A friendly and social running club in North Devon

Latest News

What's happening in July

  • Monday July 1st Doone Run entries open. This popular race sold out last year, don't delay - get your place here
  • Wednesday July 3rd Torrington relay
  • Thursday July 4th Run from club, TBD
  • Thursday July 11th Combe Martin
  • Wednesday July 17th Bideford relay and presentations
  • Thursday July 18th Run from club, TBD
  • Thursday July 25th Doone Valley

Speed/hills on a Monday, S&C on a Tuesday and track speed sessions on a Wednesday with Ben Cox

Most Thursday night club runs have groups of differing abilities and distances. There is also usually a 5Km group which mainly stays in Ilfracombe regardless of where the main groups are.

As always, remember to check the club Facebook page in case there are any last minute alterations!

What's happening in June

  • Tuesday 4th June Ilfracombe relay
  • Thursday 6th June Lee
  • Thursday 13th June run from club TBD
  • Tuesday 18th June North Devon Road Runners' relay
  • Thursday 20th June run from club TBD
  • Thursday 27th May Hunter's Inn

Speed/hills on a Monday, S&C on a Tuesday and track speed sessions on a Wednesday with Ben Cox

As always, remember to check the club Facebook page in case there are any last minute alterations!

What's happening in May

  • Wednesday 1st May South Molton relay
  • Thursday 2nd May run from club
  • Thursday 9th May Mortehoe
  • Tuesday 14th May Fremington relay
  • Thursday 16th May run from club
  • Thursday 23rd May Arlington

Speed/hills on a Monday, S&C on a Tuesday and track speed sessions on a Wednesday with Ben Cox

As always, remember to check the club Facebook page in case there are any last minute alterations!


Rejoice! The Doone Run returns this year, clear your plans for the 22nd September. More details will follow....


Club relays are back! For those not familiar - each club enters teams of up to four depending on age and gender. Each runner in a team runs the route, handing off to the next person. Fastest team scores the most points, the team with the most points after six races gets the glory. However, the real winners are the first in the line for the buffet at the end....

The dates are:

  • South Molton - Wednesday 1st May
  • Fremington Trailblazers - Tuesday 14th May
  • Ilfracombe Running Club - Tuesday 4th June
  • North Devon Road Runners - Tuesday 18th June
  • Torrington AAC - Wednesday 3rd July
  • Bideford AAC - Wednesday 17th July

Please lift share where possible, and wear your loosest fitting clothing for the buffet.

As always, remember to check the club Facebook page in case there are any last minute alterations!

What's happening in March

  • March 7th Town route bicclescombe first
  • March 14th Alternative town route down past school first
  • March 21st Alternative town route princess avenue first
  • March 28th Lee headtorch run

Possible headtorch runs from club on some Thursdays (alterative to town routes).

Speed/hills on a Monday, S&C on a Tuesday and track speed sessions on a Wednesday with Ben Cox

As always, remember to check the club Facebook page in case there are any last minute alterations!

What's happening in February

  • February 1st Town route Bicclescombe Park first
  • February 8th Alternative town route
  • February 15th Food bank run - bring some produce along to deposit at the food bank
  • February 17th IRC do Woolacombe Parkrun
  • February 22nd Town route - Tescos first
  • February 25th Castle Hill Corker
  • February 28th Breathe coach session
  • February 29th Headtorch run at Baggy Point

Beth's return to running course concludes

Speed/hills on a Monday, S&C on a Tuesday and track speed sessions on a Wednesday with Ben Cox

As always, remember to check the club Facebook page in case there are any last minute alterations!

What's happening in January

Happy New Year! Hopefully, your resolution will be to run more?

  • 4th January alternative town route
  • 11th January alternative town route clockwise
  • 18th January normal town route
  • 25th January headtorch run in Combe Martin

Beth's return to running course starts on the 4th.

Speed/hills on a Monday, S&C on a Tuesday and track speed sessions on a Wednesday with Ben Cox

As always, remember to check the club Facebook page in case there are any last minute alterations!

