Late November saw Louisa Chisholm, her partner James Kingham, Darren Hardwick and Rob Kernaghan take part in the Lobster Lollop, a 10K run organised by Purple Gekko. The runners were divided between two days, to reduce the number of people running at the same time. The 10K route starts at Padstow National Lobster Hatchery. The athlete's run along the River Camel for 5K before turning around and repeating the route back to the Hatchery.
Darren Hardwick finished the route first in his age group, with an impressive time of 48:48.
Rob Kernaghan completed the route in 52:25. With Louisa Chisholm crossing the finish line in 52:36 and James Kingham who is new to the pioneers, completed the route in 1:04:27
Jay Wagstaff completed100K Breast Cancer Now Challenge during the month of October. Running in all weather to complete her challenge and in the process she raised £165.00.
Whilst Sarah Barker raised £3213 for The Daisy Garland Charity by running the London Marathon at the start of October. The charity supports children with epilepsy.
The first weekend of November saw Louisa Chisholm, Rob Kernaghan and Sandra Haynes take part in The Readymoney Ramble. This is an 8K run starting at Readymoney Cove, along the coastal path to Polridmouth. From here the athletes run back overland to loop through Fowey and return to Readymoney. The route is 60% trial and 40% road. To make the route more interesting and more challenging for the athletes, the route is also a self navigating exercise activity. Whilst Louisa took part in the 8K, Rob and Sandra decided to double the route and complete the 16K version.
Rob Kernaghan, came back first for his age group in his age group, completing the 16k route in 1 hour 52 minutes.
Louisa Chisholm finished the route in 51:19, and took first place in her age group.
Sandra Haynes completed the route in 1:48:24
Carol Beaver took part in the Anytime Cornish Marathon. A virtual run, with a set route. Each year roughly a month is dedicated to the runners being able to complete the route. The route starts and finishes in Pensilva, takes the runners out to Jamaica Inn, then back via Bolventor, to Pensilva. Carol, set off at 7 am and completed the route in 7 hours 49 minutes.
Christian Boyce and Mark Deacon travelled to Portsmouth to take part in the Great South Run, a 10 mile road run that hugs the sea front. Starting on the Clarence Esplanade, towards Old Portsmouth town, before the athletes get to take a brief look at the boats within Portsmouth Harbour. From here the athletes run past Victoria Park and along Winston Churchill Avenuene. Before looping back and heading towards Southsea Common, before heading on to the South Parade and East Parade. From here the athletes run to Eastney looping back along the Esplanade to the finish line. Christian smiling all the time, finished the route in 1:27:54. Christian completed a 5K Park run at Plym Valley only the day before. Mark Deacon completed the 10 mile route in 1:20:00, sadly having to jog the last 2.5 miles due to an injury in his achilles.
Emma Clark ran the Paris Marathon. Starting near the Arc de Triomphe, athletes run to Bois de Vincennes before looping back and following the River Seine, passing the Eiffel Tower. Before heading towards Bois de Boulogne to the finish line. Emma completed the run in 3 hours 42 minutes.
Keeping it local and for a good cause. Sara Gratton, Anne Libby and Ann Harry all took to Plymouth for the Race for Life 5K run. Starting on Plymouth Hoe, the loop around on to cliffe road, before heading out towards West Hoe Road. Turning when they get to Millbay park, and running back on Great Western Road hugging the seafront, until they reach the barbican. From here the runners take Lambhay hill on the promenade before looping back to Hoe road, around the war memorial to the finish line just past Drake's statue. Ann Harry completed the route in 36:30. With Anne Liby finishing in 37:11 and Sara completing the trio and crossing the finish line in 39:49.
Rob Kernaghan, is having an amazing month of running. At the beginning of the month he took part in the Man up, Man down challenge, a 20K coastal challenge, starting at Portreath and running along the rugged north Cornwall coast to Perranporth. Then last weekend saw him complete his 250th Park Run, demonstrating an amazing long term dedication to running.
Last weekend saw the local half marathon and marathon taking place at Eden. With many pioneers taking part in both versions of this multi-terrain route. With the two routes starting together, just outside of Eden athletes then run along the road to St Blazey, before heading towards Prideaux Woods. From here athletes follow the River Par and head towards Luxulyan, then continue on the road Roseney Mill then Corgee Farm before Tredinnick. Just before the 8 mile mark the half marathon athletes continue on the road, but the marathon runners turn off. Staying with the half marathon route, takes the athletes to the bowling green, then passes the Innis Inn campsite before returning to the Eden Project. The half marathon has an impressive elevation of 1145 feet, whereas the marathon boosts an incredible 2595 feet of elevation.
Returning half marathon Eden runner Nick Pope, finished the run in 1:54:37, followed by Jennine Fisher with a time of 2:08:31, closely followed by Jenny Cartwright with a time of 2:11:32. Next for the Pioneers was Becky Brewer, completing the 13.1 mile run in 2:39:32, with Lynne Overd finishing in 3:15:01.
