The amazing Emma Langstaff and Richard Patrick competed in the Arc of Attrition. Which is an extreme coastal path run, from Coverack to Porthtowan, covering a staggering 100 miles. This ultra marathon, is an incredible run taking in the dramatic Cornish landscape. From Coverack, athletes run along the coastal path towards the Lizard. During the route athletes get to see some of the major coastal towns including Porthleven, Marazion, St Just, St Ives, Hayle, before finishing finally at Porthtowan. The race has a strict 36 hour limit. For the two pioneers Emma completed the race in 31:17:32 and Richard completed the route in 32:37:39. To support the runners, several of the Pioneers went to cheer on their fellow athletes, Christian Boyce and Nina Bond ran the final 22 miles as sweepers, ensuring all the athletes completed the race safely.
Last Sunday saw an amazing turn out of 25 Looe Pioneers taking part in the Newquay 10k run. With Mark Deacon (38:30) being the first male back for the pioneers, with Jo Robinson (40:42) being the first female pioneer over the line. Followed by Clive Finnimore (43:37), closely followed by Mandy Gibson (44:47). Alison Catnach completed the run in 49:49, quickly followed by Rob Kernaghan (50:57) then Darren Hardwick (51:54). With Di Foster (52:37), seconds later Martin Gregory (52:53), followed by the youngest pioneer to take part in race Megan Hearnden (53:00), followed by Helen Lawes (54:23). Quickly followed by Emma Collins (55:27), Linda Cuff (56:03), Geraldine Bowden (59:28), and Mick Torres (59:55) completing the route in under the hour mark. David Hotchkiss finished just over the hour (1:01:04), followed by Sharon Moreau (1:04:41), then Kathy Saunders (1:07:01). Which was closely followed by Mandy Kemp and Lisa Kernaghan (1:07:18) who ran together. Moments behind them came Julie Gregory and Sandra Northcott (1:10:56). With Lynne Overd completed the route in 1:20:04. Guy Cooper and Shaun Pengelly also ran together.
Saturday saw a plethora of Looe Pioneers head to either Eden or Lanhydrock to take part in the Park Runs. Park Runs are 5k in length and take place all over the country, being free to enter they are highly popular. Pioneers who travelled to Eden to take part were Mark Deacon who finished 6th out of 324 athletes in attendance, with an impressive time of 18:35, this is even more spectacular given that Mark has recently been injured and needed to rest for several weeks. Also taking part from the Pioneers include Emma Collins who finished 26:27 with a personal best time, Maddie Southall, recently awarded with junior pioneers of the year, also achieved a personal best time with 33:13. Sandra Northcott, who ran with Maddie came in 33:14.
Where as Lanhydrock saw more pioneers in attendance, with 182 other athletes taking part in the Park Run. Rob Kernaghan coming in first for the pioneers, with a time of 28:26. Mick Visick came in 31:03, with Paul Wright not far behind him with a time of 31:25. Mandy Kemp was the first female back for the Pioneers with a time of 35:19, Lisa Kernaghan completed the route in 36:28, which was a personal best time for her, followed by Kathy Saunders completing the run in 38:48 followed by Jackie Tanner 43:07.
Sunday's weather didn't deter just over 400 athletes, along with 19 Pioneers who took part in the first of the Cornish Grand Prix Series races, Storm Force 10.
Starting just outside Camborne this 10 mile race, takes the athletes through Barripper. From here the athletes, then run in a square taking in Carnell Green, Leedstown, before turning back on Praze Road and finishing the square to Carnhell Green, before running back through Barripper and returning to Camborne. With several of the Pioneers achieving personal bests on this undulating road race, there were also treated to seeing alpacas on route.
