SXCL Pamber Forest, Graz Marathon and Alton Downland Challenge

SXCL Pamber Forest

As the leaves start to turn, seasoned runners know it heralds the beginning of the cross country season that they’ve been looking forward to.

The first Southern Cross Country League event, organised by Basingstoke and Midhants AC took place in Pamber Forest, a beautiful Site of Special Scientific Interest, near Tadley.

The 5 mile race was a single lap through woods and fields along undulating tracks and footpaths, with just a gentle introduction to mud this year.

Thirty two Farnham Runners turned out to support the club and enjoy the competition and camaraderie. With more than ever taking part, before the start the race director gave the welcome assurance that 400 hot-dogs were being prepared for the post-race lunch, and so no-one was likely to go home hungry.

James Clarke headed the Farnham Runners contingent in 10th spot, with old hands Andrew Ellison and Charles Ashby back in action in 22nd and 33rd respectively.

John Hill-Venning (41st) and cross country captain Matt Dellar (48th) were pleased to make the scoring team that came an excellent third of the twenty-two competing clubs.

Stuart Haig (51st) and Philip King (55th) impressed on their debut at these events, followed by Chris Carey 67th and a close packed trio of Ian Marshall (79th), Neil Ambrose (81st) and Tim Cummins (82nd).

Charlotte Hanson led in the Farnham ladies in a fine 14th place, with Jane Georghiou (28th) and Eloise Stradling (39th) taking the other team places. They were rewarded with sixth place that, combined with the men’s result, gave a promising fourth overall for the club. Next Lindsay Bamford came 53rd, while Vicky Clarke (58th) and Anne Snelson (63rd, debut) showed their potential.

Other club placings: Men: Terry Copeland 100, Darren Carins 105, Steve Kitney 112, Chris Cramp 120, Chris Beattie 147, Geoff Brown (debut) 155, Ian Carley 165, Craig Tate-Grimes 183.

Ladies: Wendy Carley 79, Kay Copeland 85, Tori Shaw 88, Becky Ashcroft 91, Tina Harrison 92, Hannah Maxfield 127, Cyra Parkes 135.

Graz Marathon

On the same day Farnham’s star performer Sarah Hill ran the Graz Marathon in Austria representing Great Britain in the European Police Championships in which she came 3rd lady (1st GB) and 5th lady out of all the competitors with another sub 3 hour time of 2:56:42 in an unseasonal temperature of 25 degrees! Her average pace was an awesome 4 mins 11 secs per kilometre

Alton Downland Challenge

The previous week a number of Farnham Runners ran the Alton Downland Challenge and were among the prize-winners or highly placed finishers: Charlie Hill-Venning 38:51, (1st Senior male), John Hill-Venning 42:23 (5th M40), Terry Copeland 43:59 (3rd M50), Lindsay Bamford 49:58 (2nd F45, 5th lady), Kay Copeland 53:44 (4th F45), Darren Carins 56:23.