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Tamar Triple

On dunes & campus

Like a greyhound out of the traps- Chris P's first Braunton start in two decades

Like a greyhound out of the traps- Chris P's first Braunton start in two decades
Credit: Mark Lockett

Published: Wed 30 May 2018

Dunes can be a struggle for many but 20 from our club ran on Sunday and really tested themselves. Among them was Oliver Lewis, runner-up on the Yellow course, which he raced round without using a compass! Do we encourage this at our JOG sessions?!

Results/ website

Monday 28 MayMiddleBraunton Burrows
Sunday 27 May LongBraunton Burrows
Saturday 26 MaySprintExeter University

Long, Middle and Sprint - race types explained (thanks to Berkshire OC)

Steve R- 'ran up' on the Middle race

Steve R- 'ran up' on the Middle race
Credit: Wendy Carlyle

Middle race, Braunton Burrows

A change in rhythm and orienteering style was required from Sunday's long event, with lots of short legs. The race incorporated the 2018 SW Middle Distance Championships. Because many of the higher finishers were from other regions, a finish as low as 10th might get you on the podium.

Rosie on similar dune terrain at Mexico Towans, 2017

Rosie on similar dune terrain at Mexico Towans, 2017
Credit: Steve Rush

So even though Jeff Pakes was 10th of 24 on M45, in the SW Champs contest he was 4th and only two minutes behind third place. Brian Pearson was in a similar position in M55. Rosie Wych was defending champion on the W60 course but couldn't replicate her form of Sunday, finishing halfway down the field on W60.

The performance of the day, though, was from Steve Robertson, "running up" on M50 and finishing in the top half. Steve may have sacrificed a chance to be SW middle champion in the process, but at least he got to run a decent length course- the M65 course was only 3.1km!

Martin Lewis is on a learning curve with dunes at present. He had a much more successful day than Sunday, taking a much quicker time, for a slightly longer course.

Sam- did well on a harder course on Sunday

Sam- did well on a harder course on Sunday
Credit: Mark Lockett

Long race, Braunton Burrows

Besides Ollie Lewis being runner up on M10, there were two other exceptional performances within their age class on Sunday for Rosie Wych and Bill Vigar. Rosie excelled on the Green course to finish 23rd out of 180. She was second only to Bristol OK's Jackie Hallett in the W60 class and then by only two minutes. Robert Green was 10 minutes behind Rosie in 57th.

Bill topped of his M80 age group and was 13th of 74 on the Short Green course.

Jeff starting long course at Braunton

Jeff starting long course at Braunton
Credit: Mark Lockett

Stepping up a course is often the norm for improvers at the end of a season. However, doing so at your first visit to Braunton Burrows takes a bit of courage! Sam Shirvington promoted himself from Orange and justified the decision by finishing in the top half of entrants on Light Green, taking 56 minutes. He was a few minutes ahead of Heather Green, who was a similar amount ahead of Karen Lewis. Karen was surprised at how straightforward she found the course.

Not so new to Braunton was Chris Philip, though his last visit was two decades ago. He was disappointed to make some mistakes but still finished in the top half on Blue, as did Steve Robertson and Chris Green. Spencer Modica, now running in Devon colours, was a few minutes behind QO's trio.

By beating his more experienced club mates, Chris G's run has to be a contender for run of the day. Maybe the training he did with the SW Junior Squad on dunes a few years back paid off?

Chris G - job done

Chris G - job done
Credit: Robert G

With some decent experience on dunes in recent years, Jeff Pakes was also able to run with some confidence on the longest course attempted by QO members, Brown. He finished 23rd of 58, ahead of both Andy Rimes and Pete Shirvington for the first time in a while!

Other first-timers at Braunton handled the occasion well, Izzy Lewis did the Orange in three quarters of an hour and Jacob Shirvington, with arm in sling did Yellow in half an hour.

Oh, and I am told Ollie Lewis always takes his compass with him- he just didn't choose to use it on Sunday!

Sprint- Exeter University

There was a close tussle between Tom Hasler and Andrew Page on the Men's Junior race, with Tom making his JK sprint experience pay to finish two minutes ahead of QO's urban specialist Andrew. Or was it Tom's Ten Tors experience counting? The campus is rather hilly, after all!

Pete Shirvington got within 13 minutes of the winner's time on the Men's Veterans course and Pete's sons Sam and Jacob were 2nd in their respective races.

Next up

Those who have a flavour for more dune action might be interested in Midsummer on Gower, Swansea Bay OC's recently resurrected annual weekend (8-10 June). Starting on Friday evening at Merthyr Mawr near Bridgend and continuing at Oxwich where the event campsite is, there will be two races on dunes plus a relay race on open moorland. Colour coded courses go up to Green.

Event details

Other News

Spencer and Angela Modica have added planner's and controller's comments to the Blackborough event page.

Karen Lewis has set up a WhatsApp group.