HRRL Lordhill 10m, HXCL Goodwood, TRXCL Queen Elizabeth Country Park, Great South, New York Marathon and Fleet 10K

Farnham Runners continued an action packed schedule, with three league races in eight days. In addition five members chose international marathons, eleven took part in the Great South Run and sixteen in the recent Fleet road races.

HRRL Lordhill 10m

A stalwart band survived a drenching in the Hampshire Road Race League’s Lordhill ten mile race, led in by Michael Rix who was under the hour in 59 mins 47 seconds for 12th place in a field of 376. Julian Mann, 5th in the M40 category, clocked a new PB in 1.01.27 (19th) with Ian Carley just behind in 1.01.43 (22nd, 6th M40,) both probably only denied their hour target by the conditions. Steve Kitney in 1.04.02 completed the A team that came 5th in Division One. Bob Brimicombe (1.04.58) headed the 4th placed B team, followed by Charles Ashby 1.05.39, Tim Cummins 1.10.25 and Paul Beesley 1.10.58.

Angela Epps was first Farnham lady in 1.14.22, with Emma Doven in 1.26.46 and Caroline Freeman in 1.27.21 for 8th in Division One backed up by Diane Cox in 1.35.36.

Other times: Mike Ashworth 1.11.49, Chris Cramp 1.14.31 (PB), Howard Inns 1.18.13 (PB), Malcolm Fitzsimmons 1.18.30.

HXCL Goodwood

The ladies put out five for the Hampshire League Cross Country at Goodwood and again Angela Epps was leading them but unfortunately sustained an injury three quarters of the way round and had to withdraw from the race. Jane Georghiou was 43rd in 25.14 over the 6km course. An enthusiastic Emma Whittaker-Axon ran well in her first race in Farnham colours for 64th (26.57), followed by Caroline Freeman (96th, 30.45), a result that gave the team a creditable 15th place out of 35 clubs entered in the league (13th on aggregate). Julie Russ (109th, 33.34) made an essential contribution to the veteran’s team that placed 10th (aggregate 6th).

Only two men supported this league with the rest saving them selves for the next day’s race. Tim Cummins, singing the praises of his new cross-country shoes, finished 157th (36.23 over 9km) with Andy Tweed 197th (39.09) in this very competitive event.

TRXCL Queen Elizabeth Country Park

Farnham Runners were victors in the Today’s Runner Winter League 2008-2009 series, coming 3rd in the national final near Halifax. They made a good start to the new season at Queen Elizabeth Country Park, with the combined teams second only to Stubbington Green Runners. Many new members had a testing introduction to the joys of cross-country running with slippery chalk, wet leaves and roots, not to mention hills, to negotiate.

The men fielded a team of 26 runners whose awesome first five gave the Farnham men the top honours. The ladies were 4th out of the participating nineteen clubs.

Graham Russ strode to a comfortable win out of over 300 runners with new member Andrew Ellison taking an excellent 5th place. Ian Carley (8th) just got the better of an under par Michael Rix (9th). Dan Smith was delighted to make this team with his fine 10th place. In strong support was a close-packed group of Charles Ashby 19th, Steve Kitney 22nd, Mike Anderson 23rd, Bob Brimicombe 25th and Simon Loughnane 27th.

Other placings: Tim Cummins 47, Paul Beesley 68, Nick Hitchcock 80, Terry Copeland 82, Martin Billett 94, Rob Murdoch 109, Andy Tweed 110, James Finney 112, Chris Cramp 122, Terry Steadman 127, Mike Walberton 143, Richard Cieslik 146, Graham Higgins 165, Peter Strange 192, Richard Sheppard 193, Andrew Perrin 206.

Jane Georghiou took 12th slot for the ladies followed by a very brave Angela Epps with ankle securely strapped and taking care to negotiate the course safely. She still managed an enviable 16th place. Gabi Hitchcock (18th), only two weeks after a marathon, completed the team score.

In strong support came Lindsay Bamford in 25th, followed by promising newcomers Sue Boxall 53rd and Kay Copeland 59th. Other placings: Emma Doven 63, Caroline Freeman 66, Diane Cox 74, Aimee Vacher 89 (debut), Elaine Ashby 95, Lisa Smith 97. Unfortunately the very enthusiastic Helen Harper fell victim to the course.

Great South

In the Great South Run with close to 14,000 finishers five Farnham Runners were among the top 20 in their age groups. Michael Rix although in the throes of rigorous training for a forthcoming triathlon was 3rd in the M35-39 category with an excellent 59.02. Tim Cummins recorded 1.09.46 just ahead of Martin Billett (1.09.54) who gained a personal best and was 19th M50-54. Next came Jane Georghiou (1.10.22) who topped the W55 category to go 4th in national rankings for this age group for 2009 so far. Chris Cramp (1.16.17) produced a substantial new personal best but went on to better it by another two minutes at Lordshill. Nicolette Overy came a fine 9th in the W50-54 category with 1.19.53 with Shirley Perrett 20th W55-59 (1.33.39). Other times: Suzanne Munton 1.29.54 (PB), Richard Sheppard 1.31.06, Jessica Page 1.34.21, Catherine Pettman 1.40.12.

Four members enjoyed the good organisation and pleasant venue of the Ljubljana marathon in Slovenia. Gabi (3.38.16) and Nick Hitchcock (3.42.20) both came away with improved times. Matt Burns recorded 3.52.55 and Simon Clyde 4.31.02.

New York Marathon

Nick King took a stupendous I hour 27 minutes from his first marathon result, recording 3.54.00 in New York.

Fleet 10K

Yet more took part in the recent Fleet 10km, most notably Mike Anderson was first M50 (37.39) and Sue Boxall 3rd F45 (49.01). Steve Gillingham won the 5km event by almost two minutes despite covering an extra distance at the end.