For the marathon runners they keep to the same first 7 and a half miles as the half marathon runners, just before the 8 mile mark they head towards Helman Tor, before coming to Lanlivery and Colligree. For miles 15-17 the athletes return to Luxulyan Valley, enjoying some of the off-road running this route is known for. From here the marathon runners complete the initial loop around Roseney Mill then Corgee Farm before Tredinnick and complete the same route as the half marathon runners.
There were over 200 runners taking part in the Marathon, Emma Langstaff came back first for the Pioneers, and completed this hard hilly route in 3:49:40, making her the third female back for the race. Sally Crabb completed the 26.2 mile route in 4:46:53.
While Darren Hardwick took part in the Manchester Marathon. Starting on Chester road, and running past Old Trafford, from here the athletes loop around the city centre. Then on this flat route, athletes get to run alongside Manchester Ship canal, towards Wharfside. From this point, athletes rejoin Chester Road, for mile 8- 13. Running onto Timperley, and then Altrincham, before looping around and heading out towards Baguley and Sale Moor. For the last few miles, the athletes do one final loop of Edge Lane and Seymour Grove. Darren finished his 26.2 miles in 4:48:39.
Clive Finnimore, no stranger to marathon running, decided to push himself in October, and took part in Centurion A100. Where athletes have to run 100 miles in under 24 hours. This unbelievable test of endurance took place just outside of Reading. The route has 4 separate sessions, each being 12.5 miles out and back, starting each time from Streatley. The first leg is from Streatley to Little Wittenham, from then it is Streatley to Swyncombe Farm and back again. The third section takes the runners from the starting point to Chain hill before returning and starting the fourth and final leg, which takes runners to Reading. The final is the return to Streatley.
This is Clive's first attempt at Ultra running. Completed the staggering distance in 22:56:44. Putting him in 68th position, an incredible achievement.
The 3rd October is a very special day for athletes, this year saw a staggering 80,000 athletes taking part in either the virtual or running the route in London. This year marked the 40th Anniversary of the race. For the runners taking to the streets of London the route started at Blackheath in Greenwich. From here the athletes run towards the Cutty Sark, for mile 6. By mile 12 the athletes are next to The Shard and move straight on the Tower Bridge. Then the athletes run towards Canary Wharf, to reach mile 18, then along to the Embankment to see the London Eye, Westminster and on to the Houses of Parliament for mile 25. The final part of the route takes the runners to Buckingham Palace and the runners finish on The Mall.
Jo Robinson came back first for the pioneers, and achieved a personal best, finishing the route in 3:06:34. Followed by Emma Langstaff, who crossed the finish line in 3:22:03. Followed by Mandy Gibson with 3:38:03, finishing just before her husband and running partner Phil Gibson 3:58:26, who both ran for Wish for William charity. Alison Catnach finished the iconic run in 3:45:02. Cheryl Broas completed the run in 4:15:34, with Elysia Gregory the only member of the Gregory household to be running in London, with the other members of the family opting for the virtual run, completing the route in 4:35:29. Then came a flurry of Looe Pioneers crossing the finish line, with Brendan Palmer finishing in 4:42:36, Linda Cuff crossing the finish line at 4:45:59, Louisa Chisholm completing the route in 4:46:27, who raised over £6000 for her charity Action on Addiction. Helen Lawes came in next with a time of 4:49:06, followed by Sarah Barker with a time of 4:55:31.
For the virtual runners, who were allowed to run on any route, as long as they reached the 26.2 miles. Martin Gregory finished his route in 3:54:27, with his daughter Jas Gregory, looping multiple times around the Royal Veterinary College Campus finishing in 5:07:01. Julie Gregory, who had recently received medical advice instructing her to run, still competed by walking the distance in 9:03:34. Her dedication to finishing is incredible.
Clive Finnimore, a seasoned marathon runner, decided to take the opportunity to enjoy the coastal path, making his virtual run a multi-terrain route and completed his route in 4:30:45. Graham Mace completed his virtual route in 4:48:51.
Donna Gundry, who completed her first marathon in 5:20:39, was joined at the end by her family, who created a finish line for her to cross and received a bouquet of flowers to celebrate her achievement.
Lynne Overd, who is currently recovering from injury completed the route in 7:19:45
Many pioneers came out to support the virtual runners, cheering them on and in several cases joining them for a few miles.
Last Sunday saw swimmers take to the water to enjoy the annual Looe Island Swim and excellent event in the sea swimming calendar. Again this year, the event was sold out, demonstrating its popularity with swimmers. The athletes taking part in the open water swim are taken by boat to the nature reserve island, then they swim back to the East Looe Beach. The swim is just over a mile long and raises money for the Chestnut Appeal Foundation. With last year's evening having to be cancelled, due to Covid 19.
Several Looe Pioneers ditched their trainers and got into their wetsuits to take to the water, including Guy Cooper, Jag Wagstaff, Julie Gregory and Mark Deacon took part in the swim.
