TRXCL Lord Wandsworth College and Portsmouth Coastal Marathon
TRXCL Lord Wandsworth College
In festive mood twenty-nine Farnham Runners for some reason, perhaps only known to seasoned runners, made the decision to run the Today’s Runner Winter League cross-country race, the fourth in the series, at Lord Wandsworth College. Renowned for its mud the course this year did not disappoint. The race director warned that if anyone had not been around for the last two weeks (not mentioning the last eight months), it had rained. Quite a lot. And the course was MUDDY! But all puddles had been tested and none came above his knees (he was a tall guy whose knees looked higher than most). There was some nervous laughter.
After one was lap done, the dreaded hill ascended once (some managed to run up it) and the puddles negotiated safely, it was to be done all over again. This is where endurance came into play and all the runners, wherever they were in the field, tried to gain places on their competitors. Then at last came the the clingy, stony and potentially ankle-twisting incline to the finish.
Reserving some energy for the final push to the line, Andrew Ellison pipped a rival for an excellent 3rd place. Getting back into gear, Ian Carley finished a fine 9th. Mike Anderson made a sound third scorer in 24th, with Charles Ashby regaining fitness in 31st and Bob Brimicombe taking 35th slot. This team came a very commendable 3rd of the 20 teams. Running well but denied scoring places were Tim Cummins (60th), Scott Salmon (71st), Dave Armstrong (75th), Steve Kitney (77th), Martin Billett (80th) and Mike Taylor (85th). Also coping well with the conditions were Terry Copeland (104th), Darren Cairns (114th, debut), Chris Cramp (119th), Phil Masters (135th), Robin Baker (151st), Hillary Carter (171st), Bruce Peto (175th) and Peter Strange (180th).
Just beaten on the line, Jane Georghiou was still pleased with 10th among the ladies. Another solid run by Lindsay Bamford gave her a season’s best 18th. Kay Copeland, who was delighted with her recent progress and making the team, finished 30th. Fifth team place, when combined with the men’s result gave an overall score of joint 3rd. Just out of the ladies’ team this time were Christy Roxburgh (32nd) and Eloise Stradling (37th). Mostly still smiling at the end were Jacqueline Ashley-Collins (55th), Tori Shaw (59th), Beccy Martin (68th), Nina Muir (95th) and Elaine Ashby (97th).
A fantastic spread of sandwiches, cakes and hot beverages, all for £1, provided by hosts Hart Road Runners was worth staying for after the race.
Portsmouth Coastal Marathon
Susie Chan, Emma Doven, Peter Strange and Richard Sheppard completed the Portsmouth Coastal Marathon two days before Christmas. This year it was muddy and more like a cross-country so times were not so important. Susie was running with a pack in preparation for her forthcoming Marathon des Sables.