HRRL Season summary, Netley 10k and D-Day 10k, and Yateley 10k
A huge surge of support for the Farnham Runners’ Hampshire Road League teams in recent weeks caused for celebration and showed they will be a force to be reckoned with next year. The ladies are over the moon at a return to the top division for both their A and B teams. Although the men’s A team couldn’t prevent relegation from Division One, they are already planning a return to the top flight next season and their B and C teams finished well up in their divisions.
After the Netley 10km, the penultimate race, the ladies A team already had promotion secured, with their second place on the day, while their B team’s top place moved them up from fifth. In the final event, the D day 10km at Portsmouth, their “A”s were third but the “B”s were again top, shooting them up to another promotional slot. The men’s A team took sixth place at Netley and an impressive fourth, their best of the season, in the very competitive top division at the D Day race. Their B and C teams were seventh and fourth respectively at Netley but both topped their charts at D Day to finish fifth and sixth over the series.
There were some individual successes in the league too with six from Farnham completing the required number of races in high enough positions to have their names on the commemorative mugs: James Clarke 20th, Richard Lovejoy 25th, Mike Walberton 62nd, Matt Dellar 69th, Jane Georghiou 29th, and Vicki Clarke 41st, with John Phillips 83rd and Chris Cramp 91st also in the top 100 men.
In the Netley 10km, Richard Lovejoy found his racing legs with a personal best of 36 minutes 49 seconds while Stuart Morel in 37:07, 7th M40, chopped another minute from his previous best. James Clarke in 37:38 and Jirka Zaloudik in 38:00 completed the scoring for the A team.
Tim Cummins (41:34) was a happy leader of the B squad that included Mike Walberton who was 3rd M50 in 41:32, Stuart Haig in 41:50 and John Phillips in 42:33, another PB.
A recovering Alistair Hardaway recorded 43:19 while Chris Cramp (43:52) was delighted to achieve a long-term quest for sub 44 minutes. Paul Mackie deducted another 18 seconds for 44:17, while Steve Payne (52:20) raced for the first time in a while to finish the scoring for the C team.
Eloise Stradling led in the ladies with a strong performance for 45:08 and first place in the junior ladies’ section. Emma Whittaker-Axon returned to action in club colours in 45:52, followed by Jane Georghiou in 46:04. Not far behind came the top placed B string with Lindsay Bamford in 46:37, Vicki Clarke in 47:13 and Tare Hunt in 47:58, while Tina Harrison (PB, 51:19) and Mary Denise Fitzgerald (51:49) provided back-up.
The last race, the D Day 10km saw thirty-two turn out for the club and this was just four days after thirty three ran the first of the popular Wednesday evening Yateley 10km races. Nine of the Farnham men clocked sub 39 minute times on the flat but tortuous route at Portsmouth, despite the warm conditions, and the club provided three of the prize winners.
The first four showed they were getting back to top form, headed by James Clarke in a time of 36 minutes 30 seconds for 20th place. Just a few steps adrift was Richard Lovejoy, 21st in 36:33, another new personal best. Ian Carley (23rd) was delighted take first M45 slot with 36:39, while James Warren (32nd) was final A team scorer in 37:27.
Stuart Morel had to settle for leading in the four-strong B team in 37:41, with Jirka Zaloudik on his heels in 37:46. Mike Anderson gave his all to win the M55 category in 38:10. Sean Smith (38:39) stretched his legs a week before his D Day marathon in Normandy.
Even the C team all finished in under 41 minutes. Rupert Kemp gained his second personal best of the week in 38:58, followed by Matt Dellar (40:25), Gerald Wyatt (40:33) and Stuart Haig (40:48).
Eloise Stradling is now a regular leading Farnham lady in 44:51 as 3rd Junior Female. Next Jane Georghiou was first F60 in 45:27, just ahead of newcomer Nicola Douglas in 45:34. Just missing an A team place was Emma Whittaker-Axon (45:55), who led a B team of Vicki Clarke (47:47) and Sarah Marjoram on her debut (48:08).
More results: Tim Cummins 41:28, Mike Walberton 41:53, 5th M50, John Phillips 42:59, Alistair Hardaway 43:41, Chris Cramp 43:57, Jason East 44:05, Geoff Brown 46:25, Greg Strutton 49:00 (PB), Tara Hunt 50:05, Mary Denise Fitzgerald 52:39, Tina Harrison 53:35, Douglas Byth 56:49, Kathy Brown 63:07.
Notable from the Yateley 10km results were Rob Gilchrist 37:42, 7th M40, Rupert Kemp (39:06) who sliced 2.5 mins off his previous best, Colin Addison 40:49 6th M50, Susie Chan 42:33, 11th lady, 5th F35, Terry Steadman 47:16 7th M60, Lindsay Bamford 48:23, 10th F45, Kay Copeland 50:47, 3rd F55, Peter Strange 57.17, 2nd M70, Douglas Blyth 58:30, 3rd M70.