TRXCL Pamber Forest
“Running 5 miles cross country in the torrential rain, strong winds and deep mud, soaked to the skin…??? Never felt so alive!!!”
This was a comment from one of Farnham Runners after the invigorating Today’s Runner Winter League cross-country at Pamber Forest organised by Basingstoke and Midhants A.C. After the recent mild and sunny weather, the cold, wet conditions came as a bit of a shock to the runners as temperatures plummeted further from 8 to 2 degrees on the morning of the race and the heavy rain generated energy sapping mud most of the way round. There was even snow before all had crossed the line.
The feast of hot dogs and cakes supplied by the hosts was never more welcome or deserved.
There was a real tussle among the leading Farnham men. Charles Ashby and Andrew Ellison swapped places a number of times, Ashby only getting the better of Ellison in the push for home in last half mile. Ashby then took on Richard Strode and it wasn’t until the last 50 meter uphill stretch that he overtook again for an excellent 7th place , with Strode in 8th (a new personal best) and Ellison 10th. They were followed by Mike Anderson (12th) and Steve Kitney (20th). This fine team gained a season’s best score but the hosts fielded an even better one to take the top slot.
This was mirrored for the ladies, with Farnham Runners second and Basingstoke and Midhants A.C first. Gabi Hitchcock led them in with a suberb performance for a PB 4th. Emma Whittaker-Axon made a very promising return to racing with another PB placing of 12th. Not far behind her came Jane Georghiou as final scorer in 13th.
Showing strength and depth there were some very good results from those who did not make the teams this time: Men: Bob Brimicombe 24th, Steve Parker 25th, Charlie Hill-Venning 26th, Nick Hitchcock 33rd (PB), Scott Salmon 44th, John Hill-Venning 56th, Alistair Wilson 60th (PB).
Ladies: Christy Roxburgh 23rd , Nina Muir 30th (PB), Elaine Ashby 46th.
Overall Farnham Runners took second spot on the day but improved their lead at the top of the series table, with just one race to go at Staunton Country Park on 18th March.