Beginner's courses, coming in 2024!

Following the club AGM, we are pleased to announce not one, but two beginner's courses for 2024. Please visit the beginner's page for more info.

AGM Minutes

The club AGM was held on December 6th at the Football Club. Chris' minutes can be found here

What's happening in December

  • December 6th Club AGM - Football Club, 1930. All welcome
  • December 7th Alternate town route clockwise
  • December 10th Club Xmas outing Weston Christmas Cracker
  • December 14th Town route Tescos first
  • December 21st headtorch extravaganza up the Tarka Trail
  • December 28th Town route Bicclescombe first (subject to interest)

Speed/hills on a Monday and S&C on a Tuesday.

As always, remember to check the club Facebook page in case there are any last minute alterations!

What's happening in November

  • November 2nd Alternate town loop
  • November 9th Town route
  • November 16th Lee head-torch extravaganza
  • November 26th Combe Crawler - entries still available here
  • November 30th Town route

Speed/hills on a Monday and S&C on a Tuesday.

As always, remember to check the club Facebook page in case there are any last minute alterations!

A reminder that The Combe Crawler returns on the 26th November 2023. Places are going fast, you can book your place here

What's happening in October

  • October 5th Town loop: Tescos first
  • October 12th Town loop: Bicclescombe Park first
  • October 19th Wistlandpound head-torch extravaganza
  • October 26th Surprise town route

Speed/hills on a Monday and S&C on a Tuesday.

As always, remember to check the club Facebook page in case there are any last minute alterations!

A reminder that The Combe Crawler returns on the 26th November 2023. Places are going fast, you can book your place here


Didn't get a place for the now sold out Doone Run? Or just love running up hills? Either way, this will be right up your street.

The Combe Crawler returns on the 26th November 2023. You can book your place here

What's happening in July

Doone run entries going fast, make sure you get your place here to avoid missing out.

Final North Devon Club Relay events - still all up for grabs.

Thursday club runs:

  • 5th July Torrington relay
  • 6th July From football club
  • 13th July Combe Martin
  • 19th July Bideford Relay and presentations
  • 20th July From football club
  • 27th July Woodpecker

Speed/hills on a Monday (not relay weeks, save your legs) and S&C on a Tuesday.

As always, remember to check the club Facebook page in case there are any last minute alterations!

IRC column in the Focus Magazine

Our very own Steven Whitworth has his latest column in the Ilfracome Focus magazine, this time on the local club relay event.

You can read the latest column here. Sadly, he does not mention the buffet league table he's collaborating on - perhaps that's a subject for another column?

What's happening in June (Doone Run entries open!)

Doone Run entries open from 1st June - make sure you book your place here

Members new and old are advised that membership fees are now due - renew before the deadline and get a high vis club t-shirt. Please respond on the Facebook post when you have paid stating your t-shirt size.

North Devon Club Relays continue - Ilfracombe (6th) and NDDR (20th) take their turns at hosting this month.

Thursday club runs:

  • 1st June From club
  • 8th June From club, post run refuel with any relay buffet leftovers
  • 15th June Mortehoe
  • 22nd June From club
  • 29th June Hunters Inn

Speed/hills on a Monday (not relay weeks, save your legs) and S&C on a Tuesday.

As always, remember to check the club Facebook page in case there are any last minute alterations!

What's happening in May (club relays are back!)

May sees the return of the North Devon Relays. A number of running clubs in the North Devon area take turns at hosting a relay event over 2.2 miles (3.54km). If you are interested, contact the respective mens or womans captains. You do not need to be fast, it's just for fun (but you are strongly advised to be first in line for the buffet that follows).

Thursday club runs this month:

  1. 4th May From club, Crawler route (TBD)
  2. 11th May Lee
  3. 18th May From club (TBD)
  4. 25th May Arlington

Speed/hills on a Monday (not relay weeks, save your legs) and S&C on a Tuesday. As always, remember to check the Facebook page in case there are any last minute alterations!

IRC in the news!

