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THE BRAUNTON 10-ISH

THE BRAUNTON 10, BY MR. HOLROYD

The 2020 race calendar kicked off with the Braunton 10 on 19 January, featuring both the Alby Tithecott Memorial 10m and Steph Irwin Memorial 10k. With Ilfracombe runners out in force, on a crisp cloudless morning, conditions could hardly have been better – unless the hedgerows had been cut six inches shorter to let the ice on the roads melt.

The 10 miler started with a gentle climb out of Braunton, heading east along the Old Barnstaple Road – conveniently facing directly into the dazzling winter sun. But anyone who thought they’d already ticked off one of the course’s famous “two hills” was in for a shock, as the first official hill was announced by an abrupt left-turn at Pippacott.

Having slogged all 148 metres to the top, exhausted runners were directed by IRC’s own Dan Loder to make a sharp right at Beara, for the sole purpose of running up an even bigger hill. The eventual reward for all this thigh-burning was surely the longest, fastest and most scenic descent of any race in North Devon – finishing with a few enjoyable metres on the athletics track to qualify the race as “mixed terrain”.

For glory-hunters, and people with somewhere else to be on a Sunday afternoon, there was a shorter 10k on offer, cutting out the worst of the hills, but at the expense of the thrilling descents.

Despite the menace of the icy roads, all IRC runners made it back in one piece – and no less than four scooped silverware. In the 10 miler, first to finish for the club was Joe Mackenzie in a fabulous time of 1:03:19, coming 6th overall. Beth Barrington (1:11:31) and Jude Millage (1:31:01) won first-place trophies in the FV35 and FV55 cats. An honourable mention must go to “Flying” Pete Westmacott (1:09:31) – who at his current rate of progress will be topping 600 miles an hour by Christmas – for coming 2nd in the MV50 group.

Gavin Burnside (41:35) led the way in the 10k, also finishing 6th overall, and bagging the second-place trophy for MV50. Yet another trophy went to Nicola Oliver (52:14) in the FV55 award.

In an impressive showing for IRC, the club’s other 10 milers were Tom Capron (1:05:35), Leo Holroyd (1:08:23), Ray Williams (1:11:47), Ben Hugo (1:13:40), Roy Pickard (1:14:02), Neil Garrett (1:16:27), Abby Cooper (1:25:22), Jenny Evans (1:26:43), Debbie Green (1:30:20), Hayley Whetter (1:32:49), Vince Irwin (1:34:48), Chelsey Geller-Booth (1:36:49), Deborah Freeman (1:37:37), Lorraine Dyer (1:38:56), and Linda Balment (1:46:11).

Moreover the 10k was successfully tackled by Doug Bolton (45:05) and Tom Clark (55:19).


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ULTRA-TRAIL D'ANGKOR

DAVE RUNS THE ULTRA-TRAIL D'ANGKOR!!

Ran the fantastic Temple 16K (10 mile) international trail race on Saturday - flatish but with deep sandy rutted paths in places. I tucked in-behind two young French lads from the start, got past them at mile four and going well. Missed a turning at mile eight, retraced my steps (lost 1min, 30sec) only to find the two youngsters ahead of me. Worked hard to catch them up at mile nine and gathered myself to go past, tripped on a root and went sprawling (f**k). Lost my specs in the undergrowth. Caught them up again with 1K to go - one of them made a break for it but I managed to stay with him - he slowed slightly with 500m to go so I hit it hard - went past him and dashed, with all I had left, for the line. Finally got the results on Sunday night - 7th overall (254 runners), 1st GBR runner and 1st in my age category by a country mile - surprised and delighted with that!

I whimped out of the 32K, 42K, 64K and 128K distances but ran past some of the Marathon front-runners on their final 10 miles, they looked pretty well knackered. The sun was high in the sky at 8:30am (when the 16K started) so it was pretty hot but, thankfully, most of the race was in the shade of the jungle canopy, so not too bad. A lot of the route was on narrow jungle paths passing alongside wide moats, ruined temples and tiny villages with smiley giggly barefoot children eager to slap hands with the runners.

