Bats and the Cornish Marathon

Last weekend, under a brilliant blue sky and with warm winter sunshine, four Bats made their way to Cornwall to take part in the twenty ninth Cornish Marathon.

The Cornish is a tough, extremely picturesque, out and back course, along the Draynes Valley, Bodmin Moor, Bolventor (Jamaica Inn), Fowey Valley and back to Pensilva and it is known widely as the third toughest Marathon in the UK.  The race starts from Millenium House in Pensilva, where its relatively flat gradient makes for a gentle start, however it is most definitely the 25 miles after that, particularly the climb to Foredown between miles 24 and 25 which contains some very steep hills that seem to go on forever which most people will remember!

However, with miles and miles of hard training under their wings and taking part in tough events throughout the year, the Bats were ready to take on the Cornish challenge. Running their first marathon was Nathan Newton and Julian Setterington and running her first event in a Bats vest was Becky Mingo. Becky was the first Bat home and fifth lady overall, Becky was chased home by Nathan. Dotty was the next Bat home with the Cornish finishing off a year of hard competition for her and finishing in a great time was Julian. 

All Bats finished injury free, happy and strong.  Bats would like to thank the Newton Family, Heather & Mike Smith, Phil,George and Lola-May for their support. The Bats are pictured (left to right): Julian Setterington 4.31, Becky Mingo 3.32, Dotty Allan 4.19 and Nathan Newton 3.59.

Bats and the Tavy 7 + Henley 10k + Ben Nevis‏

Last weekend saw a bumper number of Bere Alston Trekkers (Bats) taking part in the Tavy 7 road race.

Starting at Plasterdown the route is seven miles, out and back, of  undulating and scenic moorland roads. Most of the Bats taking part had run the course the week before and were prepared for the task in front of them although, on the day, there were a number running their first ever event and the Tavy 7 is a perfect first-timer event.

Leading from the start and finishing second overall was Ben Neale.  Ben was quickly followed by team mate Nathan Newton who was running with a 20 mile training run in his legs from the day before and Dave Adams who was running on the back of the Chester Marathon.  First lady Bat home was Tracey Oxborough, Tracey was also first in her age group.  A big well done goes to Grant, Cath and Dan who were running their first event. Also running were Mike Hepworth, Toby Rankin, Alan Cade and Stuart Hearne for the Monday Men and Elaine Fileman, Bonita Scaysbrook and Clare Jackman for the Saturday Ladies, Clare was second lady in her age group.

Team Bat Tavy 7 2012 are pictured (left to right), back row Grant Lawrence, Dan Mullin, Alen Guy, Nathan Newton, Paul Mingo, Cath Mullin, Ben Neale, Heather Smith, (middle row) Martin Head, Dave Adams, Tracey Oxborough, Hilary Head, Fran Morgan, Phil Megicks (front row) Dotty (support crew), Jan Fuller, Laura Newton, Pam Adams, Rebecca Sargent, (not pictured) Julian Setterington and Cate Taynton.  Times not known at time of submission..Tavy 7 2012 (1)

Tavy 7 2012 (17)Tavy 7 2012 (18)

A big well done also go to the Fruit Bats running this week Joe Setterington (pictured) and Ellie and Mia Guy and a big thank you to George & Lola for their support.

Earlier in the month Ben Neale took part in the Henley 10k and finished second overall out of a field of 479 in a brilliant time of 37.52 and, not satisfied with running the Loch Ness Marathon, a few days later, Bat Paul Mingo made the trek to the top of Ben Nevis with his wife Rebecca, to proudly wear his Bats vest and very well deserved marathon medal.  Both Ben and Paul are pictured.

Ben Neal - Henley 10kPaul Mingo - Ben Nevis

Bats and others try out the Tavy 7 Route‏

Last Sunday, under a clear blue and warm sky, 23 runners met to try out the Tavy 7 route.

The training run which was organised by Bere Alston Trekkers (Bats) and was an opportunity to run the route in lieu of the event this weekend.  The runners included other Bats, Saturday Ladies and Monday Men, some of whom were running the distance for the first time.  Dotty Allan, Steve Watson and Alen Guy led the runners around the scenic 7 mile route ensuring that everyone was looked after and the run was finished off with cake!

