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Series News for 2023 – its bigger!

Joe Lane in action on East mill tor race 2022 a little fresh breeze too!

Thanks to the great enthusiasm of last years runners ( over 600 plus runners in senior series) and the keen enthusiasm of host race organisers and clubs – we are please to announce the dates for next years series. Plus we hope that the series will be 12 events – ( we are waiting on confirmation on 2 races) So we hope you can have best 9 races from 12 for the series scoring.

Most of the races will have minimal or no marking as they are fell races and picking your line is part of the fun!

So here are the events and dates ( any further details check with each race), hopefully all races will be taking 100+ runners. Any amendments we will post as soon as we know or as entry sites become live. Enjoy!

  1. Sat (early) Mar25th – Meldon Skyline – from Meldon – also Devon AA Champs ( selection for intercounties) 12.5k 610m of climb, will require some kit to be carried – unmarked but marshalled. R/O Richard Best SWFR
  2. Sun 21st May -Princetown Fell race- course approx. 6 miles of Dartmoor fun. Start/ finish at Princetown brewery R/O Colin Kirk Potter .Run Venture
  3. Sat 27th May – Langstone Fell Race – Peter Tavy- 6miles and two very nice hills , with a lovely village finish – R/O Dave Chanter TRP
  4. Sat 17th June – Burrator Horseshoe – Meavy – mid afternoon race and the usual Meavy Oak fair – R/O Richard Best SWFR
  5. Weds 21st June – Solstice fell race – Merrivale – lovely ridge run with a few bumps and a nice pub finish- R/O Colin Kirk Potter Run Venture
  6. Sun 9th July – Cosdon – from Belstone on same day as village fete- where else can you compete at egg-throwing after a race- R/O ORC
  7. Sat 15th July – Haytor Heller – surely no intro needed- one of the toughies but what an awesome valley – R/O Bon Rymel Teignbridge Trotters
  8. Weds 26th July – Evening race – Postbridge Pootle from Postbridge car park – greatly enjoyed by many last year- R/O Colin Kirk Potter Run Venture
  9. Weds 9th August- evening Race – Ivybridge 3 tops – the hottest race of last year and quite a toughie – R/O Chris Prall EVH
  10. Weds 23rd August – evening Race – The Gt links tor Flyer- super course with one particularly long climb R/O Rees Jenkins SWFR
  11. Weds 13th Sept – evening Race – Hopefully subject to discussions an interlude on Bodmin moor ( if not we have a back up) R/O Toby Lowe
  12. Date change -now Sat 30th Sept ( early) – East Mill tor from Belstone – with series presentations post race – R/O Richard Best – see You on the hills!

GT Links Flyer race report

A big thank you to Rees Jenkins taking over as Race Director – well done!. Thank you to marshals and North Dartmoor Search and Rescue for back up on Gt Links and Brat tor. In spite of pre-race downpour the cloud lifted and only slight wetness to the air which made running a little cooler than of late.

Juniors

A smaller field than normal but still some great running…

Seniors

Colin Kirk Potter said a few words for the recent passing of Dartmoor Runner Simon ‘Rambo’ …. which was followed by applause from all. ON On Rambo!

A good field of 76 runners set a fast pace to the top of Great Nodden, round the two cairns for setting back down the loose track to the ruined tinners hut. Already the filed was well spread out but with the first 20 runners making a nice ‘conga’ line up the long slope to Little links.

More Photos

East Mill Tor Photos

So the East Mill Tor race was one of the best photographed fell races in the series! See below for photos from one of the marshals on the course and from the finish. Thankyou to all those who took photos.

Finish Line

On the Course

Important Series announcement 2

Finale! East Mill Tor Loop 15th Oct and presentations!

We have had quite a few emails from runners that could not get into restricted number events. Its a great sign of support and success for these events but for some impacting on their series position.

Still remaining are

  • Gt links Tor Flyer on Aug 24th – entries open ( max 200)
  • Sourton tor on Sept 7th – limited to 50.
  • New race – Oct 15th – Series Finale ( max 250)

We have decided to run an additional ‘finale’ event’ on afternoon of Oct 15th. Still the same number of races to count just an extra one to choose from – so seniors best 7/11 and juniors best 6/10.

