race together in an unofficial time of 1hr 53 min 37 sec.

Looe Hellish Hillish Feb16

Bats and the January Jaunt

Each year, Plymouth Round Table organises two 10Km runs, one in January (January Jaunt) and the other in March (Mad March Hare), both in aid of local charities, and with every penny raised being used for these good causes.

This year’s January Jaunt saw a capacity field of 500 runners taking on the out and back route through Saltram from the start (and finish) at the Plymouth Speedway track, St. Boniface Arena in Plympton.

Entries range from affiliated club runners to casual entries, and included 10 Bere Alston Trekkers (BATs). First male BAT home was Martin Head (51.51) and first lady BAT was Laura Newton (56.15). The sister event, The Mad March Hare, will be held on Sunday 20th March.

Team Bat – January Jaunt are pictured with their provisional times. Martin Head 51.52, Laura Newton 56.15, Julie Page 56.59, Lisa Birch 56.59, Laura Hogan 58.15, Alison Greaves 1.00.17, Mel Greaves 1.01.29, Natasha Ayres 1.04.01, Jade Alford 1.05.21, Julian Setterington 1.05.21 and Hilary Head 1.18.25.

BATs January Jaunt 2016

Bats Race Report – Plym Valley Challenge

14 Bere Alston Trekkers (Bats) took part in the Plym Valley Challenge earlier this month, which forms part of the clubs Grand Prix.

The Plym Valley is a multi-terrain course over 8.2 miles.  Which starts from Tor Bridge High in Estover.  The course goes out to Plym Bridge Road and Wrigleys into the beautiful Plym Bridge woods where runners follow old tram tracks and logging tracks out to Hatshill Wood, below Bickleigh Village and then return along the river valley navigating 2 disused rail bridges. Runners then run along the old canal before turning right over Plym Bridge and then back into the woods and up the hill returning to Tor Bridge High.  Although the recent dry weather mad the ground hard some parts were still wet and muddy and the course does have a couple of hard climbs to negotiate.

First lady Bat home and first in her age group was Sam Lake who was running the course for the first time, first male Bat home was Laurence Sargeant.  Making her debut for the club was Nicky Edmunds.

Team Bat – Plym Valley Challenge 2014 are pictured with their times: Sam Lake 1:04:51, Laurence Sargeant 1:06:53, Sally Dunn 1:09:12, Philip King 1:09:20, Derek Hicks 1:13:43, Jenny West 1:15:31, Martin Head 1:18:10, Becky Rankin 1.24.18, Emma Dooney 1.24.18, Nicky Edmunds 1.27.19 Kate Glanville 1.28.37, Jo Vella 1.32.43, Mel Greaves 1.35.58 and Hilary Head 1.53.47.

Team Bat Plym Valley 2014
Team Bat Plym Valley 2014

Bats will next be flying at this Saturday’s Wales Trail half and full marathon which is the club trip for 2014.



Bats Race Report – Dartmoor Discovery

After six months hard training the day to put everything learnt to the test was finally here.  Saturday June 7th was the date for the 32 mile Dartmoor Discovery Ultrathon.

This road race starts in Princetown, and follows a route passing through Dartmeet, Poundsgate, Newbridge, Ashburton, Buckland in the Moor, Widecombe in the Moor, and Postbridge, before making its way back to finish in Princetown.

Runners experience everything Dartmoor can offer, from stunning views, beautiful scenery, wild ponies, unpredictable weather which this year included heavy downpours and hot sunshine and of course those infamous hills! This is a really tough course which tests runners  both mentally and physically.

Taking part in this tough event were 11 Bats, 5 making their Discovery debut.  First male Bat home and achieving a course personal best was Steve Watson who ran a brilliant race, first lady Bat and third lady overall was Rebecca Mingo.  Sarah Burns who was running for her second claim club, the Mud Crew, finished second lady overall.  Other personal bests were achieved by Dotty King, Rachel Wood and Murray Turner.

A massive well done has to be said to Dotty, Rachel and Rebecca who scooped the 1st ladies team prize.

Support for Team Bat was provided around the entire course by other club members who gave up their time to come along and clap and cheer their team mates on, which was most appreciated.  A special well done must also be said to the support vehicle crew who stayed with Team Bat through the entire six hours they were out providing food, hydration, dry clothes and shoes and all round super support, Phil and Steve King and George Allan.

Team Bat Dartmoor Discovery 2014 are pictured:  (back row) Paul Mingo 5.55.33, Steve Watson 4.32.23 (PB), Alen Guy 6.03.30, John Eatly 6.12.19 and Francis Dix 5.32.49.  (front row) Rachel Wood 5.56.54 (PB), Murray Turner 5.31.01 (PB), Rebecca Mingo 4.37.50, Dotty King 5.52.08 (PB), Sarah Burns 4.18.57 and Nathan Newton 5.25.50.

