A friendly and social running club in North Devon

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IRC’s annual summer run, the 11km Turbine Trail, returned on 8 July 2018. With the dog show at the village fair cancelled, the stage was set for our race to steal the limelight, at least as long as no one says anything about Lundy. In temperatures hotter than the contents of Ryan Collins’ fridge, or anyone else’s fridge for that matter, forty-four runners battled the heat, hills and haze of West Down.

The course offered something for everyone, starting with a mad dash across tall grassy fields, followed by a steep descent through a rocky forest that this writer would rather forget. A nice relaxing downhill jaunt on country roads was then rudely terminated by a sharp climb at the aptly named Little Comfort Farm. Returning to the village for the finish, runners were safely guided home by the enthusiastic marshalling of three-year-old Logan Courton.

First place was claimed by Paul Cooke (aka Young Horse) of South Molton Strugglers, with a very impressive time of 00:45:26. Long-distance running phenomenon Stuart Cook was first over the line for IRC (5th overall, 00:52:15), while our very own Becky Williamson was first female (14th overall, 00:59:35). Other Ilfracombe finishers were Leo Holroyd (6th, 00:54:47), Aaron Llewellyn (7th, 00:56:17), Andrew Wooff (8th, 00:56:25), Benjamin Gunn (11th, 00:58:41), Gary 'Jif' Kemp (20th, 01:02:18), Charlotte Jones (25th, 01:06:16), Darren Vincent (29th, 01:09:02), Alice Bradley (41st, 01:19:20) and Mel Hickles (44th, 01:33:03).

Organiser Colin Hickles and all the many volunteers are to be thanked for putting on a great occasion, and standing around for at least an hour in baking heat when they would all rather be on the bouncy castle.


IRC go abroad! Well, almost! A set of our most adventurous plodders braved a tumultuous boat trip across the Atlantic Ocean on Sunday to visit a place almost as remote, barren and full of inbreeding as Combe Martin - the Isle of Lundy! Somehow, the organisers managed to create a 14 mile race on an island that's three miles from north to south. The IRC posse and 235 others managed to swell the tiny island's population ten-fold, just for running sh*ts and giggles.

With temperatures hotter than the contents of Ryan Collins' pants, this was not a day for all-out sprinting, but that did not stop the lovely Dan Murdoch from achieving another podium finish, only beaten to the gold medal by Ronnie Richmond. Dan completed the scorching run in 01:42:47. 'Friend of the Club' Nick Bailey (hubby of Kajal) was a magnificent third in 01:48:45.

The others who enjoyed/endured the skin-peeling heat, rocky terrain and an utterly pointless three thousand steps down/up detour to some lighthouse or something were as follows: Kevin Reed (02:09:14), Pete Westmacott (02:22:07), Alastair Newey (02:24:51), Kajal Bailey (02:24:52), Dave Irvine (02:25:13), Simon Oliver (02:27:38), Debbie Freeman (02:43:45), Paul Cooper (02:49:06), Nicola Oliver (02:33:51), Tim 'Not South Molton' Baker (03:07:38), Michelle Newey (03:10:08), Kelly Cooper (03:10:09), Peter Addison (03:19:07) and Emlyn 'Oo Oo My Foot's a Bit Hurty Hurty' Pearce (03:33:21). Pete Llamosa was also a starter but sadly his recent injury issues caught up with him and despite a brilliant effort Pete had to pull out after eight or so miles. Everyone got a super-sexy medal, yey!

Like Harry Styles and them others in that Christopher Nolan film 'Dunkirk' our weary superstars managed to clamber aboard their sea-faring vessel home without being punctured by German bullets and arrived back in 'combe to be greeted by Joe Mackenzie and his magnificent ginger beard. Hurrah!


There are two types of runners in North Devon - those that think that IRC is the best running club in the world, and those that are wrong! The girls and boys in blue proved it yet again by turning up en masse and scooping no less than SEVEN of the prizes at Arlington Court!

The ladies were in dazzling form especially, making it an IRC one-two in both the 10k Canter and the 5k Trot. Beth Barrington (00:45:47) took the top prize in the 10k, and Linda Balment (00:33:49) made good her last-minute decision to switch to the 5k by winning first lady! There was also silverware for Becky Williamson (second lady - 00:47:10), new signing Jenny Evans (FV40 - 00:54:31) and Nicola Oliver (FV50 - 00:56:38).

In the men's race Leo Holroyd celebrated the final day of his thirty-third year by winning the MV30 prize (44:15), and how good is to see Kevin Reed back running with the club on a regular basis? Very good, if he keeps winning stuff! The self-confessed Sooty-hater snagged the MV40 prize and was fourth overall in 00:42:50.

Other results (all 10k, 135 entrants): 14th Peter Westmacott 00:46:31, 19th Neil Garrett 00:48:37; 27th Gary 'Jif' Kemp 00:50:55; 43rd Darren Vincent 00:55:15; 45th Simon 'Cake!' Whetter 00:55:44; 47th Debbie Freeman 00:56:15; 52nd Hayley Whetter 00:56:43; 60th Peter Addison 00:58:34; 61st Sarah Bulled 00:58:44; 68th Nina Naneva 01:00:43; 83rd Jay Bocock 01:05:20; 100th Colin Hickles 01:07:57; 106th= Mel Hickles 01:10:16; 106th= Louise Punchard 01:10:16; 133rd Camilla Holroyd 01:52:03.