Starting at $50 (for the 16K) it's expensive but most of the profits go to three French NGO's working in rural Cambodia (although most of the organisers seemed to be staying in a fairly plush hotel!). The award cermony was high profile with TV cameras, folk dancing and the French ambassador handing out the winner prizes. I'd do it again, but probably the 32K next time. There was fruit and water at the aid stations, no electrolyte, so I can't imagine doing the marathon or 128K in these conditions. The only frost I saw was on a chilled beer glass afterwards!

Note from the editor: our supa-dupa Dave ran this beastie in 1:29:56. Bearing in mind that the winning time was 1:12:50 - this gives you an idea on how hard Dave ran the whole thing!!!

See this website or this for more info.

I just ran a 10k...

POET'S CORNER, MEL STRIKES AGAIN!!!

Torrington Xmas Caper 2020

Oh, what a jolly Caper,
was a 2019 Christmas run.
Off to Torrington we travelled for 10 miles of muddy fun!

As the 30 of us,
alit from the bus,
we could see the rainy clouds clearing.
Aww, the relief
to be released,
from the nightmare deluge we were fearing!

Still; keeping an eye on the sky,
the first mile was dry,
but I knew what was coming ahead.
A puddle : deep, long and cold,
OMG 😮 I was told it was something to dread!

After that,
the run,
really become,
filled with miles of puddles, mud and cow poo.
But, that steep valley at the end,
to my legs was no friend, but bless ‘em, they carried me through!

The fancy dress after party was quite a vintage affair:
Tina Turner Audrey Hepburn Buddy Holly Dolly Parton Princess Di Elvis Presley
Dame Edna Tommy Cooper Bad Santa Mr. Bean
Eddie the Eagle Vivian from the young ones
Bruce Lee AL Capone
Slash and Cher
Sandy from Grease.
Wow, even Patsy from AbFab was there!

Much thanks to The Globe in Berrynarbor,
for hosting Ilfracombe running Club,
we had a wow of a time,
drinking cider, beer and wine and eating your tasty grub!!


WANSFELL FELL RACE REPORT

WANSFELL FELL RACE REPORT

WANSFELL FELL RACE REPORT

While on a family Christmas holiday (a cunningly disguised training camp) in the Lake District, I got chatting to a few locals to discover a local race. Ambleside Athletics Club, home of some of the finest off road runners in the country were hosting one of their annual events, a 2.1 mile Fell race on the 27th December.

Now, ordinarily I wouldn’t go off road for anything less than a 10km, and while up here I would prefer to tick off a few summits along a ridge line over several hours. However, it’s good to try something out of the ordinary, so on the day, I rocked up at the Rugby Club with my £5 note in hand and prepared to sign up. First of all, I needed to find out what the FRA (Fell Running Association) mandatory kit was.

• Full body cover waterproofs • Hat • Gloves • Whistle • Map of the route • Compass • Emergency food

All very sensible kit, although I was little surprised to find that I’d have to wear a pack for a 2 mile sprint!

Quick trip back through town to collect my map and compass as I already had the rest with me.

Off to the start line with a record turnout of 181 competitors, where I started to notice the calibre of runners...almost without exception, runners were in short shorts and local club vests with representatives from all the Lakeland powerhouse clubs, with a smattering of visitors from Yorkshire and surrounding areas. These boys and girls were here to race, there were no Christmas jumpers on show here!

The race would start with a stiff climb up a tarmac lane for around 1/2 a mile. No time to glance across the waterfall at the house we were staying in, it was head down and try to stick with the pack.

Marshall’s held a gate open to avoid a cattle grid, and soon after it was up over a stile and onto the Fell side proper. The terrain was steep grass with a man made stone path (read staircase) up through the middle of it. This snakes it’s way up the hill with runners weaving on and off of the stones in order to find the direct line, overtake and possibly vomit behind a tree.

I’d love to tell you about how I ran all the way up but there was definitely some hiking while trying to get some air to my lungs which were suddenly too small to cope.

By this stage there wasn’t a lot of overtaking going on, but a few whippet like teenagers and the leading lady went past me here.

