On a lovely autumn morning on Sunday, September 11, 180 runners gathered for the Bude Pirate Run.
There was a festive atmosphere with many of the runners dressed in piratical fancy dress. The runners gathered at the start at 10.30am when everyone observed a minute silence in tribute to the Queen before breaking into a round of spontaneous applause to show everyone’s appreciation of her service.
After a brief word about the race sponsors Conquer24 it was back to the serious business of racing. The countdown three, two, one and a blast on an airhorn and the runners took off. The course led them up onto the cliffs and out to Northcott where the new zigzag path led them up the steep slope to the top. No time to draw breath because the course carried on with a steady climb all the way to Stowe Woods and a loop through the woods before heading to Duckpool. Just as the runners were tiring they faced the steep climb out of Duckpool and another climb before dropping into Sandymouth. The ascent out of Sandymouth was followed by the descent into Northcott and then a final ascent before heading back towards Crooklets for the finish. A total of 8 and a bit miles and 1200 foot of ascent.
The course record was held by Tom Carthey in 55 minutes and 5 seconds, so as the race clock ticked to 44 minutes anticipation at the finish built as around the corner came Steve Reynolds of Truro Running Club finishing in a new course record of 54 minutes and 44 seconds – what an amazing performance by Steve. He was closely followed by David Crawford of PB Running Club also breaking the old course record in 54 minutes 53 seconds. Third place was Rob Orton of Bodmin Road Runners in 55 minutes and 38 seconds.
The crowd then waited to see who would be first lady and at 1 hour 7 minutes and 1 second Olivia Carthew of Newquay and Par AC claimed first place. She was followed by Lisa Picton of East Cornwall Harriers in 1 hour and 8 minutes dead and Lucy Williams of East Cornwall Harriers in 1 hour 8 minutes and 43 seconds.
The runners continued to cross the line in a steady stream of tired, but happy faces until the last runner finished in 2 hours and 11 minutes. After finishing and collecting their well-earned medals the runners moved to Race HQ at Bude Surf Life Saving Club where they receive a very welcome pasty.
The awards were presented on behalf of the race sponsors Conquer24 by Stuart Lockyer. Conquer24 provide superbly organised 24 hour endurance trail races for runners of all abilities. As well as prizes to the first three male and female runners, there were age category awards and awards for the first male and female teams.
Female age category awards were as follows - under 35 Becky Tilbrook, 35- 39 Helen Morse of East Cornwall Harriers, 40 – 44 Anna Tanner, 45 – 49 Claire Watkins of Okehampton Running Club, 50 – 54 Alison Weir of Falmouth Road Runners, 55 – 59 Julie Tramine of North Devon Tri, 60 – 64 Sarah Wilkinson of Newquay Road Runners, 65 -69 Janet Watson of Carn Runners and over 70 Jenny Mills of Launceston Road Runners.
Male age category awards were as follows – under 35 Liam Gallantry of East Cornwall Harriers, 35 – 39 Tim Van Berkel of Truro Running Club, 40 – 44 Alex Marples of Truro Running Club, 45 – 49 Ian Gooding of Bideford AAC, 50 – 54 Antony Jarvis of PB Running Club, 55 – 59 Ian Gronwalt of PB Running Club, 60 - 64 Vincent Halliwell Bideford AAC, 65 – 69 Peter Allen of Newquay Road Runners and over 70 Chris Bradish.
The male team award went to Truro Running Club’s team of Steve Reynolds, Tim Van Berkel, Alex Marples and Robert Standing. Second team was Bude Rats and third East Cornwall Harriers. The female team award went to East Cornwall Harriers team of Lisa Picton, Helen Morse, Hannah Matthews and Meeta Nicholls. Second team was Truro Running Club and third Launceston Road Runners.
Phil Aldis, Bude Pirate Run Race Director added: “A fabulous days racing over some seriously tough terrain and every runner deserves congratulations and respect for their efforts.
“We look forward to an even bigger and better event next year.”