HRRL Ryde 10, TRXCL Manor Farm Country Park and HXCL Salisbury
HRRL Ryde 10m
The Hampshire Road League Ryde ten miler, always likely to be a windy affair, did not disappoint. Fourteen Farnham Runners took part; some enjoyed the luxury of transport right to the start while others chose the passenger ferry and dash along the seafront before and after the race.
Charles Ashby led the men with an excellent 1 hour three minutes 42 seconds over the undulating route to claim 30th place of 320 finishers. Running strongly in his marathon preparations, next came Mike Walberton in 1-07-20 (59th, 11th V50). Steve Kitney (1-09-06, 77th) and Scott Salmon (1-09-46, 86th), who was delighted to record a time close to his ten mile best, also counted for the A team that placed 7th in Division One of the Hampshire Road Race League. On aggregate this leaves them 9th with work to do in the final four league races to avoid relegation. Mike Ashworth (1-09-58) headed the B team with Steve Murphy (1-11-41), Chris Cramp (1-17-34) and Tim Withers (1-23-04), who deducted over six minutes from his time last year. Stefan Klincewicz (1-25-58), Peter Strange (1-33-26) and Richard Sheppard (1-39-35) ran in support.
The ladies improved their points lead at the top of Division Two with a second place on the day. They were Jane Georghiou (1-13-06, 16th lady 1st W55), Lindsay Bamford 1-20-39 (8th W45) and Emma Doven (1-27-07).
TRXCL Manor Farm Country Park
Of seventeen clubs in the Today’s Runner Winter League Farnham Runners still lie second on aggregate having secured second on the day at the penultimate event at Manor Farm Country Park staged by Stubbington Green Runners. Weather forecasters were spot on with their prediction of rain for the day, but the miserable conditions and extensive mud added a certain character-building quality to the comparatively flat but scenic course around the Hamble estuary.
Farnham’s men could not be beaten with the last of their five counters picking up tag 13. Winner Graham Russ was chased to the halfway point but then gradually built up a lead of some twenty seconds while Andrew Ellison maintained an excellent fourth. Ian Carley stopped to help control some horses on the route, but fought back for tenth. Charles Ashby in 12th just kept ahead of Julian Mann, returning to racing in 13th. Richard Strode made a very impressive debut for the club in 15th with an under par Mike Anderson taking 21st slot. The rapidly improving Albert Ellison recorded 25th. Others battling for good placings were Nick Hitchcock (41st), Steve Murphy (45th), Tim Cummins (51st), Steve Kitney (60th), Neil Powers (61st), Les Boxall (85th), Tim Withers (86th), Chris Cramp (88th), Howard Inns (105th), Richard Sheppard (129th) and Peter Strange (131st).
The ladies team could not match the men’s result but were a creditable 6th. The first back was Jane Georghiou (14th) followed by Lindsay Bamford (22nd) who pushed hard on the sting in the tail hill at the end to take the scalp of Amanda Allen in 23rd. A trio of Sue Boxall (35th), Jacqui Lee (37th) and Fran Bills (38th) was followed by Emma Doven (45th) and Vanora Western (46th).
Conditions the previous day at the final round of the Hampshire Cross-Country league were much more pleasant with sunshine enhancing the Old Sarum ancient hill fort setting and distant views over Salisbury from the upper section of the course.
A brisk trot around just 5.3km for four of Farnham’s ladies confirmed a worthy 7th place overall in the league and second in the veterans’ section (no divisions for the ladies). Louise James (25th) led them in strongly in a time of 23-34, with Jane Georghiou in 29th not far behind in 23-43 and placing 9th W35 for the series. Sue Boxall (26-22, 49th) just pipped Jacqui Lee (26-30, 50th) to the final place in the team that came 8th on the day (3rd veterans).