After 1.5 miles, 1300 feet and around 16 minutes I crested the mist covered top and turned around. Excellent, I like running downhill far more than running up it! I took great strides down the first rocky section and risked a look ahead to see which way the locals were heading, onto the grass and straight into my first fall, it was more of a slide on one shin and my backside before getting my feet back underneath me. A technique that I would pretend was intentional a few more times during the descent.

A couple of the whippet teenagers surged past me here, one of whom very clearly slid a grass drop on purpose and managed to look quite cool. Another Lady bounced past me here with more style than the teens so I tried to follow her with her slightly more measured approach.

A few ducks and weaves through the trees, a stream crossing and a wiggle through a kissing gate (thankfully gate removed by the marshalls) and it was soon back on the road for the final 1/4 mile to the finish. The finish line is not back down near the start, but in fact halfway up the initial road climb, so in this case what goes up, only goes halfway down.

I manage to get past a couple of runners on the final sprint and finish in 30th place with a time of 25mins and 20seconds.

It was a cracking race, one of the most competitive events I have found myself in. I’m glad to have tried out one of these little epics, and I would suggest you have a go if you get the chance.

Grass roots racing at its very best, no pre entry, no deferrals, just turn up with a few quid without expectation of t shirts and medals. Loved it.


Torrington Xmas Caper 2019.

Torrington Xmas Caper 2019

TORRINGTON XMAS CAPER 2019

There was something different for IRC on Sunday at Torrington … they ran, they did amazingly, then they downed loads of alcohol! “So what’s new?” you may ask … well, the latter part was in fancy dress!

Despite a couple of category winners, hero of the day was surely Karley Fricker who carried 4’6” Jude “Rhymes with Village NOT Mirage” Millage through the 4’7” deep puddles during the first half of the course. “She ain’t heavy, she’s my mother***king club mate,” said Karley afterwards.

Esteemed gongs were handed to Becky Williamson (01:19:22, 2nd vet female) and the rejuvenated Pete “Firestarter” Westmacott (01:14:30, 3rd vet male).

Sadly, the supreme results team for our own Combe Crawler were too expensive for Torrington AAC to hire for the day, so Torrington managed to fudge up the results and only those finishing in the top eighty-two spots got a finishing time.

First home for the club was Joe “Ziggy Stardust” Mackenzie in 01:10:25, followed by Chris Broome in 01:12:08. Other runners lucky enough to get a time were Aaron “Stop Asking Me What My Fancy Dress Is Supposed To Be” Llewellyn 01:13:19, Leo “These Are Just My Normal Clothes” Holroyd 01:15:16, Matt “The Eagle” Redmore 01:15:22, Ross “Viva Las Vegas” Fuller 01:21:02, Andrew “Don’t Step On My Blue Suede (Running) Shoes” Mansfield 01:21:50, Roy “The Hustler” Pickard 01:23:26, Andrew “I Am Not Hank Marvin” Wooff 01:23:51, Steve “The Runner With No Name” Adams 01:27:15 and Dave “The Lady Loves” Irvine 01:28:12.

Those finishing in joint 83rd place were Charlotte “Queen of Hearts” Jones, Nick “Kill Bill Volume 3” Marsh, Gary “Just Like That” “Jif” Kemp, Darren “Prisoner Cell Block H” Vincent, Kelly “Believe” Cooper, Paul “Sweet Child o’Mine” Cooper, Ben “That’s Another Fine Mess” Beacham, Chelsey “Geller” Booth, Steven “B@st@rd” Humpreys, Peter “It’s Not Real Sick” Addison, Jude “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” Millage, Karley “You’re the One That I Want” Wells, Lorraine “Didn’t Get the Memo” Dyer, Debbie “Simply the Best” Green, Mel “Absolutely Fabulous” Hickles and Colin “I’ve Come As Jif” Hickles.

A few others, including Tania “Hello Possums” Jeffrey and Lynsey “These Are Real” Rowley came along for support, and then joined the rest of the club for the usual festive frolics. Killer Skittles kept many entertained, and Killer Pool ended with a tense Steve v Roy final battle, complete with ball-potting accuracy not seen since Dennis Taylor beat Steve Davis in the 1985 World Snooker final.

