SXCL Staunton Country Park, Brighton Half Marathon
SXCL Staunton Country Park
A large shiny new trophy was awarded to the winners of the newly named Southern Cross Country League series after the final event of the season, organised by Denmead Striders at Staunton Country Park near Havant. Recent three time winners of the previous equivalent series, Farnham Runners came a very creditable third out of the twenty participating clubs and by a comfortable margin of ten points. A consistent score of 4th men’s team (not 3rd) and 4th ladies gave them *joint 3rd on the day.
* Not 2nd as listed in first edition of the results.
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 races.
Lots of mud was inevitable after all the recent rain. Some wary runners attempted to go round the large puddle near the start and then for a while a hard packed surface belied the conditions for most of the course. Soon the mud started and no one could avoid it. One long gloopy section was deep enough, according to one account, to have swallowed a shoe (if not a runner) without trace. Relatively flat for most of the five miles, the steep uphill finish was a final test of strength.
Andrew Ellison led in the men in 21st, with James Clarke next in 36th. Colin Addison equalled his best placing in 47th, while Matt Dellar (54th) strove to keep ahead of Ian Marshall (55th). Tim Cummins was a strong team contender in 82nd, followed by John Phillips (108th), Terry Copeland (113rd), Craig Tate-Grimes (148th) and Alistair Hardaway (151st).
Charlotte Hanson gained a new best by four places, close to the top ten ladies in 12th, while a determined Kayleigh Copeland paced well for another personal best of 20th, with Jane Georghiou third scorer in 28th. Eloise Stradling finished close behind in 39th with Tori Shaw 52nd, Vicki Clarke 62nd, newcomer Tara Hunt 66th, Kay Copeland 68th, Jenni Rayner 84th and Cyra Parkes 117th.
Brighton Half Marathon
Proudly wearing her Farnham Runners vest, Sarah Hill was interviewed on TV as she crossed the line first lady in the recent Brighton half Marathon in a superb time of 1 hour 18mins 41 seconds.