HRRL Overton 5 and Victory 5, Pilgrims Marathon and Half Marathon, and other races
The Hampshire Road Race League enticed racing legs back into action with two five milers – the first a two-lap hilly route at Overton and the second, just eight days later, a flat course at the Victory Five, Portsmouth.
Farnham Runners put out full men’s and ladies’ A teams at the first fixture and were rewarded with 2nd place (men) and 3rd place (ladies) in Division Two.
Andrew Ellison came 25th of 482 finishers and third in the M45 category. He clocked an impressive 28 minutes 43 seconds, exactly equalling his previous time in 2010. Ian Carley was 51st in 30:01 (7th M45). Not far behind was James Warren in 30:44, while Mike Walberton was pleased to be racing again (33:40). Steve Payne gave valuable support in 40:58.
A trio of ladies gave the team a sound start to the season: Jane Georghiou in 36:00, Lindsay Bamford in 38:16 and Emma Drinkwater in 42:20.
Only four members ran the Victory Five, as many were taking part that day in the local Pilgrims marathon or half marathon. They were rewarded for their efforts by high category positions and all gained top 100 category positions in the UK Athletics rankings for the year so far. Times were affected by the strong wind, so often prevalent on this course. Again Andrew Ellison headed the team with 28:39, (29th of 490), adding yet another personal best to his tally at a variety of distances this year. He took top spot in the M45 category, an excellent achievement in a race that attracts a top class field. Mike Anderson clocked 30:15 (64th), faster than last year but with a particularly strong group of M55 contenders he placed 5th, compared to 2nd last year. Martin Billett was pleased with 32:44 and a fine 9th in the same category. Jane Georghiou was first in her category in 35:10. The current UK 2013 category rankings for these four runners are 50th, 23rd, 95th and 3rd respectively.
In the Hampshire Road Race League Division Two the low turn out for this race saw the men drop to 5th on aggregate and the ladies to 7th.
Pilgrims Marathon and Half Marathon
There was a strong showing from the club in both the Pilgrims marathon and half marathon. Missing the start but overtaking all but six, Sarah Hill used the 26.2mile distance as a training run before the Chester marathon and was still first lady by over three minutes and first Farnham Runner back! Her time was an enviable 3:16:31.
Next Farnham Runner, Mike Taylor in 3:49:41, was followed by Doug Cackett (3:51:05), while Jonathan Cooper wore Farnham colours for the first time (4:20:00). Second Farnham lady was Lindsay Bamford in 4:31:38. Marathon man Hillary Carter (4:55:50), instigator of the Pilgrims races, ran his 5th marathon in as many weeks, with two more planned in the next fortnight. Peter Strange clocked 5:29:46 while Jacqueline Ashley-Collins (5:51:58) made the brave decision to run this challenging course as her first marathon, the first member of last year’s Absolute Beginners group to tackle the gruelling distance.
Ian Carley led in the Farnham contingent in the half marathon with an impressive 1:29:20 for 7th place and first in the M41-50 category. Richard Lovejoy (1:33:54) took over twelve minutes from his previous attempt at the distance on road 3 years ago. Charlie and John Hill-Venning recorded 1:36:37 and 1:36:47 respectively for Charlie to pip his brother for 3rd place in the winning team.
Other Farnham Runners enjoyed the challenge of their first half marathon and all made a determined effort. Other times: Stuart Williamson 1:39:16, Colin Addison 1:40:13, Stephen Elliot Nicholls 1:40:54, Terry Steadman 1:48:18 (2nd M60), Ian George 1:57:12, Wendy Carley 2:04:23 (1st Farnham lady), Stash Hutten 2:05:50, Craig Tate-Grimes 2:05:51 (debut), Becky Martin 2:06:18, Alistair Wilson 2:07:10, Lina Haines (2:08:50), Eloise Stradling 2:09:36 (debut, first Under 21 lady), Paul Mackie 2:10:42, Emma Dawson 2:10:45, Jessica Page 2:13:20, Jane Mezullo 2:17:47 (debut).
Sarah Hill had a fantastic run in the Police 10 miler in Llanelli, Wales, a few days before the Pilgrims. Her splendid time of 61:17 puts her 4th in UK 2013 F40 rankings and 27th out of all age groups. She was first lady by two minutes and adds another Farnham Runners ladies’ club record to her tally!
Susie Chan, who earlier this year completed the Marathon des Sables, came 3rd lady and 8th overall in the 3-day, 90 mile “Toad Challenge Ultra” along the Thames path.