Can't get anough IRC news? Thought so - and so did club legend Steven Whitworth. He has started a new column in the Ilfracombe Focus magazine. You can read it here


Ilfracombe Running Club strongly suggests you cancel all of your existing plans for Sunday 17th September 2023....

If your daughter is wondering why you can no longer attend her wedding, please refer her to The Doone Run - she will understand.

What's happening in April

Now the clocks have changed, Thursday runs will have more variety. Plans as follows:

  1. 6th April Club along the coast path to Napps and back
  2. 13th April Club to Coin, Blue Mushroom and back
  3. 20th April Baggy Point
  4. 27th April Club Score, Cairn and Slade (and back)

In addition to this, there will be speed/hills on a Monday and S&C on a Tuesday. As always, remember to check the Facebook page in case there are any last minute alterations!


The seventh edition of the Combe Crawler was on the 27th November.

Full results can be found on the Crawler page


Clear your diaries, the Combe Crawler is back. The best race on the North Coast returns on Sunday the 27th of November.

For more information, including how to enter, visit the Crawler page


Annual membership subscription fees are now due. The club membership year runs from the 1st of July and remain at £20 for existing members (new/prospective members please enquire).

Other than the priviledge of running in the famous Ilfracombe colours alongside other like-minded awesome runners for another year (and who could put a price on that?), membership also includes reduced fees when entering particular races, discounted club sessions at Elevate and discounts at other local locations.

Please transfer funds to the club bank account and notify membership secretary Chris Burley when complete.

Phil in all its splendour

Arlington Canter 2020

Arlington Canter 2020

There are a number of things in life that can give you a boost: the pride of a personal achievement; the warm flooding as you ease into a hot bath after a run (particularly a muddy one!); or perhaps the knowing look, nod, smile or grunt as you and your ‘fellow’ runners navigate a muddy Arlington on a Sunday in March when the weather can’t decide what kind of misery it wants to present you with.

All of these happened to me in this year’s Arlington’s Canter. Having only started hitting the pavement just over a year ago, I don’t have that many comparisons to make. In fact, this would be the first race I’d already done before. The excuses came days before (it’s earlier this year, I’m not as fit, the conditions are going to be terrible) but I still had that nervous anticipation that has become familiar with every race I take part in.

I’m starting to recognise a few more faces now when I attend these events, and although we can be relatively certain that the current climate means that organised races are either postponed or cancelled for the foreseeable future, there will be a time in the not so distant future when we can all pound the pavement – shoulder to shoulder – once again.

This year’s Canter had just shy of 200 finishers. I arrived a little later than I had intended, and scrambled a little to get my number on my shirt (surely the hardest part of race day, no? I swear I have anti-safetypin DNA) and then calm myself and warm up. There was a slight drizzle as we started, which was on and off throughout the race, sometimes hidden by the trees, sometimes mixed in with the splashes from underfoot. The opening part of the race takes you swiftly down the track and into the grassier parts of the National Trust property, with the uneven fields giving me a bit of a nightmare and not letting me get any rhythm. I’m sure I’m not alone in this. After 1k or so, we hit the track that houses the regular walking circuit and the slight downhill that lets you stretch out your legs and loosen your shoulders a little.

Shouts of “Be careful! It’s really slippery!” from the marshalls were unsurprisingly accurate, and any attempt I had initially thought about making to avoid the muddiest or wettest parts soon went out of the window as I realised that mud and water were going to be completely inevitable. As track merged into stream, mud into grass and stone into squelching bog, it helped provide me with the necessary focus to allow my brain to stop thinking about my legs getting tired or getting bored of the terrain. The undulating course and the conditions meant that this was as far from a road race like the Bideford or Barnstaple courses as I had experienced, and with it came the slightly different approach of caution and having to think on your feet. No zoning out and pounding the track here…

Last year’s halfway water station proved to be more around the 6 or 6.5k mark, and has confused me no end. This year, it was earlier, and with the focuses of avoiding plastic usage (great efforts, NDRR) and the inevitable concerns about not spreading any illness with the current state of things, it was good to see a few people just asking for top ups to their own containers rather than just grabbing what was there. Additionally, it was more accurately around the 5k mark and gave me a better bearing for the latter part of the course.