The group are pictured ready for the off.

Team Bat - Sunday Run Tavy 7

Bats and Cricklade & Chester

Once again it was clear blue skies and warm sunshine for the Cricklade 10km and Cricklade Half Marathon last weekend.

Both races started and finished in the same place with the 10km route diverting away from the half marathon at the 3.5 mile mark. Both courses were flat which offered the Bere Alston Trekkers (Bats) to improve on either last years times or to improve their distance personal best. Alen Guy was running his first half marathon for the Bats and ran a brilliant distance personal best time. Dotty Allan was revisiting the half marathon with an eye on beating last years time which she did by over 6 minutes and also wanting to and improving on last years 10km was Phil King which he also did also by over 6 minutes.

A big thank you must be given to the Bats support this week, George Allan, who cheered all three on to a sprint finish. The Cricklade Bats are pictured: (left to right) Phil King 52.34 for the 10km, Dotty Allan 1.50.59 and Alen Guy 1.50.06 for the half marathon.

Team Bat Cricklade 2012

Also, running last weekend for the Bats were Pam and Dave Adams who both ran brilliant times in the Chester Marathon.

The Chester marathon route is both historic and scenic. Runners leave the racecourse and head into the City centre passing  the Town Hall, Cathedral, split level Middle Ages “Rows”, Eastgate Clock, Amphitheatre and through the Roman Walls four times before heading out of the City across the Old Dee Bridge.  The route then leaves Chester past the Duke of Westminster’s estate, through Pulford, before crossing the border into Wales and the villages of Lavister and Rossett.

Keeping to the flat and rural lanes runners complete a small loop before entering the historic village of Holt. Then crossing the ancient Roman bridge at Farndon to return to England.  On re-entering the City, runners pass the River Dee along the Groves and Castle Drive before a triumphant finish at the racecourse! There is only 101m of climb on the whole route.  The route is largely flat with some short hills or gradual climbs which are predominantly in the second half of the course.  After months of hard and dedicated training Dave finished in a time of 3.42.50 and Pam in a great time of 4.24.48.

Pam & Dave are pictured

Team Bat - Chester Marathon 2012


Bats and Newnham Park, Loch Ness and Nottingham!

Last weekend saw a team of Bere Alston Trekkers (Bats) make the short journey to Plympton to take part in the popular Autum Trail cross-country race.
The Autumn Trail is a great opportunity to admire the beautiful wooded valley within the private country estate of Newnham Park and is an approximately eight mile multi-terrain course which takes runners through meadows, along forest tracks where they need to negotiate tree roots, bogs and puddles and cross the river several times before making a great fast finish on the flat. The event leaves all of those taking part wet and muddy.
First male Bat home was Nathan Newton who also finished in the top 10 and first female Bat was Dotty Allan in a time of 01.16.47 both Nathan and Dotty ran a great race on the back of last weeks Bude Brute.  Making his debut for the Bats was Alen Guy who ran a great event.  All Bats finished strong, with excellent times and big smiles.  A big well done must all be said to the Fruit Bats who took part in the fun run, Tori and Zak Chipperfield, Mia, Ellie and Kathryn Guy.
Team Bat are pictured (left to right) Julian Setterington (running as sweep for Dartmoor Search & Rescue), Emma Wright 1.28.54, Janice Fuller 1.24.00, Fran Morgan 1.31.00, Laura Newton 1.31.03, Nathan Newton 56.26, Dotty Allan 1:16:47, Phil King 1.18.47, Heather Smith 1.37.24, Alen Guy 1.08.17 and Mike Chipperfield 1.18.41.
Team Bat Autumn Trail 2012
Also running this weekend for the Bats was Paul Mingo, who ran his first full marathon.  Paul trained really hard all through the summer to take part in the Loch Ness Marathon and ran in a great time of 4.16.32.  Finally there was a Bat, Samantha Marshall, winding her way around the Nottingham Half Marathon to finish in a time of 2.09.16.

