HRRL Alton 10, 1066 Relay, Milton Keynes Marathon and Stratford Marathon
Some excellent team results at the Alton Ten miler have helped Farnham Runners mens’ team prospects of promotion back to Division One of the Hampshire Road Race League, while the ladies boosted their hopes of remaining in the top flight. On the first weekend of sunshine and no rain in many weeks the club entered a total of twenty-five runners.
The men’s first team came 3rd overall and top of Division Two of the league. Leading them in, Andrew Ellison made an impressive debut on this hilly course to take 3rd place in the M40 category in one hour 55 seconds, 21st of 450 finishers. With him till over half way was Ian Carley who clocked a personal course best of 1-01-34. Unsure about a recent injury Charles Ashby (1-05-35) started steadily but felt good and so later turned on the gas to record a 3 minute “negative split”. Jason East was close behind in 1-05-45.
A fine B team comprised Charlie Hill-Venning (1-06-21), Mike Walberton (1-07-26), James Finney (1-08-15) and Martin Billett (1-09-18). Mike Ashworth (1-09-34) and Scott Salmon (1-09-50) also finished in under seventy minutes to head a C team, followed by Nick Hitchcock (1-11-00) and Nick Hill (1-11-27) who just denied Dave Armstrong a team place (1-11-29).
Gabi Hitchcock, although she could not quite match her time last year was pleased to clock 1-12-57 for 14th ladies place after minimal time for training. Wendy Carley in 1-23-34 and Tori Shaw in 1-28-49 gave the A team a very useful 6th in league Division One (9th overall). Elaine Ashby and Claire Pengilley both clocking 1-32.00 added to their impressive string of new personal best times.
Other results: Terry Copeland 1-16-23, Alistair Wilson 1-18-37, Daren Carter 1-18-57, Phil Masters 1-24-28, Stash Hutten 1-25-36 (PB by 5 minutes), Peter Strange 1-27-44 (PB) and Andrew Perrin 1-31-32.
The previous weekend three enthusiastic Farnham teams braved the unseasonably cold and wet weather to tackle the 1066 relay, a five-stage 33-mile course, that follows William the Conqueror’s historic Country Walk route from Pevensey to Rye. Inter-team rivalry was whipped up by the team captains and the results were close: “Team Kitney” (Chris Cramp, Steve Kitney, Abigail Ashby, Becky Martin and Emma Drinkwater: Total time 4-36-51) just got the better of “Team Carley” (Emma Doven, Ian Carley, Elaine Ashby, Peter Strange and Christy Roxburgh: 4-38-28) with Team Ashby following (Mark Beeson, Wendy Carley, Oliver Ashby, Terry Steadman and Jessica Page: 4-53-24). These mixed teams came a very respectable 22nd, 23rd and 32nd of 53 teams. Oliver Ashby won the award for the youngest participant, while Ian Carley was 3rd finisher on his leg.
Milton Keynes Marathon
On the Sunday of atrocious conditions – cold, gales, heavy rain – four made the courageous decision to start the Milton Keynes marathon and all not only survived but amazingly recorded personal best times, even though the course was 0.23 miles longer than the normal 26.2 miles to avoid floods!
They were: Charlie Hill-Venning 3-26-10, John Hill-Venning 3-33-35, Chris Cramp 3-46-06 (PB by 20 minutes) and Shirley Perrett 4-32-16.
Not so “lucky” were Hillary Carter, Jane Georghiou and Peter Strange, who found themselves lined up at the start of the Stratford marathon to be told that the race would only be a half marathon as a section of the full route was under water. Although disappointed, all three agreed this was the right decision given the dire conditions.