Due to a lack of being properly ready for the run (lack of frequency of running with you lot on a Thursday, recovering from a back strain – told you the excuses were flowing!) meant that fatigue hit me shortly after this, and I had to stop a couple of times for a breather. The conditions underfoot had probably taken a fair amount of wind out of my sails, but I must say I did enjoy the free flowing descent where I let myself feel like a skier going over the moguls and went as quickly as I felt safe. I exchanged a fair few grunts of effort with another runner as that suddenly became flat road and my calves and quads started screaming at me – but I had enjoyed it nonetheless. I know that Peter Addison enjoyed it a whole lot less, but it is good to know that he was well looked after and was in good spirits later on when he posted that he was recovering and well…

I like the finish at Arlington. After an uphill on a narrow and grassy track where the majority of people seemed to resign themselves to walk, there’s a flowing flattish part before a brief uphill along the hedge that leads to re-entry to the Arlington grounds. From there, I love pushing myself and had a good sprint finish for about 500m. My lungs didn’t thank me for it, but I used up everything in the tank, and you always get a whole heap of support in those final moments, hearing the finish line before you see it, of course.

Statistically, I was 5 minutes slower than last year, but I still broke the 1hr mark, which I’m happy with, and as I’ve already stated, I’ve got a whole heap of excuses for self-justification 😊.

A good turnout from IRC of course, with some more accomplished and regular runners even having a go for the first time. I felt happy that I wasn’t too far behind Dave Irvine, although there’s no chance I’d be anywhere close to him at the longer distances; and it was good to see others I know such as Ross Fuller put in a good showing. I don’t know half of you as well as I possibly could, and that’s not likely to change in this period of social distancing, but until we get to group run properly again, I’ll lose myself in my thoughts on my own favourite routes and hope that you do with yours too. Having already given my running shoes a proper cold bath a number of times on the day, sinking into a hot midday bath after this year’s Canter was ideal. I think my trainers are still drying though…

Stay safe. Phil

Poetress Mel Foreva!

Running the Bath Half for the NSPCC

Running the Bath Half for the NSPCC

Oh, what a laugh,
to run the BathHalf
for NSPCC in piddling rain today.
It was mainly on roads,
participants were loads,
and clearly was marshalled the way.

5 mins to I started,
but I wasn’t broken-hearted,
coz I’d been placed correct for my pace.
Orange pen I was in,
I couldn’t wait to begin,
but from: Alice Bradley, Jay Bocock, Karley Fricker, Karen Walls, I was parted.

The crowds did turn out:
‘well done!’ ‘good luck!’ ‘keep going!’
they did shout,
all the way round the course.
At mile number 11,
OMG ... Heaven,

Madness, One Step Beyond
Played loud on a boom-box to endorse!!

I so enjoyed the BathHalf,
the rain was a laugh,
and made it one to remember.
My time, I’m not sure,
but I couldn’t have tried more,

Oh, my fire for run is no ember!!

El Cleanio

Castle Hill Corker 2020


IRC descended on Filleigh (not to be confused with Philly, a slightly larger city in America) for their annual crack at the Castle Hill Corker. Hosted by our friends at South Molton Strugglers, the 6.4-miler is perfect for fans of the following: elevation, precipitation, mud, running through dark flooded tunnels, and uphill finishes.

No less than 34 Ilfracombe runners accepted the challenge. Some drove to the race, others took the party bus, but only one man – mileage machine Mr David Garcia – had the gall to RUN the entire 21 miles from Combe. And the epic warm-up didn’t slow him down at all, adding a mere 60 minutes to his race time compared to last year. (If Strava is to be believed, which it probably isn't.)

