SXCL Pamber Forest and Isle of Wight Marathon

SXCL Pamber Forest

Farnham Runners took advantage of the continuing good autumn weather with a turn-out of forty members for the first cross country of the season. These Southern Cross Country League events appeal to a wide variety of standards of runner but all enjoy the challenging, scenic routes, the camaraderie and the post-race lunch provided by the hosts.

The first one was organised by Basingstoke and Midhants AC and took place in Pamber Forest, a Site of Special Scientific Interest, near Tadley. The 5 mile race was a single lap through woods and fields, along undulating tracks and footpaths.

The Farnham club placed joint third overall, a creditable result with twenty-three clubs now in the league. The men came an excellent second and the ladies fifth. The two placings are combined to give the overall score.

The men’s team was given a boost by talented newcomer, Curtis Anderson, who came 3rd, an impressive debut in club colours. Rob Gilchrist made a rare cross country appearance for a very valuable 13th. Reliable team member James Clarke was 27th, stalwart Ian Carley 33rd and Charlie Hill-Venning, 38th to snatch the final scoring place. In training for an ultra-distance run came Gerald Wyatt (45th). Next Stuart Haig (48th), Mark Maxwell (54th) and Matt Dellar (59th) also just missed team placings this time.

Getting back to form Gabi Hitchcock was pleased to lead in the Farnham ladies with an excellent 12th, while Kayleigh Copeland and Eloise Stradling, 21st and 23rd respectively showed their potential and made a huge contribution to the team. Nicola Douglas (26th) and Emma Pearson (29th) weren’t far behind.

Other placings Men: Ian Marshall 72, Alistair Hardaway 83, Neil Ambrose 90, Steve Gillingham 93, John Phillips 95, Dan Smith 106, David Rogers 114, Steve Bailey 131, Tim Cummins 132, Steve Kitney 136, Tim Farrant 159, Geoff Brown 177, Darren Carins 183, Craig Tate-Grimes 219.

Ladies: Jane Georghiou 41, Anne Snelson 55, Vicki Clarke 58, Lina Haines 72, Tina Harrison 75, Kay Copeland 77 Tori Shaw 89, Mary Denise Fitzgerald 92, Becky Martin 106, Clair Bailey 141, Kathy Brown 167.

Isle of Wight Marathon

On the same day, Sarah Hill deducted an astounding 8 minutes off the ladies’ course record and 28 minutes off the ladies’ veteran record to win the gruelling, undulating Isle of Wight Marathon in a superb 3:00:29 (5th place overall) and become Police Sport UK 2015 Ladies Champion. This race, this year tracing a route form Cowes to Yarmouth and Freshwater and back, is the longest consistently running one in the UK, going since 1957.