For any athlete this is a challenge, to swim in one mile in open water and on the day this was in choppy conditions didn't help. However this didn't stop 15 year old local teen Tilly Baker. For Tilly this was her first attempt at this swimming challenge and her efforts paid off. Tilly is an excellent swimmer and she completed the swim in a highly impressive time, just days before she returns to her studies.
Carol Beaver took part in the Fowey swim, where the conditions were flat, however Carol developed cramp during the one mile swim, but continued on without support to complete the swim in 54 minutes.
Last week saw athletes take part in a series of races in Plymouth, both the10K and half marathon, on the same day and started on the Hoe. Making this a highly popular event.
The 10K route takes the athletes from the war memorial located on Plymouth Hoe, runs on to Citadel Road, from here they run along to the Theatre Royal and continue along Royal Parade. Then the athletes move on to Exeter Street and Sutton Road, before making their way on to Embankment Road, then turn and run alongside Embankment road returning to the city. For the individual completing the half marathon, this is where they travel across the River Plym, where the half marathon athletes run along Billacombe Road towards Elburton, turning on to Haye Lane. Turning again at mile 8 and heading alongside Saltram, before reaching mile 9 and running alongside the River Plym on The Ride. At mile 10 they run along Laira bridge and rejoin the 10K route. From here the athletes take Gdynia Way then Vauxhall Street with the marina providing athletes with a beautiful view. For the last mile, the athletes stayed close to the water, then returned to the Hoe for the finish line.
Emma Collins completed the 10k in an impressive 52:59.
Mark Deacon completed the run in 1:26:22 finishing first for the pioneers. Jo Robinson came in first for the female pioneers, with a time of 1:29:20, quickly followed by Dale Staff (1:29:38). Emma Langstaff came in at 1:40:41, followed by Natalie Storey at 1:40:48. Alison Catnach was the next pioneer with a time of 1:49:34. Then came Mandy Gibson 1:50:22, with her husband Phil Gibson following behind with a time of 1:51:19. Helen Lawes and Darren Hardwick crossed the finish line together with a time of 1:59:22. Louisa Chisholm got to the finish line in 2:01:11, Rob Kernaghan finished in 2:02:29, followed by Giles Francis with a time of 2:05:01. Linda Cuff came in at 2:06:40 and Lynne Overd completed in 2:59:45.
Three pioneers Nina Bond, Peter Heywood and Kathy Saunders took part in the Treggy 7 route. A 7 mile route starting in Launceston town centre in a circular route. With the first mile, mainly taking the athletes down hill on to undulating rural roads. Where athletes then have to climb the half mile incline up to the village of Tregadillett. By this point the athletes have run more than half of the route and are starting on the return leg of the journey. The final three miles are mainly down hill and athletes finish the route at Launceston castle.
Nina Bond came back first for the pioneers with a time of 1:08:40
Peter Heywood completed the run in 1:19:02
Kathy Saunders who came first in her age category, and completed the run in 1:22:24.
Clive Finnimore, completed the 4th stage of the Saints and Smugglers Challenge. With the extraordinary 28.5 mile route, from Padstow to Fowey. Starting just outside of Padstow, run inland and hug the river. From here the athletes run towards Trenance, and on to St Breock Downs Monolith and on to Withiel before making their way onto Tremorebridge. Zigzagging along the lanes and road, the athletes then run up to Helman Tor, before making their way onto Lanlivery and Milltown, finally making their way to Golant and running along the Fowey River, before finishing the race at Fowey. Clive Finnimore completed this epic trail route in 4:43:40, finishing 5th.
Saturday 4th September marked a special day for many runners around the world, with End to End Run organising a World Record Attempt at getting the most number of people running 5K within a 24 hour period. The previous record was 6718 individuals.
Lots of Pioneers joined in the World Record Attempt, with Carol Beaver, Sandra Northcott and Kathy Saunders, opting to complete the Lanhydrock Park run 5K route. Whereas Julie Gregory, Anne Libby, Sara Grattan, Anne Harry, Angie Harrison, Jay Wagstaff and Lynne Overd taking advantage of the closed Sandplace road near Looe. Donna Gundry and William Gundry, took advantage of the decent weather and completed their 5K on Tregonhawke beach, then had the compulsory dip in the sea, followed by a refreshing ice lolly. Jon and Heidi Hoskin completed their 5K together, as part of the World Record Attempt. Within 24 hours of the cut off point a massive 9196 people took part, making this a World Record Breaking 5K event.
Bank holiday Monday saw 5 exceptional pioneers take on the Dragon Triathlon at Bodmin. The 5 pioneers challenged themselves to the Big Dragon, consisting of a 400M swim that took place in Bodmin Leisure Centre followed by a 24K bike ride. The cyclist followed Lostwithiel Road from the leisure centre on to Treffry Lane, where they continue for just short of 12K which brings them to Cornwall Services. From here the cyclists turn back and add in an extra mini loop to ensure that they have completed the distance, and return along Treffry Lane and back to the Leisure centre. From here the athletes park their bikes and start the final segment of the day, which is a 5.6K run.
