SXCL Lord Wandsworth College and Portsmouth Coastal Marathon

SXCL Lord Wandsworth College

“The only bits that weren’t pure mud were hills!” was an apt comment from a Farnham Runner after the fourth round of the 2014-15 seven-race Southern Cross Country League series, competently hosted by Hart Road Runners. Renowned for its mud, the course at Lord Wandsworth College in fact held less water than many years but none-the-less it was a tough course with one steep hill that is tackled twice over the two laps. After an icy start to the morning glorious sunshine helped create a convivial atmosphere for the whole event in this friendly but still competitive league.

Farnham Runners’ ladies came 3rd and men 4th to give an overall 3rd place on the day. In a repeat of last year, this puts them third overall on aggregate, up from joint third, out of 22 clubs with Basingstoke and Midhants AC top and Hart Road Runners second. The club had massive turn-out of 33 runners.

James Clarke yet again led in the men in a fine 24th, seemingly recovered from his victory in the “Drinkers” section in the Hindhead Boxing Day Fun Run. Charlie Hill-Venning was next in 34th, while new member Jirka Zaloudik impressed in 38th. Cross-country team captain Matt Dellar was pleased with 49th ahead of Stephen Elliot-Nicholls who made a come-back to racing in 52nd. Colin Addison only just missed a scoring place in 58th, followed by Stuart Haig in 74th.

Ultra-runner Susie Chan demonstrated her speed as well as endurance with her excellent 4th place for the ladies as, just a week after the Portsmouth Coastal marathon, she managed to fit the race into her rigorous training plan for this spring’s Marathon des Sables. Triathlete Charlotte Hanson in 13th and Eloise Stradling in 24th made a huge contribution to form a strong team. Jane Georghiou (30th), Lindsay Bamford (54th) and Sue Taylor (59th) were in a back-up role this time.

Although not making the teams everyone gave their all for the club:

Men’s placings: Neil Ambrose 83, Tim Cummins 89, Darren Carins 94, John Phillips 106, Terry Copeland 123, Barney Whiter (after an argument with some brambles)147, Geoff Brown 151, Steve Bailey 153, Peter Chapman 200, Hillary Carter 202.

Ladies: Kay Copeland 68, Tara Hunt 74, Billy McCulloch 76, Annabel Sommerfeld (debut) 77, Becky Martin 94, Tori Shaw 98, Shirley Perrett 123, Mary D. Fitzgerald 124, Cyra Parkes 125, Kath Brown 143 (debut).

Portsmouth Coastal Marathon

In his fifth marathon, all since April this year, Paul Mackie was delighted to smash his four hour target with 3:56:05 in the Portsmouth Coastal marathon despite a strong wind.

Equally pleased was Jane Mezullo who also broke 4 hours with a personal best by 26 minutes in 3.59.55 (59th lady).

She was expertly paced by Susie Chan who took the race in her stride carrying 5.5 kg as training for the Marathon des Sables (also 3:59:55).