Apart from the Tunnel of Doom, other highlights included a grassy hill that nature never intended to be tackled by human legs, two rickety bridges, and a "troll bridge" straight out of a children's story. Some say the muddy troll who lurks beneath it is only a myth, but photographic evidence suggests otherwise:

El Whiteio

The final mile of the race – running back to the start line through the grounds of Castle Hill Estate – was particularly hard due to a stiff breeze that seemed to be a headwind in all directions at once.

But none of that could stop IRC walking away with an armful of prizes. Trophies went to (take a deep breath): Doug Bolton (2nd Vet 40 Men), Gavin Burnside (2nd Vet 50 Men), Ross Fuller (1st Vet 40 Men), Charlotte Jones (2nd Vet 35 Ladies), Mick McCann (2nd Vet 60 Men), Jude Millage (1st Vet 60 Ladies), Nicola Oliver (2nd Vet 55 Ladies), Kevin Reed (1st Vet 45 Men) and Becky Williamson (1st Vet 40 Ladies and 1st lady overall). We also scooped the Men's team prize for Kevin, Leo Holroyd, Gavin and Ross, and the Ladies' team prize for Becky Williamson, Chloe Atcheson, Charlotte Jones and Nicola Oliver.

The times in full were as follows: Kevin Reed 46:57, Leo Holroyd 49:37, Gavin Burnside 50:01, Ross Fuller 51:51, Pete Westmacott 52:01, Becky Williamson 52:27, Roy Pickard 53:06, David Garcia 53:18 (official time) or 1:51:25 (according to highly accurate global positioning systems – who do you believe?), Chris Bulled 53:30, Doug Bolton 54:31, Andrew Wooff 54:31, Neil Garrett 55:01, Mick McCann 55:13, Ben Hugo 57:00, Gary ‘Jif’ Kemp 58:25, Chloe Atcheson 58:32, Charlotte Jones 58:58, Simon Oliver 59:58, Nick Marsh 1:02:05, Darren Vincent 1:02:48, Vince Irwin 1:03:40, Sara Rodriguez Garcia 1:03:54, Nicola Oliver 1:04:29, Hayley Whetter 1:05:01, Simon Whetter 1:05:04, Steve Bywaters 1:05:19, Jude Millage 1:08:15, Debbie Green 1:08:15, Debbie Freeman 1:10:13, Mike “Doobs” Robinson 1:13:14, Sally Tapp 1:14:19, Lorraine Dyer 1:24:34, Mel Hickles 1:24:36, Colin Hickles 1:25:39.

Cheers to Strugglers for putting on another top event with great marshalling and catering. Their other big race, the South Molton Struggle, returns on 7 November 2020 after a two-year break. We look forward to seeing them there!

Join the gang!

Introduction to running - 10 week programme


Do you want to improve your health, challenge yourself and reach your personal fitness goals?

Have your new year's resolutions fizzled out? Worried about joining a running club?

New to running or consider yourself as an absolute beginner?

Look no further. Ilfracombe Running Club is starting a 10 week introduction to running programme as of Thursday 27th February 2020.

WHO? Anyone 18 or over. Seek medical advice from your doctor if you are concerned about starting running.

WHAT? Over the 10 week programme you'll aim to progress from walking to running at your own pace up to a target distance of 5K (3.1miles). Tips and general advice on running will be provided. It's ok to walk a bit and jog a bit!!!

WHERE? We meet 7pm every Thursday at Ilfracombe Town FC, on Malborough Way just off Malborough Rd. Inside the club house, take the stairs and we'll be in the bar area.

HOW (much)? £10 for 10 weeks. This will include IRC membership until July 2020 for those who wish to join.

WHY? Physical and mental health benefits Read more

Running with other people means you're more likely to keep running regularly. IRC are a friendly, sociable club and we have a bar if you fancy a post run drink.

**SAFETY POINTS TO REMEMBER** Wear comfortable trainers and socks. Wear high-vis tops or brightly coloured tops. Ensure you are hydrated throughout the day. Avoid eating too close to the session (leave at least 2 hours before exercise).