For the run the athletes head out of Island Lane, and turn Respryn Road, and take to the Lanhydrock woods, before turning and repeating this first section, then loop around Bodmin College Campus to the finish line.
Mark Deacon, who came in 16th overall, completed the swim in 7:59, the bike section in 46:24 and the run in 22:39. Nina Bond came back first for the Looe Pioneers females with an impressive swim of 9:49, completing the bike stage in 56:10 and the run in 33:12. Carol Beaver, a regular triathlete, finished the swim in 12:43, with the bike section taking 1:03:57, and completing the run in 38:40. Whereas for Kirstie Maywood this was her first triathlon, completing the swim in 14:07, followed by an impressive bike section 1:13:24, and super quick run 34:14. Julie Gregory finished her swim in14.44, then powered on to the bike section with a time of 1:27: 42 and ended with her run in 39:14.
Bank holiday weekend saw pioneers lacing up and running, with many of them currently enduring their marathon training, with several pioneers taking part in the London marathon both virtual and in person, as well as the Manchester marathon, which are both due to take place within the next few weeks. For many the Bank holiday weekend was a great weekend for training, whereas others saw the weekend as an opportunity to compete.
Louisa Chisholm, Rob Kernaghan and Sandra Haynes
took part in the Pentewan Valley 10 K Trail. This mostly flat, and beautiful run, which is supporting Anthony Nolan Charity, during the day a staggering £1216.73 was raised for Anthony Nolan Charity. The route started on the cycle path in Pentewan and takes runners towards Tregorrick, where the athletes then turn around and return back towards Pentewan.
Louisa finished third female in her age group completing the route in 50:11:00
Sandra completed the route in 59:15:00.
Rob Kernaghan came back first for the Pioneers and finished the route in 50:00
Last weekend saw the annual Roseland August Trail Series, more commonly known as the RAT. There are 4 different length routes, starting with white at 11 miles, red being 20 miles, black being 32 miles and finally the Plague being 64 miles. Regardless of the distance, each is a highly challenging experience, taking place on the South Cornwall Coastal Path, over undulating paths, through villages and countryside. Each of the routes follow the same part of the coastal path, with the 4 different routes joining and leaving at various locations.
Emma Langstaff and Sally Crabb, took on the Plague route, covering 64 miles. The run starts at midnight, and involves several hours of night running. Starting at Pentewan Valley, near St Austell, and takes the athletes on to the Coastal path, running past Ropehaven Cliff Nature Reserves. Then athletes get to enjoy running down hill to Pentewan and on to Mevagissy. From here athletes run along to Gorran Haven, reaching the 18th mile and one of the highest points of the race. From the 36th mile, runners are given a slightly easier and less hilly terrain, at St Anthony Head, athletes turn to complete the same route back to the start point. Starting on the slightly easier terrain until the 63rd mile, when the hills kick in, From here the terrain becomes much harder and involves steep hills and major descents.
Emma Langstaff completed the route in a staggering 14:48:20. Emma was the first female back, and collected her trophy at the end of the day.
Sally Crabb finished the route in 15:49:42
Several Looe Pioneers took on the Black RAT, a 32 mile route, starting at a slightly more reasonable 8:30 in the morning. With this run starting at St Anthony and completing the same final 32 miles of the plague route. For these runners, they get the slightly easier terrain for a few miles, however nearing the middle of route, the terrain becomes much more intense for the athletes.
Jo robinson came back first for the Pioneers with a time of 6:12:39
Nikki Williams, who has been training incredibly hard and this was her first entry to the RAT, completed the route in 7:34:14. With Cheryl Broas,
Alison Catnach and Dale Staff all competing in a time of 7:48:12. Nick Pope injured his back during the run but still finished in a time of 8:35:09 with Andy Crabb completing the route in 9:41:40.
Last weekend saw the return of two major runs - Indian Queens half marathon, a firm favourite in the Cornish running calendar and London Landmarks Half Marathon, a epic 13.1 mile route taking in some of the best landmarks the capital has to offer.
Indian Queens took place on a hot day, the route considered a flat and fast one, to complete a half marathon. This 13.1 route is a multi terrain route, with amazing scenery. Over the course of the route, there is a gained elevation of 1100ft. The route consists of 2 one way loops, with a middle section being both ways for the athletes. The athletes start and finish at Indian Queens, run towards the Owl Sanctuary, from here the athletes run towards the Pony Centre, where the runners enter the middle section, where they will double back on later during this race. From here athletes head towards Black Cross, then Killaworgey. From this point athletes enter the second and larger of the two loops, taking in Tregoose, Tregaswith and Trekenning. Then returning to the middle section of the route, crossing over the railway line and finishing at Indian Queens.