At six the softies were dropped off at various points around Ilfracombe while the hardened drinkers (76.9% of the club) went on to groove the night away at The Wellington Arms. As this reporter was safely tucked up in bed by 730pm what happened in The Wellington Arms, stayed in the Wellington Arms, but it seems unlikely that Gavin “Now There’s An Image Nobody Wanted in Their Heads” Burnside made an appearance. Has he been let out of the dog house yet?


The mugs...

OUTSTANDING MEMBERS OF THE YEAR

THE FOUR HORSESOMETHINGS OF THE APOCALYPSE

If you thought that 2019 was the year of Brexit, derranged political debates and Meghan wearing jeans @ Wimbledon, think again... 2019 was the year when IRC didn't get one, but FOUR outstanding runners during our usual Xmas shenanigans at the club. So, without more ado:

CLUB MEMBER OF THE YEAR: Colin Hickles. Mr. Hickles is one of those amazing guys that appears every time the club needs something done, and makes it happen by the book. When races run smoothly... Colin was there.

CHAIRMAN'S MEMBER OF THE YEAR: Mike 'Doobs' Robinson, our camarero eternal, who has been relentlessly bringing mirth, laughter, love and drinks to our club for years. We bloody love you mate!!!

LADIES CAPTAIN MEMBER OF THE YEAR: Beth Barrington, who has relentlessy been trying for years to make us mortals enjoy running hard in a 400 meter track... on behalf of the club, thanks for all the pain! :D

MENS CAPTAIN MEMBER OF THE YEAR: Dave Irvine, who has been pounding more races, paths and countries than the rest of us combined (maybe excluding super Wendy Dale!!), for quiiiiiiiiiiitte a while now. Spring Chikin' no longer xxx


I just ran a 10k...

POET'S CORNER, WITH MEL SHAKESPEARE...

Combe Crawler 2019

Hooray I’m alive
Hooray I’ve survived
2019 Combe Crawler
My feet did get wet
And the hilly parts I met
Sure didn’t feel any smaller!

I was nervy to start
But I knew in my heart
The effort would be worth my while
So I started the run
And it soon became fun
Then mile after mile I could smile 😃

The route is a mix
Of all the best bits
Of our beautiful part of North Devon
Streams, fields, forest, a castle, cliffs and sea
Oh, it wouldn’t surprise me
To find it was plotted in Heaven!

Distance : 8.5miles
Time : 1 hrs 50 mins 9 mins faster than
last year !! YAY !!


no mud, no gain

MICK MCCANN REDISCOVERS HIS ROOTS...

A report from Mick McCann for recent XC races

As a young kid at school in the Midlands I enjoyed cross country running. So when I took up running because of the marathon boom in the 80s it was great to run to the mud and compete for Massey Ferguson RC in xc races including Birmingham League, Midland and National Champs and relay races. Massey's would flood the field (not literally) at most events with about 50 or 60 of the red and white quarters giving their all. And like IRC enjoying a post event drink. About 30 years later it was therefore great to find out there are some local xc races. In recent weeks, after a motivational chat with our very own Beth, it was decided I'd get my spikes back out and give it a go.

The local leagues are the Gliddon and Squire North Devon League see www.northdevonxcleague.weebly.com and the Charles Stanley Westward League see www.city-runs.co.uk for all the information.

In the ND League there are 6 races and it's your best 4 positions to score. The winners scored 100 pts, 2nd 99pts, 3rd 98pts anyway you get it!

Sun 24th Nov NDXC at West Buckland School.

It was great to see Beth, Joe and Hannah with their kids who were competing in the childrens races. My race, which included Joe, was for Men over 20 years old and held over a fairly hilly small lap followed by two larger laps, a total of 5k. I finished 9th and I think first in my age group 60-65. Joe was 4th. I think there were about 30 runners in our race.

The second race was completely different. It was the Westward League incorporating the Devon Champs. Held at Exeter Arena, this race saw the best runners in all age groups from across Cornwall and Devon come together. In my race held on a hilly, four lap 8,800m muddy route, there was a out 170 runners again consisting of men aged over 20 years including seniors and masters. From the off it was like charge of the light brigade. But without knowledge of other runners abilities it was hard to gauge how I was doing. This is where it really helps to have other team members to chase and supporters to cheer you on.

