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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 🙂
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.
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.
….and here are some shots of our club trip (all pics can be found on our Facebook page):
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.
Saturday 6th June was time for three members of Bere Alston Trekkers (Bats) to take part in the annual Dartmoor Discovery (DD) road race hosted by Teignbridge Trotters.
This 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.
Running for the club and making their DD debut were Samantha Lake who finished third female overall and second in her group in a great time of 4 hours 36 minutes and Steve Hill who despite encountering some problems still managed to finish in a great time of 5.30.38. Returning again this year was one of the clubs long distance stalwart runners, Paul Mingo who finished in 6.14.43.
A big thank you is also extended to the support from the club members, families and friends all around the course.
A large group of BATs entered the Musky Madness race in Plymouth on Saturday 23rd May. Described by the course organisers as a 5.5 mile multi-terrain undulating course on woodland track, riverside path and roadside pavement, the course was described by entrants as too hilly and too hot!
Unfortunately, due to problems with signage being changed by the local children, a number of runners went the wrong route either adding extra distance, or reducing the course distance. As such no official times were recorded.
Despite the confusion though, Julie Paige won 1st Female in the over 45 category with a time of 46.11 and Christine Le Flem won first lady in 65+ age group completing the course in 51.02.
Other results were (unofficial times based on own timings and estimates): Andy Bowden 36.44 (Short route), Sally Dunn 47.21 (Long route), Martin Head 49.21, Jennifer West 49.43, Laura Newton 50.22, Lisa Birch 51.06, Emma Dooney 51.12, Janice Fuller 56.20, Sarah Cohen 57.20, Natasha Ayres 57.27, Mel Greaves 57.35, Laura Hogan 57.55, Alison Greaves 58.02, Hazel Bickley 1.03.15, Cally Barnes 1.03.15, Jo Vella 1.03.49 and Hilary Head 1.09.43.
A number of Bere Alston Trekkers ventured to St Austell to undertake the Imerys Trail Marathon and half marathon in near perfect weather conditions.
For one day only, the land of Cornwall’s China Clay Industry is open for a unique running experience. The operational working sites along with land which has been regenerated from the industrial past provides a challenging and spectacular course, this multi terrain route will leaves runners thinking they have been on the moon!
Completing the Marathon course were Steve Hill in an incredible time of 3.37.18 and Paul Mingo in 4.55.11 knocking 4 minutes 45 seconds off last years’ time.
The half Marathon was completed by Murray Turner 1.45.42 for a great start to his 2015 season, Jason Burns 2.00.02, Jennifer West 2.00.41, Martin Head 2.08.30, a course PB being 11.28 faster than 2014, Sarah Cohen 2.28.03 another course PB reducing the 2014 time by 4.34, Emma Dooney 2.37.01, Kate Glanville 2.37.02, Mel Greaves 2.37.09 and Hillary Head 3.03.30 a course PB by an astounding 20.05!
Team Bat – Imerys 2015 are pictured.
Bats took part in two other half marathons this weekend. Andy Bowden ran the Chester Half Marathon. This race starts at the Racecourse and after meandering through the stunning Cheshire countryside, the runners headed back into the city, to be greeted by massive crowds who greeted the runners along the finishing straight outside Town Hall. Andy finished in a respectable time of 1.45.50.
The other was Matthew Head who ran the Southampton Athletics Club Netley 10k which is an almost flat course beside the Solent. Matthew ran an unofficial gun time of 41:41 which was a personal best of nearly 5 minutes against the Bere Pen 10k.
Last weekend was a busy weekend for Bere Alston Trekkers (Bats) with members taking part in four events.
The first one was the Haldon Heartbeat with 5 members heading to Exeter Racecourse to run the 66 furlong or 8.25 miles event which was a scenic undulating run through Harcombe forest, on a sunny but very windy day. Mud was lacking due to the dry weather which assisted new club member Andy Bowden who was odds on favourite to lead the club home in a cracking time of 1.12.03. Martin Head cantered in closely behind with a personal best of 1.13.12, Jennifer West in 1.15.27, Sarah Cohen trotted in at 1.30.06 with Hillary Head being the dark horse of the day, galloping round in an outstanding time of 1.43.17 knocking an incredible 16.28 of last years’ time.