Bats take on the Bude Brute

Two very brave Bere Alston Trekkers (Bats) made a long journey last weekend to take part in the Bude Brute.  The Brute is 22 miles over some of the toughest terrain in North Cornwall which the organisers say “is designed to test the best and  not to be under estimated”, all entrants must have have fell, mountain or cliff  running experience in order to take part.  The course also required competitors to self-navigate the route which started at Crooklets car park in Bude and wound its way up and down cliff paths, through bogs
and woods and across open fields out to Stowe Barton, Woodford, Morwenstow Church where a loop was followed to Duckpool before returning back along the coastal path to Crooklets.

The weather was not on the side of the runners with gail force winds and heavy rain for most of the day which made some of the 500+ft climbs very hard work for all taking part including some necessary diversions to avoid the more precarious cliff path.  Although the event can cater for up to 400 entrants only 17 turned up on the day to take part in the
22 miler, an indication of how tough the Brute is.

Taking part for the Bats and making his cross-country debut, was Nathan Newton who was hot on the heels of his most recent event the Total Warrior.  Nathan ran a brilliant race and finished in the superb time of 03.38.26 and in the top 10.  Nathan bought all his summer training together to run a text book race.  One of the few women taking part was Dotty Allan who finished in a time of 4.39.27.

Nathan and Dotty were taking part in the Brute as part of their training for the Cornish Marathon later in the year and, with a large number of other Bats, will be taking part in the Autumn Trail next weekend in Plympton.

Nathan and Dotty are pictured ready for the off.

Team Bat Bude Brute 2012


Bats – Total Warriors!

The Total Warrior challenges are not your standard trail runs. The Total Warrior team has worked with ex-military personnel to bring participants the ultimate test of strength, stamina, agility and mental determination. The unforgiving Lake District terrain along with their specially designed hardcore obstacles means success is about survival and not speed.  The course at Shap Abbey is designed to give contestants an adrenaline rush that they cannot get anywhere else and the tough sporting challenge brought thousands of competitors to Cumbria this Saturday and Sunday.  Contestants from 37 countries were corralled in a pen before being given a motivational speech. Smoke bombs are thrown across the track – and then they are off.  Two of those taking part were a husand and wife team from Bere Alston Trekkers (Bats).

The first few miles are all good fun, and having gone through some extremely  steep hill zigzags and a fire gauntlet, it was straight forward hills, hills and  more hills. During the hills most people  had to take walking breaks because of the nature of the ground and incline. This  section was undoubtedly the hardest, peat and boggy ground, very undulating and  just when you thought the hill was conquered, there looms another just 100m  away.  Once they had summated it was time to start their very welcome descent.

Just as steep as on the way up and ending at the lowest part of the  course, this was the freewheeling enjoyable part, although concentration was  needed to avoid coming a cropper on the terrain. This took Laura and Nathan down to the water  stop and after that the fun started. Firstly with a barbed  wire mud crawl, straight into mud filled tunnels. Then up and down across hills  through a 20 feet wide 7 foot deep river crossing and 6 feet mud filled pool.  This part of the course meant doubling back upon yourself numerous times and  encountering a further river crossing, cargo scramble nets, 7ft walls and 30ft  hay bail climbs.

Finally into the last leg after a mad dash up a muddy rock  incline came another climb, which at the top held a massive waterslide. to  the penultimate hill, after heaving themselves over the slip hazard with ropes, off  down the hill to the bottom of the final climb. Now just the last leg of incline  was between them and the finish. Legs aching and lungs burning, they rounded the bend  of the final hill into the finish area, only to find that they were to run through  some electric hanging wires as a final treat.

Glad to have finished and  feeling as if they thoroughly deserved it, it was time to collect their victory  beers and have an unfairly cold hose down to get clean, before making the
6 hour drive  home. Nathan and Laura ‘ran’ together and finished in a great time of 01.51.15.  They are pictured:

Team Bat - Total Warrior

Bats – 6 Moor Miles

Last weekend saw a large colony of Bats (Bere Alston Trekkers), taking part in the 6 Moor Miles with 18 club members taking part. The 6 Moor Miles race provides a unique opportunity to run a one lap course of approximately 6 miles (ish!), in the picturesque surroundings of the Maristow Estate, across the open Moorland on a well Marshalled course which starts at the Leg of Mutton in Yelverton.

