HRRL Eastleigh 10K

Sixteen Farnham Runners took part in the Eastleigh 10km, the 9th event of the 12 race series of the Hampshire Road Race League, and helped the club to place high in both the men’s and ladies’ Divison Two.

The fast flat course attracts top runners in all categories and the number of finishers this year was a record 2,336. Winner Phil Wicks, who clocked under 30 minutes, suggested that although conditions were generally good, a stiff breeze over the final two kilometers added 15 seconds to times.

Farnham’s Sarah Hill, who was sixth lady and won the veteran category in a superb time of 36-24, boosted the ladies’ team result to an excellent first place in Division Two, and was second runner back for the club.

There was no stopping the Farnham men in their quest for superiority in Division Two of the league. The top four men clocked excellent times and, although second on the day, increased their lead on aggregate.

The consistent Ian Carley used his experience to pace accurately and overtake in the final stages for 36 minutes 9 seconds, one second quicker than his last year’s time. Last year’s race was James Warren’s debut at the distance and this time he took another 90 seconds from his personal best for 36-34, with Rob Gilchrist deducting almost two minutes in 36-54. Running alongside him for much of the way was final A team scorer Richard Lovejoy, who started at such a cracking pace he faded near the end and had to settle for 37-20.

Mike Anderson was just out of the prizes in the M55 category (4th) with a fine 38-21. Next came Stuart Williamson (40-06) and mens’ captain Martin Billett in 41-40, with Mike Walberton (42-16) also helping this B team to third place, a result that raises them to a promotional second on aggregate.

A “C” team of Matt Dellar (42-57), Steve Murphy (42-36), Neil Ambrose (44-14) and Dave Armstrong (44-35) came 10th in B Division Two (agg. 10th).

Second in the ladies’ team was Charlotte Hanson, still recovering from an International triathlon the previous week in 44-29. Gabi Hitchcock returning to racing was delighted with 45-32, while the greatest accolade should probably go to newcomer Jenni Rayner (54-44) who gained a new personal best by 7 minutes. The ladies A are now fifth on aggregate (Division Two). With three races to go and three results to be discounted at the end of the season, promotion is still possible.