Clive Finnimore completed the route in 1:36:45, who completed the route 36th out of 225 runners. Darren Hardwick came 9th in his age group and finished in 2:02:02 (1:42:02). With Louisa Chisholm, who finished 2nd in her age group and completed the route in 2:08:00.
Julie Gregory was the only Pioneer who took part in the London Landmarks Half Marathon, this year. This is a truly amazing route, taking the athletes through the capital and having an opportunity to see some of the most iconic elements of the city. Whilst running the athletes need exceptional mental strength to prevent themselves getting distracted from the buildings and history of the capital. The athletes start at Nelson's Column, where they run upto the amazing Covent garden, cross over the river and instantly return to Covent garden. Looping around somerset house and then moving on the Blackfriars for their third mile. From here they go to St Paul's Cathedral, and loop back to Somerset house and on to the Royal Court of Justice. For mile 6 and 7, athletes run back to St Pauls' Cathedral and head out to Bank of England and on to Monument. Athletes then zigzag between Bank and Mansion House underground stations, before heading up to Bank underground, and the tower of London. At this point the athletes get to the 10 mile mark. From here, this is the longest straight line along the River Thames all the way back to Westminster, looping back to Embankment and finally finishing the race at Downing Street.
Julie Gregory completed this route in a highly impressive 2:41:12
Last Friday saw the return of one of the season's favourite short distance races. The Ivybridge Relay is a firm favourite with many pioneers, having had the event cancelled previously due to Covid-19 lockdowns. This year saw 4 teams, each with 4 people taking part in the relay race. Each runner takes a 2.5 miles route, before the next runner takes to the road. This year saw nearly 100 teams take part in the race. The route is a relatively simple one, taking the runners from North Filham, running along Godwell Lane, then taking the road over the Devon Expressway. From here the athletes run along the country lanes, just before the second mile mark the athletes run back over the Devon Expressway and return to North Filham.
In Team A was Clive Finnimore, Mark and his brother Andy Deacon with Max Evans. Team B consists of Martin Gregory, Louise Chisholm, Carol Beaver and Emma Collins. Team C was Kirsty Webb, Darren Hardwick, Debbie Jones and Darren Hardwick running again for the team. Team D had Linda Cuff, Angela Harrison, Jay Wagstaff and Julie Gregory.
For many of the athletes who took part in Friday's relay, they donned on their running shoes once more and ran the Tywardreath Trotter 7 mile multi terrain route the following day. With nearly 270 athletes taking part in this race, the Looe Pioneers came out in force to show support for this local run.
The route takes the athletes from Tywardreath in the woods towards St Blazey. From here the route, passing the 3 mile mark, takes the athletes uphill to the highest point of the race, then looping around to Treesmill. Crossing the start point at a right angle, returning to running in the woods and returning to Treesmill, athletes here cross over the railway line. Providing one final loop and finishing the race on the road at Tywardreath.
Mark Deacon came back first for the pioneers, completing the route in 47:09. Dale Staff returned next in 49:55. Jo Robinson was the first female back with a time of 51:08. Clive Finnimore finished 53:17, followed by Emma Langstaff with a time of 57:15. Alison Catnach came in just under the one hour mark, with a time of 57:39. Grahame Mace finished in 1:04:24, with Darren Hardwick just behind him with a time of 1:05:20. Martin Gregory completed the route in 1:09:32 and Louisa Chisholm came in seconds later with a time of 1:09:48. Kirsty Webb finished the route in 1:14:22, followed by Julie Gregory with a time of 1:32:35 and Jay Wagstaff 1:35:17.
Last weekend also saw the return of Parkruns, which take places all over the country, are free to enter and are 5K in length. Due to Covid restrictions athletes haven't been able to take part in these runs since March 2020, bringing them back is a significant change for athletes all over the country. To celebrate the return of
parkruns, Rob Kernaghan opted to run at Mount Edgecombe. Mark Deacon completed the Tamar Trails route, and though this is not a competitive race, he came in third with an impressive run of 19:35. Kathy Saunders and Mark Camp decided to do the Lanhydrock route, a tough hilly route.
Last weekend saw several Looe pioneers showing what amazing athletes they are as they took to two wheels to take part in the extremely challenging bike ride - Coast and Clay sportive 2021. This was on the hottest weekend of the year, with temperatures reaching 27 degrees. There were several distances on offer to the athletes, Nina Bond, Helen Lawes and husband Simon Lawes both opted for the 44 mile route known as the Challenge. Phil Gibson, completed in the Epic, a 71 mile route. Whereas Mandy Gibson opted to complete the longest of the routes on offer known as the Extreme, being 104 miles long.
All of the athletes' starting point was Padstow, the athletes rode down to St Mawgan, near to Cornwall Air Ambulance, where they turned towards St Columb Major at the 11.5 mile mark. At this point the route varies depending on the distance they have signed up for. For the 44 mile route, the athletes head south towards Summercourt, then turn to Mitchell and turn again to St Newlyn East, by now the athletes are at the 25 mile mark. Athletes head up to Kestle Mill and on to St Columb Minor. From mile 30 they head north, having a view of the sea, at Harlyn, mile 42, athletes turn towards Padstow to finish their race.
