TRXCL Staunton Country Park

Farnham Runners were sad to say “Goodbye” to the Today’s Runner Winter League winners’ trophy after coming fourth in the league this year – still a creditable result as the league has grown to 20 clubs and is more and more competitive. At the presentation of the trophy to Basingstoke A.C., the league’s co-ordinator, Bob Ayer, particularly thanked the clubs like Farnham, who had hosted one of the season’s races. He commented on the determined faces of all standards of runner as they tackled the challenging hill to the finish and commented on the magnificent team support, a strong characteristic of this league.

Denmead Striders put on the final event at Staunton Country Park. The course was fairly flat but with enough mud to test the leg strength, balance and lace-tying skills of the runners. A cold morning gave a useful outing for the club tent, erected and packed away without mishap. Compared with the last race, the Farnham tables were turned with the men gaining 5th and the ladies (less gleeful this time) 7th, to give overall 5th on the day.

Getting back to form, Ian Carley led them in with an excellent 6th place. Mike Anderson did well to head the rest of the pack in 22nd, keeping ahead of Charles Ashby (34th), Bob Brimicombe (38th) and Steve Kitney (45th). Not far behind Tim Cummins (58th) led the non- scorers. Laurence Bookham impressed with 70th on his debut in Farnham colours, overtaking Steve Murphy (72nd), Martin Billett (75th), Terry Copeland (92nd) and Chris Cramp (100th), with Craig Tate-Grimes following in 145th.

With injury, illness and marathon training affecting the ladies’ turn-out, Jane Georghiou headed the team in 15th. Lindsay Bamford always makes a valuable contribution in 26th. Newcomer Louise Davies (38th) was third scorer on her debut. The team was backed up by Christy Roxburgh (41st), Eloise Stradling (48th), Phoebe Heveron (56th, debut), Kay Copeland 62nd, Catrin Petty (69th, debut) and Elaine Ashby (91st).