HRRL Gosport Half Marathon, parkruns, Interservice Cross-Country Championships and British and Irish Home International Cross-Country

HRRL Gosport Half Marathon

Seventeen Farnham Runners were out to do battle in the Gosport Half Marathon. Its flat mostly traffic free course, partly round an airfield and along the Lee-on-the-Solent promenade, combined with good running conditions helped many of them to achieve personal best times.

The Farnham men made a good step forward in their quest for promotion to the top division of the Hampshire Road League, the A team coming second on the day and advancing to second on aggregate with Portsmouth Joggers denying them the top slot at present.

However, Sarah Hill was the first from the club to cross the line, in a splendid time of one hour 19 minutes 20 secs, within one second of her time this year in the Brighton half marathon. She was second lady and first in the F40 category, 56th overall of over 1500 finishers.

Not at his fastest, Andrew Ellison was a minute back in 1-20-19, with Ian Carley at his heels in 1-20-41. Next Richard Lovejoy clocked a new best by over 3 minutes for 1-22-36, while Charles Ashby completed the A team in 1-23-55.

Rob Gilchrist took a massive chunk off his PB with 1-25-47 to lead in the B squad. Jason East (1-26-31) was followed by Stuart Williamson (1-27-37, PB) and Mike Walberton (1-27-48, PB) for the team that was easily topped B Division 2.

Leading the “C”s was Chris Cramp (1-35-52 PB,) backed up by Alistair Hardaway (1-36-19), John Phillips (1-41-19, PB) and Neil Ambrose (1-43-42, debut) for a creditable 5th in the same division. Neil has made remarkable progress as he only started running with Farnham Runners in April. He said

“ I want to say a massive thank you to Ian Carley and helpers for running the Absolute Beginners course. Ian has given me lots of advice and inspired me to continue running improving my times and increasing distances that I can run. Having started running at the end of March this year, struggling with 1 mile on the first day, I never thought I would complete a half marathon.”

He added

“I also want to say a huge thanks to Lindsay Bamford for kindly allowing me to run with her at Gosport. She did make me laugh when at about 10 miles she said “If you want to go ahead feel free…”. I was just about keeping up at that point!”

Ian George in 1-51-22 and Craig Tate-Grimes in 1-51-24 also recorded personal bests.

For the ladies Lindsay Bamford put in a strong performance as usual for 1-43-29, while Catrin Petty is getting the “racing bug” and was delighted to make such an important contribution to the A team (2-06-39, debut). This gave them 5th on the day in Division 2 and they stay 6th on aggregate.

Other races

Tim Cummins and Ian Carley were rewarded both for their pace and enthusiasm after the first year of the very successful Alice Holt Saturday morning parkruns. Tim won the mens’ points table with Ian second, while Ian was also the runner who had amassed the highest number of wins (20). This was even though he sometimes paced others or helped as the “tail runner”. James Clarke was next with three wins. Third in the ladies points table was Louise Davies, one of the linchpins of the local event, who has reached totals of 100 runs and 100 volunteering stints for parkruns.

Sarah Hill, representing the Police team and just three days after running at Gosport, won the Interservice Cross-Country Championships on a tough 3-lap course at Stowe.

Jane Georghiou was chosen for the four-strong England W60 team for the British and Irish Home International Cross-Country at Cardiff. She was pleased to finish 4th in the category and 3rd in the England team, helping it to gold.