HRRL Gosport Half Marathon and British and Irish Masters International Cross Country
HRRL Gosport Half Marathon
In ideal conditions, nineteen Farnham Runners enjoyed the Gosport half marathon, the fourth event of the season in the Hampshire Road Race League. The sun shone, it wasn’t cold and there was no wind, helping some to personal best times. The two lap course was partly along the promenade with sections giving the opportunity to spur on team mates heading in the opposite direction.
Gosport Road Runners were congratulated for their competence in staging this race that attracts a large field of both competitive and less competitive runners. All were cheered on by enthusiastic marshals.
Both the club’s men’s and ladies’ A teams consolidated their positions in the top divisions.
The Farnham men, maintaining sixth place of the ten teams in the top division, put out a strong A team that placed eighth on the day. Matt Saker headed the pack, his excellent 1 hour 22 minutes 35 seconds giving him fifth M50 slot. Next came Mathew Morgan in 1:24:14, followed by Harvey Wickham, whose time of 1:25:14 (10th M45) gave him a new best by an impressive jump of almost two minutes. Not far back was Andy McCall, 11th M45 in 1:25:40, a PB by 46 seconds.
Having recently completed the very challenging Snowdon Ultra 50 miler, David Roy sliced 10 seconds from his PB with 1:29:01 to lead the club B string. Overcoming recent injury was Charles Ashby in 1:33:08, followed by Neil Ambrose in 1:33:53 and Steve Bailey in 1:38:09. This team gave them thirteenth place in the B team table.
Chris Cramp in 1:41:10 stayed narrowly ahead of Damian Probett in 1:41:18, with Clive Frostick in 1:56:14 and Keith Toms in 2:08:22 completing the C team that placed fifteenth in their table.
The Farnham ladies’ efforts were rewarded by a fine seventh place in A division one and thirteenth in B Division one.
First back for the club was Gabriella Hitchcock who put in an impressive performance for1:35:12, eighth in the F40 category. Louise Granell clocked 1:36:07, with final A scorer Linda Tyler second F55 in 1:41:45.
Lindsay Bamford recorded 1:49:21 to head the B trio, with Clair Bailey in 2:05:07 and Jane Probett with a PB of close to three minutes in 2:07:03. Tina Harrison backed up this team in 2:11:28.
British and Irish Masters International Cross Country
The same weekend Jane Georghiou travelled to Southport for the British and Irish Masters International Cross country. She was delighted to wear an England vest again, having been selected for a four strong England age group team for the ninth time.
The race venue was Aintree racecourse, the route comprising three 2km laps inside the horse racing track. Though absolutely flat, the longish grass and a water-logged patch made it an energy-sapping course.
With a time of 29:30, Jane placed second in the England W65 team that won the silver medal, behind a strong Scottish team. The individual and team medals were later presented at an evening Dinner Dance for around 500 in Southport.
“This is where you are proud to mix with athletes old and new including former champions. During the dinner I sat next to Ian Thompson who was at Aintree to support his wife Margaret in the W65 team. Since arriving home I have found out that he was the 1974 European and Commonwealth marathon champion in 2:09:12, the second fastest in history at that time and still ranked eighth in the UK”!