Bats Track Session 2nd February 2015

This evening’s track session is cancelled.  Looking at a number of forecasts the consensus is that there is risk of ice on roads and untreated roads from around 8pm, which means that the track could freeze and the journey home post-session could be hazardous.

See you next week.

Bats and the Cockington Caper

Seven members of Bere Alston Trekkers (BATs) ran the Cockington Christmas Caper earlier this month.  The day was crisp and bright and the course challenging with ankle deep mud, lung-busting climbs and slippery descents. The run, described as 8 1/4 miles of mud, sweat, tears and laughter, started at Occombe Farm and went across fields, up hills and along woodland tracks with occasional breath-taking views out to Torbay and whilst there was plenty of laughter, fortunately no tears!

First Bat home was Derek Hicks in 1.38.05, followed by Mike and Heather Smith in 1.56.53, Sarah Cohen and Emma Louise Dooney in 2.00.42 with Jo Vella and Mel Greaves finishing together in a time of 2.02.00.  All runners received a mug and well deserved slice of Christmas cake.

Team Bat – Cockington Caper 2014 are pictured (left to right): Emma Dooney, Mike & Heather Smith, Derek Hicks, Sarah Cohen, Mel Greaves and Jo Vella (also pictured is team supporter Gracie Dooney).

Team Bat - Cockington Caper 2014
Team Bat – Cockington Caper 2014



Bats & The Cornish Marathon

Under blue sky and sunshine warm enough to run in shorts, members of Bere Alston Trekkers (Bats) made their way to Pensilva today to take part in the 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 more than 2,400ft of climbing, and much of this occurring after the critical 20 mile point.

First male Bat home and running his first marathon was Steve Hill who ran strong throughout to finish 31 overall out of a field of 300.  First home for the ladies, joint first in their age group and part of the overall ladies team were running buddies Rebecca Mingo and Sarah Burns.  Sam Lake ran well to finish third in her age group, part of the winning ladies team and a distance personal best (PB).

Also running their first marathon was Sally Dunn.  Sally worked really hard during her training and remained focused all through the event to finish as part of the winning ladies team.

A big well done also to Nathan and Paul who both ran course PBs.

Team Bat – Cornish Marathon 2014 are pictured with their finish times: Steve Hill 3.23.04; Rebecca Mingo 3.25.03; Sarah Burns 3.25.03; Samantha Lake 3.35.26 (PB); Nathan Newton 3.47.00 (PB); Francis Dix 3.59.29; Murray Turner 4.09.44; Sally Dunn 4.09.44; Alen Guy 4.16.58 and Paul Mingo 4.36.52 (PB).  (First ladies team: Rebecca, Sarah, Sam and Sally).

Team Bat - Cornish Marathon 2014
Team Bat – Cornish Marathon 2014

Bats & The Tavy 7

Today once again saw a bumper number of Bere Alston Trekkers (Bats) taking part in the Tavy 7 road race, another one of the clubs Grand Prix events this local race suits the training of club members who literally fly around the course.

Starting at Plasterdown the route is seven miles, out and back, of undulating and scenic moorland roads. There were a number of Bats running for the first time and ten celebrating personal bests (PB).

First Bat and third in his age group was Steve Watson who was chased across the line by first timer Stuart Medhurst.  First lady Bat home and second in her age group was Tracey Oxborough. Other notable results were Christine Le Flem who was second in her group, the ladies were also third team home (Christine, Tracey and Sally Dunn). Toby Rankin ran an amazing 14 minute PB, Emma Dooney a PB by 8 minutes and Jo Vella ran a 4 minute PB.

A big well done to all the first timers who ran the Tavy 7 today who did their club proud.

Steve Watson 46.20; Stuart Medhurst 46.43; Alen Guy 52.11 (PB); Tracey Oxborough 53.45; Mike Smith 54.37 (PB); Sally Dunn 54.37 (PB); Derek Hicks 57.12; Christine Le Flem 59.30 (PB); Martin Head 01.00.03 (PB); Tobias Rankin 01.00.43 (PB); Matt Luckham 01.01.13; Jon McGurk 01.01.46; Ralph Elmes 01.02.37; Emma Dooney 01.02.58 (PB); Kate Glanville 01.05.35; Nicky Edmunds 01.05.39 (PB); Shaun Hingston 01.06.50; Heather Smith 01.08.00 (PB); Jo Vella 01.11.51 (PB); Simon Glossop 01.11.59; Hazel Bickley 01.13.10; Cally Barnes 01.13.11; Natasha Ayres 01.15.05; Mel Greaves 01.15.38; Suzanne Treussard 01.15.38; Sally Anne Dickson 01.20.07 and Hilary Head 01.25.32.