There are reasons why we have chosen the date to avoid other races now it no longer falls the day before expected westward league at Plymouth – so you can clean your kit and have it all fresh for this event!.

New race

Belstone tor on the route

Full details will appear in 2 weeks. But simple plan is for 3:20pm junior races; 4pm senior race which will be approx 10k and have 380m climb – including Belstone tor, Oke tor, east Mill tor, winter tor and back via Watchett hill. – FUN!

We expect to do ‘whole series’ presentations at 5:30 based at the Tors pub. So hope you can get date in diary. https://thetorsinn.co.uk/

See you on the hIlls

Richard

Inaugural ‘Pootle’ race report- Fab

Overview

It was the first time we have used this course- a big thank you to Race Director Colin Kirk Potter and a stunning team of marshals #rememberitsafellrace . The course was set on yet another stunning Dartmoor evening so not much navigation tested just amazing scenery. Great addition to the series with a very swift presentation as a cloud of midges descended on everyone.

The course

Pootle course

A narrow path with 7 , ‘one person’ wide bridges in the first 400 yrs made for an interesting start – that said no reported ‘offs’ or elbow incidents. The course rises quite quickly though Braddon Lake to Braddon tor at 500m height ASL. A ridge of 3 tors followed before the Powder Mills farm.

A short little dip through the site brought you back to the last mile of open moor before the final mile of mostly level forest track took you back for a swift finish.

The Race

An early pack was naturally spread out with 7 runners clearly in contention. The course although reasonably steep was always runnable and some fine sheep trods made for quick descents. The descent from Longaford tor through to powder mills farm – yes the home of the ‘Hairy hands legend!’- was remarked on by may runners as being ‘fab’ with the gradient behind you and just enough granite boulders meant you needed to keep your wits about you for a fast descent. Clear gaps in the front pack with the eventual winner a minute clear from his chaser before the fast mile of forest track.

  • 1st (again) Ceri Rees Wild running 43:55 – strong running again
  • 2nd Oliver Oldfield Tamar Trotters 45:00
  • 3rd Oliver Mitchell 45:17
  • First lady Elizabeth Dyson Haldon Runners 50:54 – Awesome
  • 2nd Lady ( &V50) Sharon Daw Run Venture
  • 3rd Lacy (&V60) Jenny Nash Run Venture
  • 1st team Mens’ Okehampton Running Club
  • 1st Team Ladies Run Venture
  • Total of 98 finishers well done all

Great running again from Ceri Rees taking another victory, and great to see a new face from Tamar Trotters take second.

A personal view from Perran Trail runner Toby Lowe

Toby in action at Soltise Fell race

A superb new course, part of the Dartmoor Fell Race Series, featuring a lovely 1 and a half mile climb up onto the moor, before a superb section linking three tors together before dropping down into Bellever forest and the finish. My legs were still feeling it a bit from The Plague 100k a week and a half ago, but happy with the way that I ran and 21st overall | 2nd in Age Cat. Best bit was the power up High 5 from Zach near the start. The Dartmoor Fell Race Series is delivering some superb races. It would be great to see more of the Cornish running community attending them – I can confirm that you’ll get a warm welcome from our brethren across the border. It’s good, hard, honest racing 🙂

Thanks for the support Toby and the ‘Kernow’ crew.

Did not expect that moment…

Check out this link to a great short video clip https://www.facebook.com/groups/76407478001/user/532460206/ of one runner caught between 2 herds of cows – that had temporarily joined in the race – very calm under pressure- well done Joe Lane ORC and Rebecca McWass for catching the moment.

Haytor ‘Heller’ personal view by Adam ‘Tango’ Holland

A nice personal account of the Race from one of its biggest fans! Adam Holland (TAC).

