HXCL Salisbury, HRRL Bramley 10, Chessington Valentines Day 10km and National Cross-Country Championships

A number of Farnham Runners men used two tough league races on consecutive days as part of their training for spring marathons. This gave creditable team results on both days but the ladies were not able to field a team for the Saturday event. The indefatigable Michael Rix led in the teams on both days and posted a new club record for twenty miles by 21 seconds even after running a 9km cross-country the previous day!

HXCL Salisbury

The last Hampshire League cross-country was held at a new venue near Salisbury and Rix took 61st place with a time of 31 minutes 11seconds over the hilly course. Bob Brimicombe ran strongly for 85th (32.41) with Julian Mann close behind in 32.52 (89th). Charles Ashby (95th, 33.45) and Steve Kitney (104th, 34.29) went steadily with the next day’s 20 miler looming.

The team finished a respectable 3rd in Division Two of the league (5th on the day). Their veterans were also 3rd in their Division Two (3rd on the day).

HRRL Bramley 20

Near perfect conditions helped the 839 finishers at the Bramley 20, the 8th event in the Hampshire Road Race League calendar. Times given are chip times.

Michael Rix romped round at a stunning 6 minute mile pace for 1hour 59mins 58seconds and he was justifiably happy with this result as he prepares for the Paris marathon. Ian Carley was second Farnham Runner home in 2.14.25. Steve Kitney (2.16.56) and Bob Brimicombe (2.19.31) averaged 6.51 and 6.59 minutes per mile respectively for team 5th place in the top division. Mike Walberton (2.26.11) paced himself expertly in his first attempt at this distance taking the scalp of Charles Ashby near the line (2.26.31). Mike Ashworth (2.48.12) and Richard Sheppard (2.59.30) completed the “B” team that took 6th Place (3rd on aggregate). Mark Beeson (3.15.13) and Peter Strange (3.26.30) supported the team.

The ladies came 7th in Division One and drop to 5th for the series so far. Jane Georghiou was pleased to finish comfortably under 2½ hours (2.28.27) and Frances Britain (2.33.00) took an amazing 25 minutes from her previous attempt at this distance. Emma Doven was third scorer (3.15.12).

New member Nick King tackled the Bramley 10 miles in 1.31.26.

Other races

Mike Anderson was first M50 in the Chessington Valentines Day 10km with an excellent time of 36.13, followed by Scott Salmon (42.28, a personal best) and Catherine Bradley (49.30).

Julian Mann, after only 5 months of racing, came almost halfway up the field of the National Cross-Country Championships held at Parliament Hill Fields, London (804th of 1455 finishers in 54.14 for the 12km course). Here he describes the memorable event:

“It was a fantastic experience – the atmosphere of a big competitive event, the numbers of runners, the course itself, meant it was on a different scale to anything I’ve been involved in before.

The starting line is probably about 100 metres across. It means when the gun fires there’s a manic scene where everyone charges up Parliament Hill and it was great to be a part of it. The course itself was tough – very muddy, with long stretches where it was like wading through treacle. Staying upright or just keeping going was a struggle at times, Combined with all the hills, the uneven ground and divots it was difficult to establish any kind of rhythm but I enjoyed the whole race.”