Mark Grassam (1:09:56) who had an excellent run and can celebrate this being the first race his has come back first for the Pioneers, as well as getting a personal best time for 10 miles. He was followed by Tommy Meyes (1:11:54) who also achieved a PB. Quickly followed by Gary Williams (1:12:51), Mandy Gibson (1:14:28) who came back third for her age category overall, and Clive Finnimore (1:14:44), who also achieved a PB for the run today. Followed by Alison Catnach (1:21:40), John Hoskin (1:26:22), Darren Hardwick (1:27:58) who also achieved his PB for 10 miles. Then Martin Gregory (1:28:35), with Helen Lawes and Linda Cuff running together (1:38:10), followed by David Hotchkiss (1:39:44), Nina Bond (1:43:32), Kathy Saunders (2:00:00) and Vicky Senior and Julie Gregory running together (2:00:56). Just over the 2 hour mark, came Lynne Overd (2:13:00) with Lisa Jago and Shaun Pengelly (2:14:00)
Whereas as Mandy Kemp and Rob Kernaghan took part in the Braunton 10K or 10 miles respectively. Both routes set off from the North Devon Athletic track, and take the Hill Road into the town of Braunton, then turning left to take the country lanes towards Knowle Water, where the two distance athletes split, the 10K route loops round on to North Lane and heads toward West Ashford, where athletes turn towards home, running through Heanton Punchardon and Heanton, then back to the athletic track.
For Rob and those other athletes that signed up for the 10 miler route, they left the 10K athletes, and headed out to Pippacott, then turned to Whitehall and on to Ashford, before rejoining the 10K runners at West Ashford. Mandy completed the slippery and hilly 10k route in 1: 06:00. Whereas Rob on the 10 miler track, which included two additional hills completed the route in 1:28:00.
January saw the annual awards evening for Looe Pioneers. Each year members of the club are asked to vote for a series of awards, this year the dazzling award ceremony and end of year party took place at Tencreek Holiday Park.
Awards went to Mark Deacon for Best Male Runner of the Year, with Mandy Gibson picking up Best Female Runner of the Year. Both who are outstanding runners and frequently come first in their age group when competing.
Most Improved Female Runner of the Year went to Mandy Kemp, with Darren Hardwick being awarded the Most Improved Male Runner of the Year award. Darren only started running at the start of 2019 in the C25K training scheme and has gone on complete a half marathon, with his first marathon booked for April 2020.
Clive Finnimore was awarded Pioneer of the Month for December and picked up the award for Newcomer of the Year. Maddie Southall was awarded with Junior Pioneer of the Year, having competed in many of the club runs, most recently the 10 miler practice runs for the Looe 10 Miler Race which will take place on 22nd February.
Peter Heywood received the Chairman's Choice Award, due to his outstanding contribution to supporting the club.
Nina Bond won the Ian Slee award. Ian Slee was the founder of the club and the award was created after he sadly passed away in 2007, he was passionate about the love of running and the benefits that running provides. Nina, a fantastic runner, was awarded this for all the extra work that she puts in to the organisational aspects of the club, going above and beyond other runners. Previous winners have included Brian Maywood, Kirsty Webb and Di Foster.
New Years Day, kicked off with 4 of Looe Pioneers bracing the muddy and slippery paths of Bodmin, to take part in the Brown Willy Run. The run is organised by Truro Running Club and they are keen to point out that this is a sociable run and not a race.
The route is 7 miles long, mostly on Moor land. The route starts at the famous Jamaica Inn, and gives the athletes the opportunity to run on roads, until they reach the edge of the moor. From here the athletes run towards Brown Willy Tor, on the way they run passed Tolborough Tor and Catshole Tor. At Brown Willy Tor, where athletes have reached an elevation of 420m, before looping around the Tor to complete the run and return to the welcoming warmth of The Jamaica Inn.
473 athletes took part in the run, the run is free to enter, but the organisers requested a donation, this year the event raised £2370 to be split between two charities, Cornwall Search and Rescue and Cruse- Bereavement Care in Cornwall. The 4 Pioneers, seeing in the New Year with a bracing run were Dave Hotchkiss, Rob Kernaghan, Mandy Kemp and Sandra Haynes.
The last two weeks of 2019, were certainly not quite ones for Looe Pioneers. With many athletes taking part in their longest run of the year, and having festive fun along the way.