Adam’s Race account

Every time I do this event I look forward to it as it’s one of my favourites! When I started driving to the event I got called back home to help sort out my daughter, nothing serious and once that was sorted I set off again. I arrived with about 8 minutes to spare before the start. HQ and the event start are in 2 different locations, I ran to HQ to pick up my number. Another runner was having a problem picking up their number even though it was sorted, they wanted the name of the person they had swapped with. Which the race director knew about, I said I would go and ask, I ran up the hill to the start, mentioned it to him for him to sort it out with 1-2 minutes to spare. We start halfway up, which means we have another half of the hill to run up to get the Haytor. I carried a soft bottle of water with me to keep me hydrated. 3-2-1 and we were off!!

the race

I watched as one by one people passed me going up the hill, when we reached the top, I was in 12th place. We went around the top and started heading down. This is where my strength comes in and I started overtaking to get into 2nd place behind Robert. I tried to keep up with him with a small gap between us. A mile and a half in, we went down the steepest part and I started closing the gap a bit more. Took a left along a gravelly path and then some more downhill which was where I was able to get behind him. I saw him catch his ankle and asked if he was okay. All good, as we were still going downhill I thought I would take this opportunity to overtake as I knew there was going to be a steep hill and I wouldn’t be able to keep up. I managed to twist my ankle which certainly hurt but I was still able to run. I forgot about the little hill before that which is where he overtook me again. Just before the 3 mile mark, we started going up and I tried to run without walking with success. I watched as Robert disappeared off ahead and when we came out the top he was well ahead. Loads of lovely technical bits, like running through the narrow fern bushes, across moorland, rocky twists and turns which makes this an amazing course.

Adam Holland making the most to the downhill in the course

At about 4.6 miles we started heading uphill. 0.2 mile after that on some of the ‘rock climbing’ bits I started walking which I know I shouldn’t have but my stomach was feeling a little bit cramped from leaning over and of course I was warm. I started running afterwards again. At 0.2 miles further on I did a bit more walking. I started running but at a slower pace. That’s when Ceri then Louis passed me. I should have tried to stick with them but I think in my head I was worried I was going to walk again. We were still on a steady uphill back to Haytor. As I went over the top of the hill I could see Ceri was well ahead and Louis had a big GAP, but I was still going to try to see if I could catch him.

The final 0.4 mile downhill I really ramped up the speed!! I even beat my previous segment time (Haytor Heller Downhill Finish 0.79km) 2017 2:07 – this time 2:00 which is 2:31/km. I was very close to catching him but ran out of course as he cross the line before me.

1st Robert Ellis 40:47

2nd Ceri Rees 42:58

3rd Louis Ratcliffe 43:16

4th Adam Tango Holland 43:20

5th Lee Turner 44:53

Adams tips

Definitely a race I recommend but you need to get your entries in quick as they have a strict race limit of 350!! Normally sells out before race day. But it was a shame to see that only 247 finishers and 8 not finished. That’s 95 people missing…..

I won 2nd V35 category and Tavistock athletics team – Myself, Samuel, Joe and and Richard finished 5th overall

Ultra Great Britain Soft Bottle x2 were really useful.

My finishing on this race

2022 43:20 4th

2021 44:42 2nd ( felt even hotter)

2018 41:54 2nd

2017 42:20 1st

2007 45:07 2nd

2005 44:53 7th

2004 43:42 7th

Thanks to Adam Holland for his personal view.

Just to note also some awesome running from Kirsteen Welch ( but not counted due to number issue) would have been a new course record. First Lady to count local Jo Meek in 49;36 , with Alice Kelly form Exmouth close on her heels in 49:47 followed by Exeter Tri Club Lucy Commander in 52:19.

Plus lots of other personal battles and achievements from 250 runners well done to Teignbridge Trotters.

See you at the next race – the Postbridge pootle..

Richard

‘Cooking’ Cosdon Race report

On the catch up, but determined to get back on track, before this Wednesday’s race at Postbridge. Belstone village fair , Cosdon and 27 degrees were a nice mixture. A restricted field meant a few unable to enter but what a cracker of a race.

