HRRL Stubbington Green 10km, SXCL Manor Farm Country Park and Farnborough Half Marathon
Farnham Runners started the New Year with two races organised by Stubbington Green Runners within a week of each other.
HRRL Stubbington Green 10km
Conditions were cool but ideal with no wind for the sixth round of the Hampshire Road League, the Stubbington Green 10km. Though some who had entered could not make the race, there were 25 members hotly contesting the team places. The club consolidated its positions in the league, now half way through the season. There were two prize-winners among the Farnham contingent and eleven gained new personal best times, some by several minutes.
The course, which starts in the heart of Stubbington village, is renowned for being fast and flat despite a few undulations and after following country lanes gives sea-front views at Lee-on Solent. This was the 33rd staging of the event.
James Clarke was close to his PB with an excellent 35 minutes 27 seconds for 28th place out of 1657 finishers, a record 956 of them from Hampshire League clubs. Andrew Ellison took home the second prize for his new M50 category in this very competitive race with a fine time of 36:19. Matt Saker impressed with 36:59 for 6th M45, while Harvey Wickham was final A team scorer in 39:15. The men are bidding to regain the top flight and lie second in division two on aggregate, a promotional spot. Though third for this race they gained points on the club just behind them.
Their B squad came sixth of B division two but they lie comfortably at the top after the six rounds. Colin Addison led the squad in 41:11, with Mike Walberton back to racing in 41:30, Steve Bailey in 42:24(PB), Keith Marshall in 42:56 (6th M60). In support were Stuart Laurie in 48:31 (PB) and Peter Strange in 1:10:25.
The A stream ladies, in Division One, were led by an in-form Eloise Stradling who gained a personal best 42:46 for a creditable 11th place among the senior ladies (37th lady). Next home, Kayleigh Copeland clocked 44:03, while Emma Russ put in a valuable performance for 44:10 after a long marathon-training run the day before.
The team came a strong 6th of ten and lie safely 8th on aggregate.
Lindsay Bamford headed the B team trio with her usual strong finish for 46:58, overtaking Jane Georghiou (47:30, 1st W65). Clair Bailey was very happy to complete the B score in a PB of almost 4 minutes in 54:17 to keep them mid-table in B division one. Just two seconds back on her “gun” time but faster on her chip timing came Mary Denise Fitzgerald in 53:32, with Tina Harrison in 55:36 and Helen Bracey in 57:29. This C squad came a useful 7th in B division two. Others celebrating PBs were Emilie Amos 1:02:26, Alison Yearsley 1:02:55, Jackie Wilkinson 1:03:27, Susan MacKenzie 1:03:39 and Christine Chapman running with Jacquie Browne, both 1:08:25.
SXCL Manor Farm Country Park
The weather was less kind for the next week’s cross-country at Manor Farm Country Park. Heavy rain the day before continued and the surface was muddy and full of puddles most of the way with only some short sections still firm underfoot. Views over the Hamble estuary were far from inspiring in the gloom. Although flatter than most of the Southern Cross-Country League’s routes there were some short but tough rises, including the sting in the tail steep ascent to the finish.
Andrew Ellison headed the Farnham Runners in an excellent 19th place. James Bracey next in 43rd was followed by James Clarke 70th, Stuart Haig 73rd and Steve Bailey 98th. This team came 10th. In support were Terry Steadman 130th, Chris Cramp 134th, Damian Probett 150th, Craig Tate-Grimes 188th, Jonathan Salomon 205th and Richard Sheppard 222nd.
Eloise Stradling again shone for the ladies with an impressive 8th slot. After another long training run the day before Emma Russ ran well for 21st, while Lindsay Bamford again demonstrated a storming finish for 35th, this time overtaking up the final hill. This team came 7th.
Linda Tyler had to settle for 39th, just out of the team, while Jane Georghiou was pleased to finish 45th after running a tough cross-country in the rain the previous day. For further back-up were Helen Bracey 88th, Mary Denise Fitzgerald 89th, Kay Copeland 91st, Clair Bailey 92nd, Julia Tagg 135th and Jacquie Browne 141st.
Farnborough Half Marathon
Partly in a blizzard, 18 Farnham Runners ran the Farnborough Half Marathon, posting good times, some with personal bests:
Rob Gilchrist 1:25:28, Harvey Wickham PB 1:27:22, Jason East 1:28:49,Thomas Bache 1:28:51, Mike Anderson 1:33:36 (2nd M60), Emma Pearson PB 1:35:43, 24th lady, Stuart Williamson and Neil Ambrose 1:35:47, Hallam Foster 1:38:31, Rob Routh 1:38:40, Lucy Hogg 1:42:37, Chris Jackson 1:45:45, Oliver Drewery 1:45:54, Kevin Laurie 1:48:45, Kate Townsend 1:53:10, Shirley Perrett 2:09:18, Ian Loader 2:09:51, Jane Porter 2:13:38.