Down south in Exeter Dan Murdoch had a go at smashing his Marathon PB but depsite a stellar performance had to pull out at twenty miles. The super-trouper then went home back to Combe Martin and ran the final six, what a nutter!

Even further afield than Exeter, Jodie Warren was IRC's sole representative at the Beijing 'Run to the Beat' 10k. Our temporary (we hope) UK export to China was tenth female finisher in 00:49:53.


Joe's in the money! He may technically be from Combe Martin but we're proud to have Mr Mackenzie representing IRC, especially when he wins stuff as he did at the Bideford 10k. Joe took first senior male in the race in 35:18, beaten only by someone who wasn't legally old enough to drink the champagne he was awarded for his victory!

There was a massive turn out from the club, so here goes: Tom Capron (00:39:50); Leo Holroyd (00:40:04); Gavin Burnside (00:40:08); Beth Barrington (00:41:28); Neil Garrett (00:42:57); Kajal Bailey (00:44:22); Dave Irvine (00:45:23); Simon Whetter (00:49:39); Danny Lee (00:50:03); Hayley Whetter (00:50:05); Darren Vincent (00:49:40); Doug Bolton (00:49:42); Kevin Reed (00:49:47); Peter Addison (00:53:57); Karley Fricker (00:56:15); Linda Balment (00:59:17); Camilla Holroyd (01:28:51) and Lisa Baxter (01:28:51).

Mary Menon added yet another trophy to her sturdy cabinet, a race called 'Race The Tide' in Mothecombe near Plymouth, which is billed as a 'long' marathon of sixteen-ish miles. Mary beat everyone else including all the blokes to finish first in 04:13:05.


Note: the above image has been doctored to render it less scary.

If you've not been impressed by the efforts Dave Irvine has made since joining the club then quite frankly, you want shooting. Dave finally received recognition for all his hard work by winning the VM60 age category at the Torrington Round-the-Tree Race on Friday. Dave finished 24th overall in 22:18. Also running were Leo Holroyd (19:11 - 11th) and Peter Addison (25:45 - 53rd).

Several hardy IRC souls braved the heat to take their place in the gruelling Hartland Hartbreaker on the Sunday. Mary Menon was first female and second overall in 02:38:08, with David Garcia fourth and third man in 02:48:02. Other runners: Kevin Reed (02:52:26), Andrew 'Wooffy' Wooff (03:17:20), Gary 'Jif' Kemp (03:27:47), Debbie Freeman (03:41:42), Gavin Burnside (04:07:47 - allegedly a little worse for wear after attending Alastair Newey and Michelle Smit now Newey's nuptial celebrations), Emlyn Pearce (04:30:43), Ryan Collins (04:41:57) and Mike 'Doobs' Robinson (04:41:57). In the much easier Hartacher Joe Mackenzie finished a marvellous second overall in 01:05:20, followed by Hannah Murdoch in 01:41:28.

Finally, further afield but just as sweaty were Leo Holroyd and Peter Addison who competed in the Milton Keynes' Marathon Weekend. Both netted 5k PBs in the 'MK Rocket 5k' on the Sunday (Leo, 18:58; Peter, 24:23) before wilting slightly in the MK Half Marathon the following day (Leo, 01:31:56; Peter 02:13:30).


A handful of IRCers traipsed down to the old smoke at the weekend and posted some outstanding performances at the 2018 Virgin Money London Marathon, none more so than the terrific Mary Menon who posted a quite unbelievable effort - 02:53:44 to nail eighth place in her category, and 609th place overall out of 40,200 finishers (that's the top 1.5% percent, maths fans!)

The other lads and lasses enjoying or enduring the hottest London Marathon since records began were Andy Mansfield (03:40:17), Becky Williamson (03:47:33), Andrew 'Wooffy' Wooff (04:04:03), Abbey Orr (05:20:22), Peter Addison (05:22:02) and Karley Fricker (05:43:57). Top marks all!


Some knicker-wetting performances at the Bideford Half Marathon yesterday. Sandy Anderson (pictured above) ran his first race in the IRC blue and set a PB of two hours and eight minutes dead on. There were also PBs for Leo Holroyd (01:28:23), Neil Garrett (01:39:24) and Dave Irvine (01:40:40), the latter's joy turning to despair when he discovered that the souvenir T-shirt was a 'girly pink' (apparently forgetting it was also Mother's Day ;)).

Also completing the course were Gavin Burnside (01:25:48) and Peter Addison (02:00:57). Linda Balment made a racing comeback but sadly had to pull out halfway due to a painful knee.


About Our Club

Founded in 2013, Ilfracombe Running Club is a group of nutters and heavy drinkers who love running up hills (like they have any choice). We're a supportive bunch who love our slowest plodders as much as we love our super-fit athletes. We encourage anyone to slap on a pair of running shoes, get plodding, get fit and most of all, have fun! We run beginners' groups and the famous 'Ilfracombe Blue' can be seen in races local, national and even international. Come and join us for a one-off run - we (almost) guarantee you'll be bitten by the running bug. Read More ...

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