Sam Deller leading the pack
Tim Lenton approaching the last ‘up’
A very competitive post race egg catching comp

After the short junior races, the seniors set off at 2:30pm – just cooking nicely by then. As usual a scramble for the first down the steep descent to the river, this was led by TAC runner Sam Deller who held onto the lead all the way to the top. Quite an achievement in itself as finding a non- ‘huge lumps of grass’- ‘i cannot see where my feet are going’ line up to the cairns is a real challenge. ORC Andy Vallance did his special wide berth route and still made good time to the top!

The lead changed several times during the descent, which normally involves everyone having a least one tumble. Tim Lenton (Axe Valley) doing his usual find a cracking line making quite a few places to get back into the front pack.

Eventual Winner Ceri Rees from Wild Running in 30min 37sec, closely followed by Sam Priday- ORC in 30:42 and then Tim Lenton in 30:46, Sam Deller not quite able to keep the pace ending up 4th. First ladies Lucy Walker of SWRR in 38mins 21 sec and Charlotte Walker TAC in 39mins 31 sec.

Well done, ORC, on a great race, real nice atmosphere with many runners and families staying on the green with the ponies, sheep , egg throwing, music , cake and refreshments -what’s not to like!

See you all at the next one.

Richard SWFellrunners

Sunny Solstice Race report – Richard Best

Ceri Rees on route to another win but with fierce competition from Joseph Battershill from Erme Valley Harriers

Sorry this is late for a report – its been a bit busy while a deluge of races. The course attracted a great field of 106 runners in seniors . Thanks to Andy Houghton and in particular Colin Kirk Potter as Race Director for the day.

A great setting for the race nestled in the Walkham valley at Merrivale with the Fells’ field ( thank you) for parking and the Dartmoor Inn on standby with refreshments.

The race was pacey from the start with a core group of 10-12 runners setting a good tempo up the steep incline. A few adventurous runners tried a direct diagonal line straight across to Higher staple only to encounter really tough loose rocks. ( I tried the same on the first year only to find myself re-joining the race well down the pack).

Great conditions meant fast running – but was very hot for a 7pm race.

Sam Deller TAC another great run
Charlotte Walker first U17 and first Lady
Sam Priday first in for ORC

The leading three runners all finished within 27secs Ceri Rees in 37min 48sec; Joseph Battershill (EVH) 9 secs later and Sam Deller(TAC) 15 secs behind; followed by another 5 runners all within 2 mins including another great run from Tim Lenton (Axe Valley). A superb performance from Charlotte Walker (TAC) first lady and first U17 in 46mins 10 secs and 27th overall.

Men’s team went to ORC again, although closely followed by TAC ( with 3 in top 10) – let down by me on my first return to racing from illness and injury – but great to be out!.

Great running all – superb event celebrated by a few dips in the river and a drink for those that could brave the sudden midge appearance!

See you on the hills

Richard

Stormy but fast Burrator Horseshoe

The juniors

A fab turnout of 28 juniors competed across the 2k and 3.5k courses all finishing with a spirited run through the ford – congratulations to all especially the U9/U11 who have the steepest course for the day. A great quote from boy to his dad ‘ this is the race where we run through the river’! With a huge look of excitement. It was great to see so much senior support watching them in.

In heavy rain ,, there off
Rob Waddy setting the early pace
Being stalked

Senior race

Just a big thank you to all participants and spectators at this years Burrator Horseshoe as part of Meavy Oak Fair. Race 3 of Dartmoor Fell Series.

We struggled a bit for marshals with some brave souls manning 3 points. The seniors brief was hit by the start of the thundery rain, but it appears not to have deterred fast times.

A super fast start with Rob Waddy setting the pace. The lead in a group of 5 changed hands a few times with course picking helping edge distance. The revised route with a mandatory checkpoint to avoid an environmentally sensitive area worked well. From reports a few people had some ‘Nav’ opportunities and great work by sweeper to save a few going miles out.

So top spot Ceri Rees in new course record of 39:29, only just edging Rob Waddy and then a stunning run from u19 Sam Priday (ORC). First female home – another win for Charlotte Walker in a fab time of 44;38 only 47 seconds off the course record.

1st team to Okehampton Running Club mens ; 1st Female team to Run Venture.

Well done all 105 finishers

Super thanks to all the help and Meavy Oak Fair and Tim Mockford

See you on the hills..