A record number of pioneers attended the festive Park Run at Eden Project, where athletes, donning seasonal fancy dress, run a 5K route, around the Eden. An impressive 47 Pioneers, and juniors took part in the race, which was the highest turnout for the pioneers at Eden Park Run for the year. Park runs are excellent events, which happen all over country. They are free to enter and are 5K in length starting at 9am. As they are open to everyone, you can try for a PB, or take it at a slower pace and enjoy the hour before the site opens. Both the Deacon brother's put in an amazing effort, with Mark Deacon coming in 4th overall, and his brother, Andy coming in top 20. Jo Robinson finished first for the females. Gary Williams come in the top 20 out of nearly 300 competing athletes that day.
Christmas Eve saw the Looe Pioneers compete in a practice run of the Looe 10 miler, which is due to take place in late February. The route, takes the athletes from Millpool car park, running up West Road, across the muddy and in places slippery Downs. Then the athletes run towards Portlooe, and on to country lanes passed Hendersick National Trust site and on to Talland. Here they loop around Talland, taking them up to West Waylands Touring Park, back to Talland. Then the athletes run back passed the Hendersick National Trust site, then back home to Looe, via The Downs, then onwards and gratefully after a hilly run, downwards to the finish at the Millpool car park. For half a dozen of the Pioneers this was their first 10 mile race, including Jay Wagstaff, Mags Pope and Becky Allman. For Kathy Saunders, Darren Hardwick and Donna Gundry who were all part of the this years couch to 5 K training programme, this was a great achievement to have completed the route, having only started running in January 2019. Maddie Southall a junior pioneer, also completed the 10 mile route, she was the only junior to compete this year in the Christmas eve event.
On Christmas Day when most people were opening their presents, Nina Bond and Christian Boyce, who are both race directors for Park Run with the additional support from Mark Deacon, organised a very special Park Run. Putting all three of them on Santa's nice list for year. Taking place at the usual 9 am start time, a record number of people to take part in the 5K run, at Plym Valley. A staggering 400 athletes joined the athletic trio on Christmas Day morning for the Park Run, with Kylie Bond, Nina's sister joining in the 5K run.
To end the year on a high, dozens of Looe Pioneers meet again at the Millpool car park to have another practice at the 10 miler route on New Years Eve. Following the same route as the Christmas Eve run. Athletes were greeted with the same muddy, and hilly conditions.
Darren Hardwick ran in the Longridge Christmas Pudding 7 mile race. During the race, he had to deal with freezing cold conditional and heavy rain. Hardwick ran an impressive route given the terrible weather conditions, completing the race 139th out of 416 athletes. With an impressive finishing time of 1:00:56, where he received a Christmas themed medal, in the shape of a pudding.
Christmas Canter race took place Cardinham Woods, athletes could take part in the 5 or 10 k route, both routes take the athletes around Cardinham woods, but for those who do the 10k they get to do it twice. Several of the pioneers took part, dressed in their festive best, Nina Bond completed the 5K route in 35:07, Lisa Kernaghan completed the route in 34:00 who ran alongside Mandy Kemp. Whilst Zak was the first pioneering back rocketing across the finish line. Whilst Rob Kernaghan took on the hard 10K route, completing the route in 54:06 sadly the rain started for the second loop, making the conditions slightly harder for those athletes on the 10k route.
Saturday saw the Santa Fun Run, the one mile fun run taking athletes from west to east Looe. The days events brought together many community groups from the town, showing a great spirit to support the town and provide some entertainment for the people of Looe. Many of the Looe Pioneers joined in the fun, and to mark the festive occasion, they were dressed as presents. Gary Williams was the first pioneer over the finish line for the pioneers at the fun run and Zak was the first junior pioneer back. All competitors of the Santa fun run were rewarded with a box of Cornish Tea.
As is tradition for Looe, Santa arrived in style, arriving on boat with the help of the RNLI and a few reindeer helpers.
Santa and Mother Christmas then take to their sleigh, followed by Sheila's Dance Class and the Pioneers, singing and dancing through the streets. Where Santa in his sleigh, then circles around the car park and goes to the Grotto to meet eager children, hopefully all of those children are on Santa's nice list.
During the day, there was an indoor Christmas market, additional places to eat and drink as well as children's entertainment. Luckily the rain held off and lots of people came to see Santa and enjoy the festive fun.
