HXCL Overton and HRRL Victory 5

Sunshine lifted the spirits of runners in two league races and added to the enjoyment of both events. Farnham Runners did well in both, helping to consolidate their team positions.

HXCL Overton

First was the Hampshire cross-country race at Ashe Meadows near Overton. Team captain Dan Smith was pleased to lead the Farnham men in 33mins 32secs for a season’s best 81st over the 9km course. Still right up with him till the final lap were Steve Kitney (33.49, 86th) and Andy Eakins (34.06, 89th). Charles Ashby continues to regain former fitness after injury (34.13, 92nd) while Bob Brimicombe almost made the top hundred (34.45, 102nd).

These five scored a healthy 4th in Division Two to give 3rd on aggregate with two matches to go and promotion to Division One a possibility. The three veterans among them gave the club a 2nd place. Mike Ashworth (38.31, 161), Tim Cummins (40.38, 188) and Peter Strange (52.11, 215) supported the team.

Ladies captain Jane Georghiou also led in her team over the 6km ladies route (25.41, 32nd) with Lindsay Bamford next (27.41, 58th). Julie Russ (32.56, 84th) won the battle for the final scoring place over Caroline Freeman (33.30, 87th). Out of all the teams in the league the Farnham ladies have a creditable 12th place while their veterans’ team now lies joint 3rd.

HRRL Victory 5

The next day at the Hampshire Road League Portsmouth Victory five miler the sun shone again and there was no wind, in contrast to the gales of the last two years, so times were fast and many were rewarded with personal bests. Showing dedication to their teams all of the Saturday Farnham men and three of the ladies raced again on the Sunday.

Both men’s and ladies teams were proud of their performances that consolidated high positions in the top divisions; the ladies are still 2nd (3rd on the day) and men are 4th (3rd on the day).

Challenged to head his team for the second time, Dan Smith almost succeeded but could not catch a determined Andy Eakins who ran at 5.45 pace to record 28 mins 46 secs for 53rd place. Smith clocked 28.57 for 55th of the 766 finishers. Close behind Steve Kitney, who recorded 29.03, came an excellent 4th in the M40 category in this very competitive race. Spencer Ward (29.35, 78th) kept ahead of Charles Ashby (29.46, 85th, 9th M40) to score in the “A” team, both still under 6 minute per mile pace. Bob Brimicombe (30.33, 18th M45), Steve Murphy (31.10, 21st M45) and Mike Ashworth (32.04) completed the “B” team that came 2nd.

Jane Georghiou was pleased with 32.59 (28th lady) for 1st W55. Frances Britain grabbed a massive two minutes from her PB for 33.39 (33rd lady of 290, 18th senior). Lindsay Bamford also produced a fine best performance (36.17) and placed 20th among the W40 category.

Caroline Freeman (41.19) led in the B team of Diane Cox (44.51) and Lisa Smith (48.28).

Other times: Tim Cummins 32.46 (PB), Andy Tweed 33.30, Scott Salmon 34.11, Graham Higgins 36.01, Terry Steadman 36.03, Steve Payne 36.09, Phil Wallace 36.55 Richard Cieslik 38.02, Peter Strange 44.05.