TRXCL Lord Wandsworth College and Portsmouth Coastal Waterside Marathon

TRXCL Lord Wandsworth College

Lured by the promise of mud and homemade cakes thirty-five Farnham Runners included the third round of the Today’s Runner Winter League cross-country at Lord Wandsworth College in their New Year plans. Overnight rain meant they weren’t disappointed on the first point while hosts Hart Road Runners provided such a spread of cakes there were even lots left after the lunch.

The Farnham club was rewarded with a victory that puts them two points on aggregate ahead of nearest rivals Midhurst Milers. However, it’s early days yet, with four races still to go.

Sandra Norwood, who took second place in September’s Alice Holt 10km, gave a very welcome boost to the ladies team. Despite returning form injury she took the muddy, treacherous 5 mile course in her stride to finish a delighted second lady. Gabi Hitchcock, keen to complete all races in the series, made an excellent contribution in 14th.

Jane Georghiou emerged from the mud unscathed but then took a tumble on a flat field near the end and hobbled to the finish for 16th. Not far behind Lindsay Bamford, reliable as ever in 24th, provided strong back up to the team which earned a surprise win over the other 17 clubs.

Regular contenders for team places Christy Roxburgh (37th), Emma Drinkwater (40th) and Emma Doven (41st) were joined by Nina Muir, a promising 43rd on her debut.

The men formed a remarkably close-packed bunch, with all five scorers within seven points of each other. Charles Ashby led them in 10th with Andrew Ellison on his heels in 11th. Now a regular member of the team Richard Strode was 13th, Mike Anderson 15th and new member Steve Nicholls 16th. A strong Basingstoke and Midhants A.C. team pushed them to second.

Charlie Hill-Venning (28th), John Hill-Venning (40th ) , Nick Hitchcock (43rd), Bob Brimicombe (45th) and Steve Kitney (47th) didn’t make the team this time. Dave Armstrong had a fine run for 57th, while Tim Withers (68th) celebrated an improvement of 48 places since last year, ahead of Nick Hill (69th) and men’s captain Martin Billett (73rd).

Others out to support the club were:

Men: Terry Copeland 96th, Matt Burns 101st, Chris Cramp 107th, Alistair Wilson 125th, Paul Beesley 162nd, Phil Masters 170th, Mark Beeson 175th, Richard Sheppard 196th.

Ladies: Abigail Ashby 62nd, Kay Copeland 65th, Lina Haines 80th, Elaine Ashby 75th, Beccy Martin 78th.

Portsmouth Coastal Waterside Marathon

Five members tackled the second Portsmouth Coastal Waterside Marathon. Although flat and mostly on tarmac it was not an easy course as it included some muddy tracks, shingle beaches, steps, kissing gates and barriers to clamber over.

Sarah Hill ran an amazing race to finish first lady by 14 minutes and 9th overall, recording a new ladies course record. She was almost managed to better her personal best time of 2.59. 57 that she set in the 2011 London Marathon but just faded in the last mile for 3.00.54. She was encouraged by Ian Carley who went ahead just right at the end to secure another sub 3 hour time of 2.59.52 (8th place, 5th in the M40 category).

Emma Doven added another good result to her marathon tally in 4.09.52, while Tim Withers finished in 4.14.56. Keen ultra and marathon runner John Applebee has been quietly clocking up the marathons this year again (4.59.26).