**SPREAD THE NEWS** There are a few people who don't use social media who are interested in joining the beginner's programme.

**CONFIRM ATTENDANCE** Confirmation via email: charly_jones319@hotmail.com

Enjoy running. Charlotte Jones

The mugs...

Gliddon and Squire North Devon Cross Country League Final Event West Buckland School


The IRC youth contingent was reduced to a single member; Amber injured from a fall, May victim of a cold. Harley was chasing PBs in Woolacombe. Lola was ready to represent the girls in the under 9 race. Not representing the under 9’s, Mick McCann, fresh from a bit of winter sun in Thailand was another victim of the winter germs. Nevertheless, he arrived determined to finish the league on a high note. And myself (Joe Mackenzie), I was peachy.

Depleted but not defeated, a bit of IRC drama was to follow.

Lola’s race carried a few permutations. She was ecstatic to have performed consistently over the 6 races and hoped to achieve a top 10 place in the final results. In the cross country series, the top 6 competitors receive a trophy alongside their medal. We never discussed this with Lola but we knew there was a possibility she may get top 6. Now to the race. The usual 100m sprint start started proceedings but Lola took her time. Picking her way through the field, she made steady progress. After the hill climb at the half way point, Lola began to move through the 92 strong field. With her usual somewhat lackadaisical elegant stride, she finished in 10th.

To her surprise, Lola achieved a 6th place finish in the overall standings. She did awesome and absolutely loved the excitement of joining the other competitors on stage for a photograph with her trophy. However, she was very sad not to have shared the fun with her IRC teammates.

The Senior Men’s race carried some exciting permutations. 1st and 2nd place was to be decided by South Molton’s speedy pair of James McKibbin and Paul Cooke. Winner takes all. 3rd and 4th was undecided. Your very own Joe Mackenzie would have to get the better of a chap called Richard Foster. Representing a primary school, I presume he is also a primary school teacher. It was battle of the chalks.

Cue Drama. Myself and Paul Cooke decided to go for a nice warm up taking in the entirety of the course, discussing all things running before the race. Gently running around the final corner of the 3 lap course we suddenly noticed a large group of men running into the distance.

We had missed the start of the race.

Performing a somewhat inelegant striptease, myself and Paul gave chase to the pack. We had much ground to make up. The first lap was a lung buster, exhilarating but painful. Lap 2 the damage was felt but we had made our way through the field, I was in 3rd position. Paul was 2nd but James was looking very strong still around 150m ahead.

The final lap. Richard had bettered me in the past 2 out of 3 races. On both occasions he had held his position after a last push on the final hill. With this in mind, I worked hard to stay ahead on the final hill. This wasn’t easy. Cross country courses are maze like routes that offer spectators opportunities to take on numerous cheer leading positions in a single race. It is safe to say that Richard is a well-supported gentleman. I did wonder if I was victim to sort of Dickensian haunting at the hands of urchins perched at the top of that final hill. And every field on the 2km lap after that. I managed to keep my grip on 3rd holding off Richards last gasp sprint finish. Mick had finished 8th and performed fantastically in his age category (although this was not an awarded category).

Unfortunately, I wasn’t named as the overall 3rd place athlete as presumed. Richard was announced in 3rd, resulting in a raised eyebrow Mexican wave. I was announced in 2nd place, Paul’s place! I was informed that Paul was disqualified as he had not entered the race from the start line. We had indeed joined the back of the race from the forked lane which allows athletes to continue onto another lap. I quickly informed the officials that I should also be disqualified but this was met with comments that the other runner was unknown. Perplexed and embarrassed I went to console Paul who took the disqualification with a huge amount of dignity and humour.

Although it was a disappointing end to the senior affairs, the events of the day are further evidence that it isn’t the trophies that matter. We had spent a glorious morning with the North Devon community getting muddy and enjoying the great outdoors. The kids can’t wait to it again next year meet up with their IRC buddies. All of us came away richer from the experiences that events like this offer.




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).




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...


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!!




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


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...



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...


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


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.


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.


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.


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!


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!


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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