HRRL Gosport Half Marathon and British and Irish Masters International Cross-Country

HRRL Gosport Half Marathon

There were near perfect conditions at the Gosport half marathon, the fifth event in the Hampshire Road League series. Farnham Runners showed strength and depth with twenty-six members turning out to support the club and some new members among the familiar faces. There were personal best times aplenty, two by a remarkable 20 minutes.

Regaining his usual form, Ian Carley was not far off his best last year; he came 43rd of 1379 finishers and 6th in the M40-44 category with a time of one hour 19 minutes 35 seconds. Charles Ashby fighting off a cold could not add to his spate of personal bests this year but settled for a very worthy 1-22-47 (9th M45-49), while Steve Kitney had to be convinced that giving blood two days before had affected his performance (1-28-56). Mike Walberton, also a tad disappointed with his time of 1-30-19, never-the-less made a fine contribution to the A team result of second in Division Two. Farnham lie top on aggregate from Eastleigh Running Club but by just one point.

The B team did well to come 6th of 15 in their division (aggregate 4th). They were led in by James Finney in 1-31-43 (PB) while Nick Hill (1-33-08) got the better of Nick Hitchcock in (1-34-31). Steve Murphy clocked 1-40-21. New member Alistair Wilson, who headed the C team, was pleased with a new personal best of (1-41-35). Tim Withers (1-45-45) need persuading that a PB by 9 minutes was a very good result. Chris Cramp (1-49-17) and Stefan Klincewicz (1-52-12) helped to make a strong C team that is currently 4th of 17 in their group (6th on the day).

Newcomer John Broy, not yet included in the team results, recorded a creditable 1-42-25. Peter Strange clocked 1-58-43, a new club age category record, while Mark Beeson fighting injury (2-02-09) also supported the teams.

Delighted to lead in the Farnham ladies was Gabi Hitchcock in a fine 1-35-09 (17th senior lady) while Sue Boxall was pleased to be second in a new best of 1-43-17 and 6th in her category. New member Holly Daly made an excellent contribution in 1-45-14, followed by a beaming Suzanne Munton in 1-45-21. This team was seventh in Division One, holding on to 7th of the ten teams on aggregate. Emma Doven (1-48-44) added a sixth distance to her incredible run of PBs this year to lead in the B team and boost their aggregate position to 9th of 15 (6th on the day). The other three scorers were Tori Shaw (1-52-58, PB) and Shirley Perrett (1-56-03, 6th in category) who spurred on Christy Roxburgh to a new PB by 20 minutes (1-56-04,). Wendy Carley (1-57-06) encouraged Helen Cathie to a new best of 1-57-05 and newcomer Claire Pengilley ran her fastest half marathon by approximately 20 minutes (2-02-18).

British and Irish Masters International Cross-Country

Jane Georghiou holding her team gold medal from the 2011 British and Irish Masters International Cross-Country

Selected for the four strong England W55 team for the annual British and Irish Masters International cross-country the following weekend Jane Georghiou travelled to Glasgow for this 6km race in Bellahouston Park.

“When I heard the dire weather forecast of strong gales and heavy rain for the day of the race I was wondering if I had made the right choice in applying this year” she said. “I was very happy when I looked out on the morning it wasn’t raining! An inspection of the course showed it was hillier than I expected, which I thought could be to my advantage after the Farnham Runners hill training sessions and all the Today’s Runner cross-countries I have done. It was very muddy with standing water on the flat sections.

“The inevitable rain came before the start but was fairly light. As usual the ladies of all age groups from the five countries set off together. Numbers are worn front and back and indicate the age group of the runners to those behind.

“Although I skidded once on a muddy descent, I thought during the race, I am enjoying this, and with people cheering for their countries, wearing an England vest is an unforgettable experience. After the race I soon got cold so left the course without much idea of where I had come.

“It wasn’t until half way through the presentation dinner that evening that the results were available. I was delighted to find I was 4th W55, even though I am in the final year in this age group. My time was 26-49 and I was just ahead of a number of well-known competitors in this category. Along with team- mates who were 2nd and 3rd it meant we won our category by nine points over Ireland and the result helped England to a perfect score of wins in all age groups in the ladies section and so win the Ladies’ Shield as well as the overall trophy.”