I finished in about 108th position overall, but as IRC are not registered in the Westward League it's hard to be exact. But I was 44th in the Devon Champs and 2nd in my Age Group. Hooray I got a silver medal and I'm the 2nd fastest over 60 year old in Devon lol. I was the only IRC runner.

Sunday 15th Dec Westward League Inc the ND League held at Northam Burrows.

Once again this was a competitive field with runners from across Cornwall and Devon.But at least I had Leo as a marker to chase, although he was wearing the red vest of South Molton Runners as they where fielding a team. So I was again the only IRC representative.

This was a flat 8,800 race of a small lap and then 5 larger laps. It was wet, muddy and a few ditches to hurdle. There was about 100 runners in my race and I finished 63rd overall just about beating Leo by a few places, although he did race park run the day before. But a scalps a scalp and I'll take it, thank you.

But I think I was 2nd over 60 overall, first over 60 in the ND league and 95pts.

So, I really recommend these races. Even the family can take part. They are dirt cheap as they are organised by clubs not to make a profit for a company. It's something like £10 for all 6 races. It really would be great to see more IRC blue vests out there. And 12th Jan is the North Devon Champs so don your shoes, or better still your spikes and come and wallow in the mud. It is fun.


IRC LADIES KICK MAJOR ASS AT HOPE24

For those who follow the round ball game, Manchester City secured all three domestic trophies in England last season, but that's nothing ... NOTHING! ... in comparison to what the good running folk of IRC are capable of, as so it proved in the third weekend of drizzle-addled June 2019.

It has been OFFICIALLY confirmed that the IRC ladies relay team of Beth Barrington, Becky Williamson, Hannah Murdoch and Kajal Bailey kicked more ass at the Hope 24 event than was kicked in the 2018 World Ass Kicking Championships in Seoul, South Korea. In this mind-boggling event (Hope 24, not the Ass Kicking), the four-strong relay team ran repeated laps of a five-mile course, and secured a gob-smacking total of 165 miles (33 laps). It was enough to secure the 'medium team' first prize AND set a new world record for distance run at the Hope24 event. Afterwards the team celebrated with a glass of bubbly each, except Becky who was satistied with just 11 pints of Thatcher's and four packets of pork scratchings.

Elsewhere there was strong IRC representation at the Woolacombe 10k Beach Run. Joe Mackenzie retained his title, spurred on no doubt by a tannoy announcement that at one stage reported the news that Peter Addison was just behind him. Also Andrew 'Wooffy' Wooff was leading at one stage in 13th position.

No official results as yet but also going home clutching silverware were Abby Cooper (1st female), Jude Millage (1st female 55+) and Dave Irvine (2nd female). Other finishers: Aaron Llewellyn, Pete Westmacott, Leo Holroyd, Andrew 'Wooffy' Wooff, Neil Garrett, Chris Bulled, Sarah Bulled, Debbie Green, Peter Addison and Shell Hindes. Pete 'The Sweep' Llamosa swept up.


IRC AT ARLINGTON COURT

Congrats to all our IRCers who actually completed the Arlington Court Canter (ahem). Them final times in full: Kevin Reed (1st MV40) 41:05.4; Leo Holroyd 44:45.7; Pete Westmacott (2nd MV50) 45:30.8; Mick McCann (3rd MV60) 46:14.5; Dave Irvine 52:26.9; "COME ON!" Claire Williamson 53:17.7; Jenny Evans 53:53.2; Hayley Whetter 55:56.8; Simon Whetter 59:07.5; Jude Millage (2nd FV55) 59:45.9; Karley Wells 1:01:14.7; Jay Bocock 1:07:17.8; Debbie Green 1:01.33.19; Alice Bradley 1:03:46.9; Linda Balment 1:07.48.7; Tim Baker 1:12:46.1.


