TRXCL Queen Elizabeth Country Park, HRRL Gosport Half Marathon, Alton Downland Challenge and British and Irish Masters Home International cross-country

TRXCL – Queen Elizabeth Country Park

Portsmouth Joggers hosted the second of six Today’s Runner Winter League races with a challenging course at Queen Elizabeth Country Park. The number of participating clubs has grown to twenty, making this league more competitive, while still retaining its friendly and welcoming atmosphere.

Farnham Runners men entered a very good team that placed 2nd. Andrew Ellison underlined his present form to come an excellent 3rd. He was backed up by Mike Anderson 16th, Charlie Hill-Venning 35th, Richard Strode 38th and Charles Ashby 40th. Bob Brimicombe in 43rd and Nick Hitchcock, 48th, were never far behind. Mike Smith placed 58th, Martin Billett 76th, John Hill-Venning 83rd, Tim Cummins 116th, Chris Cramp 137th, Craig Tate-Grimes 206th, Peter Strange 231st and Richard Sheppard 238th.

Gabi Hitchcock built on recent success to claim a new best of second lady. Lindsay Bamford recorded 30th with Charlotte Hanson in 37th showing her potential on her debut. Christy Roxburgh (42nd), Eloise Stradling (48th), Beccy Martin (78th), Tori Shaw (99th), Elaine Ashby 120th backed up the three scorers. The ladies’ section was very competitive and this team placed 9th, giving Farnham Runners an overall position of joint fourth, with an equivalent tally on aggregate.

HRRL – Gosport half marathon

A glorious sunny autumn day cheered the participants at the fifth Hampshire Road League Race, the Gosport half marathon. The flat course attracts runners from a wide area, adding to the quality of competition. There were some strong results for the club: the ladies were the second team and there were two individual prizes as well as many personal bests and very promising debut runs.

Andrew Ellison was delighted to improve his best by 30 seconds to place 44th of almost 1600 for 4th M40 in a time of 1hour 17 mins 19 secs.

Ian Carley (1-25-01), Jason East (1-25-09) and newcomer Alastair Blowers (1-28-58, PB by 4 minutes) completed the A men’s team (9th, 7th on aggregate in league division one). Nick Hitchcock (1-31-59 PB by 2½ minutes) led in a B team, followed by Stuart Morel (1-35-01, PB by 1 minute), Chris Cramp (1-36-16, PB by 3 minutes) and Ian George (1-47-00, debut). Charles Ashby accompanied his daughter in 1-50-45 followed by Peter Strange (2-02-49) and Hillary Carter in 2-03-30.

Second Farnham Runner home, Sarah Hill, modest as ever, was second lady and first female veteran in a superb 1-20-29. This gives her second slot in the league individual charts. She went on to win a cross-country race three days later.

Winner of the Alton Downland Challenge, Gabi Hitchcock took an amazing 5 minutes from her best for a new time of 1-30-12, very close to her 1-30 target.

Jane Georghiou was 3rd scorer in 1-34-48 (1st W60). The previous week, picked to represent England, she finished 4th in her category at the recent British and Irish Masters Home International cross-country in Belfast, helping the team to gold.

A fine B team consisted of Lindsay Bamford (1-42-23, PB), Lucy Enstock in her first road half marathon (1-49-02) and junior Abigail Ashby, who achieved an excellent time for her debut (1-50-46). Beccy Martin (1-50-59), Emma Doven (1-53-20), Jacqueline Ashley-Collins (1-58-06, safely under her 2 hour target) Shirley Perrett (1-58-22) and Lina Haines (2-05-04) all recorded good results.