Although the weather had been hot and sunny in the week leading up to the race, early morning downpours ensured that the ground was wet, slippery and muddy underfoot which made the going a bit tougher than expected but nothing that the Bats could not deal with following all the off-road training that the club undertakes as part of its standard training.

First male Bat home and finishing 7th overall was Ben Neale who is training for the Chicago marathon later in the year, Ben was quickly followed by Nathan Newton and Steve Watson who ran a personal best.  First female Bat home and running a course personal best by over 3 minutes was Dotty Allan who is training for the Bude Brute in September.

Making his debut for the club was Keith Roberts.  A big well done has to be said to Paul Mingo who ran a personal best on the back of a very long training run the day before and to Laura Newton, Fran Morgan and Emma Wright who ran great times and to Julian Setterington who also ran a course personal best.

The Bats are pictured, left to right, back: Phil King 01.01.47, Julian Setterinton 56:46, Steve Watson 47.14, Nathan Newton 44.29, Martin Head 56.35, Mike Smith 52.57, Mike Chipperfield 01.00.21, (middle) Laura Newton 01.07.23, Fran Morgan 01.12.00, Emma Wright 01.04.27, Hilary Head 01.34.40, Heather Smith 01.07.45, Ben Neale 41.04, Keith Roberts 01.04.05, (front) Maria Kushnirov 59.55, Dotty Allan 56.42, Pam Adams 01.06.06 and Paul Mingo 01:00:30.

6 Moor Miles 2012 Start (16)

Bats – Torbay, Lanhydrock and the Dark Side!

Bats took part in an array of events last weekend. Newest club members, Nathan Newton and Tracey Oxborough along with one of the longest serving club members, Samantha Marshall took part in the Torbay Half Marathon.  The Torbay Half Marathon route is a traffic free two lap route which starts and finishes on Paignton seafront, taken in the stunning coastal views across Torbay. Starting with one lap of Paignton Green before heading towards Torquay, where the course passes the historic Torre Abbey and by the Princess Gardens where runners start the return back to Paignton.

Sam and Nathan are pictured: Samantha Marshall 2.05.00 and Nathan Newton 1.37.28.  Also running for Bats but not pictured was Tracey Oxborough 1.43.28.

Team Bat - Torbay Half Marathon 2012

One Bat and his dog took part in the Lanhydrock 10 mile off road race.  This is a hard, hilly and hot course held in the beautiful grounds of the National Trust’s Lanhydrock estate.  Bats were one of four teams tacking part in the event and finished in a time of 1.34.36.  Julian Setterington and Eccles are pictured.

Team Bats - Lanhydrock Run 2012

Three Bats crossed to the dark side of running in order to take part in the Dartmoor Classic cycle event.  The Dartmoor Classic 2012 Cyclosportive offers a choice of two routes, 104 Miles (166 km) and 65 miles (104 Km) with Bats taking part in the latter.  Although times are not known at the time of writing, club members would like to say a big well done to those Bats taking part – Ralph Elmes 6.12.48 (bronze), Jo Campbell 6.12.51 (bronze) and Julie Brownlie 5.06.29 (silver).

The dark side:


Bats – Plym Valley Challenge (ladies placed)

Nine Bere Alston Trekkers (Bats) took part in the Plym Valley Challenge last Sunday with great results.

This is a multi-terrain course over 8.2 miles.  With a new start 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.  With the recent bad weather there was plenty of mud and puddles to run through, tree roots to negotiate and slippery hills to climb.

However, with all the cross-country training the Bats do they literally flew around the course which is also one of the clubs grand prix events.  First male Bat home was Mike Smith and first lady was Maria Kushnirov.  Bats were also placed with the ladies winning second and fifth team and Dotty Allan finishing second in her age group.

The Bats are pictured (left to right) back: Heather Smith 01.36.17, Mike Smith 01.12.59, Julian Setteringon 01.34.10, Paul Mingo 01.24.58, (front) Maria Kushnirov 01.17.37,
Dotty Allan 01.18.07, Rachel Wood 01.20.45, Sue Collins 01.30.41 and Pam Adams 01.24.00.