IRC LOONIES GO COAST-TO-COAST

Most of us sane people think that 5k is 'a bit of a trek', but we have some lunatics at the club for whom running/walking/stumbling over 100 miles is 'a stroll in the park'. Three such loonies took part in the Coast-to-Coast challenge over the weekend - an ultra endurance event that starts on the Devon North Coast and ends on the Devon South Coast, with just 117 miles in-between, which is like running four marathons, or 38 Park Runs, back-to-back.

The three severe psychopaths/masochists were Wendy Dale (31h58m), Dan Loder (34h52m) and Gavin 'Training? I don't need no stinking training!' Burnside (35h16m). Nutters!

Elsewhere Mary Menon was the first lady (and second overall) at the Race the Tide Long Marathon in 04:09:19. At the same venue Nick and Kajal Bailey, just back from their recent four-day trip to Lee Bay, took part in the Short Marathon, which Nick won! Hurrah! And the Woodland Trail 8.5M run, in which Kajal was the fourth lady home.

Mentions too for Hannah Mudrock who swam 1k, cycled 51k and ran 11k in the Snowdonia Slateman Tri Classic in which she finished in 03:42:58, plus Alice Bradley ran the Ocean City HM in Plymouth in 02:01:01. Phew!


WINS FOR JUDE, MICK & DAVE AT BIDEFORD

If you see IRC vest-wearers at a local event, chances are you'll see some of them heading home clutching winners trophies to their chests. This was again the case at the Bideford 10k where three of our ... ahem ... veteran runners took home shiny things following the famously flat local 10k.

Jude Millage seemed to be the only person shocked that she'd trotted off with the V60 ladies prize in a chip time of 53:55. Mick McCann came second in the MV60 cat (43:23) and Dave Irvine third in the same cat (45:11)

Our other competitors: Leo Holroyd (41:13), Pete Westmacott (41:38), Claire 'Still Don't Cheer For Me' Williamson (44:17), Dougie Bolton (46:00), Darren Vincent (47:27), Roy Pickard (47:55), Ben Gunn (47:57), Elliot Jones (52:43), Hayley Whetter (53:14), Ben 'The Bullet' Beacham (53:21), Simon 'CAKE!' Whetter (53:39), Chelsey Geller-Booth (53:51), Peter Addison (54:21), Debbie 'Glamorous Gran' Green (54:31), Mel Hickles (1:00:49), Camilla Holroyd (01:28:14) and Karley Wells (01:29:29).

Elsewhere Helen Wright set the fastest lap (53:55) at the 2019 Ox Frolic, completing eight laps (84km or 52.2 miles) overall. Alice Bradley also managed four laps (42km or 26.1 miles) in 06:09:58. Stonking stuff!


CATALAN TW*T OUTSHINES BARCELONA!

Dislike him or loathe him, you cannot (sadly) deny that David "I love Sadio Mane, me" Garcia has a bit of running talent. And so he (sadly) proved by finishing second (just like Barcelona in their UCL semi) in the very sensibly-named Yellow Welly Cobble Wobble around the Clovelly estate on Sunday.

Although not a race, Mr Garcia (named in honour of his favourite ex-player Luis Garcia from his favourite side, Liverpool) somehow won a medal and a prize, finishing in a time of 01:34:49.

Other IRCers: Kevin Reed (01:39:56), Dan Loder (01:46:42), Ross Fuller (01:56:31), Andrew 'Wooffy' Wooff (01:57:29), Tim Baker (02:09:30), Sally Tapp (02:34:38), Alice Bradley (02:30:28) and Pete Llamosa (03:04:38).

Elsewhere Leo Holroyd and Peter Addison took their annual trek to Milton Keynes to compete in the MK Rocket 5k and MK HM. Times: Leo: 5k 19:13, HM 01:31:57. Peter: 5k 25:46, HM 02:10:12.


About Our Club

Founded in 2013, Ilfracombe Running Club is a group of nutters and heavy drinkers who love running up hills (like they have any choice). We're a supportive bunch who love our slowest plodders as much as we love our super-fit athletes. We encourage anyone to slap on a pair of running shoes, get plodding, get fit and most of all, have fun! We run beginners' groups and the famous 'Ilfracombe Blue' can be seen in races local, national and even international. Come and join us for a one-off run - we (almost) guarantee you'll be bitten by the running bug. Read More ...

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