TRXCL Manor Farm Country Park, HRRL Ryde 10m, HXCL Salisbury and HRRL Bramley 20m

TRXCL – Manor Farm Country Park

A winning double in the cross-country at Manor Farm Country Park see Farnham Runners in a very strong position going into the final event of the Today’s Runner Winter League on 14th March. Both men and ladies teams took the honours at the race organised by Stubbington Green Runners. Another remarkable performance by newcomer Claire Entwistle placed her second overall.

With some clubs divided between this race and the Ryde 10 miler on the same day there were lots of personal bests for Farnham Runners. Mike Anderson came a splendid 2nd, closely followed by Ian Carley, 3rd. Steve Kitney (6th) and Charles Ashby (7th) were pleased to make the top ten, while Andy Eakins made a welcome return to fitness (11th) to deny Dan Smith (12th) a scoring place. The continually improving Tim Cummins (22nd) got the better of Stuart Morgan (23rd) There were many more strong runs in support: Paul Beesley 31st, Nick Hitchcock 37th, Matt Burns 49th, Terry Copeland 56th, Malcolm Fitzsimmons 75th, Richard Sheppard 103rd.

The ladies fielded almost as many as the men. After Claire’s victory in the ladies’ section, Jane Georghiou picked up tag 6. Emma Whittaker-Axon ran well for11th and, echoing the men’s race, denied an under par Angela Epps in 12th a team place this time. There were some very strong performances in support, both from promising newcomers as well as experienced members of the club: Gabi Hitchcock 17th, Lindsay Bamford 21st, Anna Hindle 26th, Sue Boxall 28th, Fran Bills 31st, Sylvia Harper 38th, Diane Cox 49th, Elaine Ashby 64th.

HRRL – Ryde 10m

Eight members chose the trip to Ryde instead for the ten mile Hampshire Road League race. Steve Murphy headed the team with a sub 70 minutes time of 1hour 9minutes 30seconds while Mike Walberton in 1.10.08 was tantalisingly close to this target. Scott Salmon (1.13.12) and Howard Inns (1.19.49) were delighted to make the club’s A team in the first division of the league. Richard Cieslik (1.29.02), new member Tim Withers (1.30.17) and Peter Strange (1.32.42) made up a B team.

Caroline Freeman (1.31.48) was the only female representative of the club.

HXCL – Salisbury

Three ladies braved a very cold and windy Salisbury Plain for the final Hampshire Cross Country League event. New member Fran Bills (24.41) showed her potential by just pipping Lindsay Bamford (24.44) to the line, followed by Debbie Addison in 27.08. These three gave the Farnham ladies a very worthwhile tenth place in the series and fourth in the veterans’ category (both out of a possible thirty clubs entered in the league).

HRRL – Bramley 20m

The following day nine members elected to run the Bramley 20 miler as part of their training for the London marathon in April. With an average pace of approximately 6.5minute miles Steve Kitney clocked a splendid 2.10.58 for 3rd in the M40-45 category. Ian Carley (2.19.18) and Charles Ashby (2.20.30) kept around 7 minute mile pacing while Mike Ashworth (2.44.57) made up the scoring A team that placed 8th in the top division of the Hampshire Road League. Richard Sheppard and Peter Strange, along with Emma Doven, made it a sensible training run together, all recording 3.27.14, with Andrew Perrin finishing in 3.40.25.

Jane Georghiou was pleased with 2.27.20 to be the first ever W55 in UK to qualify (under 2.28) for that age category UK All Time 20mile ranking list.

Andrew Ellison stretched his legs in the ten miler at the same venue, picking up second M40 prize for his trouble, his time an excellent 58.48. Making no less effort were Chris Jackson (1.14.56) and Malcolm Fitzsimmons (1.15.39). For the ladies Emma Whittaker-Axon put in a fine performance for 1.12.49, followed by Helen Cathie in 1.35.26.