This year is the 10th anniversary of the Looe 10 miler, a route that gains over 1500 feet of elevation. The race is part of the Cornish Grand Prix and is always incredibly popular, this year over 550 athletes signed up for the run. With each runner being rewarded with a specially designed T-shirt, and goody bag, stuffed full of wonderfully donated items from Spar shop (sweets and energy bars), lemonade from Cornish Orchard and a box of Cornish tea plus fresh fruit as athletes cross the finish line. As an additional treat Barry Osborne owner of PB Running, located near Roche, kindly donated 40 pairs of athletes socks, 2 free gait analysis and 2 pairs of Hoka trainers which were spot prizes to the athletes as they completed the race. The event was sponsored by Westcountry Bakery who kindly provided food for the volunteers and Airtight storage solutions.
The route starts and ends in the Millpool car park. An undulating run through West Looe, following the river toward the fire station, where the athletes tackle the first of many hills on this route. Looping across The Downs and the athletes run along the country lane towards Talland. From here athletes take Bridals lane, turning on Talland hill, before turning on to Sclerder Lane, then turn again towards Porthallow, returning the runners to Talland, where the runners complete the route, running back to Looe and returning athletes to Millpool.
Phil Shepley, who is no stranger to the 10 miler route, having previously completed a month-long challenge running the 10 miler route each day and raised thousands for charity. Decided that this year something special was needed. Starting on the Saturday lunchtime, he will continually run the 10 miler route for 24 hours, in aid of the Fire Fighters Charity. Within 24 hours, he ran the route a staggering 8 times, but at the end of the event, he was still smiling having raised over £1800 and rising, exceeding his expectations.
Prior to the 10 miler, children can take part in the mini miler, with over 70 enthusiastic young athletes taking part. Zelah Tribe- Purvis came first for the girls aged 4-6, with Mazin Amr coming first for the boys in the same age group. For the 7-9 years olds Tilly Day came in first for the girls and Chris Munslow came in first for the boys. In the eldest mini miner category Phoebe Crabb crossed the finish line first for the girls and Malek Amr (big brother to Mazin) came in first for his age group and first overall.
Jacob Landers, from the Tamar Trotters smashed the previous record for fastest athlete for the 10 miler route, crossing the finish line in an incredible 58:14.
As for the Pioneers, Clive Finnimore came back first for the Pioneers, completing the route in 1:18:56, followed by Dale Tedder finishing in 1:23:23. Jenny Cartwright came back first for the females, with a time of 1:32:52, closely followed by Darren Hardwick, who achieved a personal best on the route completing the route in 1:33:10. Debbie Jones crossed the finishing line in 1:37:16, followed by Rob Kernaghan 1:43:31 and Giles Francis crossing the finish line in 1:45:20. Gary Oswald crossed the finish line in 1:52:00. Simon Lawes completed the route in 1:55:38, closely followed by Sarah Barker 1:55:49. Sarah Haynes completed the route in just under the 2 hour mark, finishing with a time of 1:58:19 Kelly Prutton crossed the finish line 2:12:02, followed by Becky Brewer with a time of 2:13:25. Kathy Saunders completed the hilly 10 mile route in 2:16:32, and came second in her age group, followed by Beth Aldridge with a time of 2:27:57. Anne Harry and Gwen Vaughan crossed the finish line together with a time of 2:29:28.
Mid February saw 4 pioneers run in torrential rain and winds of over 40 miles an hour, taking part in the Exeter half marathon. However that didn't stop the fab 4 - Emma Clarke, Nikki Williams, Ali and Peter Catnatch having a great time and coming home with some impressive times and finishing places in the race. The Exeter Half Marathon is a great, traffic-free, flat route run along the footpath and cycle track of the River Exe and Exeter Canal.
The route started at the historic quay of Exeter. Running along the river, towards the university playing fields, placing George V's playing fields, before looping around over bridge road, at the edge of Riverside playing fields. From here the athletes take a small windy detour to make up the miles, running towards Matford roundabout and around the business park green. Before looping back to where they have previously left the first loop at Riverside playing fields. Running straight to Grace Fields Playing field and returning along the home straight. However here the athletes need to turn around to complete the route one more time before they can cross the finish line.
Emma Clark came back first for the pioneers with an impressive time of 1:42:33, making her 7th lady overall and 2nd in age cat. Ali Catnatch crossed the finish line in 1:44:43 and came back first in her age group. Nikki Williams finished in only minutes later, with a time of 1:46:36, awarding her with 2nd in her age group. All three female athletes achieved personal best times for a half marathon, given the weather conditions, this is an impressive achievement.
Pete Catnatch, the only male from pioneers to take part in the Exeter half marathon, finished the route in 2:19:34 and completed the route with the added bonus of being 3rd in his age category.
All round a highly impressive achievement for all 4 pioneers.
Early February saw the return of the Newquay 10K road race. Usually a good place for athletes to aim for a personal best time. This is the 2nd event in the Cornish Grand Prix series for 2022. Starting at the Newquay sports centre. Where athletes take to Tretherras Road, and on to Hilgrove Road, passing the Newquay Zoo, on to Trevemper Road, passing Newquay Boating Lake. From here the athletes turn towards Trevemper, before turning towards Trevella holiday park, and looping back on themselves and heading once more for Trevemper. Where athletes then follow the original route back to the finish line.
23 Looe Pioneers, joined the nearly 750 strong runners.
Mandy Gibson crossed the finish line first for the pioneers, completing the route in 45:15, followed by her partner Phil Gibson with a time of 48:19. Followed by Debbie Jones, with a time of 49:35, then Darren Hardwick crossed the finish line at 49:52. Followed by Louisa Chisholm finishing with a time of 52:18. In under 2 minutes, there was a flurry of pioneers completing the 10K road race - John Gossan (52:42), Emma Collins (53:19), Helen Lawes (53:44), Martin Gregory (54:06). Linda Cuff with a time of 55:19. Followed quickly by Robert Kernaghan (57:11), Natalie Bell (56:45), Simon Lawes (56:48), Kirsty Webb (56:55), Di Foster (57:47), Sandra Northcott (58:52), Jessica Rudd (59:48). All finishing under the one hour mark. Sandra Haynes returned with a time of 1:01:38, with Kathy Saunders finishing at 1:06:30. Angela Harrison crossed the line at 1:12:57, followed by Guy Cooper (1:13:57), Anne Libby (1:17:14) and Ann Harry (1:18:12).
An incredible turn out for the Pioneers.