Team Bat – Tavy 7 2014 are pictured.


Bats fly at Burrator, Barnstaple, Berlin and Loch Ness

It has been another busy weekend for members of Bere Alston Trekkers (Bats), with club members taking part in events in Devon, Scotland and Berlin.

Midday on Saturday saw the start of Nathan Newton’s 24 hour fund raiser at Burrator Reservoir.  Nathan rode his bike for 12 hours and then ran the next 12 hours.  He was supported every pedal / step of the way by fellow Bats, members of his family and other friends from the village.  Covering 145 miles on his bike and 46 miles running Nathan raised over £500 for the Bere Alston Forest School project.

Every week lucky children from Bere Alston primary school go outside rain or shine to take part in exciting outdoor activities, from learning about nature and the changing seasons, to tool safety, cooking on a campfires and much more. As well as linking in with the national curriculum their forest school programmed carefully blends activities that build the children’s confidence and an attachment to our natural environment. Something that is becoming more and more important in our technology driven world.

With the money raised from Nathan’s efforts the school will be able to create a designated outdoor learning areas with outdoor seating and a canopy, a wood store and wood craft area, space for growing fruit and veg as well as an outdoor science lab and outdoor clothing.

Nathan would like to thank everyone who supported him throughout the 24 hours and those who sponsored him.

Nathan is pictured with some of his running support team.

Further into Devon and for the first time the Barnstaple Half and Full Marathon was taking place.  The newest full and half marathon in the region got underway at 10am. Places on the idyllic Barnstaple Marathon went within hours as 600 runners flocked to this new race which straddles the picturesque Taw Estuary.

The race starts at Rock Park before heading along the Tarka Trail to Fremington. It then heads up the Barnstaple to Instow Road before heading back onto the Tarka Trail at Yelland for the run back to Barnstaple. The full marathon competitors will then head out across the east bank of the River Taw and run to RMB Chivenor near Braunton where runners will then complete a circuit of the airfield before heading back to Rock Park

Paul and Rebecca Mingo took part in the full marathon with Paul finishing in 4:33:48 and Rebecca 3.12.00 finishing as first lady.  Christine Le Flem ran the half marathon (time not available at time of print).

Rebecca is pictured with her finishing prizes and Christine in full flight.

Two of the clubs newest members made the long journey up to Scotland to take part in the Loch Ness Marathon.  The Loch Ness begins in an atmospheric location and continues through breathtaking scenery, taking runners along the south-eastern shores of Loch Ness, across the River Ness, and into the centre of Inverness, capital city of the Highlands.

Sarah Cohen ran a great event bringing all her training into play to finish in 4.49.13 and Stephen Barwis in 5.18.12.  Both are pictured at the finish.

Further afield, Ben Neale took to the sky to fly to Berlin to take part in the annual marathon.

The Berlin marathon has a reputation for being the world’s fastest marathon as the course is extremely flat with wide cornering and is a very logically thought out course, so it is easy to see why thousands of people flock there each year to try and achieve a personal best and why the race is so highly rated. It is a very well organised with typical Germanic precision; everything from the layout of the fuel stations (which contain water, sports drinks, hot tea, fruit, and pretzels), through to the race village HQ – which is large with plenty of room to move around in.

Running a great event and achieving a personal best, Ben finished in a time 3.03.36 and is pictured ready to run.

Well done Bere Alston Trekkers, what a great team.


Bats Race Report – Summer Roundup

Team Bat - Treggy 7 2014
Team Bat – Treggy 7 2014

It has been a very busy summer for members of Bere Alston Trekkers (Bats) who have taken part in a number of events across the country.  A roundup of these events are as follows.

Peter Tavy Plod.  The course includes a 2 mile climb to the top of the Moor and onto Stevens Grave before turning left for a fast downhill run to the finish. Bats ran a great event with four finishing in the top 10 with Rebecca Mingo finishing second lady overall.

Nathan Newton 30.38.00; Steve  Watson 32.47.00; Francis Dix 33.45.00; Rebecca   Mingo 34.06.00; Murray Turner 38.12.00; Jennifer West 41.43.00; Jon Eatly 44.36.00 and Fran Morgan 57.24.00.