When the evening started to draw in the Christmas lights were switched on in the evening, lighting up the town, including the bridge followed by the lantern procession through the town. The evening at the entertainment continued, including a carol service and musical entertainment going on until 7.30.
Last weekend saw Cheryl Broas take part in the Pelham half marathon. The 31.1 mile route, starting on 5th avenue, taking the athletes around this village in New York. The route takes the runners towards the Shore Park, then gets them to loop back, taking in two hills before the finish line. For Cheryl this was a special run, not only is this her hometown, but also she completed the race first, for women in her age group.
Last Sunday saw an early start for 5 Pioneers, who took part in the Race for Wildlife race. Which is part of the Cornish Multi Terrain Race for 2019 series. The 7.5 mile route, taking place in the countryside north of Penzance. Taking in some of the spectacular views of both Mounts Bay and St. Michael Mount. Athletes had to negotiate both stiles and stony ground. The race's finish line was at Penwith College. Jo "The Rocket" Robinson came in 4th overall of the females, completing the route in 54:58. Shortly afterwards followed by Mark Grassam 55:27. Followed by Clive Finnimore 59:02, then Rob Kernaghan 1:06:55, followed by Nikki Williams 1:07:16.
Last Saturday saw Rob Kernaghan, competing in the Tilgate, West Sussex park run, completing the 5K route in 25:14. Dave Hotchkiss took part in the Eden Parkrun, completing the 5k route in 29:49. Park runs are great runs, 5K in length and take place all over the world, usually in really interesting locations, and are free to enter.
Last weekend saw Mandy Gibson take part in the Gloucester 10k. This year the race incorporates the South West of England Inter Counties Challenge. Where Mandy was part of the Cornish female team. With County pride at stake, all the athletes were pushing themselves to their absolute limit. This is a massive honour to represent the county. The course, is an all inclusive event, with elite athletes running next to new runners, as well as a 10k wheelchair users. This is a mostly flat road race, taking place in the Haresfield and Colthorp Villages. The route starts at the Kingsway Manor Farm Park, taking the athletes on to Naas Lane, which takes the athletes over M5, heading down towards Haresfield, where athletes then loop back and again over the M5, to finish in the village centre. Mandy completed the route in 46:22 and her team walked away with Gold for Cornwall.
Last Sunday saw 14 Pioneers travel down to Falmouth to take part in the 5 mile Mob Match, this was the last in the Cornish Grand Prix series. The route starts and finished out side of the impressive Falmouth hotel, taking the athletes on the coastal path and including some of the finest hill that Falmouth has to offer. this impressive route takes the runners, passed Pendennis point, taking in the opportunity to run passed the castle and Gylly beaches to Swanpool. From there athletes take a lap around Swanpool lake, for a final hill up to the cemetery then up again to the welcome site of the hotel and finish line.
Clive Finnimore completed the route in 39:27, Rob Kernaghan, who has already run the day before in the park run (42:00), Emma Collins finished in 44:52, Helen Lawes finished 45:36, Tania Elliott finished in 46:09 and achieved her personal best on many areas of the route. Sandra Northcott (55:33) who ran the route with Guy Copper. Lisa Jago (1:04:09), Lynne Overd (1:05:39), Mandy Kemp ran with Lisa Kernaghan completing the route in 53:00.
Following the Mob Match race the awarding of the trophies for people who had run either 8 or 15 races within the series. Several Pioneers picked up their trophies for completing 8 races, Guy Cooper, Clive Finnimore, Lisa Jago, Lynne Overd, Gary Williams, Shaun Pengelly, Mark Deacon, Mark Grassam, Mick Torres, Helen Lawes, Mandy Gibson and Linda Cuff. Andy and Tania Elliott completed 15 of the Grand prix races and picked up there awards.
Jo Robinson, took part in the Venture Roller coaster Trail Race, in Blanchdown Woods. Finishing the race in 41:05, and she came third lady overall. The route is 5 miles, and takes in 5 hills, on forest track, taking place in the Tamar Valley, an area of outstanding natural beauty. Given the recent rainfall, this was a muddy and at times slipper route.