Last week, saw a series of events taking place for the Looe Pioneers within Cornwall. The brave Pioneers who battled against the wind and rain to compete in some spooktacular events.
On the eve of Halloween, 6 weather hardened athletes, took part in the Cardinham Woods Twilight Run. This creepy run, taking place at night, took the runners in the dark on a frightening 5k route. For those who were brave enough to do the 10K route, they would have the pleasure of running through the woods twice, just to give them a proper scare.
The 5K route saw nearly 100 athletes complete in the race. With Rob Kernaghan completing the race in 28:40, Christian Boyce was hot on his heals (28:55). Nina Bond, as the first female athlete for the club to cross the finish line, with a time of 36:13. With Mandy Kemp (36:20) who came first in her age category, quickly followed by Lisa Kernaghan (36:23).
Darren Hardwick, was the only pioneer who did the 10k and completing the race in 53:18 and came in 27th out of 121 athletes who took part.
Last Saturday saw Emma Clarke travel to London, to take part in the Thames Meander Marathon, where the route takes the athletes from Kingston Upon Thames following the River Thames, towards Twickenham, Richmond, past Kew Gardens, then over the London Wetlands Centre, this is where athletes turned around to return to just north of Kingston Upon Thames. However on the return leg, the athletes had to run into the wind, making conditions harder to run. Emma completed the 26 mile run in 4:18:03, making this narrowly her second fastest marathon. However she did achieve her fastest 30k run.
On Sunday morning 9 athletes took part in the Runway Runaround, whilst Wingwoman Maddie Southall cheered on the runners, providing much needed support in the miserable weather conditions. The race took place at the RAF St Mawgan site. The race was organised to raise money for Cornwall Air Ambulance, an amazing charity close to the hearts of many within the Pioneers. With this race being even more special, as this year celebrates the 100th anniversary of the RAF starting, and 75 years since RAF St Mawgan, the location for today's race, site opened.
This amazing and flat route, on the runway, where athletes had the pleasure of running under the stationary Thomas Cook planes wings and tails, which is not part of your everyday race! Sadly, the race itself was delayed for 20 minutes, athletes tried to keep their spirit up by doing a massive team warm ups, with roughly 900 athletes taking part.
The Pioneers wore orange tutu's and wigs during the charity run and started the route whilst being played to by a steal drum band. Darren Hardwick (48:36) and Rob Kernaghan (48:35) came back first for the Pioneers, with Emma Collins being the first female across the line for the Pioneers having completed the race in 54:08. Mandy Kemp finished the race in 1:06:00. Donna Gundry and Julie Gregory ran together and completed the race in 1:06:33. Sandra Northcott, who has been resting for 6 weeks as she has been recovering from an injury, ran with Lisa Kernaghan who both completed in route in 1:06:52. Kathy Saunders was just behind them with a time of 1:08:35. Lisa Jago completed the route in 1:15:38.
This weekend was also the Cornish Marathon. However due to the terrible weather conditions that have been effecting Cornwall recently, there was a last minute change to the route, due to flooding, removing a much needed 6 miles of flat running whilst running near Jamaica Inn, for more hills. However, that didn't stop 10 Pioneers taking on the challenge. The route started at Pensilva with a quick loop around the primary school, from here the athletes, run toward the beautiful Golitha Falls, where athletes then ran toward the edge of the Moor, just to turn and run to the middle of Bodmin Moor, running passed Colliford Lake. Then turning just before the athletes reached Bolventor, to repeat the run back to Pensilva.
Jo "The Rocket" Robinson put in a truly amazing display, and after several races where she topped her age group, this race saw Jo come back first not only for the club, but also first female back. Jo ran against 475 runners taking part, with a superb finishing time of 3:18:50. This is an incredible achievement, given the weather, harder conditions and length of race.
Other Pioneers who took part were, Tommy Murran (3:21:07), Gary Williams (3:31:05), Emma Langstaff (3:51:08) who came second in her age category, Alison Catnach (4:12:42), Clive Finnmore (4:20:00), Gary Oswald (4:45:36) third in his age category, Tania Elliott (5:11:41), Mick Torres (5:21:32) and Andy Elliott (6:09:52). Mick Torres, Andy Elliott, Tania Elliott and Tommy Murran all choose the Cornish marathon to be there first marathon.
Showing real team spirit to support the athletes during the marathon, many of the Pioneers including Di Foster, Mandy and Phil Gibson, Guy Cooper and Nick and Mags Pope jumped on their bikes and clocked up 15 - 25 miles of the route, just to cheer on their friends and fellow runners!
Robert Cioppa and Cheryl Broas, who live in America and also spend time in Looe, when they are in Looe they run with the Pioneers. Last weekend saw them both participate in the New York Marathon, along with 56,625 fellow runners, they took to the streets on a perfect Sunday. For Robert, aged 77, this was his first marathon with a finish time of 6:14:11. Cheryl, aged 58 completed the run in 4:21:46.