The Inov-8 Roseland August Trail Series (The RAT) is a series of challenging coastal runs along the stunning South Cornwall Coastal Path.  It incorporates four different routes, The Black Route 32 miles, The Red Route 22 miles, The White Route 11 miles – The Plague 100K (64 miles)!  All these routes follow the same part of coastline, with runners from different routes joining each other at different points along the way.  The route takes competitors though stunning coastal scenery, over undulating paths, through fields, towns and surrounding countryside.

Times for the club were Plague 64 mile, Sarah Burns who was joint 1st beating the men as well, in a fantastic time of  12.34.04, (Rachel Wood withdrew at 51 miles in 12.32.19 due to injury, but made a great effort).

Red Rat 30 mile, Toby Rankin 05.07.05 and Sarah Cohen 05.42.09.

It was hard and a very hot day but a fantastically well organised event with the best refreshment stops ever.

Oke Croak.  The ten-plus mile route is challenging with 2,000 feet of ascent over the rugged moorland of northern Dartmoor. Well done to the four Bats taking part Tracey Oxborough, Derek Hicks, Laurence Sargeant and Ralph Elmes.

Moving into September and making their way across the border once again into Cornwall last weekend to take part in the Treggy 7  were 14 Bats.

The road race, which is part of the clubs Grand Prix, is a fast but challenging 7 mile course starting in Launceston Town Centre and finishing in the picturesque grounds of Launceston Castle, it is mainly flat, with one severe hill prior to half-way point but nothing the Bats could not deal with.

First Male and Female Bat home together were Alen Guy and Sally Dunn who ran together throughout.  Running their debut race for the club was Phillip Adams.

Team Bat Treggy 7 2014 are pictured with their finishing times: Sally Dunn 56.07; Alen Guy 56.07; Toby Rankin 1.00.54; Matt Luckham 1.01.06;  Julie Page 1.01.29; Christine Le Flem 1.02.13; Ralph Elmes 1.04.44, Dotty King 1.05.12; Kate Glanville 1.09.37; Becky Rankin 1.09.57; Sarah Cohen 1.11.55; Heather Smith 1.13.11; Phillip Adams and Jo Vella 1.14.24.

A special well done also goes to lone Bat Pam Adams who ran this year’s Great North Run in a time of 2.04.36 and to another lone Bat Derek Hicks who took part in the Kipling Coastal Run which consists of eight beautiful miles of sand, beach, track, coastal paths and road and finished in a time of 1.09.16, 17th overall and second in his age group.

Well done Bats on a great summer’s running.

Team Bat - Great North Run 2014
Team Bat – Great North Run 2014
Team Bat - Kipling Coastal Run 2014
Team Bat – Kipling Coastal Run 2014
Team Bat - Oke Croak 2014
Team Bat – Oke Croak 2014
Team Bat - Peter Tavy Plod 2014
Team Bat – Peter Tavy Plod 2014


Bats Race Report – ‘Around the Rock’; Indian Queens & Totnes 10k

Last weekend members of Bere Alston Trekkers (Bats) took part in no less than three events.

The first was the Jersey ‘Around the Rock’ ultra-marathon.  At approximately 48 miles (77Km) and 1000 metres of ascent this race will circle around the island following the stunning granite cliffs of the North Coast to the golden sands of St. Ouen’s Bay and the South Coast.  Round The Rock is simply a stunning race that takes runners around the coastline of Jersey; golden beaches, granite sea cliffs and wooded trails. The course comprises about 12 miles or so on tarmac / road with the rest being forest, light trail and about 20+ miles of cliff paths stretching along most of the exposed north coast of the island.

Taking part in this event for the club were husband and wife Paul and Rebecca Mingo.  Although the event start at 6am it was still a hot day but both ran really well with Rebecca finishing third lady overall.

Team Bat – ‘Around the Rock’ 2014 are pictured at the start of the event.

Team Bat - Jesery Ultra 2014, Paul & Rebecca Mingo
Team Bat – Jesery Ultra 2014, Paul & Rebecca Mingo


The next event of the weekend was the Indian Queens half marathon where there were 10 Bats vests flying around this undulating and predominantly rural half marathon course. Apart from the first and last miles the race is run over the countryside, five miles of which is on trails.  Once again the heat of the day made the going tough but all Bats ran brilliantly with Christine Le Flem finishing first in her age group and first lady Bat home.  First male Bat home was Ben Neale who ran a really great time.  Other notable times were achieved by Matt Luckham who continues to bring his times down and was chased home by Mike Smith who ran a great personal best.