The second event of the weekend was the annual Plymouth Half Marathon. Plymouth’s half marathon, 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.
First Bat male home was Ben Neale who finished ninth overall and ran a course best. First lady Bat home and third lady overall was Rebecca Mingo who also ran a personal best.
A big well done to Jade and Simon Alford who were running their first half marathon and ran for their chosen of Bliss and did exceptionally well. Other first timers for a half marathon were Laura Hogan and Laura Newton. There were also a number of personal bests including Mel Greaves, Lisa Birch, Natasha Ayres, Ben Neale, Alysia Maciejowska and Steve Hill.
Some of Team Bat – Plymouth Half Marathon 2015 are pictured with their times: Ben Neale 01.18.35; Steven Hill 01.24.03; Rebecca Mingo 01.27.22; Stuart Medhurst 01.36.38; Chris Malthouse 01.46.05; Sally Dunn 01.47.04; Leigh Cossey-Haggar 01.50.50; Lisa Birch 01.57.07; Natasha Ayres 02.04.34; Fran Morgan 02.05.18; Laura Newton 02.06.03; Alysia Maciejowska 02.07.33; Tobias Rankin 02.09.42; Nicky Edmunds 02.13.46; Alison Greaves 02.15.38; Laura Hogan 02.20.53; Jane Page 02.20.53; Emma Dooney 02.21.21; Melanie Greaves 02.21.22; Hazel Bickley 02.21.28; Jade & Simon Alford 02.21.39.
The final event of the weekend was the Honiton Hippo which is a tough multi-terrain race with roughly seven and a half miles of mud, sweat and hills.
From the start runners headed down a tarmac hill but it was not too long till they turned off into the woods onto a path which was undulating, muddy and littered with logs to jump over. Once out of the woods it was back onto the highway, heading down a steep descent, then it was a sharp right all the way back up through private woodland, walking was the only option on the menu for some at this point, the path consisted of a near vertical 4×4 track with ruts filled with stones and then it was time for the first river crossing, which had a piece of scaffolding and some netting across it and it was time to get on their hands and knees and crawl through under the netting and through the water which was shoulder deep for some.
Runners were then wet and muddy but just around the corner was the biggest puddle ever, which was waist deep. The route continued through the woods and fields, an equestrian centre, a farmyard and then some tarmac. At mile seven it was time for the final river crossing which had a rope to drag you across with, once up onto the muddy bank it was through the field and back up the hill to the school to the finish line.
Running as one group the team finished in a time of 1.56.15 which was a 15 minute personal on last years’ time. Team Bat – Honiton Hippo were: Julie Page; Phil King; Andy Bowden; Martin Head; Dotty King; Hilary Head, Jenny West; Kate Glanville; Sarah Cohen and Jo Bourton.
Team Bat – Honiton Hippo 2015 are pictured.
Good luck to all London Marathon runners for next weekend, fly like the wind Bats and finish strong.
The fifth Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service (CFRS) half marathon took place on Sunday 22 February 2015 in the beautiful surroundings of the National Trust’s Lanhydrock House, starting and finishing at the Dragon Leisure Centre in Bodmin.
This half marathon is an undulating multi-terrain event, three miles on tarmac and the remainder on tracks, muddy trails and across a field at Lanhydrock. Three Bere Alston Trekkers (BATs) braved the inclement weather conditions to take part in this GrandPrix event with two achieving distance personal bests.
This is one of the few local events in which runners are allowed to participate with their dogs, and Martin & Hilary took advantage of this by running with their border collies Pippa and Jasper.
Team Bat Cornish Marathon 2015 are pictured: Martin Head 2.09.11 (PB), Hilary Head 3:09:46 (PB) and Christine LeFlem 2.15.28.