HRRL Netley 10k and D-Day 10k
The enthusiasm and strong team spirit of Farnham Runners culminated in a successful end to the season of Hampshire Road Race League races. Both A and B men’s teams finished comfortably top of their tables on aggregate and so gain promotion for next year. The ladies A team secured a respectable fourth series place of ten teams in the second of three Divisions, with their B team mid-table.
Some Farnham Runners featured strongly in the final individual league positions which are based on a minimum of seven races. In the men’s section James Warren came 27th, Ian Carley 30th, Richard Lovejoy 38th and Mike Walberton 63rd while Jane Georghiou came 23rd in the ladies’ table.
Promotion for the men’s A team was secure after the penultimate race, the Netley 10km in which they came third. New team captain James Warren headed the club’s contingent in a fine 38 minutes 15 seconds. Not far behind was Jason East in 38-45. Sixth M50 was Mike Walberton in 40-11, followed by final A scorer Matt Dellar in 41-44.
The B team had put in a spectacular surge after failing to put in a squad for the first three races. Over the next seven events, they claimed 1st, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 1st, 3rd and 1st, hauling the team up from 16th to 3rd in the table. They were however still left with quite a gap to close on the top two, with only two earning promotion.
A number of runners who don’t usually run in the HRRL series braved the journey to Southampton to do battle at Netley and came away with 4th place, which lifted them to 2nd place in the table!
Newcomer Will Paskell (42-43), Neil Ambrose (43-35), John Phillips (44-47, PB), Chris Beattie (50-01, PB) snatched this all-important result with Craig Tate-Grimes (51-05) in support.
A full A team of three ladies were rewarded with 8th place but there were no Farnham ladies for the B team. Jane Georghiou was first in her category with 46-04. Spurred on by supporters, Cyra Parkes and new member Hannah Maxfield sprinted to the line with Cyra (62-42) just getting the edge on Hannah (62-44) in the final few strides.
No fewer than 15 Farnham men turned out to support their team at the D day 10km at Portsmouth gaining some outstanding results. Seven finished in under 40 minutes despite the very warm day and lack of shade on a twisty course that made conditions far from ideal for racing. Four of the men attained top five positions in their categories with two of them third, a notable achievement in such a competitive field.
The first four Farnham men back gained third in the A section of Division 2, while the B and C squads achieved the highest score possible, taking the top two slots in B division 2.
Leading by example again was James Warren in 37-08 (5th M40). Next Sean Smith (38-35) who used it as a final training race before his forthcoming Caen marathon, closely followed by Stuart Morel with yet another personal best (38-37). Final A scorer was Jason East in 38-44.
Getting back to form Mike Walberton headed the B string in 39-31 (5th M50) with Stuart Williamson in 39-44, James Clarke in 39-50 and Richard Lovejoy returning from injury in 40-47. Third in the M55 category was Mike Anderson in 41-18 (3rd M55), while Matt Dellar (42-01), Steve Murphy (42-41) and John Phillips (44-15, PB) completed the C team.
Not far behind were Chris Cramp (44-23) and Neil Ambrose 44-38 with Terry Steadman gaining third M65 in 46-47.
The ladies came a commendable second in the D Day race in A Division 2.
Two of them were prizewinners in their age categories: Eloise Stradling first junior female in 50-37 and Jane Georghiou first F60 in 45.59. Ahead of them was Vicky Sadler in 45-13, while Tara Hunt ran for third in the A team (49-21, PB). In her first 10km Clair Bailey clocked a commendable 63-48 after starting the club’s Absolute Beginner programme in April. She helped an incomplete B team to a useful 5th place (7th on aggregate).
Sean Smith went on to clock an excellent 2-55-55 in the Les Courants de la Liberté marathon at Caen in Normandy and place 42nd of 1796 finishers.
Jane Georghiou was third in her age group with 21-48 at the British Masters 5km in Horwich and so came away with a bronze medal.