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.
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.
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.
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.
On the blustery evening of Saturday 5th December seven members of Bere Alston Trekkers (BATs) took part in two new events starting and finishing at the Burrator visitor centre.
The Burrator Noir is a tough 10 mile off-road race up onto the open Moor starting at the Burrator visitor centre and taking in some stunning terrain including Nuns Cross Farm, Eylesbarrow and Dittsworthy Warren.
The Burrator 10K is a fast, flat route that is almost all on tarmac, perfect for people not used to running off-road or anyone who just wants a night personal best (PB) on a quick course. It follows one complete loop of the reservoir and then 2/3rds of a second loop before finishing at exactly 10K right by HQ (the visitor centre).
Jennifer West was the only BAT to take part in the 10mile off road event, and finished in a time of 2hrs 7mins 36secs. The six BATs taking part in the 10k were Lisa Birch (54mins 44secs), Debbie Farmer (55mins 36secs), Laura Hogan (59mins 38secs), Cally Barnes (1hr 3mins 47secs), Hilary Head (1hr 14min 34secs) and Martin Head (51mins 46secs).
Night time flying Bats are pictured.
The Cornish Marathon is Cornwall’s only all road marathon. It began in 1987 and originally started out from Saltash following the A38 and A390 to Lostwithiel. Relocating to Rilla Mill, taking in much of the present route, it presented competitors with 3 miles of steady climbing from the start.
Changing to Pensilva, the event starts from Millenium House, a much gentler introduction to the scenic circular out and back route which takes runners along the Draynes Valley, through the ‘Poldark’ country of Bodmin Moor, past King Arthur’s legendary Dozmary Pool, Du Maurier’s Jamaica Inn at Bolventor and back along the Fowey Valley, taking in a climb to Foredown between miles 24 and 25, which most runners will remember for a long time, and not just for the fabulous views!
Taking part on Sunday were six super Bats who braved the torrential rain and strong winds to battle their way through in true Bat style to finish in fantastic times.
First Bat home and running an 18 minute personal best to finish well under 4 hours was Sally Dunn. Newest club member Chris Anthony was the first man home. The remaining four Bats also ran a great event and achieved marathon personal bests.
Team Bat – Cornish Marathon 2015 are pictured with their times: Dan Dooney 4.28.00, Chris Anthony 4.05.07, Sally Dunn 3.51.43, Mel Greaves 5.26.34, Fran Morgan 4.45.56 and Emma Dooney 4.28.00.
Big thanks go out to fellow Bats who went out to support runners throughout the course Pam, Janice, Julian, Tom and Julie.
Closer to home seven club members took part in the Plymouth 10k. This is a fast event and despite the blustery weather Bats ran their hearts out with Ben Neale achieving a personal best to finish 10th overall, Sam Lake ran a 2 minute personal best to finish 8th lady overall and 2nd in her age group, Steve Hill narrowly missed a personal best but finished 21st overall and 3rd in his age category. Lisa Birch and Hazel Bickley also ran PBs.
Team Bat – Plymouth 10k 2015 are pictured with their times: Ben Neale 35.47, Steve Hill 37.31, Samantha Lake 41.52, Lisa Birch 54.31 and Hazel Bickley 1.03.55. Not pictured Rebecca Mingo 49.35, Leigh Cossey-Haggar 49.54.
Taking part in The November Nightmare hosted by How Hard Can It Be events was lone Bat Paul Mingo. The Nightmare for Paul was 6 marathons in 6 days starting on 1st November and all ran through horrendous weather conditions.
The event is run over lapped two courses, which over the period of six days is hard going without having to negotiate pot holes, hills and bad weather.
The Lightmoor Course
The course follows the lane around Burroughs Bank and is a 0.84 mile loop. There are a couple of climbs, and a couple of descents. It is a mixture of tarmac and hard stone track.
The Coalport Course
The course follows the disused railway line to Bridgnorth and back. It is mostly hard stone track. This is a permissive track owned by The Wiley Estate and Apply Estate.
Digging deep and with real grit and determination Paul kept going to complete all 6 marathons, his magnificent finishing times are as follows: Day 1: 4.55.25, Day 2: 4.55.25, Day 3: 4.46.15, Day 4: 5.05.32, Day 5: 5.20.52 and Day 6: 5.18.15.
Paul is pictured at the finish wearing his medal and a smile.
Taking part in the Tavy 7 road race today was a good number of Bats.
Starting at Plasterdown the route is seven miles, out and back, of undulating and scenic moorland roads.
First Bat home, second overall and first in his age group was Ben Neale who makes a welcome return to running. Chris Anthony made his debut for the club and the first lady Bat across the line was Rachael Malthouse in a super time of 54.01. A special well done to Laura Newton who ran a six minute personal best.
Team Bat – Tavy 7 2015 are pictured with their times: Ben Neale 41.31 – second place and first in age group, Andrew Bowden 49.17, Chris Anthony 49.19, Murray 50.42, Matthew Luckham 57.27, Lisa Birch 1.01.04, Laura Newton 1.01.16, Julie Page 1.03.12, Laura Hogan1.04.43, Tobias Rankin 1.06.49, Kate Glanville 1.07.33, Alison Greaves 1.08.30 Natasha Ayres 1.09.49, Mel Greaves 1.12.29, Jo Vella 1.14.03, Cally Barnes, Sally Dixon and Hazel Bickley 1.14.15.
Also running at the weekend were Emma Dooney and Steve Hill who took part in the Dartmoor Vale. Steve finished the marathon in 3:01, a massive personal best of 23 minutes, 4th overall and 1st in his age category and Emma took three minutes off her 10k time to finish 4th in her age category in a time of 52.16.
Thousands of runners have taken part in the new Bristol-to-Bath marathon this weekend, four of them Bats.
The race started in Bristol city centre and took in the Portway and roads through Hanham, Bitton and Kelston before finishing in Royal Victoria Park, Bath.
Bats finishing times were Mike Smith (a personal best by 58 minutes) and Dave Adams 03.56.00, Pam Adams and Heather Smith 04.47.00 (a personal best by 7 mins for Heather).
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.