For those on the 71 and 104 miles route, they leave the other athletes at the 11.5 mile mark, where they take a wider loop around Rosenannon, Ruthernbridge, Victoria and Roche. From here there is a significant increase in elevation making the athletes work even harder. Reaching the highest point in the route, of nearly 1000 feet. Both groups head back towards Indian Queens, moving south to give the athletes a view of Meledor. At mile 44 the two groups split, with the 71 mile group turning towards Summercourt and completing the same route as the Challenge group. Whereas the Extreme group travel the 8 miles on to St Austell and Charlestown. From here the athletes move on to Hewas Water and at mile 67 make it to Lamorran. Moving over to Malpas, then the rides start travelling north to Tresillian at mile 72 and up to Brighton. Here athletes rejoin the 71 mile group at Summercourt and complete the same route as previous riders.
Nina Bond completed the 44 mile route in 4:27:05. Simon Lawes finished the route in 4:33:22, with Helen Lawes completed the route in 4:34:38 and this was her longest ride to date. Phil Gibson completed the 71 mile route in an impressive 6:38:10. Mandy completed the 104 mile route in 7:55:53, being the first female back, an unbelievable achievement.
Mark Deacon, known as Coach to fellow Looe Pioneers, came back from a year long injury to compete and dominate in the Plymouth triathlon, which took place earlier this month. The Triathlon pushes athletes, and incorporates a 1500M swim, in the case in open water, 40K bike ride then a 10K run.
The swim started from Mountbatten, taking the athletes into open water. Mark completed the 1500M swim in an impressive 31.30.
The bike ride starts at Mountbatten, takes the athletes along Church Hill Road then Hooe Road. Athletes then carry on to the outskirts of Plymstock, to Elburton Village, on to the Elburton Road. Riding on to Brixton, turning around just before Yealmpton. Here the athletes return to Elburton Village, this time turning and riding towards Staddicombe before rejoining the road on Hoe Road. For athletes, like Mark who took part in the Standard Triathlon and therefore longer triathlon, they have the pleasure of doing the bike ride twice to make the distance. Mark completed the bike ride in 1:41:50.
The final element of the triathlon was for the athletes to complete a 10K run. For most of the run, the athletes keep close to the water's edge. From Mountbatten athletes run along Lawrence road then return to the water's edge, along to Hooe park, from here the run across to Jennycliff round Fort Stamford back to Mountbatten. Then repeat the reverse of the loop and head back to Mountbatten for a well earned rest. Mark completed the run segment of the triathlon in 49:57.
Overall Mark Deacon came first in his age category, after a year of suffering injuries, this is an excellent way for him to enter the season.
In early July, Carol Beaver is a seasoned Triathlon athlete and Julie Gregory, who completed her first triathlon. Though 4 events of varying distances were on offer, both competed in the Big Squirrel Tavistock Triathlon. This amazing duo had to complete a 400 m swim, followed by an 18K bike ride and to finish the event a 5.4k run. With the swim taking place in Mount Kelly's amazing Olympic Legacy Pool. Then athletes transition to the bike element of the route. Starting on Parkwood road, which runs parallel to the River Tavy, athletes continue along the A386 until they reach Mary Tavy. From here, athletes cut across the Dartmoor National Park to North Brenton, where athletes turn again on to the main road and continue back into Tavistock. With not a moment to lose the athletes start their run, along Old Exeter Street, across the Tavistock Viaduct and along Viaduct walk, once the athletes reach the 2 mile mark, then they turn around and return along the same route that they had come, before finishing the race and taking a well earned rest.
Carol completed the triathlon in 1:59:14, finishing 5th in her age group.
Julie finished 2:38:15, coming 6th in her age group, an epic achievement for her first triathlon.
