The 7th March, saw Clive Finnimore completing an amazing 24 hour challenge. Clive along with other athletes, many who took part in the Eddie Izzard Challenge earlier in the year, this event was organised by Stephen Cousins. The challenge this time was to complete 100 miles in under 24 hours, this was done via Zwift the virtual running software where Avatars of the athletes represent real life runners on a treadmill. This 100 mile challenge virtually took place in Watopia, a fictitious location created within Zwift. Clive, who is an amazing runner and loves to take part in super human events, completed this staggering challenge of 100 miles in 21 hours 57 minutes.
Last weekend, saw many of the Pioneers taking part in the Bath Virtual Half Marathon. As the actual event has been amended due to the current lockdown to be a virtual event, where athletes could sign up and take part in the half marathon in any location, as long as they conformed to social distancing rules. Many of the pioneers joined up with one another, Donna Gundry ran with Nina Bond, completing the run in 2:59:00. Other athletes who took part in the 13.1 mile run include Julie Gregory, Lynne Overd, Jay Wagstaff and Angela Harrison. For Kathy Saunders this was her first half marathon where she also raised an impressive £500 for Alzheimer's Society. For Becky Brewer this was also her first half marathon. This is an amazing effect, for all the athletes who took part. Keeping momentum during lockdown is both a physical and mental challenge.
Phil Shepley, who has spent the last 30 days running the Looe 10 miler route to raise money for Firefighters charity. He wanted to raise £2000 for the charity but impressively due to his superhuman effort raised a staggering £3500 and the total is still growing. For the last 10 runs, he ran in his firefighter's golden uniform. This PPE uniform made from gortex to prevent the firefighters from getting burnt, also prevents heat from getting out of the suit. Making the runs much harder as the weather has become warmer, during the last week. During his daily 10 mile run, Phil has been joined by either a Looe Pioneer or a firefighter. On his last run, where he was joined by Christian Boyce to complete the 10 miler route. Also for support were fire fighters Ian Simpson and Jack Blackmore in the mini firefighters vehicle, known as Mule. Ian and Jack frequently provided freshments to the fellow firefighter whilst he was running. Peter Haywood also ran the route in support of Phil, changing position from running in front and running behind Phil to support him. Nina Bond and Donna Gundry also ran, keeping social distance between Phil and Christian, again supporting Phil to complete his last run. Along the route, as it is a well known run for all the pioneers, there were pioneers socially distancing, cheering and supporting Phil, providing water, and the odd Jelly Baby too.
Mark Hewitt, Chief Fire Officer came to wish Phil all the best of luck in his last 10 miler route.
Usually February would bring hundreds of runners to Looe, to take part in the annual Looe 10 miles race, known as for being "Hillish and Hellish". However due to Covid- 19 lockdown this is not possible this year. So instead Looe Pioneers decided to offer this as a virtual run- run 10 miles, in one go or broken down into smaller runs, within one month, starting from 20th February. Money raised will be donated to the Firefighters charity. Over 180 runners signed up to the virtual event, many who live in and around Looe, however some athletes, from all over the country.
Most athletes ran a 10 mile in one go, making the most of the recent drier weather. A few including William Gundry, the youngest runner (aged 8 years old) broke the run down into small runs, but completed the event. Though any 10 mile route was permitted many choose to run the actual Looe 10 miler. For Heidi Hoskin and Nina Bond (usually the organiser of the race) this was the first time they completed the Looe 10 miler.
The 10 miler route starts runners in the millpool car park, taking them up the first of many hills on West Road, from here athletes change terrain and run along the field and carry on towards Talland. From here the athletes get a brief look at the sea, before they need to run up Bridals Lane, turning on to Talland Hill and then on to Sclerder Lane, turning right again, making their way back to Talland. Where athletes return to the first road, and run back to Looe. During the run the athletes deal with an impressive 1600 feet in elevation.
Phil Shepley, is one of the athletes who signed up for the 10 miler, however Phil, who is also a firefighter, decided that doing the route once was not enough of a challenge. For the 30 days between 20th February - 20 March, Phil will be running the Looe 10 miler route every day. As is permitted within the government's regulations he is allowed to socially distance run with one other person- on several runs he has been joined by both friends, other Looe pioneer athletes and fellow firefighters. though he still has some runs to complete, before the end of the month. Phil has single handedly raised over £1800 to support The FireFighters Charity. Each run he is completing in roughly 1 hour 30 minutes. This route is a tough one, to go back day after day and complete this is an impressive physical and mental achievement. Not only that but day on day he is getting faster at this challenging route.
Carol Beaver, set herself a personal challenge to see if she could run every day in February. During the course of the month, she went out every day, regardless of the weather and ran an impressive 76 miles during the month of February. During the month Carol also took part in two duathlons, riding 12.5, then running, and a week later riding 16 miles then completing a run. She ended on a high, her last run was the Looe 10 miler.
February also saw Lynne Overd raise money for Cancer Research. She signed up for a month-long challenge where she needed to run 2 miles each day over the month of February. With each run, another Looe Pioneer joined her, but obeying social distancing rules. Over the course of the month, she raised over £300 and ran 126.7 miles