Team Bat - Dartmoor Discovery 2014Team Bat – Dartmoor Discovery 2014
 Dartmoor Discovery 2014 - 1st ladies team prize winnersDartmoor Discovery 2014 – 1st ladies team prize winners (Rachel, Dotty and Rebecca)

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Bats Race Report – Muskie Madness & Copenhagen Marathon

Members of Bere Alston Trekkers (Bats) took part in the Muskie Madness which was held on Saturday evening and forms part of this year’s Grand Prix.The Muskie Madness is 5.5 miles of undulating multi-terrain taking runners through Ham Woods which after the day’s heavy downpours was wet and muddy underfoot but nevertheless there were long stretches of downhill and flat making the course a fast one.

With the exception of Mel Greaves, who ran an event personal best, all Bats taking part were running the event for the first time.  First Bat home and first in her age group was Sam Lake, first male Bat home was Alen Guy.  Second in their age groups were Sally Dunn and Derek Hicks and all Bats finished in the hour. 

Team Bat – Muskie Madness 2014 are pictured with their finishing times: Sam Lake 42.39, Alen Guy 44.25, Sally Dunn 45.13, Rob Gualtieri 45.40, Julie Page 45.52, Derek Hicks 46.17, Phil King 46.58, Toby Rankin 48.22, Dotty King 52.00, Claire Whitaker 53.29, Jo Vella 59.50, Mel Greaves 1.00.01 and Ali Greaves 01.00.07.

Team Bat Muskie Madness 2014
Team Bat Muskie Madness 2014

Earlier in the month and making her club debut was Jacqui Stokes who was one of the 12,000 runners that took part in the Copenhagen Marathon.  

It is estimated that approximately 60 percent of all participants of this marathon reside outside the city of Copenhagen, while about 20 percent are from abroad. A record total of 65 countries were represented which is more than ever before and the club is very proud to have one of its members proudly wearing a vest in this event.

The Nykredit Copenhagen Marathon course comes out in almost all parts of Inner Copenhagen. Runners can look forward to a 42,195 km run from Islands Brygge, into the city centre through the three main areas of the city – the fashionable Østerbro, the multicultural Nørrebro and the hip Vesterbro – before they return to the finish line at the harbour front.

Jacqui ran a great race and finished in a time of 4.06.35 and is pictured running strong.

Team Bat - Copenhagen Marathon 2014


Bats Race Report – Imerys 2014

Members of Bere Alston Trekkers (Bats) took part in both the Imerys full and half marathon last weekend in St Austell.

The Imerys Trail Marathon offers a unique experience to runners. For one day only, the land of Cornwall’s China Clay Industry are open to the public and the operational working sites along with land which has been regenerated from the industrial past provides a challenging and spectacular course. With only short sections of road, this multi terrain route takes runners on sand roads which will leaves them thinking they have been on the moon! Together with private farm land and picturesque tracks and trails, the course also offers stunning vistas of Cornwall’s countryside and coastline at its very best.

Along with the bumpy tracks, multitude of steep hills and open white clay paths the heat of the sun made the event very hard for all 284 taking part on a course which offered no shade.  The split between the two distances was 110 for the marathon and 174 for the half.

Nine Bats took part in the half marathon with Philip King making his distance debut and finishing in a great time.  Mike Smith was the first man home with Pam Adams and Heather Smith running together to be the first ladies home, (the Imerys marked the 30th half marathon for Pam).

For the marathon, Murray Turner was the first Bat home with Rachel Wood and Dotty King being the first ladies.  Rachel and Fran Morgan were making their marathon debut.

Team Bat Imerys 2014 are pictured with their times.  Half marathon: Mike Smith 01.58.29, Dave Adams 02.02.03, Philip King 02.06.24, Grant Lawrence 02.17.00, Martin Head 02.19.58, Pam Adams 02.28.59, Heather Smith 02.28.59, Sarah Cohen 02.32.37 and Hilary Head 03.24.35.

Full marathon: Murray Turner 04.15.52, Paul Mingo 04.59.56, Rachel Wood 05.19.59, Dotty King 05.19.59 and Fran Morgan 05.32.42.

Bats will next be flying at next week’s Muskie Madness which is a club grand prix event.

Team Bat - IMERYS 2014
Team Bat – IMERYS 2014


Bats Race Report – Haldon Heartbeat & Plymouth Half 2014

This weekend has been one of the busiest for Bere Alston Trekkers (Bats) with over 50 of the clubs group members taking part in runs.