Last Saturday saw husband and wife team Rob and Lisa Kernaghan take part in the first of the season Gecko Gathering, with a 5K run at Siblyback. This 5K route takes the athletes on a trail route around the popular Siblyback Lake. Rob completed the route in 25:50 and Lisa completed the shorter route of 2.5K in 18.50. Sharon Moreau who opted to complete the 10K version of the Siblyback Lake route in 1:06:00
Sunday saw Rob Kernaghan take part in the Smugglers Scuttler run at Land's End. This pirate themed run is a hard and tough route. With this year being held on one of the wettest days in June. During the half marathon, athletes need to collect 4 items of contraband. The route starts at Land's End, and takes the athletes along the rugged and exposed Coastal Path towards Penwith Heritage Coast. The athletes continue until Priest Cove, near St Just, then turn around and repeat the route to finish the picturesque Land's End. Rob completed this rough terrain half marathon in 3:19:00
Emma Clarke, Phil Shepley and Ali Catnach travelled up to Exeter to take part in the Exeter Half Marathon. This route mainly follows the river Exe and the Exeter canal, the route is flat and traffic free. The route starts at Exeter's historic quay, running alongside the canal and looping back, and heading out again this time crossing over the canal, before lopping back for a second time and crossing a second part of the canal. From here the athletes run towards Exeter University Playing Fields, where athletes cross over the river again, and then head towards Matford, looping around Matford Green Business Park, before heading up to Grace Roads Playing Fields before rejoining the final road to the finish line. This 13.2 mile route saw 400 runners take part in the race, which Covid regulations mean runners start in socially distance groups of 50 people. Phil Shepley completed the route in 1.39:00, with Ali Catnach being just seconds behind him, at 1:40:00. Emma Clarke was the third pioneer back with a time of 1:46
Mid June saw a number of long distance runs for the pioneers to be involved in. Ultra Marathons are becoming increasingly popular as a running event, due the extreme challenge that it creates for the athletes. Clive Finnimore and Jenny Cartwright took part in the Boscastle Scramble, a 25.5 mile coastal path trail. This is the second of four stages of the 100 miles saints and smugglers challenge. This tough run starts at Rock and takes the athletes on the coastal path along to the beautiful Polzeath. Athletes carry on the coastal path, to Port Issac, and then up to Tintagel and along to Boscastle.
Clive Finnimore completed the route in an impressive 5:10:29, coming an amazing second overall on this incredibly tough terrain, during an incredibly hot day. Fellow pioneer who ran that day was Jenny Cartwright completed the route in 6:54:00 and came 21st.
Sarah Barker, completed the 10k route of the Endurance Life Coastal Series race which took place in Exmoor. With some of the route taking place on the South West Coastal Path, this hill route takes in 1286 feet of elevation. Starting near Waterhoe, athletes zig zag along Sir Robert's Path, taking a long loop to Heddon River, before turning back and running on a slightly shorter return route to the start point. Sarah completed the tough and hot route in 1:16:30
Emma Langstaff and Jo Robinson completed the incredible Dartmoor Discovery UltraMarathon. This 32 mile run, takes in some of the most stunning views of Dartmoor. Starting at Princetown, the athletes run along to Two Bridges, then running down hill to Dartmeet, followed by a step up hill and by the 10 miles mark runners are heading towards New Bridge at almost the lowest part of the elevation of the run. Running down hill towards Ashburton and steadily climbing towards Buckland on the Moor. Athletes then run along to Widecombe in the Moor, and Postbridge, where athletes join the road and make their way back to Two Princes, ending the run at Princetown. Due to covid -19 restrictions, athletes are being permitted to run in small waves of people, to prevent athletes running too close to each other, during the route. The route is a tough and uneven one, and to add more pressure to the runners, there is a cut off of 6 and a half hours. However, to add some additional support and fun for the runners, who are staying nearby to the race start, there was a pasta party Friday night and a covid- 19 safe disco taking place on the saturday night for those who still had the energy to dance in the evening. Jo Robinson completed the run in 4:42:12, with Emma Langstaff just behind her completing this grueling challenge in 4:43:14.
Superhuman Sally Crabb, completed one of the hardest endurance challenges, the South Downs Way 100, a 100 miles race, during one of the hottest and humid days so far this year. Overall there is an elevation of 3800 meters, with most of the route being on trail and a small amount on the road. To be able to take part in the race there is a strict entrance criteria, that all athletes must have run 50 miles competitively in under 15 hours. Starting at the natural amphitheatre of Matterley Bowl, located near Winchester. Where athletes run 4 miles around the estate to start the race, before the athletes take to the South Downs Way. From here the athletes run on the Beacon Hill Beeches, before heading to Butser Hill. Then the athletes run on to South Harting, and on to Cocking, then Bignor hill and Kithurst Hill. From here the athletes run on to Botolphs, Clayton Windmills, South Ease, Bo Peep and finally Eastbourne. Sally completed this incredible run in a staggering 24:51:13.
Last Saturday saw several pioneers brave the weather and take part in the Polruan Shuffle, organised by Purple Gekko. The race starts on Looe Beach, with athletes having a staggered start, due to Covid restrictions. The route takes the runners through the town, over the bridge, and then follows the muddy South West Coastal Path to Talland, where the first checkpoint and refreshments are located. Athletes stay on the coastal path to Polruan, where they then enter Coal Wharf to complete the 12.5 mile run. Due to recent weather conditions the path was slippery and mudder than expected, causing some of the athletes to slip and fall during the run. That added to the usual hilly terrain of the Coastal Path and livestock, this is not an easy run. Though the route does offer amazing elevated views over the Channel. With several pioneers running, many came out to support the athletes.
Clive Finnimore finished overall second place out of the 90 runners who took part in the race, with a finish time of 2:04:35.
Tom Burns, wearing bid number 4, a very early individual to sign up for this run completed the route in 2:28:44.
Jenny Cartwright was the first female pioneer back and completed the route in 2:36:00
Darren Hardwick finished the route just under the three hour mark, even after having a few slips along the way, 2:57:16.