Team Bat – Indian Queens 2014 are pictured with their finishing times: Ben Neale 01.26.16; Matt Luckham 01.45.55; Mike Smith 01.46.21 Alen Guy 01.51.25; Tobias Rankin 01.59.08; Christine Le Flem 01.59.20; Pam Adams 02.14.45; Heather Smith 02.14.50; Sarah Cohen 02.21.08 and Ann Woodhouse 02.55.17.

Team Bat - Indian Queens 2014
Team Bat – Indian Queens 2014


The last event for the weekend was the Totnes 10k which is 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 six years. 

First male Bat home was Steve Hill and for the ladies Jenny West.  Rob Gualtieri ran a great race and finished with a personal best of over three minutes.

Team Bat – Totnes 10k 2014 are also pictured with their finishing times: Steve Hill 42.26, Dan Dooney 46.43; Rob Gualtieri 56.19; Derek Hicks    57.33; Jenny West 58.45; Emma Dooney 01.01.56; Jo Vella 01.10.29 and Mel Greaves 01.10.44.

Team Bat - Totnes 10k 2014
Team Bat – Totnes 10k 2014

Well done to all Bats who continue to run great times.

Bats Race Report – 6 Moor Miles / Kingsbridge 10k

It was another big Bere Alston Trekkers (Bat) turnout last weekend as the 31 strong team made their way to support the locally held 6 Moor Miles off road race in Yelverton last weekend.  The race is a one lap course of approximately 6 miles (ish!), in the picturesque surroundings of the Maristow Estate, across open Moorland on a well Marshalled course which starts at the Leg of Mutton in Yelverton.After weeks of dry weather and under another hot sky the ground was hard underfoot as the runners made their way through the bracken and across the Moor however, undeterred by the heat of the day Bats ran their hearts out once again to a finish line which was lined with the Bats support crew cheering the finishers on.

Finishing in the top ten were Nathan Newton who was also the first male Bat home and Steve Hill who finished 9th overall.  Rebecca Mingo was the first lady home for the team.  There were also a number of great personal bests with Rob Gualtieri knocking off over 9 minutes and Mel Greaves a massive 17 minutes from previous course times.  Other personal bests were achieved by Murray Turner, Pippa Tigwell and Alysia Maciejowska.  A big well done to Rory Oxborough and Matthew Head who were making their Bats debut.

It was another great event for the Bat ladies with Christine Le Flem, Rebecca Mingo, Sam Lake, Tracey Oxborough and Julie Page all placed in their age groups.

Team Bat – 6 Moor Miles 2014 are pictured with their finishing times as follows: Nathan Newton 42:39, Steve Hill 43:01, Stuart Medhurst   44:09, Rebecca Mingo 46:00, Murray Turner 46:52, Sam Lake 49:38, Matt Luckham 50:46, Tracey Oxborough 51:32, Rory Oxborough 52:51, Mike Smith 52:55, Pippa Tigwell 53:17, Rob Gualtieri 54:29, Matthew Head 54:50, Julie Page 55:12, Derek Hicks 55:20, Jenny West  57:06, Alen Guy 57:11, Martin Head 59:17, Paul Mingo 01:00:21, Christine Le Flem 01:01:09, Ralph Elmes 01:01:26, Dotty King 01:02:45, Alysia Maciejowska 01:05:28, Pam Adams 01:08:05, Donna Luckham 01:08:39, Mel Greaves 01:10:28, Hazel Bickley 01:12:34, Heather Smith 01:12:57, Ann Woodhouse 01:23:45, Hilary Head 01:25:15 and Rowena Cerrino 01:25:33. 

Team Bat - 6 Moor Miles 2014
Team Bat – 6 Moor Miles 2014

A big well done also to Steve Watson who took part in last weeks Kingsbridge 10k and finished in 10th position in a great time of 43.31.

Bats will next be flying at next weekend’s Totnes 10k and Indian Queens Half Marathon, good luck to all.

Bats Race Report (busy, busy week)

It has been another busy weekend for the Bere Alston Trekkers (Bats). 