The first event of the weekend was the Haldon Heartbeat.  The Heartbeat starts at Exeter racecourse and heads out into the woods via a short section of country lane.  Once in the woods the course uses a section of forest road before joining a grassy gallop stretch. This leads onto another section of downhill forest road before heading up into private heath land. Runners rejoin the Forestry Commission land and climb uphill on grassy trails then head back onto the gallop stretch for the long run home. Finish is back at the Racecourse – distance is around 8 miles.

First male Bat home and with his legs still full of the London Marathon was Mike Smith who was chased home by Matt Luckham.  First lady Bat home was Sally Dunn who ran a great event.  A big well done must be said to Fruit Bat Dan Luckham who finished second in the Haldon two mile junior race, with a first mile personal best of 6.55.

Team Bat – Haldon Heartbeat 2014 are pictured (left to right): Sally Dunn 1.13.09; Emma Dooney 1.22.02; Hilary Head 1.59.45; Martin Head 1.20.12; Mike Smith 1.09.13; Sophie Jury 1.31.49; Sarah Cohen 1.27.06; Heather Smith 1.28.11 and Matt Luckham 1.10.48.

Team Bat - Haldon Heartbeat 2014
Team Bat – Haldon Heartbeat 2014
Team Bat - Haldon Heartbeat 2014 (junior)
Team Bat – Haldon Heartbeat 2014 (junior)

The second event of the weekend was the Plymouth Half Marathon which is a traffic-free road race set in the heart of Plymouth. Runners once again gathered on the Hoe to start their 13.1mile journey around Plymouth.  The run starts on the Promenade, running along the seafront to the Barbican. As the route wraps around the harbour, runners will follow a flat, straight course along Gdynia Way, crossing Laira Bridge and home to the finish.

The weather for this event was wet and blowy but all Bats put in their hard training into place and ran a great event.  First male Bat home was Ben Neale who ran an absolutely brilliant time of 01.20.13 and finished 16th overall out of a field of 4,287.   First lady Bat home and third lady overall was Rebecca Mingo who ran another great time, Rebecca was quickly followed by team mate Sarah Burns.

A number of Bats were making their half marathon debut for the club with some raising money for CHICKS and Tavistock League of Friends.  Lai-Yin Wong Brooks was making her race debut for the club.  Other notable times were run by Stuart Medhurst and Christine Le Flem who was first in her age group.

Some of Team Bat – Plymouth Half Marathon 2014 are pictured.  Times as follows:  Ben Neale 01.20.13; Rebecca Mingo 01.28.30; Stuart Medhurst 01.28.31; Sarah Burns 01.29.52; Tracey Oxborough 01.45.01; Eunice Moule 01.50.36; Christine Le Flem 01.52.33; Paul Mingo 01.55.41; Robert Moule 01.55.45; Lisa Birch 01.57.32; Sam Lake 02.07.49; Mary Barratt 02.09.11; Lai-Yin Wong Brooks 02.13.16; Hazel Bickley 02.20.44; Cally Barnes 02.20.44; Alison Greaves 02.22.25 and Jo Vella 02.28.35.

Team Bat - Plymouth Half 2014
Team Bat – Plymouth Half 2014

Also taking part and running their first half were four of the Saturday Ladies (track session) who were raising money for CLICK Sargeant.  The team are pictured (left to right): Sarah Roberts 02.21.19 Jessica Burbage 02.21.17; Nicky Edmunds 02.12.02 and Helen Quinn 02.42.20.

Team Saturday Ladies - Plymouth Half 2014
Team Saturday Ladies – Plymouth Half 2014

The third event was the Abbots Bromley 10k where lone Bat, Philip King ran a great time of 49.27.

Team Bat - Abbots Bromley 10k 2014

The final event of the busy weekend saw 17 runners running the Bere Pen 10k route in lieu of next week’s road race hosted by the club where Bats will next be flying.

Bats race report – London Marathon 2014

Five Bere Alston Trekkers (Bats) joined the thousands taking to the streets of London to be part of this year’s London Marathon.  As is often the way with London, following a winter of training in the wet and cold Marathon day turned out to be very hot with runners of all abilities struggling in the heat.

The five Bats taking part were all running the event for the first time.  First Bat home was Sarah Burns who ran a great time of 3.02.00.  Next home was Toby Rankin who was running his second marathon.  Toby was running to raise money for Medecins Sans Frontieres/ Doctors Without Borders and ran a distance personal best.  The next home were husband and wife team Mike and Heather Smith who were running to raise money for the befriending service provided by TASS in Tavistock.  Leisa Copper was the final Bat home.

Team Bat – London Marathon 2014 are pictured (left to right) Toby Rankin 4.23.50, Mike and Heather Smith 4.54.59.  Not pictured Sarah 3.02.00 and Leisa Copper 5.02.54.

Team Bat - London Marathon 2014
Team Bat – London Marathon 2014