Rob Kernaghan, completed to cliff top route in 3:19:11 with Sandra Haynes, kept smiling and finished the route 3:45:39
Last Sunday, saw Carol Beaver take part in the Wadebridge triathlon. Carol took part in the Big Camel, which is a 400 m swim, followed by a 26K bike ride and a 5K run. Sadly as the weather has been unseasonably wet recently, the bike element was removed due to health and safety. Much to the disappointment of many athletes, including Carol. However Carol completed the swim in 13.27, which took place in the Wadebridge Leisure Centre and the 5K run in 30.01. The run takes the athletes from the leisure centre, over the bridge toward the camel trail.
Beth Aldridge took part in the Boconnoc Woods Freedom Racing, this roughly 5.5 mile trail route, takes athletes through the Boconnoc estate, taking in woodlands and parkland. This off-road race is rocky, uneven and currently very muddy. Beth completed the route in 1:07:41. For athletes who completed the race they received an environmentally friendly wooden laser cut medal.
Last weekend, saw Christian Boyce and Nina Bond complete in the #51fiver Triathlon in the Cotswolds. This amazing athletic couple, who have masses of energy and support of other athletes, are both committee members for Looe Pioneers Running Club with Christian as an exceptional Chair. During lockdown the pair worked tirelessly to support others, arranging fun activities, including Zoom quizzes to help reduce the monotony of lockdown. Both Christian and Nina are fundamental to the development and growth of the club. Equally they symbolise the ethos of the running club, that the club is for all abilities and running is an integral part of providing wellbeing and improving mental health.
Last Sunday was Christian and Nina, who have been training extensively this year, took part in the Cotswolds triathlon, in one of the fastest standard distance triathlon races within the UK. For a triathlon to be referred to as standard distance, then the swim must be 1500 meters long, 40K bike ride followed by a 10K run. All of this takes part in the beautiful location of the Cotswolds. Athletes were offered the option to reduce the swim to 400 meters, due to athletes being unable to train due to lockdown. With the swim being one lap of Lake 32. Whilst the bike ride, as a fast and flat route, takens in some of the prettiest villages, Ewen, Kemble, Crudwell, Charlton, Minety and Ashton Keynes. Whilst the 10K run takes place around lake 31 and 32, a completely flat trail route, however recent rainfall had, made the conditions very muddy for the athletes. All that training has paid off, Christian completed the swim in 10 minutes, 8 seconds. Followed by an incredibly fast ride, completing the 40K route in 1 hour 17 minutes. Whilst the last component of a 10k run Christian completed it in 52:19. Nina Bond’s combined time for all three events was a highly impressive 2:48:09.
The end of April saw Looe Pioneers coming back together as the lockdown started to ease. Club sessions, now operating with a booking system, have started but are limited to 12 athletes. Though many people have been running solo or with one other person during lockdown, the return of the club has been fantastic for many people who have had limited contact with others over the past few weeks. The club sessions adhere to all the government's advice and runners are socially distancing, but for many the return of club nights, helps support both mental health and fitness levels.
The end of April also saw the restarting of races, whilst some still operate on a virtual basis. Mark Deacon took part in the Exeter Sprint Duathlon. The athletes run a testing 5K route, through the Escot Estate, then move on to a fast and flat 20K bike ride. Followed by another 5K run. Mark completed each section in excellent timing, even though he was sent the wrong way for the first 5K run, he still managed to complete the first section in 25:57, followed by the bike ride in 41:03 and the final run of 26:43.
Whereas 4 Pioneers took part in the third stage of the Saints and Smugglers Challenge. This 100 mile run based in Cornwall, is broken down into 4 sections, with the April segment, being 36.6 miles long and taking the athletes straight across the county. The runners start at the picturesque town of Boscastle and run across Bodmin Moor, ending the route in Looe. This is the longest section of the 100 mile challenge. Just under 40 runners took part, due to the distance, this challenge is also self navigated stage, meaning not only do the runners need to complete the ultra marathon distance, they also need to be able to use a compass and map read to stay on the right track. Just to make the challenge slightly harder, there is also a cut off time, where all athletes need to be at the finish line in under 14.5 hours. Clive Finnimore (6:54:00), Jo Robinson (6:54:19) and Emma Langstaff (6:54:44) ran together, supporting each other along the way and came in 4th, 5th and 6th overall. Sally Crabb, completed the ultra marathon in 8:19:45, coming in 12th overall.
Lynne Overd decided to keep her virtual run local, when she completed a virtual marathon in and around Looe. During her solo run she was joined by other pioneers to cheer her on. She dedicated her 26.2 miles, to mainly road running looping around the town, but also ran along the coastal path and through Kilminorth woods out to Widegates. Anne Libby was one of the pioneers who joined Lynne. Whilst Anne, who frequently supports charities by running and raising money, was completing her virtual 5K Race for Life run. Virtual runs are a great way to stay motivated and keep exercise with targets, plus a medal at the end.
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