Okehampton Running Club takes part in the Westward League Cross Country series where one race per month is held from October to March using courses throughout Devon and Cornwall, writes Claire Watkins.

With all ages categories being catered for from under-11s through to 60+, the races attract hundreds of runners. The courses are varied and can be tough taking in grassy fields, woodland, hills and of course lots of mud! They are a great test of stamina and provide good motivation for keeping running over the winter months.

Three ORCs, Joe Lane, Richard Davies and Stuart Page, took on the fourth challenge of the series, running a three-lap course of approximately eight kilometres at Northam Burrows at Westward Ho!.

Being next to the sea, the course – though relatively flat – can suffer challenging weather conditions. However, this year Joe commented that despite drizzle and the course being boggy in places, the going was pretty good.

Richard Davies was first ORC home coming in 27th overall followed by Joe Lane in 74th and Stuart Page in 78th. Great running all!

l ALTHOUGH it is mainly what we report on, Okehampton Running Club is not just about racing. There are many members of the club who just enjoy running, and being part of the club gives them camaraderie and encourages them with their personal goals.

Coach Rob Richards ran the popular Couch to 5k last September but with a difference, billed as ‘Couch to 50k’. This programme has been going well with the second phase successfully completed on January 7 with a 10-kilometre run around the Dartmoor ring road.

This week the next nine-week phase for 10K up to Half Marathon commenced with Rob leading a fun and informative introduction to trail running workshop at Belstone. Some have just joined the programme but others have come up through the 5k and 10k groups.

Rob guided the group through advisable trail running kit and an introduction to trail running skills including ascending and descending techniques with a five-kilometre trail run on Dartmoor to put it all into practice. This phase of the programme will be completed on March 10 with the running of a trail half marathon on Dartmoor.

If there are any runners who are not currently members of the club and would like to join in the training for the half marathon to marathon (and beyond) training please contact Rob at [email protected].