Taking part in the Tavy Town Relays on Thursday were a record number of 17 teams from the Bere Alston Trekkers.   Lots were revisiting the relays but some were running the 1 mile loop for the first time.  All teams ran superbly with the ‘Blister Sisters’ finishing second ladies team overall.  With only seconds between team finishing times it was a fast event with all Bats running splendid times.  Team Bat – Tavy Town Relays 2014 are pictured with their team finishing times: Accel-Erators 28.25, Blazing Glory 25.04, Blondes have more run 31.59, Chicks with Kicks 35.24, Dashing Divas 34.04, Luck of the Draw 30.10, Mixed Doubles 26.32, Pavement Princesses 31.44, Pic ‘n’ Mix 30.26, Racing Mammas 35.23, Running On Empty 34.55, Scrambled Legs 34.25, Shake, Rattle & Run 28.34, The 8 Deadly Shins 23.56, The Blister Sisters 27.27, The Over Active, Under Achievers 42.58 and We’re sweaty and we know it 27.53.

Team Bat - Tavy Town Relays 2014
Team Bat – Tavy Town Relays 2014

Last weekend’s race was the Haytor Heller, another race on the Bats Grand Prix calendar although this race was also about celebrating Dotty King’s 50th birthday. 

This popular, well established moorland race starts below Haytor Rock and follows a hilly, circular route before returning once again to Haytor Rock with a fast downhill finale to the finish opposite the middle car park at Haytor. The six mile course is challenging with several steep ascents and descents and is generally run across rugged, open moorland, apart from two sections through woodland; firstly below Hound Tor and secondly below Haytor which includes a stream crossing.  It was also a very hot evening making some of the hill climbs hard work but the views at the top of every hill made the run very worthwhile.

All Bats taking part were running the event for the first time, Rebecca Mingo ran a great race to finish fifth lady overall with the ladies team (Rebecca Mingo, Jacqui Stokes, Pippa Tigwell and Christine Le Flem) finishing second ladies team.

Team Bat – Haytor Heller 2014 are pictured with their finishing times: Rebecca Mingo 57.31, Matt Luckham 59.33, Mike Smith 1.02.11, Pippa Tigwell 1.05.01, Tobias Rankin 1.05.05, Jacqui Stokes 1.12.50, Christine Le Flem 1.18.31, Sarah Cohen 1.21.55, running as a group Dotty King, Mel Greaves, Emma Dooney, Donna Luckham and Jo Vella 1.26.35, Ann Woodhouse 1.47.

Team Bat - Haytor Heller 2014
Team Bat – Haytor Heller 2014

It was lone Bat Rachel Wood who took part in the 64 mile Run to the Stones event at the weekend. 

The Carphone Warehouse Race to the Stones is a fully supported 100km route following in the footsteps of Romans, Vikings, farmers and traders along the iconic Ridgeway.  Runners pass Iron Age forts, ancient burial chambers, cross the mighty Thames and the mystical down-lands of Salisbury plain on your way to the finish line at the 3,000-year-old stone circle at Avebury.

The weather for the day was extremely humid with heavy rain coming later in the day but Rachel dug in and finished in an excellent time of 15 hours and 40 minutes earning the respect of all club members.  Rachel is pictured ready for the off.

Team Bat - RTS 2014
Team Bat – RTS 2014

A big well done also to Nicky Edmunds who completed the Swansea Half Marathon in 2.15.55 and to the two Bats who took part in the Magnificent 7 which is a challenging seven mile road run at Saltash in Cornwall, organised by the Tamar Trotters, Derek Hicks 1.01.51 and  Rob Gualtieri 1.04.37.

Team Bat - Magnificent 7 2015

Team Bat - Swansea Half 2014
Team Bat – Swansea Half 2014






Bats Race Report – Torbay Half Marathon

Last weekend members of Bere Alston Trekkers (Bats) 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, although a beautiful route the course is fairly hilly and along with the heat of the day the going was hard for most of the 2,200 running taking part.

Making his race debut for the club and first male Bat home was Steve Hill and first lady bat home was Sam Lake, Sam was chased home by Sally Dunn who ran a distance personal best.  Emma Dooney ran a fantastic race knocking off 17 minutes from her half marathon time.  Dotty King was running her 40th half marathon and the last in her 40’s knocking off 46 minutes from her first half marathon 10 years ago.

All Bats ran a great event and will next be flying at this weekend’s Blackdown Beast.

Team Bat Torbay Half Marathon 2014 are pictured (left to right): Julie Page 1.54.02; Mel Greaves 2.28.51, Emma Dooney 20.01.35, Sam Lake 1.37.34, Tracey Oxborough 1.45.26, Dan Dooney 1.38.56, Steve Hill 1.29.22,  Dotty King 2.01.32, Sarah Cohen 2.23.08, Jo Vella 2.31.41 and Sally Dunn 1.42.47.


Team Bat Torbay Half 2014
Team Bat Torbay Half 2014