HXCL Reading and TRXCL Basingstoke

Farnham Runners began the New Year with a jolt, braving the cold weather twice over the weekend for two cross-country races. They put out full and very successful teams in both, capped by another victory in Sunday’s Today’s Runner Winter League.

HXCL Reading

The sun gave some welcome warmth for the penultimate Hampshire League race at Prospect Park, Reading. First Farnham Runner home in the 9km men’s race was Ian Carley in a new personal best position of 66th and a time of 31mins 42 secs, just a little consolation for his disappointment after his very rigorous preparation for the Luton marathon, which was cancelled on the day because of a road accident. Seven seconds behind came Dan Smith, running close to his PB in 69th (31.49) and overtaking Michael Rix (76th, 32.18) on the way round. Tim Young raced in Farnham colours for the first time for a very useful 86th (32.43). Bob Brimicombe was 5th scorer (99th, 33.06), helping the club to 3rd place in Division Two (3rd on aggregate) and the veterans’ team to 2nd (also 3rd on aggregate).

Neither Charles Ashby nor Steve Kitney was feeling 100% on the day but still managed 100th (33.10) and 121st (34.18) respectively .

Other men’s results: Mike Walberton 146th, 36.18, Nick Hill 157th, 37.09, Simon Clyde 158th, 37.15.

Back from skiing Angela Epps put in a good performance for 33rd and 23mins 57 secs over the ladies 6km course. Jane Georghiou (37th, 24.14) and Caroline Wharton (76th, 29.27 completed the team score for 11th (lie 9th). Caroline Freeman (78th, 30.24) won the tussle with Carol Plater (81st, 30.46) for third veteran’s slot. The Farnham ladies veterans lie an excellent 3rd in the whole league after 4 matches, with the team 6th on the day.

TRXCL Basingstoke

Basingstoke and Midhants A.C. chose an excellent venue for their first staging of a Today’s Runner cross-country, at Pamber Forest near Tadley. Sub-zero temperatures meant frozen rutted mud underfoot, however, and even led one of the Farnham contingent to describe it as “lethal”. Happily all survived and members were overjoyed to take a third victory out of three so far in the 5 race series (for men and ladies combined results).

The first five men packed in to the top 20 for the top slot by a huge margin, while the first three ladies claimed 2nd place for the club (to give a combined men + ladies total of total of three points over second placed Hart Road Runners with four.).

In a reverse of the previous day Dan Smith (4th) pipped Ian Carley (6th) to the post, while Charles Ashby (16th), Bob Brimicombe (17th) and Michael Rix (18th) made up the excellent team. Stuart Morgan was just denied a scoring place (21st), while Steve Kitney was still below par (27th). An amazing total of twenty men braved the weather to support the club, among them a former chairman Steve Parker, who made a surprise but very welcome return to the Farnham Runners camp.

Angela Epps again led in the ladies, in a fine 8th. Jane Georghiou (13th) just kept ahead of Frances Britain (15th). Lindsay Bamford (21st) got the better of Gabi Hitchcock (25th), while Caroline Freeman (52nd), Diane Cox (56th) and newcomer Nicky Targett (58th) followed.

Other men’s placings: Tim Cummins 46, Mike Walberton 51, Steve Parker 67, Paul Beesley 72, Nick Hitchcock 75, Nick Hill 80, Dave Armstrong 85, Scott Salmon 92, Matt Burns 94, Richard Cieslik 123, Richard Sheppard 126, Phil Wallace 135, Peter Strange 144.