TRXCL Farnham, Brecon Beacons Ultramarathon and HXCL Basingstoke
Donning his hat as Farnham Runners’ race director again, Charles Ashby warned before the start that all ran at their own risk. Hazards included slippery leaves, tree roots and even some mud, though less than in most of the Today’s Runner Winter League races. This was the third meet of the series, finishing on the Bourne Green after almost 5 miles. Almost three hundred took part. After the race the organisers were congratulated by several members of other clubs about the course, marshalling and staging of the event, not forgetting the catering and provision of ample supplies of sandwiches and cakes, a justified reward for the runners at the finish.
The Farnham men beat off tough opposition to top the list of eighteen clubs, nine points ahead of Stubbington Green Runners, with Hart Road Runners third. The ladies managed fifth behind victors Basingstoke and Midhants AC, then Stubbington Green Runners, Hart Road Runners and Alton Runners. This gave the host club combined team joint third with Stubbington Green Runners top and Basingstoke and Midhants second.
Dan Bailey of Victory AC won the race, while Grah am Russ of Farnham Runners was runner up, followed by Andy Simpson of Stubbington Green Runners. Michael Rix 5th, Ian Carley 11th, Mike Anderson 16th, and Charles Ashby 18th made the winning team, Ashby having made a quick recovery from his announcements to take part and sprint to the finish ahead of Dan Smith 19th. Steve Kitney and Simon Loughnane were next in 23rd and 25th respectively out of 187 men in total.
The ladies race was won by Lesley Locks of Hart Road Runners, with Lucy Chittenden of Farnham Triathlon Club second and T. Cornwell of Basingstoke and Midhants third. It was left to Jane Georghiou, now in her sixteenth year of running for the club to head the host ladies’team in 9th with Angela Epps not far behind in 10th. Lindsay Bamford was delighted to make up the scoring trio in 24th, followed by Gabi Hitchcock 43rd, newcomer Kay Copeland 51st, and the improving Suzanne Munton 53rd and Debbie Addison 58th of the 98 ladies.
More Farnham positions: Men Colin Butfield 32, Tim Cummins 53, Stuart Morgan 54, Steve Murphy 60, Paul Beesley 71, Matt Burns 90, Nick Hitchcock 92, Terry Copeland 99, Mike Walberton 108, Chris Cramp 112, Robert Murdoch 114, Rob Horton 128, Richard Cieslik 138, Howard Inns 143, Hillary Carter 149, Andrew Perrin 165, Peter Strange 166, Richard Sheppard 172, Richard Sheppard 172, Steve Whatley 177.
Ladies: Emma Doven 61, Fran Bills (debut) 68, Sally Lawrence 70, Suzanna Ching 72, Emma Drinkwater 73, Caroline Freeman 74, Rebecca Martin 75, Shirley Perrett 76, Julie Russ 77, Sylvia Harper (debut) 80, Nathalie Garrison 87, Sandra Bray 89, Elaine Ashby 92, Jenny Andrews 94, Jane Adams 95, Lisa Smith 96.
Brecon Beacons Ultramarathon
Frances Britain sensibly chose to marshal this time after her epic the previous weekend when she took on the testing Brecon Beacons 46.6 mile Ultramarathon. Here she describes the conditions: “ We had sunshine, driving rain, freezing winds, undulations, hills, muddy water-washed stone-shutes with brambles and branches and canal-path.” She was delighted to come in second lady in 10 hours 20 minutes 21 seconds and is all set for future forays into the world of ultras.
In the Hampshire Cross Country League the Farnham ladies are lying 5th in the veterans’ overall standings for the series and 13th in the senior section. A minimum team of Jane Georghiou (21.46, 56th), Debbie Addison, who enjoyed a fine debut, (26.44, 43rd) and Caroline Freeman (27.05, 44th) took part at the new course at Popham Airfield, Basingstoke. Michael Rix represented the Farnham men and was pleased with 76th slot and 5.55 minute per mile pace over the rough course (27.59).